The Unexpurgated Case Against Woman Suffrage eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 94 pages of information about The Unexpurgated Case Against Woman Suffrage.

Their legislative programme is license for themselves, or else restrictions for man.

(c) Next there file past the incomplete.  One side of their nature has undergone atrophy, with the result that they have lost touch with their living fellow men and women.

Their programme is to convert the whole world into an epicene institution—–­an epicene institution in which man and woman shall everywhere work side by side at the selfsame tasks and for the selfsame pay.

These wishes can never by any possibility be realised.  Even in animals—­I say even, because in these at least one of the sexes has periods of complete quiscence—­male and female cannot be safely worked side by side, except when they are incomplete.

While in the human species safety can be obtained, it can be obtained only at the price of continual constraint.

And even then woman, though she protests that she does not require it, and that she does not receive it, practically always does receive differential treatment at the hands of man.

It would be well, I often think, that every woman should be clearly told—­and the woman of the world will immediately understand—­that when man sets his face against the proposal to bring in an epicene world, he does so because he can do his best work only in surroundings where he is perfectly free from suggestion and from restraint, and from the onus which all differential treatment imposes.

And I may add in connexion with my own profession that when a medical man asks that he should not be the yoke-fellow of a medical woman he does so also because he would wish to keep up as between men and women—­even when they are doctors—­some of the modesties and reticences upon which our civilisation has been built up.

Now the medical woman is of course never on the side of modesty,[1] or in favour of any reticences.  Her desire for knowledge does not allow of these.

[1] To those who have out of inadvertence and as laymen and women misunderstood, it may be explained that the issue here discussed is the second in order of the three which are set out on p. 139 (supra).

(d) Inextricably mixed up with the types which we have been discussing is the type of woman whom Dr. Leonard Williams’s recent letter brought so distinctly before our eyes—­the woman who is poisoned by her misplaced self-esteem; and who flies out at every man who does not pay homage to her intellect.

She is the woman who is affronted when a man avers that for him the glory of woman lies in her power of attraction, in her capacity for motherhood, and in unswerving allegiance to the ethics which are special to her sex.

I have heard such an intellectually embittered woman say, though she had been self-denyingly taken to wife, that “never in the whole course of her life had a man ever as much as done her a kindness.”

The programme of this type of woman is, as a preliminary, to compel man to admit her claim to be his intellectual equal; and, that done, to compel him to divide up everything with her to the last farthing, and so make her also his financial equal.

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The Unexpurgated Case Against Woman Suffrage from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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