The Unexpurgated Case Against Woman Suffrage eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 79 pages of information about The Unexpurgated Case Against Woman Suffrage.

Now an electorate which includes a very large proportion of quite uninterested voters would be in the same case as a legislature which included a very large proportion of members who made a practice of staying away.  It would be in the same case, because the absentees, who would not have acquired the training which comes from consecutive attention to public affairs, might at any moment step in and upset the stability of State by voting for some quite unconsidered measure.

Coming back in conclusion to our main issue, I would re-emphasise an aspect of the question upon which I have already elsewhere insisted.[1] I have in view the fact that woman does, and should, stand to physical violence in a fundamentally different relation to man.  Nothing can alter the fact that, the very moment woman resorts to violence, she places herself within the jurisdiction of an ethical law, which is as old as civilisation, and which was framed in its interests.

[1] Vide Appendix, pp. 176-179.

II

WOMAN’S DISABILITY IN THE MATTER OF INTELLECT

Characteristics of the Feminine Mind—­Suffragist Illusions with Regard to the Equality of Man and Woman as Workers—­Prospect for the Intellectual Future of Woman—­Has Woman Advanced?

The woman voter would be pernicious to the State not only because she could not back her vote by physical force, but also by reason of her intellectual defects.

Woman’s mind attends in appraising a statement primarily to the mental images which it evokes, and only secondarily—­and sometimes not at all—­to what is predicated in the statement.  It is over-influenced by individual instances; arrives at conclusions on incomplete evidence; has a very imperfect sense of proportion; accepts the congenial as true, and rejects the uncongenial as false; takes the imaginary which is desired for reality, and treats the undesired reality which is out of sight as non-existent—­building up for itself in this way, when biased by predilections and aversions, a very unreal picture of the external world.

The explanation of this is to be found in all the physiological attachments of woman’s mind:[1] in the fact that mental images are in her over-intimately linked up with emotional reflex responses; that yielding to such reflex responses gives gratification; that intellectual analysis and suspense of judgment involve an inhibition of reflex responses which is felt as neural distress; that precipitate judgment brings relief from this physiological strain; and that woman looks upon her mind not as an implement for the pursuit of truth, but as an instrument for providing her with creature comforts in the form of agreeable mental images.

[1] Certain of these have already been referred to in the letter printed in the Appendix (_ vide_ p.167 infra).

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Unexpurgated Case Against Woman Suffrage from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook