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Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner

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yet the woman's problem might be further from satisfactory solution than it
is today; and, if it were affected at all, might be affected for the worse.
It is wholly untrue that fifty pounds, or two thousand, earned by the male
as the result of his physical or mental toil, if part of it be spent by him
in supporting non-labouring females, whether as prostitutes, wives, or
mistresses, is the same thing to the female or to the race as though that
sum had been earned by her own exertion, either directly as wages or
indirectly by toiling for the man whose wages supported her. For the
moment, truly, the woman so tended lies softer and warmer than had she been
compelled to exert herself; ultimately, intellectually, morally, and even
physically, the difference in the effect upon her as an individual and on
the race is the difference between advance and degradation, between life
and death. The increased wealth of the male no more of necessity benefits
and raises the female upon whom he expends it, than the increased wealth of
his mistress necessarily benefits mentally or physically a poodle because
she can give him a down cushion in place of one of feathers, and chicken in
place of beef. The wealthier the males of a society become, the greater
the temptation, both to themselves and to the females connected with them,
to drift toward female parasitism.

The readjustment of the position of the male worker, if it led to a more
equitable distribution of wealth among males, might indeed diminish
slightly the accompanying tendency to parasitism in the very wealthiest
female class; but it would, on the other hand, open up exactly those
conditions which make parasitism possible to millions of women today
leading healthy and active lives. (The fact cannot be too often dwelt upon
that parasitism is not connected with any definite amount of wealth. Any
sum supplied to an individual which will so far satisfy him or her as to
enable them to live without exertion may absolutely parasitise them; while
vast wealth (unhealthy as its effects generally tend to be) may, upon
certain rare and noble natures, exert hardly any enervating or deleterious
influence. An amusing illustration of the different points at which
enervation is reached by different females came under our own observation.
The wife of an American millionaire was visited by a woman, the daughter
and also the widow of small professional men. She stated that she was in
need of both food and clothing. The millionaire's wife gave her a leg of
mutton and two valuable dresses. The woman proceeded to whine, though in
vigorous health, that she had no one to carry them home for her, and could
not think of carrying them herself. The American, the descendant of
generations of able, labouring, New England, Puritan women, tucked the leg
of mutton under one arm and the bundle of clothes under the other and
walked off down the city street towards the woman's dwelling, followed by
the astonished pauper parasite.

The most helpless case of female degeneration we ever came into contact
with was that of a daughter of a poor English officer on half-pay and who
had to exist on a few hundreds a year. This woman could neither cook her
own food nor make her own clothes, nor was she engaged in any social,
political, or intellectual or artistic labour. Though able to dance for a
night or play tennis for an afternoon, she was yet hardly able to do her
own hair or attire herself, and appeared absolutely to have lost all power
of compelling herself to do anything which was at the moment fatiguing or
displeasing, as all labour is apt to be, however great its ultimate reward.
In a life of twenty-eight years this woman had probably not contributed one
hour's earnest toil, mental or physical, to the increase of the sum total
of productive human labour. Surrounded with acres of cultivable land, she
would possibly have preferred to lie down and die of hunger rather than
have cultivated half an acre for food. This is an extreme case; but the
ultimate effect of parasitism is always a paralysis of the will and an
inability to compel oneself into any course of action for the moment
unpleasurable and exhaustive.)

That the two problems are not identical is shown, if indeed evidence were
needed, by the fact that those males most actively employed in attempting
to readjust the relations of the mass of labouring males to the new
conditions of life, are sometimes precisely those males who are most
bitterly opposed to woman in her attempt to readjust her own position. Not
even by the members of those professions, generally regarded as the
strongholds of obstructionism and prejudice, has a more short-sighted
opposition often been made to the attempts of woman to enter new fields of
labour, than have again and again been made by male hand-workers, whether
as isolated individuals or in their corporate capacity as trade unions.
They have, at least in some certain instances, endeavoured to exclude
women, not merely from new fields of intellectual and social labour, but
even from those ancient fields of textile manufacture and handicraft, which
have through all generations of the past been woman's. The patent and
undeniable fact, that where the male labour movement flourishes the woman
movement also flourishes, rises not from the fact that they are identical,
but that the same healthy and virile condition in a race or society gives
rise to both.

As two streams rising from one fountain-head and running a parallel course
through long reaches may yet remain wholly distinct, one finding its way
satisfactorily to the sea, while the other loses itself in sand or becomes
a stagnant marsh, so our modern male and female movements, taking their
rise from the same material conditions in modern civilisation, and
presenting endless and close analogies with one another in their cause of
development, yet remain fundamentally distinct. By both movements the
future of the race must be profoundly modified for good or evil; both touch
the race in a manner absolutely vital; but both will have to be fought out
on their own ground, and independently: and it can be only by determined,
conscious, and persistent action on the part of woman that the solution of
her own labour problems will proceed co-extensively with that of the other.

How distinct, though similar, is the underlying motive of the two
movements, is manifested most clearly by this fact, that, while the male
labour movement takes its rise mainly among the poor and hand-labouring
classes, where the material pressure of the modern conditions of life fall
heaviest, and where the danger of physical suffering and even extinction
under that pressure is most felt; the Woman Labour Movement has taken its
rise almost as exclusively among the wealthy, cultured, and brain-labouring
classes, where alone, at the present day, the danger of enervation through
non-employment, and of degeneration through dependence on the sex function
exists. The female labour movement of our day is, in its ultimate essence,
an endeavour on the part of a section of the race to save itself from
inactivity and degeneration, and this, even at the immediate cost of most
heavy loss in material comfort and ease to the individuals composing it.
The male labour movement is, directly and in the first place, material;
and, or at least superficially, more or less self-seeking, though its
ultimate reaction on society by saving the poorer members from degradation
and dependency and want is undoubtedly wholly social and absolutely
essential for the health and continued development of the human race. In
the Woman's Labour Movement of our day, which has essentially taken its
rise among women of the more cultured and wealthy classes, and which
consists mainly in a demand to have the doors leading to professional,
political, and highly skilled labour thrown open to them, the ultimate end
can only be attained at the cost of more or less intense, immediate,
personal suffering and renunciation, though eventually, if brought to a
satisfactory conclusion, it will undoubtedly tend to the material and
physical well-being of woman herself, as well as to that of her male
companions and descendants.

The coming half-century will be a time of peculiar strain, as mankind seeks
rapidly to adjust moral ideals and social relationships and the general
ordering of life to the new and continually unfolding material conditions.
If these two great movements of our age, having this as their object, can
be brought into close harmony and co-operation, the readjustment will be
the sooner and more painlessly accomplished; but, for the moment, the two
movements alike in their origin and alike in many of their methods of
procedure, remain distinct.

It is this fact, the consciousness on the part of the women taking their
share in the Woman's Movement of our age, that their efforts are not, and
cannot be, of immediate advantage to themselves, but that they almost of
necessity and immediately lead to loss and renunciation, which gives to
this movement its very peculiar tone; setting it apart from the large mass
of economic movements, placing it rather in a line with those vast
religious developments which at the interval of ages have swept across
humanity, irresistibly modifying and reorganising it.

It is the perception of this fact, that, not for herself, nor even for
fellow-women alone, but for the benefit of humanity at large, it is
necessary she should seek to readjust herself to life, which lends to the
modern woman's most superficial and seemingly trivial attempts at
readjustment, a certain dignity and importance.

It is this profound hidden conviction which removes from the sphere of the
ridiculous the attitude of even the feeblest woman who waves her poor
little "Woman's rights" flag on the edge of a platform, and which causes us
to forgive even the passionate denunciations, not always wisely thought
out, in which she would represent the suffering and evils of woman's
condition, as wrongs intentionally inflicted upon her, where they are
merely the inevitable results of ages of social movement.

It is this over-shadowing consciousness of a large impersonal obligation,
which removes from the sphere of the contemptible and insignificant even
the action of the individual young girl, who leaves a home of comfort or
luxury for a city garret, where in solitude, and under that stern pressure
which is felt by all individuals in arms against the trend of their
environment, she seeks to acquire the knowledge necessary for entering on a
new form of labour. It is this profound consciousness which makes not less
than heroic the figure of the little half-starved student, battling against
gigantic odds to take her place beside man in the fields of modern
intellectual toil, and which, whether she succeed or fail, makes her a
landmark in the course of our human evolution. It is this consciousness of
large impersonal ends to be attained, and to the attainment of which each
individual is bound to play her part, however small, which removes from the
domain of the unnecessary, and raises to importance, the action of each
woman who resists the tyranny of fashions in dress or bearing or custom
which impedes her in her strife towards the new adjustment.

It is this consciousness which renders almost of solemn import the efforts
of the individual female after physical or mental self-culture and
expansion; this, which fills with a lofty enthusiasm the heart of the young
girl, who, it may be, in some solitary farm-house, in some distant wild of
Africa or America, deep into the night bends over her books with the
passion and fervour with which an early Christian may have bent over the
pages of his Scriptures; feeling that, it may be, she fits herself by each
increase of knowledge for she knows not what duties towards the world, in
the years to come. It is this consciousness of great impersonal ends, to
be brought, even if slowly and imperceptibly, a little nearer by her
action, which gives to many a woman strength for renunciation, when she
puts from her the lower type of sexual relationship, even if bound up with
all the external honour a legal bond can confer, if it offers her only
enervation and parasitism; and which enables her often to accept poverty,
toil, and sexual isolation (an isolation even more terrible to the woman
than to any male), and the renunciation of motherhood, that crowning
beatitude of the woman's existence, which, and which alone, fully
compensates her for the organic sufferings of womanhood--in the conviction
that, by so doing, she makes more possible a fuller and higher attainment
of motherhood and wifehood to the women who will follow her. It is this
consciousness which makes of solemn importance the knock of the humblest
woman at the closed door which shuts off a new field of labour, physical or
mental: is she convinced that, not for herself, but in the service of the
whole race, she knocks.

It is this abiding consciousness of an end to be attained, reaching beyond
her personal life and individual interests, which constitutes the religious
element of the Woman's Movement of our day, and binds with the common bond
of an impersonal enthusiasm into one solid body the women of whatsoever
race, class, and nation who are struggling after the readjustment of woman
to life.

This it is also, which in spite of defects and failures on the part of
individuals, yet makes the body who these women compose, as a whole, one of
the most impressive and irresistible of modern forces. The private soldier
of the great victorious army is not always an imposing object as he walks
down the village street, cap on side of head and sword dangling between his
legs, nor is he always impressive even when he burnishes up his
accoutrements or cleans his pannikins; but it is of individuals such as
these that the great army is made, which tomorrow, when it is gathered
together, may shake the world with its tread.

Possibly not one woman in ten, or even one woman in twenty thousand among
those taking part in this struggle, could draw up a clear and succinct
account of the causes which have led to the disco-ordination in woman's
present position, or give a full account of the benefits to flow from
readjustment; as probably not one private soldier in an army of ten or even
of twenty thousand, though he is willing to give his life for his land,
would yet be able to draw up a clear and succinct account of his land's
history in the past and of the conditions which have made war inevitable;
and almost as little can he often paint an exact and detailed picture of
the benefits to flow from his efts. He knows his land has need of him; he
knows his own small place and work.

It is possible that not one woman in ten thousand has grasped with
scientific exactitude, and still less could express with verbal sharpness,
the great central conditions which yet compel and animate her into action.

Even the great, central fact, that with each generation the entire race
passes through the body of its womanhood as through a mould, reappearing
with the indelible marks of that mould upon it, that as the os cervix of
woman, through which the head of the human infant passes at birth, forms a
ring, determining for ever the size at birth of the human head, a size
which could only increase if in the course of ages the os cervix of woman
should itself slowly expand; and that so exactly the intellectual capacity,
the physical vigour, the emotional depth of woman, forms also an
untranscendable circle, circumscribing with each successive generation the
limits of the expansion of the human race;--even this fact she may not so
clearly have grasped intellectually as to be able to throw it into the form
of a logical statement. The profound truth, that the continued development
of the human race on earth (a development which, as the old myths and
dreams of a narrow personal heaven fade from our view, becomes increasingly
for many of us the spiritual hope by light of which we continue to live), a
development which we hope shall make the humanity of a distant future as
much higher in intellectual power and wider in social sympathy than the
highest human units of our day, as that is higher than the first primeval
ancestor who with quivering limb strove to walk upright and shape his lips
to the expression of a word, is possible only if the male and female halves
of humanity progress together, expanding side by side in the future as they
have done in the past--even this truth it is possible few women have
exactly and logically grasped as the basis of their action. The truth
that, as the first primitive human males and females, unable to count
farther than their fingers, or grasp an abstract idea, or feel the
controlling power of social emotion, could only develop into the Sapphos,
Aristotles, and Shelleys of a more expanded civilisation, if side by side,
and line by line, male and female forms have expanded together; if, as the
convolutions of his brain increased in complexity, so increased the
convolutions in hers; if, as her forehead grew higher, so developed his;
and that, if the long upward march of the future is ever to be accomplished
by the race, male and female must march side by side, acting and reacting
on each other through inheritance; or progress is impossible. The truth
that, as the existence of even the male Bushman would be impossible without
the existence of the analogous Bushwoman with the same gifts; and that as
races which can produce among their males a William Kingdon Clifford, a
Tolstoy, or a Robert Browning, would be inconceivable and impossible,
unless among its females it could also produce a Sophia Kovalevsky, a
George Eliot, or a Louise Michel; so, also, in the future, that higher and
more socialised human race we dream of can only come into existence,
because in both the sex forms have evolved together, now this sex and then
that, so to speak, catching up the ball of life and throwing it back to the
other, slightly if imperceptibly enlarging and beautifying it as it passes
through their hands. The fact that without the reaction of interevolution
between the sexes, there can be no real and permanent human advance;
without the enlarged deep-thinking Eve to bear him, no enlarged Adam;
without the enlarged widely sympathising Adam to beget her, no enlarged
widely comprehending Eve; without an enlarged Adam and an enlarged Eve, no
enlarged and beautified generation of mankind on earth; that an arrest in
one form is an arrest in both; and in the upward march of the entire human
family. The truth that, if at the present day, woman, after her long
upward march side by side with man, developing with him through the
countless ages, by means of the endless exercise of the faculties of mind
and body, has now, at last, reached her ultimate limit of growth, and can
progress no farther; that, then, here also, today, the growth of the human
spirit is to be stayed; that here, on the spot of woman's arrest, is the
standard of the race to be finally planted, to move forward no more, for
ever:--that, if the parasite woman on her couch, loaded with gewgaws, the
plaything and amusement of man, be the permanent and final manifestation of
female human life on the globe, then that couch is also the death-bed of
human evolution. These profound underlying truths, perhaps, not one woman
in twenty thousand of those actively engaged in the struggle for
readjustment has so closely and keenly grasped that she can readily throw
them into the form of exact language; and yet, probably, not the feeblest
woman taking share in our endeavour toward readjustment and expansion fails
to be animated by a vague but profound consciousness of their existence.
Beyond the small evils, which she seeks by her immediate, personal action
to remedy, lie, she feels; large ills of which they form but an off-shoot;
beyond the small good which she seeks to effect, lies, she believes, a
great and universal beatitude to be attained; beyond the little struggle of
today, lies the larger struggle of the centuries, in which neither she
alone nor her sex alone are concerned, but all mankind.

That such should be the mental attitude of the average woman taking part in
the readjustive sexual movement of today; that so often on the public
platform and in literature adduces merely secondary arguments, and is
wholly unable logically to give an account of the great propelling
conditions behind it, is sometimes taken as an indication of the
inefficiency, and probably the ultimate failure, of the movement in which
she takes part. But in truth, that is not so. It is rather an indication
which shows how healthy, and deeply implanted in the substance of human
life, are the roots of this movement; and it places it in a line with all
those vast controlling movements which have in the course of the ages
reorganised human life.

For those great movements which have permanently modified the condition of
humanity have never taken their rise amid the chopped logic of schools;
they have never drawn their vitality from a series of purely intellectual
and abstract inductions. They have arisen always through the action of
widely spread material and spiritual conditions, creating widespread human
needs; which, pressing upon the isolated individuals, awakens at last
continuous, if often vague and uncertain, social movement in a given
direction. Mere intellectual comprehension may guide, retard, or
accelerate the great human movements; it has never created them. It may
even be questioned whether those very leaders, who have superficially
appeared to create and organise great and successful social movements, have
themselves, in most cases, perhaps in any, fully understood in all their
complexity the movements they themselves have appeared to rule. They have
been, rather, themselves permeated by the great common need; and being
possessed of more will, passion, intensity, or intellect, they have been
able to give voice to that which in others was dumb, and conscious
direction to that which in others was unconscious desire: they have been
but the foremost crest of a great wave of human necessity: they have not
themselves created the wave which bears themselves, and humanity, onwards.
The artificial social movements which have had their origin in the
arbitrary will of individuals, guided with however much determination and
reason, have of necessity proved ephemeral and abortive. An Alexander
might will to weld a Greece and an Asia into one; a Napoleon might resolve
to create of a diversified Europe one consolidated state; and by dint of
skill and determination they might for a moment appear to be accomplishing
that which they desired; but the constraining individual will being
withdrawn, the object of their toil has melted away, as the little heap of
damp sand gathered under the palm of a child's hand on the sea-shore, melts
away, scattered by the wind and washed out by the waves, the moment the
hand that shaped it is withdrawn; while the small, soft, indefinite, watery
fragment of jelly-fish lying beside it, though tossed hither and thither by
water and wind, yet retains its shape and grows, because its particles are
bound by an internal and organic force.

Our woman's movement resembles strongly, in this matter, the gigantic
religious and intellectual movement which for centuries convulsed the life
of Europe; and had, as its ultimate outcome, the final emancipation of the
human intellect and the freedom of the human spirit. Looked back upon from
the vantage-point of the present, this past presents the appearance of one
vast, steady, persistent movement proceeding always in one ultimate
direction, as though guided by some controlling human intellect. But, to
the mass of human individuals taking part in it, it presented an appearance
far otherwise. It was fought out, now here, now there, by isolated
individuals and small groups, and often for what appeared small and almost
personal ends, having sometimes, superficially, little in common. Now it
was a Giordano Bruno, burnt in Rome in defence of abstract theory with
regard to the nature of the First Cause; then an Albigense hurled from his
rocks because he refused to part with the leaves of his old Bible; now a
Dutch peasant woman, walking serenely to the stake because she refused to
bow her head before two crossed rods; then a Servetus burnt by Protestant
Calvin at Geneva; or a Spinoza cut off from his tribe and people because he
could see nothing but God anywhere; and then it was an exiled Rousseau or
Voltaire, or a persecuted Bradlaugh; till, in our own day the last sounds
of the long fight are dying about us, as fading echoes, in the guise of a
few puerile attempts to enforce trivial disabilities on the ground of
abstract convictions. The vanguard of humanity has won its battle for
freedom of thought.

But, to the men and women taking part in that mighty movement during the
long centuries of the past, probably nothing was quite clear, in the
majority of cases, but their own immediate move. Not the leaders--most
certainly not good old Martin Luther, even when he gave utterance to his
immortal "I can no otherwise" (the eternal justification of all reformers
and social innovators!), understood the whole breadth of the battlefield on
which they were engaged, or grasped with precision the issues which were
involved. The valiant Englishman, who, as the flames shot up about him,
cried to his companion in death, "Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall by
God's grace this day light such a candle in England, as shall never be put
out!" undoubtedly believed that the candle lighted was the mere tallow
rushlight of a small sectarian freedom for England alone; nor perceived
that what he lighted was but one ray of the vast, universal aurora of
intellectual and spiritual liberty, whose light was ultimately to stream,
not only across England, but across the earth. Nevertheless, undoubtedly,
behind all these limited efforts, for what appeared, superficially, limited
causes, lay, in the hearts of the men and women concerned, through the
ages, a profound if vague consciousness of ends larger than they clearly
knew, to be subserved by their action; of a universal social duty and a
great necessity.

That the Woman's Movement of our day has not taken its origin from any mere
process of theoretic argument; that it breaks out, now here and now there,
in forms divergent and at times superficially almost irreconcilable; that
the majority of those taking part in it are driven into action as the
result of the immediate pressure of the conditions of life, and are not
always able logically to state the nature of all causes which propel them,
or to paint clearly all results of their action; so far from removing it
from the category of the vast reorganising movements of humanity, places it
in a line with them, showing how vital, spontaneous, and wholly organic and
unartificial is its nature.

The fact that, at one point, it manifests itself in a passionate, and at
times almost incoherent, cry for an accredited share in public and social
duties; while at another it makes itself felt as a determined endeavour
after self-culture; that in one land it embodies itself mainly in a
resolute endeavour to enlarge the sphere of remunerative labour for women;
while in another it manifests itself chiefly as an effort to reco-ordinate
the personal relation of the sexes; that in one individual it manifests
itself as a passionate and sometimes noisy struggle for liberty of personal
action; while in another it is being fought out silently in the depth of
the individual consciousness--that primal battle-ground, in which all
questions of reform and human advance must ultimately be fought and
decided;--all this diversity, and the fact that the average woman is
entirely concerned in labour in her own little field, shows, not the
weakness, but the strength of the movement; which, taken as a whole, is a
movement steady and persistent in one direction, the direction of increased
activity and culture, and towards the negation of all possibility of
parasitism in the human female. Slowly, and unconsciously, as the child is
shaped in the womb, this movement shapes itself in the bosom of our time,
taking its place beside those vast human developments, of which men, noting
their spontaneity and the co-ordination of their parts, have said, in the
phraseology of old days, "This thing is not of man, but of God."

He who today looks at some great Gothic cathedral in its final form, seems
to be looking at that which might have been the incarnation of the dream of
some single soul of genius. But in truth, its origin was far otherwise.
Ages elapsed from the time the first rough stone was laid as a foundation
till the last spire and pinnacle were shaped, and the hand which laid the
foundation-stone was never the same as that which set the last stone upon
the coping. Generations often succeeded one another, labouring at
gargoyle, rose-window, and shaft, and died, leaving the work to others; the
master-builder who drew up the first rough outline passed away, and was
succeeded by others, and the details of the work as completed bore
sometimes but faint resemblance to the work as he devised it; no man fully
understood all that others had done or were doing, but each laboured in his
place; and the work as completed had unity; it expressed not the desire and
necessity of one mind, but of the human spirit of that age; and not less
essential to the existence of the building was the labour of the workman
who passed a life of devotion in carving gargoyles or shaping rose-windows,
than that of the greatest master who drew general outlines: perhaps it was
yet more heroic; for, for the master-builder, who, even if it were but
vaguely, had an image of what the work would be when the last stone was
laid and the last spire raised, it was easy to labour with devotion and
zeal, though well he might know that the placing of that last stone and the
raising of that last spire would not be his, and that the building in its
full beauty and strength he should never see; but for the journeyman
labourer who carried on his duties and month by month toiled at carving his
own little gargoyle or shaping the traceries in his own little oriel
window, without any complete vision, it was not so easy; nevertheless, it
was through the conscientious labours of such alone, through their heaps of
chipped and spoiled stones, which may have lain thick about them, that at
the last the pile was reared in its strength and beauty.

For a Moses who could climb Pisgah, and, though it were through a mist of
bitter tears, could see stretching before him the land of the inheritance,
a land which his feet should never tread and whose fruit his hand should
never touch, it was yet, perhaps, not so hard to turn round and die; for,
as in a dream, he had seen the land: but for the thousands who could climb
no Pisgah, who were to leave their bones whitening in the desert, having
even from afar never seen the true outline of the land; those who, on that
long march, had not even borne the Ark nor struck the timbrel, but carried
only their small household vessels and possessions, for these it was
perhaps not so easy to lie down and perish in the desert, knowing only that
far ahead somewhere, lay a Land of Promise. Nevertheless, it was by the
slow and sometimes wavering march of such as these, that the land was
reached by the people at last.

For her, whose insight enables her to see, through the distance, those
large beatitudes towards which the struggles and suffering of the women of
today may tend; who sees beyond the present, though in a future which she
knows she will never enter, an enlarged and strengthened womanhood bearing
forward with it a strengthened and expanded race, it is not so hard to
renounce and labour with unshaken purpose: but for those who have not that
view, and struggle on, animated at most by a vague consciousness that
somewhere ahead lies a large end, towards which their efforts tend; who
labour year after year at some poor little gargoyle of a Franchise Bill, or
the shaping of some rough little foundation-stone of reform in education,
or dress a stone (which perhaps never quite fits the spot it was intended
for, and has to be thrown aside!); or who carve away all their lives to
produce a corbel of some reform in sexual relations, in the end to find it
break under the chisel; who, out of many failures attain, perhaps, to no
success, or but to one, and that so small and set so much in the shade that
no eye will ever see it; for such as these, it is perhaps not so easy to
labour without growing weary. Nevertheless, it is through the labours of
these myriad toilers, each working in her own minute sphere, with her own
small outlook, and out of endless failures and miscarriages, that at last
the enwidened and beautified relations of woman to life must rise, if they
are ever to come.

When a starfish lies on the ground at the bottom of a sloping rock it has
to climb, it seems to the onlooker as though there were nothing which could
stir the inert mass and no means for taking it to the top. Yet watch it.
Beneath its lower side, hidden from sight, are a million fine tentacles;
impulses of will from the central nerve radiate throughout the whole body,
and each tiny fibre, fine as a hair, slowly extends itself, and seizes on
the minute particle of rough rock nearest to it; now a small tentacle slips
its hold, and then it holds firmly, and then slowly and slowly the whole
inert mass rises to the top.

It is often said of those who lead in this attempt at the readaption of
woman's relation to life, that they are "New Women"; and they are at times
spoken of as though they were a something portentous and unheard-of in the
order of human life.

But, the truth is, we are not new. We who lead in this movement today are
of that old, old Teutonic womanhood, which twenty centuries ago ploughed
its march through European forests and morasses beside its male companion;
which marched with the Cimbri to Italy, and with the Franks across the
Rhine, with the Varagians into Russia, and the Alamani into Switzerland;
which peopled Scandinavia, and penetrated to Britain; whose priestesses had
their shrines in German forests, and gave out the oracle for peace or war.
We have in us the blood of a womanhood that was never bought and never
sold; that wore no veil, and had no foot bound; whose realised ideal of
marriage was sexual companionship and an equality in duty and labour; who
stood side by side with the males they loved in peace or war, and whose
children, when they had borne them, sucked manhood from their breasts, and
even through their foetal existence heard a brave heart beat above them.
We are women of a breed whose racial ideal was no Helen of Troy, passed
passively from male hand to male hand, as men pass gold or lead; but that
Brynhild whom Segurd found, clad in helm and byrne, the warrior maid, who
gave him counsel "the deepest that ever yet was given to living man," and
"wrought on him to the performing of great deeds;" who, when he died,
raised high the funeral pyre and lay down on it beside him, crying, "Nor
shall the door swing to at the heel of him as I go in beside him!" We are
of a race of women that of old knew no fear, and feared no death, and lived
great lives and hoped great hopes; and if today some of us have fallen on
evil and degenerate times, there moves in us yet the throb of the old

If it be today on no physical battlefield that we stand beside our men, and
on no march through no external forest or morass that we have to lead; it
is yet the old spirit which, undimmed by two thousand years, stirs within
us in deeper and subtler ways; it is yet the cry of the old, free Northern
woman which makes the world today. Though the battlefield be now for us
all, in the laboratory or the workshop, in the forum or the study, in the
assembly and in the mart and the political arena, with the pen and not the
sword, of the head and not the arm, we still stand side by side with the
men we love, "to dare with them in war and to suffer with them in peace,"
as the Roman wrote of our old Northern womanhood.

Those women, of whom the old writers tell us, who, barefooted and white
robed, led their Northern hosts on that long march to Italy, were animated
by the thought that they led their people to a land of warmer sunshine and
richer fruitage; we, today, believe we have caught sight of a land bathed
in a nobler than any material sunlight, with a fruitage richer than any
which the senses only can grasp: and behind us, we believe there follows a
longer train than any composed of our own race and people; the sound of the
tread we hear behind us is that of all earth's women, bearing within them
the entire race. The footpath, yet hardly perceptible, which we tread down
today, will, we believe, be life's broadest and straightest road, along
which the children of men will pass to a higher co-ordination and harmony.
The banner which we unfurl today is not new: it is the standard of the
old, free, monogamous, labouring woman, which, twenty hundred years ago,
floated over the forests of Europe. We shall bear it on, each generation
as it falls passing it into the hand of that which follows, till we plant
it so high that all nations of the world shall see it; till the women of
the humblest human races shall be gathered beneath its folds, and no child
enter life that was not born within its shade.

We are not new! If you would understand us, go back two thousand years,
and study our descent; our breed is our explanation. We are the daughters
of our fathers as well as of our mothers. In our dreams we still hear the
clash of the shields of our forefathers as they struck them together before
battle and raised the shout of "Freedom!" In our dreams it is with us
still, and when we wake it breaks from our own lips! We are the daughters
of those men.

But, it may be said, "Are there not women among you who would use the
shibboleth, of freedom and labour, merely as a means for opening a door to
a greater and more highly flavoured self-indulgence, to a more lucrative
and enjoyable parasitism? Are there not women who, under the guise of
'work,' are seeking only increased means of sensuous pleasure and self-
indulgence; to whom intellectual training and the opening to new fields of
labour side by side with man, mean merely new means of self-advertisement
and parasitic success?" We answer: There may be such, truly; among us--
but not of us! This at least is true, that we, ourselves, are seldom
deceived by them; the sheep generally recognise the wolf however carefully
fitted the sheepskin under which he hides, though the onlookers may not;
and though not always be able to drive him from the flock! The outer world
may be misled; we, who stand shoulder to shoulder with them, know them;
they are not many; neither are they new. They are one of the oldest
survivals, and among the most primitive relics in the race. They are as
old as Loki among the gods, as Lucifer among the Sons of the Morning, as
the serpent in the Garden of Eden, as pain and dislocation in the web of
human life.

Such women are as old as that first primitive woman who, when she went with
her fellows to gather wood for the common household, put grass in the
centre of the bundle that she might appear to carry as much as they, yet
carry nothing; she is as old as the first man who threw away his shield in
battle, and yet, when it was over, gathered with the victors to share the
spoils, as old as cowardice and lust in the human and animal world; only to
cease from being when, perhaps, an enlarged and expanded humanity shall
have cast the last slough of its primitive skin.

Every army has its camp-followers, not among its accredited soldiers, but
who follow in its train, ready to attack and rifle the fallen on either
side. To lookers on, they may appear soldiers; but the soldier knows who
they are. At the Judean supper there was one Master, and to the onlooker
there may have seemed twelve apostles; in truth only twelve were of the
company, and one was not of it. There has always been this thirteenth
figure at every sacramental gathering, since the world began, wherever the
upholders of a great cause have broken spiritual bread; but it may be
questioned whether in any instance this thirteenth figure has been able to
destroy, or even vitally to retard, any great human movement. Judas could
hang his Master by a kiss; but he could not silence the voice which for a
thousand years rang out of that Judean grave. Again and again, in social,
political, and intellectual movements, the betrayer betrays;--and the cause
marches on over the body of the man.

There are women, as there are men, whose political, social, intellectual,
or philanthropic labours are put on, as the harlot puts on paint, and for
the same purpose: but they can no more retard the progress of the great
bulk of vital and sincere womanhood, than the driftwood on the surface of a
mighty river can ultimately prevent its waters from reaching the sea.

Chapter IV. Woman and War.

But it may also be said, "Granting fully that you are right, that, as
woman's old fields of labour slip from her, she must grasp the new, or must
become wholly dependent on her sexual function alone, all the other
elements of human nature in her becoming atrophied and arrested through
lack of exercise: and, granting that her evolution being arrested, the
evolution of the whole race will be also arrested in her person: granting
all this to the full, and allowing that the bulk of human labour tends to
become more and more intellectual and less and less purely mechanical, as
perfected machinery takes the place of crude human exertion; and that
therefore if woman is to be saved from degeneration and parasitism, and the
body of humanity from arrest, she must receive a training which will
cultivate all the intellectual and all the physical faculties with which
she is endowed, and be allowed freely to employ them; nevertheless, would
it not be possible, and perhaps be well, that a dividing line of some kind
should be drawn between the occupations of men and of women? Would it not,
for example, be possible that woman should retain agriculture, textile
manufacture, trade, domestic management, the education of youth, and
medicine, in addition to child-bearing, as her exclusive fields of toil;
while, to the male, should be left the study of abstract science, law and
war, and statecraft; as of old, man took war and the chase, and woman
absorbed the further labours of life? Why should there not be again a fair
and even division in the field of social labour?"

Superficially, this suggestion appears rational, having at least this to
recommend it, that it appears to harmonise with the course of human
evolution in the past; but closely examined, it will, we think, be found to
have no practical or scientific basis, and to be out of harmony with the
conditions of modern life. In ancient and primitive societies, the mere
larger size and muscular strength of man, and woman's incessant physical
activity in child-bearing and suckling and rearing the young, made almost
inevitable a certain sexual division of labour in almost all countries,
save perhaps in ancient Egypt. (The division of labour between the sexes
in Ancient Egypt and other exceptional countries, is a matter of much
interest, which cannot here be entered on.) Woman naturally took the heavy
agricultural and domestic labours, which were yet more consistent with the
continual dependence of infant life on her own, than those of man in war
and the chase. There was nothing artificial in such a division; it threw
the heaviest burden of the most wearying and unexciting forms of social
labour on woman, but under it both sexes laboured in a manner essential to
the existence of society, and each transmitted to the other, through
inheritance, the fruit of its slowly expanding and always exerted powers;
and the race progressed.

Individual women might sometimes, and even often, become the warrior chief
of a tribe; the King of Ashantee might train his terrible regiment of
females; and men might now and again plant and weave for their children:
but in the main, and in most societies, the division of labour was just,
natural, beneficial; and it was inevitable that such a division should take
place. Were today a band of civilised men, women, and infants thrown down
absolutely naked and defenceless in some desert, and cut off hopelessly
from all external civilised life, undoubtedly very much the old division of
labour would, at least for a time, reassert itself; men would look about
for stones and sticks with which to make weapons to repel wild beasts and
enemies, and would go a-hunting meat and fighting savage enemies and tend
the beasts when tamed: (The young captured animals would probably be tamed
and reared by the women.) women would suckle their children, cook the meat
men brought, build shelters, look for roots and if possible cultivate them;
there certainly would be no parasite in the society; the woman who refused
to labour for her offspring, and the man who refused to hunt or defend
society, would not be supported by their fellows, would soon be
extinguished by want. As wild beasts were extinguished and others tamed
and the materials for war improved, fewer men would be needed for hunting
and war; then they would remain at home and aid in building and planting;
many women would retire into the house to perfect domestic toil and
handicrafts, and on a small scale the common ancient evolution of society
would probably practically repeat itself. But for the present, we see no
such natural and spontaneous division of labour based on natural sexual
distinctions in the new fields of intellectual or delicately skilled manual
labour, which are taking the place of the old.

It is possible, though at present there is nothing to give indication of
such a fact, and it seems highly improbable, that, in some subtle manner
now incomprehensible, there might tend to be a subtle correlation between
that condition of the brain and nervous system which accompanies ability in
the direction of certain modern forms of mental, social labour, and the
particular form of reproductive function possessed by an individual. It
may be that, inexplicable as it seems, there may ultimately be found to be
some connection between that condition of the brain and nervous system
which fits the individual for the study of the higher mathematics, let us
say, and the nature of their sex attributes. The mere fact that, of the
handful of women who, up to the present, have received training and been
allowed to devote themselves to abstract study, several have excelled in
the higher mathematics, proves of necessity no pre-eminent tendency on the
part of the female sex in the direction of mathematics, as compared to
labour in the fields of statesmanship, administration, or law; as into
these fields there has been practically no admittance for women. It is
sometimes stated, that as several women of genius in modern times have
sought to find expression for their creative powers in the art of fiction,
there must be some inherent connection in the human brain between the
ovarian sex function and the art of fiction. The fact is, that modern
fiction being merely a description of human life in any of its phases, and
being the only art that can be exercised without special training or
special appliances, and produced in the moments stolen from the
multifarious, brain-destroying occupations which fill the average woman's
life, they have been driven to find this outlet for their powers as the
only one presenting itself. How far otherwise might have been the
directions in which their genius would naturally have expressed itself can
be known only partially even to the women themselves; what the world has
lost by that compulsory expression of genius, in a form which may not have
been its most natural form of expression, or only one of its forms, no one
can ever know. Even in the little third-rate novelist whose works cumber
the ground, we see often a pathetic figure, when we recognise that beneath
that failure in a complex and difficult art, may lie buried a sound
legislator, an able architect, an original scientific investigator, or a
good judge. Scientifically speaking, it is as unproven that there is any
organic relation between the brain of the female and the production of art
in the form of fiction, as that there is an organic relation between the
hand of woman and a typewriting machine. Both the creative writer and the
typist, in their respective spheres, are merely finding outlets for their
powers in the direction of least resistance. The tendency of women at the
present day to undertake certain forms of labour, proves only that in the
crabbed, walled-in, and bound conditions surrounding woman at the present
day, these are the lines along which action is most possible to her.

It may possibly be that in future ages, when the male and female forms have
been placed in like intellectual conditions, with like stimuli, like
training, and like rewards, that some aptitudes may be found running
parallel with the line of sex function when humanity is viewed as a whole.
It may possibly be that, when the historian of the future looks back over
the history of the intellectually freed and active sexes for countless
generations, that a decided preference of the female intellect for
mathematics, engineering, or statecraft may be made clear; and that a like
marked inclination in the male to excel in acting, music, or astronomy may
by careful and large comparison be shown. But, for the present, we have no
adequate scientific data from which to draw any conclusion, and any attempt
to divide the occupations in which male and female intellects and wills
should be employed, must be to attempt a purely artificial and arbitrary
division: a division not more rational and scientific than an attempt to
determine by the colour of his eyes and the shape and strength of his legs,
whether a lad should be an astronomer or an engraver. Those physical
differences among mankind which divide races and nations--not merely those
differences, enormously greater as they are generally, than any physical
differences between male and female of the same race, which divide the Jew
and the Swede, the Japanese and the Englishman, but even those subtle
physical differences which divide closely allied races such as the English
and German--often appear to be allied with certain subtle differences in
intellectual aptitudes. Yet even with regard to these differences, it is
almost impossible to determine scientifically in how far they are the
result of national traditions, environment, and education, and in how far
the result of real differences in organic conformation. (In thinking of
physical sex differences, the civilised man of modern times has always to
guard himself against being unconsciously misled by the very exaggerated
external sex differences which our unnatural method of sex clothing and
dressing the hair produces. The unclothed and natural human male and
female bodies are not more divided from each other than those of the lion
and lioness. Our remote Saxon ancestors, with their great, almost naked,
white bodies and flowing hair worn long by both sexes, were but little
distinguished from each other; while among their modern descendants the
short hair, darkly clothed, manifestly two-legged male differs absolutely
from the usually long-haired, colour bedizened, much beskirted female.
Were the structural differences between male and female really one half as
marked as the artificial visual differences, they would be greater than
those dividing, not merely any species of man from another, but as great as
those which divide orders in the animal world. Only a mind exceedingly
alert and analytical can fail ultimately to be misled by habitual visual
misrepresentation. There is not, probably, one man or woman in twenty
thousand who is not powerfully influenced in modern life in their
conception of the differences, physical and intellectual, dividing the
human male and female, by the grotesque exaggerations of modern attire and
artificial manners.)

No study of the mere physical differences between individuals of different
races would have enabled us to arrive at any knowledge of their mental
aptitude; nor does the fact that certain individuals of a given human
variety have certain aptitudes form a rational ground for compelling all
individuals of that variety to undertake a certain form of labour.

No analysis, however subtle, of the physical conformation of the Jew could
have suggested a priori, and still less could have proved, apart from ages
of practical experience, that, running parallel with any physical
characteristics which may distinguish him from his fellows, was an innate
and unique intellectual gift in the direction of religion. The fact that,
during three thousand years, from Moses to Isaiah, through Jesus and Paul
on to Spinoza, the Jewish race has produced men who have given half the
world its religious faith and impetus, proves that, somewhere and somehow,
whether connected organically with that physical organisation that marks
the Jew, or as the result of his traditions and training, there does go
this gift in the matter of religion. Yet, on the other hand, we find
millions of Jews who are totally and markedly deficient in it, and to base
any practical legislation for the individual even on this proven
intellectual aptitude of the race as a whole would be manifestly as
ridiculous as abortive. Yet more markedly, with the German--no
consideration of his physical peculiarities, though it proceeded to the
subtlest analysis of nerve, bone, and muscle, could in the present stage of
our knowledge have proved to us what generations of experience appear to
have proved, that, with that organisation which constitutes the German,
goes an unique aptitude for music. There is always the possibility of
mistaking the result of training and external circumstance for inherent
tendency, but when we consider the passion for music which the German has
shown, and when we consider that the greatest musicians the world has seen,
from Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart to Wagner, have been of that race, it
appears highly probable that such a correlation between the German
organisation and the intellectual gift of music does exist. Similar
intellectual peculiarities seem to be connoted by the external differences
which mark off other races from each other. Nevertheless, were persons of
all of these nationalities gathered in one colony, any attempt to legislate
for their restriction to certain forms of intellectual labour on the ground
of their apparently proved national aptitudes or disabilities, would be
regarded as insane. To insist that all Jews, and none but Jews, should
lead and instruct in religious matters; that all Englishmen, and none but
Englishmen, should engage in trade; that each German should make his living
by music, and none but a German allowed to practise it, would drive to
despair the unfortunate individual Englishman, whose most marked deficiency
might be in the direction of finance and bartering trade power; the Jew,
whose religious instincts might be entirely rudimentary; or the German, who
could not distinguish one note from another; and the society as a whole
would be an irremediable loser, in one of the heaviest of all forms of
social loss--the loss of the full use of the highest capacities of all its

It may be that with sexes as with races, the subtlest physical difference
between them may have their fine mental correlatives; but no abstract
consideration of the human body in relation to its functions of sex can, in
the present state of our knowledge, show us what intellectual capacities
tend to vary with sexual structure, and nothing in the present or past
condition of male and female give us more than the very faintest possible
indication of the relation of their intellectual aptitudes and their sexual
functions. And even were it proved by centuries of experiment that with
the possession of the uterine function of sex tends to go exceptional
intellectual capacity in the direction of mathematics rather than natural
history, or an inclination for statecraft rather than for mechanical
invention; were it proved that, generally speaking and as a whole, out of
twenty thousand women devoting themselves to law and twenty thousand to
medicine, they tended to achieve relatively more in the field of law than
of medicine, there would yet be no possible healthy or rational ground for
restricting the activities of the individual female to that line in which
the average female appeared rather more frequently to excel. (Minds not
keenly analytical are always apt to mistake mere correlation of appearance
with causative sequence. We have heard it gravely asserted that between
potatoes, pigs, mud cabins and Irishmen there was an organic connection:
but we who have lived in Colonies, know that within two generations the
pure-bred descendant of the mud cabiner becomes often the successful
politician, wealthy financier, or great judge; and shows no more
predilection for potatoes, pigs, and mud cabins than men of any other

That even one individual in a society should be debarred from undertaking
that form of social toil for which it is most fitted, makes an unnecessary
deficit in the general social assets. That one male Froebel should be
prohibited or hampered in his labour as an educator of infancy, on the
ground that infantile instruction was the field of the female; that one
female with gifts in the direction of state administration, should be
compelled to instruct an infants' school, perhaps without the slightest
gift for so doing, is a running to waste of social life-blood.

Free trade in labour and equality of training, intellectual or physical, is
essential if the organic aptitudes of a sex or class are to be determined.
And our demand today is that natural conditions, inexorably, but
beneficently, may determine the labours of each individual, and not
artificial restrictions.

As there is no need to legislate that Hindus, being generally supposed to
have a natural incapacity for field sports, shall not betake themselves to
them--for, if they have no capacity, they will fail; and, as in spite of
the Hindus' supposed general incapacity for sport, it is possible for an
individual Hindu to become the noted batsman of his age; so, also, there is
no need to legislate that women should be restricted in her choice of
fields of labour; for the organic incapacity of the individual, if it
exist, will legislate far more powerfully than any artificial, legal, or
social obstruction can do; and it may be that the one individual in ten
thousand who selects a field not generally sought by his fellows will
enrich humanity by the result of an especial genius. Allowing all to start
from the one point in the world of intellectual culture and labour, with
our ancient Mother Nature sitting as umpire, distributing the prizes and
scratching from the lists the incompetent, is all we demand, but we demand
it determinedly. Throw the puppy into the water: if it swims, well; if it
sinks, well; but do not tie a rope round its throat and weight it with a
brick, and then assert its incapacity to keep afloat.

For the present our cry is, "We take all labour for our province!"

From the judge's seat to the legislator's chair; from the statesman's
closet to the merchant's office; from the chemist's laboratory to the
astronomer's tower, there is no post or form of toil for which it is not
our intention to attempt to fit ourselves; and there is no closed door we
do not intend to force open; and there is no fruit in the garden of
knowledge it is not our determination to eat. Acting in us, and through
us, nature we know will mercilessly expose to us our deficiencies in the
field of human toil, and reveal to us our powers. And, for today, we take
all labour for our province!

But, it may then be said: "What of war, that struggle of the human
creature to attain its ends by physical force and at the price of the life
of others: will you take part in that also?" We reply: Yes; more
particularly in that field we intend to play our part. We have always
borne part of the weight of war, and the major part. It is not merely that
in primitive times we suffered from the destruction of the fields we tilled
and the houses we built; or that in later times as domestic labourers and
producers, though unwaged, we, in taxes and material loss and additional
labour, paid as much as our males towards the cost of war; nor is it that
in a comparatively insignificant manner, as nurses of the wounded in modern
times, or now and again as warrior chieftainesses and leaders in primitive
and other societies, we have borne our part; nor is it even because the
spirit of resolution in its women, and their willingness to endure, has in
all ages again and again largely determined the fate of a race that goes to
war, that we demand our controlling right where war is concerned. Our
relation to war is far more intimate, personal, and indissoluble than this.
Men have made boomerangs, bows, swords, or guns with which to destroy one
another; we have made the men who destroyed and were destroyed! We have in
all ages produced, at an enormous cost, the primal munition of war, without
which no other would exist. There is no battlefield on earth, nor ever has
been, howsoever covered with slain, which is has not cost the women of the
race more in actual bloodshed and anguish to supply, then it has cost the
men who lie there. We pay the first cost on all human life.

In supplying the men for the carnage of a battlefield, women have not
merely lost actually more blood, and gone through a more acute anguish and
weariness, in the long months of bearing and in the final agony of
childbirth, than has been experienced by the men who cover it; but, in the
long months and years of rearing that follow, the women of the race go
through a long, patiently endured strain which no knapsacked soldier on his
longest march has ever more than equalled; while, even in the matter of
death, in all civilised societies, the probability that the average woman
will die in childbirth is immeasurably greater than the probability that
the average male will die in battle.

There is, perhaps, no woman, whether she have borne children, or be merely
potentially a child-bearer, who could look down upon a battlefield covered
with slain, but the thought would rise in her, "So many mothers' sons! So
many bodies brought into the world to lie there! So many months of
weariness and pain while bones and muscles were shaped within; so many
hours of anguish and struggle that breath might be; so many baby mouths
drawing life at woman's breasts;--all this, that men might lie with glazed
eyeballs, and swollen bodies, and fixed, blue, unclosed mouths, and great
limbs tossed--this, that an acre of ground might be manured with human
flesh, that next year's grass or poppies or karoo bushes may spring up
greener and redder, where they have lain, or that the sand of a plain may
have a glint of white bones!" And we cry, "Without an inexorable cause,
this should not be!" No woman who is a woman says of a human body, "It is

On that day, when the woman takes her place beside the man in the
governance and arrangement of external affairs of her race will also be
that day that heralds the death of war as a means of arranging human
differences. No tinsel of trumpets and flags will ultimately seduce women
into the insanity of recklessly destroying life, or gild the wilful taking
of life with any other name than that of murder, whether it be the
slaughter of the million or of one by one. And this will be, not because
with the sexual function of maternity necessarily goes in the human
creature a deeper moral insight, or a loftier type of social instinct than
that which accompanies the paternal. Men have in all ages led as nobly as
women in many paths of heroic virtue, and toward the higher social
sympathies; in certain ages, being freer and more widely cultured, they
have led further and better. The fact that woman has no inherent all-round
moral superiority over her male companion, or naturally on all points any
higher social instinct, is perhaps most clearly exemplified by one curious
very small fact: the two terms signifying intimate human relationships
which in almost all human languages bear the most sinister and antisocial
significance are both terms which have as their root the term "mother," and
denote feminine relationships--the words "mother-in-law" and step-mother."

In general humanity, in the sense of social solidarity, and in magnanimity,
the male has continually proved himself at least the equal of the female.

Nor will women shrink from war because they lack courage. Earth's women of
every generation have faced suffering and death with an equanimity that no
soldier on a battlefield has ever surpassed and few have equalled; and
where war has been to preserve life, or land, or freedom, unparasitised and
labouring women have in all ages known how to bear an active part, and die.

Nor will woman's influence militate against war because in the future woman
will not be able physically to bear her part in it. The smaller size of
her muscle, which would severely have disadvantaged her when war was
conducted with a battle-axe or sword and hand to hand, would now little or
at all affect her. If intent on training for war, she might acquire the
skill for guiding a Maxim or shooting down a foe with a Lee-Metford at four
thousand yards as ably as any male; and undoubtedly, it has not been only
the peasant girl of France, who has carried latent and hid within her
person the gifts that make the supreme general. If our European nations
should continue in their present semi-civilised condition, which makes war
possible, for a few generations longer, it is highly probable that as
financiers, as managers of the commissariat department, as inspectors of
provisions and clothing for the army, women will play a very leading part;
and that the nation which is the first to employ its women so may be placed
at a vast advantage over its fellows in time of war. It is not because of
woman's cowardice, incapacity, nor, above all, because of her general
superior virtue, that she will end war when her voice is fully, finally,
and clearly heard in the governance of states--it is because, on this one
point, and on this point almost alone, the knowledge of woman, simply as
woman, is superior to that of man; she knows the history of human flesh;
she knows its cost; he does not. (It is noteworthy that even Catharine of
Russia, a ruler and statesman of a virile and uncompromising type, and not
usually troubled with moral scruples, yet refused with indignation the
offer of Frederick of Prussia to pay her heavily for a small number of
Russian recruits in an age when the hiring out of soldiers was common among
the sovereigns of Europe.)

In a besieged city, it might well happen that men in the streets might
seize upon statues and marble carvings from public buildings and galleries
and hurl them in to stop the breaches made in their ramparts by the enemy,
unconsideringly and merely because they came first to hand, not valuing
them more than had they been paving-stones. But one man could not do this-
-the sculptor! He, who, though there might be no work of his own chisel
among them, yet knew what each of these works of art had cost, knew by
experience the long years of struggle and study and the infinitude of toil
which had gone to the shaping of even one limb, to the carving of even one
perfected outline, he could never so use them without thought or care.
Instinctively he would seek to throw in household goods, even gold and
silver, all the city held, before he sacrificed its works of art!

Men's bodies are our woman's works of art. Given to us power of control,
we will never carelessly throw them in to fill up the gaps in human
relationships made by international ambitions and greeds. The thought
would never come to us as woman, "Cast in men's bodies; settle the thing
so!" Arbitration and compensation would as naturally occur to her as
cheaper and simpler methods of bridging the gaps in national relationships,
as to the sculptor it would occur to throw in anything rather than
statuary, though he might be driven to that at last!

This is one of those phases of human life, not very numerous, but very
important, towards which the man as man, and the woman as woman, on the
mere ground of their different sexual function with regard to reproduction,
stand, and must stand, at a somewhat differing angle. The physical
creation of human life, which, in as far as the male is concerned, consists
in a few moments of physical pleasure; to the female must always signify
months of pressure and physical endurance, crowned with danger to life. To
the male, the giving of life is a laugh; to the female, blood, anguish, and
sometimes death. Here we touch one of the few yet important differences
between man and woman as such.

The twenty thousand men prematurely slain on a field of battle, mean, to
the women of their race, twenty thousand human creatures to be borne within
them for months, given birth to in anguish, fed from their breasts and
reared with toil, if the numbers of the tribe and the strength of the
nation are to be maintained. In nations continually at war, incessant and
unbroken child-bearing is by war imposed on all women if the state is to
survive; and whenever war occurs, if numbers are to be maintained, there
must be an increased child-bearing and rearing. This throws upon woman as
woman a war tax, compared with which all that the male expends in military
preparations is comparatively light.

The relations of the female towards the production of human life influences
undoubtedly even her relation towards animal and all life. "It is a fine
day, let us go out and kill something!" cries the typical male of certain
races, instinctively. "There is a living thing, it will die if it is not
cared for," says the average woman, almost equally instinctively. It is
true, that the woman will sacrifice as mercilessly, as cruelly, the life of
a hated rival or an enemy, as any male; but she always knows what she is
doing, and the value of the life she takes! There is no light-hearted,
careless enjoyment in the sacrifice of life to the normal woman; her
instinct, instructed by practical experience, steps in to prevent it. She
always knows what life costs; and that it is more easy to destroy than
create it.

It is also true, that, from the loftiest standpoint, the condemnation of
war which has arisen in the advancing human spirit, is in no sense related
to any particular form of sex function. The man and the woman alike, who
with Isaiah on the hills of Palestine, or the Indian Buddha under his bo-
tree, have seen the essential unity of all sentient life; and who therefore
see in war but a symptom of that crude disco-ordination of life on earth,
not yet at one with itself, which affects humanity in these early stages of
its growth: and who are compelled to regard as the ultimate goal of the
race, though yet perhaps far distant across the ridges of innumerable
coming ages, that harmony between all forms of conscious life,
metaphorically prefigured by the ancient Hebrew, when he cried, "The wolf
shall dwell with the lamb; and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and
the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child
shall lead them!"--to that individual, whether man or woman, who has
reached this standpoint, there is no need for enlightenment from the
instincts of the child-bearers of society as such; their condemnation of
war, rising not so much from the fact that it is a wasteful destruction of
human flesh, as that it is an indication of the non-existence of that co-
ordination, the harmony which is summed up in the cry, "My little children,
love one another."

But for the vast bulk of humanity, probably for generations to come, the
instinctive antagonism of the human child-bearer to reckless destruction of
that which she has at so much cost produced, will be necessary to educate
the race to any clear conception of the bestiality and insanity of war.

War will pass when intellectual culture and activity have made possible to
the female an equal share in the control and governance of modern national
life; it will probably not pass away much sooner; its extinction will not
be delayed much longer.

It is especially in the domain of war that we, the bearers of men's bodies,
who supply its most valuable munition, who, not amid the clamour and ardour
of battle, but singly, and alone, with a three-in-the-morning courage, shed
our blood and face death that the battlefield may have its food, a food
more precious to us than our heart's blood; it is we especially, who in the
domain of war, have our word to say, a word no man can say for us. It is
our intention to enter into the domain of war and to labour there till in
the course of generations we have extinguished it.

If today we claim all labour for our province, yet more especially do we
claim those fields in which the difference in the reproductive function
between man and woman may place male and female at a slightly different
angle with regard to certain phases of human life.

Chapter V. Sex Differences.

If we examine the physical phenomenon of sex as it manifests itself in the
human creature, we find, in the first stages of the individual's existence,
no difference discernible, by any means we have at present at our command,
between those germs which are ultimately to become male or female. Later,
in the foetal life, at birth, and through infancy though the organs of sex
serve to distinguish the male from the female, there is in the general
structure and working of the organism little or nothing to divide the

Even when puberty is reached, with its enormous development of sexual and
reproductive activity modifying those parts of the organism with which it
is concerned, and producing certain secondary sexual characteristics, there
yet remains the major extent of the human body and of physical function
little, or not at all, affected by sex modification. The eye, the ear, the
sense of touch, the general organs of nutrition and respiration and
volition are in the main identical, and often differ far more in persons of
the same sex than in those of opposite sexes; and even on the dissecting-
table the tissues of the male and female are often wholly

It is when we consider the reproductive organs themselves and their forms
of activity, and such parts of the organism modified directly in relation
to them, that a real and important difference is found to exist, radical
though absolutely complemental. It is exactly as we approach the
reproductive functions that the male and female bodies differ; exactly as
we recede from them that they become more and more similar, and even
absolutely identical. Taking the eye, perhaps the most highly developed,
complex organ in the body, and, if of an organ the term may be allowed, the
most intellectual organ of sense, we find it remains the same in male and
female in structure, in appearance, and in function throughout life; while
the breast, closely connected with reproduction, though absolutely
identical in both forms in infancy, assumes a widely different organisation
when reproductive activity is actually concerned.

When we turn to the psychic phase of human life an exactly analogous
phenomenon presents itself. The intelligence, emotions, and desires of the
human infant at birth differ not at all perceptibly, as its sex may be male
or female; and such psychic differences as appear to exist in later
childhood are undoubtedly very largely the result of artificial training,
forcing on the appearance of psychic sexual divergencies long before they
would tend spontaneously to appear; as where sports and occupations are
interdicted to young children on the ground of their supposed sexual
unfitness; as when an infant female is forcibly prevented from climbing or
shouting, and the infant male from amusing himself with needle and thread
or dolls. Even in the fully adult human, and in spite of differences of
training, the psychic activities over a large extent of life appear to be
absolutely identical. The male and female brains acquire languages, solve
mathematical problems, and master scientific detail in a manner wholly
indistinguishable: as illustrated by the fact that in modern universities
the papers sent in by male and female candidates are as a rule absolutely
identical in type. Placed in like external conditions, their tastes and
emotions, over a vast part of the surface of life, are identical; and, in
an immense number of those cases where psychic sex differences appear to
exist, subject to rigid analysis they are found to be purely artificial
creations, for, when other races or classes are studied, they are found
non-existent as sexual characteristics; as when the female is supposed by
ignorant persons in modern European societies to have an inherent love for
bright colours and ornaments, not shared by the male; while experience of
other societies and past social conditions prove that it is as often the
male who has been even more desirous of attiring himself in bright raiment
and adorning himself with brilliant jewels; or as when, among certain
tribes of savages, the use of tobacco is supposed to be a peculiarly female
prerogative, while, in some modern societies, it is supposed to have some
relation to masculinity. (The savage male of today when attired in his
paint, feathers, cats' tails and necklaces is an immeasurably more
ornamented and imposing figure than his female, even when fully attired for
a dance in beads and bangles: the Oriental male has sometimes scarcely
been able to walk under the weight of his ornaments; and the males of
Europe a couple of centuries ago, with their powdered wigs, lace ruffles
and cuffs, paste buckles, feathered cocked hats, and patches were quite as
ridiculous in their excess of adornment as the complementary females of
their own day, or the most parasitic females of this. Both in the class
and the individual, whether male or female, an intense love of dress and
meretricious external adornment is almost invariably the concomitant and
outcome of parasitism. Were the parasite female class in our own societies
today to pass away, French fashions with their easeless and grotesque
variations (shaped not for use or beauty, but the attracting of attention)
would die out. And the extent to which any woman today, not herself
belonging to the parasite class and still labouring, attempts to follow
afar off the fashions of the parasite, may be taken generally as an almost
certain indication of the ease with which she would accept parasitism were
its conditions offered her. The tendency of the cultured and
intellectually labouring woman of today to adopt a more rational type of
attire, less shaped to attract attention to the individual than to confer
comfort and abstain from impeding activity, is often spoken of as an
attempt on the part of woman slavishly to imitate man. What is really
taking place is, that like causes are producing like effects on human
creatures with common characteristics.)

But there remain certain psychic differences in attitude, on the part of
male and female as such, which are inherent and not artificial: and, in
the psychic human world, it is exactly as we approach the sphere of sexual
and reproductive activity, with those emotions and instincts connected
directly with sex and the reproduction of the race, that a difference does

In the animal world all forms of psychic variations are found allying
themselves now with the male sex form, and then with the female. In the
insect and fish worlds, where the female forms are generally larger and
stronger than the male, the female is generally more pugnacious and
predatory than the male. Among birds-of-prey, where also the female form
is larger and stronger than the male, the psychic differences seem very
small. Among eagles and other allied forms, which are strictly monogamous,
the affection of the female for the male is so great that she is said never
to mate again if the male dies, and both watch over and care for the young
with extreme solicitude. The ostrich male form, though perhaps larger than
the female, shares with her the labour of hatching the eggs, relieving the
hen of her duty at a fixed hour daily: and his care for the young when
hatched is as tender as hers. Among song-birds, in which the male and
female forms are so alike as sometimes to be indistinguishable, and which
are also monogamous, the male and female forms not only exhibit the same
passionate affection for each other (in the case of the South African cock-
o-veet, they have one answering love-song between them; the male sounding
two or three notes and the female completing it with two or three more),
but they build the nest together and rear the young with an equal devotion.
In the case of the little kapok bird of the Cape, a beautiful, white,
fluffy round nest is made by both out of the white down of a certain plant,
and immediately below the entrance to the cavity in which the little female
sits on the eggs is a small shelf or basket, in which the tiny male sits to
watch over and guard them. It is among certain orders of birds that sex
manifestations appear to assume their most harmonious and poetical forms on
earth. Among gallinaceous birds, on the other hand, where the cock is much
larger and more pugnacious than the female, and which are polygamous, the
cock does not court the female by song, but seizes her by force, and shows
little or no interest in his offspring, neither sharing in the brooding nor
feeding the young; and even at times seizing any tempting morsel which the
young or the hen may have discovered.

Among mammals the male form tends to be slightly larger than the female,
though not always (the female whale, for instance, being larger than the
male); the male also tends to be more pugnacious and less careful of the
young; though to this rule also there are exceptions. In the case of the
South African mierkat, for instance, the female is generally more combative
and more difficult to tame than the male; and it is the males who from the
moment of birth watch over the young with the most passionate and tender
solicitude, keeping them warm under their persons, carrying them to places
of safety in their mouths, and feeding them till full grown; and this they
do not only for their own young, but to any young who may be brought in
contact with them. We have known a male mierkat so assiduous in feeding
young that were quite unrelated to himself, taking to them every morsel of
food given him, that we have been compelled to shut him up in a room alone
when feeding him, to prevent his starving himself to death: the male
mierkat thus exhibiting exactly those psychic qualities which are generally
regarded as peculiarly feminine; the females, on the other hand, being far
more pugnacious towards each other than are the males.

Among mammals generally, except the tendency to greater pugnacity shown by
the male towards other males, and the greater solicitude for the young
shown generally by the female form, but not always; the psychic differences
between the two sex forms are not great. Between the male and female
pointer as puppies, there is as little difference in mental activity as in
physical; and even when adult, on the hunting ground, that great non-sexual
field in which their highest mental and physical activities are displayed,
there is little or nothing which distinguishes materially between the male
and female; in method, manner, and quickness they are alike; in devotion to
man, they are psychically identical. (It is often said the female dog is
more intelligent than the male; but I am almost inclined to doubt this,
after long and close study of both forms.) It is at the moment when the
reproductive element comes fully into play that similarity and identity
cease. In the intensity of initial sex instinct they are alike; the female
will leap from windows, climb walls, and almost endanger her life to reach
the male who waits for her, as readily as he will to gain her. It is when
the bitch lies with her six young drawing life from her breast, and gazing
with wistful and anguished solicitude at every hand stretched out to touch
them, a world of emotion concentrated on the sightless creatures, and a
whole body of new mental aptitudes brought into play in caring for them, it
is then that between her and the male who begot them, but cares nothing for
them, there does rise a psychic difference that is real and wide. Alike in
the sports of puppydom and the non-sexual activities of adult age; alike in
the possession of the initial sexual instinct which draws the sex to the
sex, the moment active sexual reproduction is concerned, there is opened to
the female a certain world of sensations and experiences, from which her
male companion is for ever excluded.

So also is our human world: alike in the sports, and joys, and sorrows of
infancy; alike in the non-sexual labours of life; alike even in the
possession of that initial instinct which draws sex to sex, and which,
differing slightly in its forms of manifestation is of corresponding
intensity in both; the moment actual reproduction begins to take place, the
man and the woman enter spheres of sensation, perception, emotion, desire,
and knowledge which are not, and cannot be, absolutely identical. Between
the man who, in an instant of light-hearted enjoyment, begets the infant
(who may even beget it in a state of half-drunken unconsciousness, and may
easily know nothing of its existence for months or years after it is born,
or never at all; and who under no circumstances can have any direct
sensational knowledge of its relation to himself) and the woman who bears
it continuously for months within her body, and who gives birth to it in
pain, and who, if it is to live, is compelled, or was in primitive times,
to nourish it for months from the blood of her own being--between these,
there exists of necessity, towards a limited but all-important body of
human interests and phenomena, a certain distinct psychic attitude. At
this one point, the two great halves of humanity stand confronting certain
great elements in human existence, from angles that are not identical.
From the moment the universal initial attraction of sex to sex becomes
incarnate in the first concrete sexual act till the developed offspring
attains maturity, no step in the reproductive journey, or in their relation
to their offspring, has been quite identical for the man and the woman.
And this divergence of experiences in human relations must react on their
attitude towards that particular body of human concerns which directly is
connected with the sexual reproduction of the race; and, it is exactly in
these fields of human activity, where sex as sex is concerned, that woman
as woman has a part to play which she cannot resign into the hands of

It may be truly said that in the laboratory, the designing-room, the
factory, the mart, the mathematician's study, and in all fields of purely
abstract or impersonal labour, while the entrance of woman would add to the
net result of human labour in those fields, and though a grave injustice is
done to the individual woman excluded from perhaps the only field she is
fitted to excel in, that yet woman as woman has probably little or nothing
to contribute in those fields that is radically distinct from that which
man might supply; there would be a difference in quantity but probably none
in kind, in the work done for the race.

But in those spheres of social activity, dealing especially with certain
relations between human creatures because of their diverse if complementary
relation to the production of human life, the sexes as sexes have often
each a part to play which the other cannot play for them; have each a
knowledge gained from phases of human experience, which the other cannot
supply; here woman as woman has something radically distinct to contribute
to the sum-total of human knowledge, and her activity is of importance, not
merely individually, but collectively, and as a class.

That demand, which today in all democratic self-governing countries is
being made by women, to be accorded their share in the electoral, and
ultimately in the legislative and executive duties of government, is based
on two grounds: the wider, and more important, that they find nothing in
the nature of their sex-function which exonerates them, as human beings,
from their obligation to take part in the labours of guidance and
government in their state: the narrower, but yet important ground, that,
in as far as in one direction, i.e., in the special form of their sex
function takes, they do differ from the male, they, in so far, form a class
and are bound to represent the interests of, and to give the state the
benefit of, the insight of their class, in certain directions.

Those persons who imagine that the balance of great political parties in
almost any society would be seriously changed by the admission of its women
in public functions are undoubtedly wholly wrong. The fundamental division
of humans into those inclined to hold by the past and defend whatever is,
and those hopeful of the future and inclined to introduce change, would
probably be found to exist in much the same proportion were the males or
the females of any given society compared: and the males and females of
each class will in the main share the faults, the virtues, and the
prejudices of their class. The individuals may lose by being excluded on
the ground of sex from a share of public labour, and by being robbed of a
portion of their lawful individual weight in their own society; and the
society as a whole may lose by having a smaller number to select its chosen
labourers from; yet, undoubtedly, on the mass of social, political, and
international questions, the conclusions arrived at by one sex would be
exactly those arrived at by the other.

Were a body of humans elected to adjudicate upon Greek accents, or to pass
a decision on the relative fineness of woollens and linens, the form of sex
of the persons composing it would probably have no bearing on the result;
there is no rational ground for supposing that, on a question of Greek
accents or the thickness of cloths, equally instructed males and females
would differ. Here sex plays no part. The experience and instructedness
of the individuals would tell: their sexual attributes would be

But there are points, comparatively small, even very small, in number, yet
of vital importance to human life, in which sex does play a part.

It is not a matter of indifference whether the body called to adjudicate
upon the questions, whether the temporary sale of the female body for
sexual purposes shall or shall not be a form of traffic encouraged and
recognised by the state; or whether one law shall exist for the licentious
human female and another for the licentious human male; whether the claim
of the female to the offspring she bears shall or shall not equal that of
the male who begets it; whether an act of infidelity on the part of the
male shall or shall not terminate the contract which binds his female
companion to him, as completely as an act of infidelity on her part would
terminate her claim on him; it is not a matter of indifference whether a
body elected to adjudicate on such points as these consists of males
solely, or females solely, or of both combined. As it consists of one, or
the other, or of both, so not only will the answers vary, but, in some
cases, will they be completely diverse. Here we come into that very
narrow, but important, region, where sex as sex manifestly plays its part;
where the male as male and the female as female have each their body of
perceptions and experiences, which they do not hold in common; here one sex
cannot adequately represent the other. It is here that each sexual part
has something radically distinct to contribute to the wisdom of the race.

We, today, take all labour for our province! We seek to enter the non-
sexual fields of intellectual or physical toil, because we are unable to
see today, with regard to them, any dividing wall raised by sex which
excludes us from them. We are yet equally determined to enter those in
which sex difference does play its part, because it is here that woman, the
bearer of the race, must stand side by side with man, the begetter; if a
completed human wisdom, an insight that misses no aspect of human life, and
an activity that is in harmony with the entire knowledge and the entire
instinct of the entire human race, is to exist. It is here that the man
cannot act for the woman nor the woman for the man; but both must interact.
It is here that each sexual half of the race, so closely and
indistinguishably blended elsewhere, has its own distinct contribution to
make to the sum total of human knowledge and human wisdom. Neither is the
woman without the man, nor the man without the woman, the completed human

Therefore;--We claim, today, all labour for our province! Those large
fields in which it would appear sex plays no part, and equally those
smaller in which it plays a part.

Chapter VI. Certain Objections.

It has been stated sometimes, though more often implicitly than in any
direct or logical form, (this statement being one it is not easy to make
definitely without its reducing itself to nullity!) that woman should seek
no fields of labour in the new world of social conditions that is arising
about us, as she has still her function as child-bearer: a labour which,
by her own showing, is arduous and dangerous, though she may love it as a
soldier loves his battlefield; and that woman should perform her sex
functions only, allowing man or the state to support her, even when she is
only potentially a child-bearer and bears no children. (Such a scheme, as
has before been stated, was actually put forward by a literary man in
England some years ago: but he had the sense to state that it should apply
only to women of the upper classes, the mass of labouring women, who form
the vast bulk of the English women of the present day, being left to their
ill-paid drudgery and their child-bearing as well!

There is some difficulty in replying to a theorist so wholly delusive. Not
only is he to be met by all the arguments against parasitism of class or
race; but, at the present day, when probably much more than half the
world's most laborious and ill-paid labour is still performed by women,
from tea pickers and cocoa tenders in India and the islands, to the
washerwomen, cooks, and drudging labouring men's wives, who in addition to
the sternest and most unending toil, throw in their child-bearing as a
little addition; and when, in some civilised countries women exceed the
males in numbers by one million, so that there would still be one million
females for whom there was no legitimate sexual outlet, though each male in
the nation supported a female, it is somewhat difficult to reply with
gravity to the assertion, "Let Woman be content to be the 'Divine Child-
bearer,' and ask no more."

Were it worth replying gravely to so idle a theorist, we might answer:--
Through all the ages of the past, when, with heavy womb and hard labour-
worn hands, we physically toiled beside man, bearing up by the labour of
our bodies the world about us, it was never suggested to us, "You, the
child-bearers of the race, have in that one function a labour that equals
all others combined; therefore, toil no more in other directions, we pray
of you; neither plant, nor build, nor bend over the grindstone; nor far
into the night, while we sleep, sit weaving the clothing we and our
children are to wear! Leave it to us, to plant, to reap, to weave, to
work, to toil for you, O sacred child-bearer! Work no more; every man of
the race will work for you!" This cry in all the grim ages of our past
toil we never heard.

And today, when the lofty theorist, who tonight stands before the drawing-
room fire in spotless shirtfront and perfectly fitting clothes, and
declaims upon the amplitude of woman's work in life as child-bearer, and
the mighty value of that labour which exceeds all other, making it
unnecessary for her to share man's grosser and lower toils: is it certain
he always in practical life remembers his theory? When waking tomorrow
morning, he finds that the elderly house drudge, who rises at dawn while he
yet sleeps to make his tea and clean his boots, has brought his tea late,
and polished his boots ill; may he not even sharply condemn her, and assure
her she will have to leave unless she works harder and rises earlier? Does
he exclaim to her, "Divine child-bearer! Potential mother of the race!
Why should you clean my boots or bring up my tea, while I lie warm in bed?
Is it not enough you should have the holy and mysterious power of bringing
the race to life? Let that content you. Henceforth I shall get up at dawn
and make my own tea and clean my own boots, and pay you just the same!"
Or, should his landlady, now about to give birth to her ninth child, send
him up a poorly-cooked dinner or forget to bring up his scuttle of coals,
does he send for her and thus apostrophise the astonished matron: "Child-
bearer of the race! Producer of men! Cannot you be contented with so
noble and lofty a function in life without toiling and moiling? Why carry
up heavy coal-scuttles from the cellar and bend over hot fires, wearing out
nerve and brain and muscle that should be reserved for higher duties? We,
we, the men of the race, will perform its mean, its sordid, its grinding
toil! For woman is beauty, peace, repose! Your function is to give life,
not to support it by labour. The Mother, the Mother! How wonderful it
sounds! Toil no more! Rest is for you; labour and drudgery for us!"
Would he not rather assure her that, unless she laboured more assiduously
and sternly, she would lose his custom and so be unable to pay her month's
rent; and perhaps so, with children and an invalid or drunken husband whom
she supports, be turned out into the streets? For, it is remarkable, that,
with theorists of this class, it is not toil, or the amount of toil,
crushing alike to brain and body, which the female undertakes that is
objected to; it is the form and the amount of the reward. It is not the
hand-labouring woman, even in his own society, worn out and prematurely
aged at forty with grinding domestic toil, that has no beginning and knows
no end--

"Man's work is from sun to sun,
But the woman's work is never done"--

it is not the haggard, work-crushed woman and mother who irons his shirts,
or the potential mother who destroys health and youth in the sweater's den
where she sews the garments in which he appears so radiantly in the
drawing-room which disturbs him. It is the thought of the woman-doctor
with an income of some hundreds a year, who drives round in her carriage to
see her patients, or receives them in her consulting-rooms, and who spends
the evening smoking and reading before her study fire or receiving her
guests; it is the thought of the woman who, as legislator, may loll for
perhaps six hours of the day on the padded seat of legislative bench,
relieving the tedium now and then by a turn in the billiard- or
refreshment-room, when she is not needed to vote or speak; it is the
thought of the woman as Greek professor, with three or four hundred a year,
who gives half a dozen lectures a week, and has leisure to enjoy the
society of her husband and children, and to devote to her own study and
life of thought; it is she who wrings his heart. It is not the woman, who,
on hands and knees, at tenpence a day, scrubs the floors of the public
buildings, or private dwellings, that fills him with anguish for womanhood:
that somewhat quadrupedal posture is for him truly feminine, and does not
interfere with his ideal of the mother and child-bearer; and that, in some
other man's house, or perhaps his own, while he and the wife he keeps for
his pleasures are visiting concert or entertainment, some weary woman paces
till far into the night bearing with aching back and tired head the
fretful, teething child he brought into the world, for a pittance of twenty
or thirty pounds a year, does not distress him. But that the same woman by
work in an office should earn one hundred and fifty pounds, be able to have
a comfortable home of her own, and her evening free for study or pleasure,
distresses him deeply. It is not the labour, or the amount of labour, so
much as the amount of reward that interferes with his ideal of the eternal
womanly; he is as a rule quite contented that the women of the race should
labour for him, whether as tea-pickers or washerwomen, or toilers for the
children he brings into the world, provided the reward they receive is not
large, nor in such fields as he might himself at any time desire to enter.

When master and ass, drawing a heavy burden between them, have climbed a
steep mountain range together; clambering over sharp rocks and across
sliding gravel where no water is, and herbage is scant; if, when they were
come out on the top of the mountain, and before them stretch broad, green
lands, and through wide half-open gates they catch the glimpse of trees
waving, and there comes the sound of running waters, if then, the master
should say to his ass, "Good beast of mine, lie down! I can push the whole
burden myself now: lie down here; lie down, my creature; you have toiled
enough; I will go on alone!" then it might be even the beast would whisper
(with that glimpse through the swinging gates of the green fields beyond)--
"Good master, we two have climbed this mighty mountain together, and the
stones have cut my hoofs as they cut your feet. Perhaps, if when we were
at the foot you had found out that the burden was two heavy for me, and had
then said to me, 'Lie down, my beastie; I will carry on the burden alone;
lie down and rest!' I might then have listened. But now, just here, where
I see the gates swinging open, a smooth road, and green fields before us, I
think I shall go on a little farther. We two have climbed together; maybe
we shall go on yet, side by side."

For the heart of labouring womanhood cries out today to the man who would
suggest she need not seek new fields of labour, that child-bearing is
enough for her share in life's labour, "Do you dare say to us now, that we
are fit to do nothing but child-bear, that when that is performed our
powers are exhausted? To us, who yet through all the ages of the past,
when child-bearing was persistent and incessant, regarded it hardly as a
toil, but rather as the reward of labour; has our right hand lost its
cunning and our heart its strength, that today, when human labour is easier
and humanity's work grows fairer, you say to us, 'You can do nothing now
but child-bear'? Do you dare to say this, to us, when the upward path of
the race has been watered by the sweat of our brow, and the sides of the
road by which humanity has climbed are whitened on either hand by the bones
of the womanhood that has fallen there, toiling beside man? Do you dare
say this, to us, when even today the food you eat, the clothes you wear,
the comfort you enjoy, is largely given you by the unending muscular toil
of woman?"

As the women of old planted and reaped and ground the grain that the
children they bore might eat; as the maidens of old spun that they might
make linen for their households and obtain the right to bear men; so,
though we bend no more over grindstones, or labour in the fields, or weave
by hand, it is our intention to enter all the new fields of labour, that we
also may have the power and right to bring men into the world. It is our
faith that the day comes in which not only shall no man dare to say, "It is
enough portion for a woman in life that she bear a child," but when it will
rather be said, "What noble labour has that woman performed, that she
should have the privilege of bringing a man or woman child into the world?"

But, it has also been objected, "What, and if the female half of humanity,
though able, in addition to the exercise of its reproductive functions, to
bear its share in the new fields of social labour as it did in the old, be
yet in certain directions a less productive labourer than the male? What
if, in the main, the result of the labour of the two halves of humanity
should not be found to be exactly equal?"

To this it may be answered, that it is within the range of possibility
that, mysteriously co-ordinated with the male reproductive function in the
human, there may also be in some directions a tendency to possess gifts for
labour useful and beneficial to the race in the stage of growth it has now
reached, in excess of those possessed by the female. We see no reason why
this should be so, and, in the present state of our knowledge, this is a
point on which no sane person would dogmatise; but it is possible! It may,
on the other hand be, that, taken in the bulk, when all the branches of
productive labour be considered, as the ages pass, the value of the labour
of the two halves of humanity will be found so identical and so closely to
balance, that no superiority can possibly be asserted of either, as the
result of the closest analysis. This also is possible.

But, it may also be, that, when the bulk and sum-total of human activities
is surveyed in future ages, it will be found that the value of the labour
of the female in the world that is rising about us, has exceeded in quality
or in quantity that of the male. We see no reason either, why this should
be; there is nothing in the nature of the reproductive function in the
female human which of necessity implies such superiority.

Yet it may be, that, with the smaller general bulk and the muscular
fineness, and the preponderance of brain and nervous system in net bulk
over the fleshy and osseous parts of the organism, which generally, though
by no means always, characterises the female as distinguished from the male
of the human species, there do go mental qualities which will peculiarly
fit her for the labours of the future. It may be, that her lesser
possession of the mere muscular and osseous strength, which were the
elements of primary importance and which gave dominance in one stage of
human growth, and which placed woman at a social disadvantage as compared
with her companion, will, under new conditions of life, in which the value
of crude mechanical strength as distinguished from high vitality and strong
nervous activity is passing away, prove as largely to her advantage, as his
muscular bulk and strength in the past proved to the male. It is quite
possible, in the new world which is arising about us, that the type of
human most useful to society and best fitted for its future conditions, and
who will excel in the most numerous forms of activity, will be, not merely
the muscularly powerful and bulky, but the highly versatile, active, vital,
adaptive, sensitive, physically fine-drawn type; and, as that type, though,
like the muscularly heavy and powerful, by no means peculiar to and
confined to one sex, is yet rather more commonly found in conjunction with
a female organism, it is quite possible that, taken in the bulk and on the
whole, the female half of humanity may, by virtue of its structural
adaptions, be found most fitted for the bulk of human labours in the

As with individuals and races, so also with sexes, changed social
conditions may render exactly those subtile qualities, which in one social
state were a disadvantage, of the highest social advantage in another.

The skilled diplomatist or politician, so powerful in his own element, on
board ship during a storm becomes at once of less general value or
consideration than the meanest sailor who can reef a sail or guide a wheel;
and, were we to be reduced again suddenly to a state of nature, a company
of highly civilised men and women would at once, as we have before
remarked, find their social value completely inverted; landed on a desert
shore, unarmed and naked, to encounter wild beasts and savages, and to
combat nature for food, the primitive scale of human values would at once
reassert itself. It would not then be the mighty financier, the learned
judge, or great poet and scholar who would be sought after, but the
thickest-headed navvy who could throw a stone so exactly that he brought
down a bird, and who could in a day raise a wall which would shelter the
group; and the man so powerful that he could surely strike an enemy or wild
beast dead with his club, would at once be objects of social regard and
attain individual eminence, and perhaps dominance. It would not be the
skilled dancer, who in one night in a civilised state earns her hundreds,
nor yet the fragile clinging beauty, but the girl of the broad back and the
strong limb, who could collect wood and carry water, who would be the much
considered and much sought after female in such a community. Even in the
animal world, there is the same inversion in values, according as the
external conditions vary. The lion, while ruling over every other creature
in his primitive wilds, by right of his untamable ferocity, size, and
rapacity, is yet bound to become a prey to destruction and extermination
when he comes into contact with the new condition brought by man; while the
wild dog, so immeasurably his inferior in size and ferocity, is tamed,
survives and multiplies, exactly because he has been driven by his smaller
structure and lesser physical force to develop those social instincts and
those forms of intelligence which make him amenable to the new condition of
life and valuable in them. The same inversion in the value of qualities
may be traced in the history of human species. The Jews, whose history has
been one long story of oppression at the hands of more muscular, physically
powerful and pugilistic peoples; whom we find first making bricks under the
lash of the Egyptian, and later hanging his harp as an exile among the
willow-trees of Babylon; who, for eighteen hundred years, has been
trampled, tortured, and despised beneath the feet of the more physically
powerful and pugilistic, but not more vital, keen, intelligent, or
persistent races of Europe; has, today, by the slow turning of the wheel of
life, come uppermost. The Egyptian task-master and warrior have passed;
what the Babylonian was we know no more, save for a few mud tablets and
rock inscriptions recording the martial victories; but the once captive Jew
we see today in every city and every street; until at last, the descendants
of those men who spat when they spoke his name, and forcibly drew his teeth
to extract his money from him, wait patiently behind each other for
admission to his offices and palaces; while nobles solicit his daughters in
marriage and kings are proud to be summoned to his table in hope of golden
crumbs, and great questions of peace and war are often held balanced in the
hand of one little asthmatic Jew. After long ages of disgrace and
pariahism, the time has come, whether for good or for evil, when just those
qualities which the Jew possesses and which subtilely distinguish him from
others, are in demand; while those he has not are sinking into disuse;
exactly that domination of the reflective faculties over the combative,
which once made him slave, also saved him from becoming extinct in wars;
and the intellectual quickness, the far-sighted keenness, the persistent
mental activity and self-control, which could not in those ages save him
from degradation or compensate for his lack of bone and muscle and
combative instinct, are the very qualities the modern world demands and
crowns. The day of Goliath with his club and his oaths is fast passing,
and the day of David with his harp and skilfully constructed sling is
coming near and yet nearer.

The qualities which give an animal, a race, or an individual, a higher
utility or social dominance must always be influenced by any change in the
environment. As the wheel of life slowly revolves, that which was lowest
comes continually uppermost, and that which was dominant becomes

It is possible, that women, after countless ages, during which that smaller
relative development in weight and muscularity which is incident to almost
all females which suckle their young, and that lesser desire for pugilism
inherent in almost all females who bear their young alive, rendered her
lacking in the two qualities which made for individual dominance in her
societies, may yet, in the future, discover that those changes in human
conditions, which have done away with the primary necessity for muscular
force and pugilistic arts, have also inverted her place in the scale of
social values.

It is possible, that the human female, like the Jew, the male of that type
farthest removed from the dominant male type of the past, may in the future
find, that, so far from those qualities which, in an earlier condition,
lessened her social value and power of labour, continuing to do so, they
will increase it. That the delicacy of hand, lightness of structure which
were fatal when the dominant labour of life was to wield a battle-axe or
move a weight, may be no restraint but even an assistance in the
intellectual and more delicate mechanical fields of labour; that the
preponderance of nervous and cerebral over muscular material, and the
tendency towards preservative and creative activity over pugilistic and
destructive, so far from shutting her off from the most important fields of
human toil, may increase her fitness for them! We have no certain proof
that it is so at present; but, if woman's long years of servitude and
physical subjection, and her experience as child-bearer and protector of
infancy, should, in any way, be found in the future to have endowed her, as
a kind of secondary sexual characteristic, with any additional strength of
social instinct, with any exceptional width of human sympathy and any
instinctive comprehension; then, it is not merely possible, but certain,
that, in the ages that are coming, in which the labour of the human race
will be not mainly destructive but conservative, in which the building up
and developing of humanity, and not continually the inter-destruction of
part by part, will be the dominant activity of the race, that woman as
woman, and by right of that wherein she differs from the male, will have an
all-important part to play in the activity of the race.

The matter is one of curious and subtle interest, but what practically
concerns the human race is, not which of the two sexual halves which must
always coexist is best fitted to excel in certain human labours in this or
that direction, at this or that time, nor even which has most to contribute
to the sum-total of human activities; but it is this, that every individual
unit humanity contains, irrespective of race, sex, or type, should find
exactly that field of labour which may most contribute to its development,
happiness, and health, and in which its peculiar faculties and gifts shall
be most effectively and beneficially exerted for its fellows.

It matters nothing, and less than nothing, to us as women, whether, of
those children we bring into the world, our sons should excel in virtue,
intelligence, and activity, our daughters, or our daughters our sons; so
that, in each child we bring to life, not one potentiality shall be lost,
nor squandered on a lesser when it might have been expended on a higher and
more beneficent task. So that not one desirable faculty of the marvellous
creatures we suffer to bring into existence be left uncultivated, to us, as
women, it matters nothing and less than nothing, which sex type excels in
action, in knowledge, or in virtue, so both attain their best. There is
one thing only on earth, as precious to woman as the daughter who springs
from her body--it is the son. There is one thing only dearer to the woman
than herself--it is the man. As no sane human concerns himself as to
whether the right or left ventricle of his heart works most satisfactorily,
or is most essential to his well-being, so both be perfect in health and
activity; as no sane woman distresses herself lest her right breast should
not excel the left in beauty and use; so no sane man or woman questions
anxiously over the relative perfections of male and female. In love there
is no first nor last. What we request of life is that the tools should be
given to his hand or hers who can best handle them; that the least
efficient should not be forced into the place of the more efficient, and
that an artificially drawn line should never repress the activities of the
individual creature, which we as women bring into the world.

But it may also be said to us, "What, and if, all your dreams and hopes for
woman and the future of the race be based on air? What, and if, desirable
as it is that woman should not become practically dependent on her sexual
function alone, and should play at least as great a part in the productive
labour of the race in the future as she played in that of the past - what,
if woman cannot take the same vast share in the complex and largely mental
labour fields of the future, as in the largely physical fields of the past?
What, and if, in spite of all her effort and sacrifice to attain this end,
exactly now and when the labour of civilised societies becomes mental
rather than mechanical, woman be found wanting?"

In Swiss valleys today the traveller comes sometimes on the figure of a
solitary woman climbing the mountain-side, on her broad shoulders a mighty
burden of fodder or manure she is bearing up for the cattle, or to some
patch of cultivated land. Steady, unshrinking eyes look out at you from
beneath the deeply seamed forehead, and a strand of hair, perhaps almost as
white as the mountain snows on the peaks above, escapes from under the edge
of the binding handkerchief. The face is seamed and seared with the stern
marks of toil and endurance, as the mountain-side is with marks of storm
and avalanche. It is the face of one who has brought men into the world in
labour and sorrow, and toiled mightily to sustain them; and dead must be
the mind to the phases of human existence, who does not see in that
toilworn figure one of the mighty pillars, which have in the long ages of
the past sustained the life of humanity on earth, and made possible its
later development; and much must the tinsel of life have dazzled him, who
fails to mark it with reverence and, metaphorically, to bow his head before
it--the type of the mighty labouring woman who has built up life.

But, it may be said, what if, in the ages to come, it should never again be
possible for any man to stand bowed with the same respect in the presence
of any other of earth's mighty toilers, who should also be mother and
woman? What, if she, who could combine motherhood with the most unending
muscular toil, will fall flaccid and helpless where the labour becomes
mental? What if, struggle as she will, she can become nothing in the
future but the pet pug-dog of the race, lying on its sofa, or the Italian
greyhound, shivering in its silken coat? What if woman, in spite of her
most earnest aspirations and determined struggles, be destined to failure
in the new world that is rising because of inherent mental incapacity?

There are many replies which may be made to such a suggestion. It is often
said with truth, that the ordinary occupations of woman in the past and
present, and in all classes of society in which she is not parasitic, do
demand, and have always demanded, a very high versatility and mental
activity, as well as physical: that the mediaeval baron's wife who guided
her large household probably had to expend far more pure intellect in doing
so than the baron in his hunting and fighting; that the wife of the city
accountant probably expends today more reason, imagination, forethought,
and memory on the management of her small household, than he in his far
simpler, monotonous arithmetical toil; that, as there is no cause for
supposing that the tailor or shoemaker needs less intellect in his calling
than the soldier or prize-fighter, so there is nothing to suggest that, in
the past, woman has not expended as much pure intellect in the mass of her
callings as the man in his; while in those highly specialised intellectual
occupations, in which long and uninterrupted training tending to one point
is necessary, such as the liberal professions and arts, that, although
woman has practically been excluded from the requisite training, and the
freedom to place herself in the positions in which they can be pursued,
that yet, by force of innate genius and gifts in such directions, she has
continually broken through the seemingly insuperable obstacles, and again
and again taken her place beside man in those fields of labour; showing
thereby not merely aptitude but passionate and determined inclination in
those directions. With equal truth, it is often remarked that, when as an
independent hereditary sovereign, woman has been placed in the only
position in which she has ever been able freely and fully to express her
own individuality, and though selected at random by fate from the mass of
women, by the mere accident of birth or marriage, she has shown in a large
percentage of cases that the female has the power to command, organise, and
succeed in one of the most exacting and complex of human employments, the
government of nations; that from the days of Amalasontha to Isabella of
Spain, Elizabeth of England, and Catharine of Russia, women have not failed
to grasp the large impersonal aspects of life, and successfully and
powerfully to control them, when placed in the supreme position in which it
was demanded. It may also be stated, and is sometimes, with so much
iteration as to become almost wearisome, that women's adequacy in the
modern fields of intellectual or skilled manual labour is no more today an
open matter for debate, than the number of modern women who, as senior
wranglers, doctors, &c., have already successfully entered the new fields,
and the high standard attained by women in all university examinations to
which they are admitted, and their universal success in the administration
of parochial matters, wherever they have been allowed to share it, proves
their intellectual and moral fitness for the new forms of labour.

All these statements are certainly interesting, and may be unanswerable.
And yet--if the truth be told, it is not ultimately on these grounds that
many of us base our hope and our certitude with regard to the future of
woman. Our conviction as to the plenitude of her powers for the adequate
performance of lofty labours in these new fields, springs not at all from a
categorical enumeration of the attainments or performances of individual
women or bodies of women in the past or present; it has another source.

There was a bird's egg once, picked up by chance upon the ground, and those
who found it bore it home and placed it under a barn-door fowl. And in
time the chick bred out, and those who had found it chained it by the leg
to a log, lest it should stray and be lost. And by and by they gathered
round it, and speculated as to what the bird might be. One said, "It is
surely a waterfowl, a duck, or it may be a goose; if we took it to the
water it would swim and gabble." But another said, "It has no webs to its
feet; it is a barn-door fowl; should you let it loose it will scratch and
cackle with the others on the dung-heap." But a third speculated, "Look
now at its curved beak; no doubt it is a parrot, and can crack nuts!" But
a fourth said, "No, but look at its wings; perhaps it is a bird of great
flight." But several cried, "Nonsense! No one has ever seen it fly! Why
should it fly? Can you suppose that a thing can do a thing which no one
has ever seen it do?" And the bird--the bird--with its leg chained close
to the log, preened its wing. So they sat about it, speculating, and
discussing it: and one said this, and another that. And all the while as
they talked the bird sat motionless, with its gaze fixed on the clear, blue
sky above it. And one said, "Suppose we let the creature loose to see what
it will do?"--and the bird shivered. But the others cried, "It is too
valuable; it might get lost. If it were to try to fly it might fall down
and break its neck." And the bird, with its foot chained to the log, sat
looking upward into the clear blue sky; the sky, in which it had never
been--for the bird--the bird, knew what it would do--because it was an

There is one woman known to many of us, as each human creature knows but
one on earth; and it is upon our knowledge of that woman that we base our

For those who do not know her, and have not this ground, it is probably
profitable and necessary that they painfully collect isolated facts and
then speculate upon them, and base whatever views they should form upon
these collections. It might even be profitable that they should form no
definite opinions at all, but wait till the ages of practical experience
have put doubt to rest. For those of us who have a ground of knowledge
which we cannot transmit to outsiders, it is perhaps more profitable to act
fearlessly than to argue.

Finally, it may be objected to the entrance of woman to the new fields of
labour, and in effect it is often said--"What, and if, all you have sought
be granted you--if it be fully agreed that woman's ancient fields of toil
are slipping from her, and that, if she do not find new, she must fall into
a state of sexual parasitism, dependent on her reproductive functions
alone; and granted, that, doing this, she must degenerate, and that from
her degeneration must arise the degeneration and arrest of development of
the males as well as of the females of her race; and granting also, fully,
that in the past woman has borne one full half, and often more than one
half, of the weight of the productive labours of her societies, in addition
to child-bearing; and allowing more fully that she may be as well able to
sustain her share in the intellectual labours of the future as in the more
mechanical labours of the past; granting all this, may there not be one
aspect of the question left out of consideration which may reverse all
conclusions as to the desirability, and the human good to be attained by
woman's enlarged freedom and her entering into the new fields of toil?
What if, the increased culture and mental activity of woman necessary for
her entrance into the new fields, however desirable in other ways for
herself and the race, should result in a diminution, or in an absolute
abolition of the sexual attraction and affection, which in all ages of the
past has bound the two halves of humanity together? What if, though the
stern and unlovely manual labours of the past have never affected her
attractiveness for the male of her own society, nor his for her; yet the
performance by woman of intellectual labours, or complex and interesting
manual labour, and her increased intelligence and width, should render the
male objectionable to her, and the woman undesirable to the male; so that
the very race itself might become extinct through the dearth of sexual
affection? What, and if, the woman ceases to value the son she bears, and
to feel desire for and tenderness to the man who begets him; and the man to
value and desire the woman and her offspring? Would not such a result
exceed, or at least equal, in its evil to humanity, anything which could
result from the degeneration and parasitism of woman? Would it not be
well, if there exist any possibility of this danger, that woman, however
conscious that she can perform social labour as nobly and successfully
under the new conditions of life as the old, should yet consciously, and
deliberately, with her eyes open, sink into a state of pure intellectual
torpor, with all its attendant evils, rather than face the more irreparable
loss which her development and the exercise of her gifts might entail?
Would it not be well she should deliberately determine, as the lesser of
two evils, to dwarf herself and limit her activities and the expansion of
her faculties, rather than that any risk should be run of the bond of
desire and emotion between the two sexual halves of humanity being severed?
If the race is to decay and become extinct on earth, might it not as well
be through the parasitism and decay of woman, as through the decay of the
sexual instinct?

It is not easy to reply with rationality, or even gravity, to a
supposition, which appears to be based on the conception that a sudden and
entire subversion of the deepest of those elements on which human, and even
animal, life on the globe is based, is possible from so inadequate a cause:
and it might well be passed silently, were it not that, under some form or
other, this argument frequently recurs, now in a more rational and then in
a more irrational form; constituting sometimes an objection in even
moderately intelligent minds, to the entrance of woman into the new fields
of labour.

It must be at once frankly admitted that, were there the smallest possible
danger in this direction, the sooner woman laid aside all endeavour in the
direction of increased knowledge and the attainment of new fields of
activity, the better for herself and for the race.

When one considers the part which sexual attraction plays in the order of
sentient life on the globe, from the almost unconscious attractions which
draw amoeboid globule to amoeboid globule, on through the endless
progressive forms of life; till in monogamous birds it expresses itself in
song and complex courtship and sometimes in the life-long conjugal
affection of mates; and which in the human race itself, passing through
various forms, from the imperative but almost purely physical attraction of
savage male and female for each other, till in the highly developed male
and female it assumes its aesthetic and intellectual but not less
imperative form, couching itself in the songs of poet, and the sometimes
deathless fidelity of richly developed man and woman to each other, we find
it not only everywhere, but forming the very groundwork on which is based
sentient existence; never eradicable, though infinitely varied in its
external forms of expression. When we consider that in the human world,
from the battles and dances of savages to the intrigues and entertainments
of modern Courts and palaces, the attraction of man and woman for each
other has played an unending part; and, that the most fierce ascetic
religious enthusiasm through the ages, the flagellations and starvations in
endless nunneries and monasteries, have never been able to extirpate nor
seriously to weaken for one moment the master dominance of this emotion;
that the lowest and most brutal ignorance, and the highest intellectual
culture leave mankind, equally, though in different forms, amenable to its
mastery; that, whether in the brutal guffaw of sex laughter which rings
across the drinking bars of our modern cities, and rises from the
comfortable armchairs in fashionable clubs; or in the poet's dreams, and
the noblest conjugal relations of men and women linked together for life,
it plays still today on earth the vast part it played when hoary monsters
ploughed after each other through Silurian slime, and that still it forms
as ever the warp on which in the loom of human life the web is woven, and
runs as a thread never absent through every design and pattern which
constitutes the individual existence on earth, it appears not merely as
ineradicable; but it is inconceivable to suppose that that attraction of
sex towards sex, which, with hunger and thirst, lie, as the triune
instincts, at the base of animal life on earth, should ever be exterminable
by the comparatively superficial changes resulting from the performance of
this or that form of labour, or the little more or less of knowledge in one
direction or another.

That the female who drives steam-driven looms, producing scores of yards of

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