IT is now half a century since a few women began with the most insistent perseverance to demand a place in the political, professional and economic world. They made this demand on the ground that woman's brain is equal to man's, and, given a fair chance, women could successfully compete with man in every field, except where physical strength and endurance were necessary. Man's opposition to this demand, though at times bitter and determined, has been so far overcome that to-day woman has every opportunity for gaining the best educational and professional training, and has already taken her place in the ranks of every profession except that of the armed defenders of her country. Either with or without the consent of her brother, she has got most of the things she has asked for, and some things which she neither asked for nor wanted. She has accomplished much, but her achievements are still looked upon with misgivings by many, as is seen in the frequent discussions of 'The New Woman,' 'The Unquiet Sex' and the 'Evils of the Higher Education.' In all these discussions there is the constant comparison of the two sexes in ability, perseverance and poise. But since they entered the race with the tremendous advantage of centuries of mental training and experience on the side of the men, it is most unjust to draw comparisons.
Putting therefore all comparisons entirely aside, it seemed worth while to make a study, as far as was possible, of those women who have achieved in public or professional life that measure of success sufficient to give them a place among the successful men and women of America, for the purpose of finding out in what lines of work the greater probabilities of success lie, and what part educational training seems to have had.
The material used as a basis of this study is found in the latest edition of 'Who's Who in America.' It would be difficult to find any two persons who would quite agree as to what constitutes success. And this book admittedly has sins of both omission and commission, still it is probably as nearly complete as a book of this kind could well be. The points considered will be found in the following table. The blank spaces and small figures show the incompleteness of data in many cases. The conclusions therefore are only tentative.
The 1902 edition of 'Who's Who in America' contains the names