In order to satisfy the physical yearning for such comforts, a considerable section of intelligent and virtuous women insist on picturing to themselves that the reign of physical force is over, or as good as over; that distinctions based upon physical and intellectual force may be reckoned as non-existent; that male supremacy as resting upon these is a thing of the past; and that Justice means Egalitarian Equity—means equating the weaklings with the strong and the incapable with the capable.
All this because these particular ideas are congenial to the woman of refinement, and because it is to her, when she is a suffragist, uncongenial that there should exist another principle of justice which demands from the physically and intellectually capable that they shall retain the reins of government in their own hands; and specially uncongenial that in all man-governed States the ideas of justice of the more forceful should have worked out so much to the advantage of women, that a large majority of these are indifferent or actively hostile to the Woman’s Suffrage Movement.
In further illustration of what has been said above, it may be pointed out that woman, even intelligent woman, nurses all sorts of misconceptions about herself. She, for instance, is constantly picturing to herself that she can as a worker lay claim to the same all-round efficiency as a man—forgetting that woman is notoriously unadapted to tasks in which severe physical hardships have to be confronted; and that hardly any one would, if other alternative offered, employ a woman in any work which imposed upon her a combined physical and mental strain, or in any work where emergencies might have to be faced.
In like manner the suffragist is fond of picturing to herself that woman is for all ordinary purposes the intellectual equal, and that the intelligent woman is the superior of the ordinary man.
These results are arrived at by fixing the attention upon the fact that an ordinary man and an ordinary woman are, from the point of view of memory and apprehension, very much on a level; and that a highly intelligent woman has a quicker memory and a more rapid power of apprehension than the ordinary man; and further, by leaving out of regard that it is not so much a quick memory or a rapid power of apprehension which is required for effective intellectual work, as originality, or at any rate independence of thought, a faculty of felicitious generalisations and diacritical judgment, long-sustained intellectual effort, an unselective mirroring of the world in the mind, and that relative immunity to fallacy which goes together with a stable and comparatively unresponsive nervous system.
When we consider that the intellect of the quite ungifted man works with this last-mentioned physiological advantage, we can see that the male intellect must be, and—pace [with the permission of] the woman suffragist—it in point of fact is, within its range, a better instrument for dealing with the practical affairs of life than that of the intelligent woman.