The present system of feminine education is blameworthy not only in the respect that it fails to draw attention to these disqualifications and to teach woman where she stands; it is even more blameworthy in that it fails to convey to the girl who is growing up any conception of that absolutely elementary form of morality which consists in distinguishing meum and tuum [that which is mine and that which is yours].
Instead of her educators encouraging every girl to assert “rights” as against man, and put forward claims, they ought to teach her with respect to him those lessons of behaviour which are driven home once for all into every boy at a public school.
Just as there you learn that you may not make unwarranted demands upon your fellow, and just as in the larger world every nation has got to learn that it cannot with impunity lay claim to the possessions of its neighbours, so woman will have to learn that when things are not offered to her, and she has not the power to take them by force, she has got to make the best of things as they are.
One would wish for every girl who is growing up to womanhood that it might be brought home to her by some refined and ethically-minded member of her own sex how insufferable a person woman becomes when, like a spoilt child, she exploits the indulgence of man; when she proclaims that it is his duty to serve her and to share with her his power and possessions; when she makes an outcry when he refuses to part with what is his own; and when she insists upon thrusting her society upon men everywhere.
And every girl ought to be warned that to embark upon a policy of recrimination when you do not get what you want, and to proclaim yourself a martyr when, having hit, you are hit back, is the way to get yourself thoroughly disliked.
Finally, every girl ought to be shown, in the example of the militant suffragist, how revolt and martyrdom, undertaken in order to possess oneself of what belongs to others, effects the complete disorganisation of moral character.
No one would wish that in the education of girls these quite unlovely things should be insisted upon more than was absolutely necessary. But one would wish that the educators of the rising generation of women should, basing themselves upon these foundations, point out to every girl how great is woman’s debt to civilisation; in other words, how much is under civilisation done for woman by man.
And one would wish that, in a world which is rendered unwholesome by feminism, every girl’s eyes were opened to comprehend the great outstanding fact of the world: the fact that, turn where you will, you find individual man showering upon individual woman—one man in tribute to her enchantment, another out of a sense of gratitude, and another just because she is something that is his—every good thing which, suffrage or no suffrage, she never could have procured for herself.