Are Women People?/Section 3

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Many Men to Any Woman

If you have beauty, charm, refinement, tact,
If you can prove that should I set you free,
You would not contemplate the smallest act
That might annoy or interfere with me.
If you can show that women will abide
By the best standards of their womanhood—
(And I must be the person to decide
What in a woman is the highest good);
If you display efficiency supreme
In philanthropic work devoid of pay;
If you can show a clearly thought-out scheme
For bringing the millennium in a day:
Why, then, dear lady, at some time remote,
I might consider giving you the vote.

A Sex Difference

When men in Congress come to blows at something someone said,
I always notice that it shows their blood is quick and red;
But if two women disagree, with very little noise,
It proves, and this seems strange to me, that women have no poise.

Advice to Heroines


A heroine must shrink and cling
When heroes are about,
And thus the watching world will think:
"How brave his heart and stout!"
But if he chance to be away
When bright-faced dangers shine,
It will be best for her to play
The oak-tree, not the vine.
In fact the most important thing
Is knowing when it's time to cling.


With apologies to R.L.S.

A heroine must be polite
And do what others say is right,
And think men wise and formidable—
At least as far as she is able.

Mutual Vows

"My dear," he said, "observe this frightful bill,
Run up, I think you'll own, against my will.
If you will recollect our wedding day
You vowed on that occasion to obey."
"I do recall the day," said she, "and how
Me with your worldly goods you did endow."
"That," he replied, "is palpably absurd—"
"You mean you did not mean to keep your word?"
"O, yes," he answered, "in a general way."
"And that," said she, "is how I meant obey."

If They Meant All They Said

Charm is a woman's strongest arm;
My charwoman is full of charm;
I chose her, not for strength of arm
But for her strange elusive charm.

And how tears heighten woman's powers!
My typist weeps for hours and hours:
I took her for her weeping powers——
They so delight my business hours.

A woman lives by intuition.
Though my accountant shuns addition
She has the rarest intuition.
(And I myself can do addition.)

Timidity in girls is nice.
My cook is so afraid of mice.
Now you'll admit it's very nice
To feel your cook's afraid of mice.


Democracy is this—to hold
That all who wander down the pike
In cart or car, on foot or bike,
Or male or female, young or old,
Are much alike—are much alike.


"Mother, what is a Feminist?"
"A Feminist, my daughter,
Is any woman now who cares
To think about her own affairs
As men don't think she oughter."

The Warning

No, it isn't home neglecting
If you spend your time selecting
Seven blouses and a jacket and a hat;
Or to give your day to paying
Needless visits, or to playing
Auction bridge. What critic could object to that?
But to spend two precious hours
At a lecture! Oh, my powers,
The home is all a woman needs to learn.
And an hour, or a quarter,
Spent in voting! Why, my daughter,
You could not find your home on your return.


Said Mr. Jones in 1910:
"Women, subject yourselves to men."
Nineteen-Eleven heard him quote:
"They rule the world without the vote."
By Nineteen-Twelve, he would submit
"When all the women wanted it."
By Nineteen-Thirteen, looking glum,
He said that it was bound to come.
This year I heard him say with pride:
"No reasons on the other side!"
By Nineteen-Fifteen, he'll insist
He's always been a suffragist.
And what is really stranger, too,
He'll think that what he says is true.


"Only the worst of them vote."
"Are not the suffragists frights?"
"Nietzsche's the person to quote."
"I prefer love to my rights."

"Are not the suffragists frights?"
"Sex is their only appeal."
"I prefer love to my rights."
"No, we don't think, but we feel."

"Sex is their only appeal."
"Woman belongs at the loom."
"No, we don't think, but we feel."
"Doesn't it rub off the bloom?"

"Woman belongs at the loom."
"Isn't the speaker a bore!"
"Doesn't it rub off the bloom?"
"Oh, it's a fad—nothing more."

"Isn't the speaker a bore!"
"Nietzsche's the person to quote."
"Oh, it's a fad—nothing more."
"Only the worst of them vote."

The Universal Answer

Oh, there you go again,
Invading man's domain!
It's Nature's laws, you know, you are defying.
Don't fancy that you can
Be really like a man,
So what's the use of all this fuss and trying?
It seems to me so clear,
That women's highest sphere
Is being loving wives and patient mothers.
Oh, can't you be content
To be as you were meant?

For books belong to husbands and to brothers.


(By an admirer of the late H.C. Bunner.)

"I know what you're going to say," she said,
And she stood up, causing him some alarm;
"You're going to tell me I'll lose my charm,
And what is a woman when charm has fled?
And you're going to say that you greatly fear
I don't understand a woman's sphere;
Now aren't you honestly?" "Yes," he said.

"I know what you're going to say," she said,
"You're going to ask what I hope to gain
By stepping down to the dusty plain,
By seeking a stone when I might have bread;
You're going to say: 'Can a vote replace
The tender force of a woman's grace?'
Now, aren't you honestly?" "Yes," he said.

"I know what you're going to do," he said,
"You're going to talk to me all day long
Trying to make me see I'm wrong;
And other men who are less misled
Will pale with jealousy when they see
The time you give to converting me;
Now, aren't you honestly?" "Ye-es," she said.

What Every Woman Must Not Say

"I don't pretend I'm clever," he remarked, "or very wise,"
And at this she murmured, "Really," with the right polite surprise.
"But women," he continued, "I must own I understand;
Women are a contradiction—honorable and underhand—
Constant as the star Polaris, yet as changeable as Fate,
Always flying what they long for, always seeking what they hate."
"Don't you think," began the lady, but he cut her short: "I see
That you take it personally—women always do," said he.
"You will pardon me for saying every woman is the same,
Always greedy for approval, always sensitive to blame;
Sweet and passionate are women; weak in mind, though strong in soul;

Even you admit, I fancy, that they have no self-control?"
"No, I don't admit they haven't," said the patient lady then,
"Or they could not sit and listen to the nonsense talked by men."


It's treating a woman politely
As long as she isn't a fright:
It's guarding the girls who act rightly,
If you can be judge of what's right;
It's being—not just, but so pleasant;
It's tipping while wages are low;
It's making a beautiful present,
And failing to pay what you owe.

From Our Own Nursery Rhymes

"Chivalry, Chivalry, where have you been?"
"I've been out seeking a beautiful queen."
"Chivalry, Chivalry, what did you find?"
"Commonplace women, not much to my mind."


(With rather insincere apologies to Mr. Rudyard Kipling.)

I went to ask my government if they would set me free,
They gave a pardoned crook a vote, but hadn't one for me;
The men about me laughed and frowned and said: "Go home, because
We really can't be bothered when we're busy making laws."

Oh, it's women this, and women that and women have no sense,
But it's pay your taxes promptly when it comes to the expense,
It comes to the expense, my dears, it comes to the expense,
It's pay your taxes promptly when it comes to the expense.

I went into a factory to earn my daily bread:
Men said: "The home is woman's sphere." "I have no home," I said.

But when the men all marched to war, they cried to wife and maid,
"Oh, never mind about the home, but save the export trade."

For it's women this and women that, and home's the place for you,
But it's patriotic angels when there's outside work to do,
There's outside work to do, my dears, there's outside work to do,
It's patriotic angels when there's outside work to do.

We are not really senseless, and we are not angels, too,
But very human beings, human just as much as you.
It's hard upon occasions to be forceful and sublime
When you're treated as incompetents three-quarters of the time.

But it's women this and women that, and woman's like a hen,
But it's do the country's work alone, when war takes off the men,

And it's women this and women that and everything you please,
But woman is observant, and be sure that woman sees.


In the days that are gone when a statue was wanted
In park or museum where statues must be,
A chivalrous male would come forward undaunted
And say: "If you must have one, make it of me.
Bad though they be, yet I'll agree
If you must make them, why make them of me."

But chivalry's dead, as I always expected
Since women would not let things stay as they were;
So now, I suppose, when a statue's erected
Men will say brutally: "Make it of her."
She may prefer things as they were
When they start making the statues of her.

Male Philosophy

Men are very brave, you know,
That was settled long ago;
Ask, however, if you doubt it,
Any man you meet about it;
He will say, I think, like me,
Men are brave as they can be.

Women think they're brave, you say?
Do they really? Well, they may,
But such biased attestation
Is not worth consideration,
For a legal judgment shelves
What they say about themselves.

From a Man's Point of View

Women love self-sacrifice
Suffering and good advice;
If they don't love these sincerely
Then they're not true women really.
Oh, it shocks me so to note
Women pleading for the vote!
Saying publicly it would
Educate and do them good.
Such a selfish reason trips
Oddly from a woman's lips.
But it must not be supposed
I am in the least opposed.
If they want it let them try it.
For I think we'll profit by it.


I went to see old Susan Gray,
Whose soldier sons had marched away,
And this is what she had to say:

"It isn't war I hate at all——
'Tis likely men must fight——
But, oh, these flags and uniforms,
It's them that isn't right!
If war must come, and come it does
To take our boys from play,
It isn't right to make it seem
So beautiful and gay."

I left old Susan with a sigh;
A famous band was marching by
To make men glad they had to die.


(An Englishwoman whose income has stopped owing to her two sons having joined the English army, was taken care of last night at the Florence Crittenden Mission.—Press Clipping.)

The young men said to their mother,
"Hear us, O dearest and best!
Time cannot cool or smother
The love of you in our breast;
Here is your place and no other——
Come home and rest."

And the mother's heart was grateful
For the love of her cherished ones,
And her labor, bitter and hateful,
She left at the word of her sons,
Till she heard far off the fateful
Voices of guns.

Their love did more enslave her;
They did not understand
That none could guard or save her
When war was on the land,
But herself, and God, who gave her
Heart and mind and hand.


Last year the shops were crowded
With soldier suits and guns—
The presents that at Christmas time
We give our little sons;
And many a glittering trumpet
And many a sword and drum;
But as they're made in Germany
This year they will not come.

Perhaps another season
We shall not give our boys
Such very warlike playthings,
Such military toys;
Perhaps another season
We shall not think it sweet
To watch their game of soldier men,
Who dream not of defeat.


Hippolta, Penthesilea,
Maria Teresa and Joan,
Agustina and Boadicea
And some militant girls of our own—
It would take a brave man and a dull one
To say to these ladies: "Of course
We adore you while meek,
Timid, clinging and weak,
But a woman can never use force."

A Lady's Choice

Her old love in tears and silence had been building her a palace
Ringed by moats and flanked with towers, he had set it on a hill
"Here," he said, "will come no whisper of the world's alarms and malice,
In these granite walls imprisoned, I will keep you safe from ill."

As he spoke along the highway there came riding by a stranger,
For an instant on her features, he a fleeting glance bestowed,
Then he said: "My heart is fickle and the world is full of danger,"
And he offered her his stirrup and he pointed down the road.

The Ballad of Lost Causes

(About 465 years after Villon.)

Tell me in what spot remote
Do the antis dwell to-day,
Those who did not want to vote,
Feared their sex's prompt decay?
Where are those who used to say:
"Home alone is woman's sphere;
Only those should vote who slay"?
Where the snows of yester-year?

Where are those who used to quote
Nietzsche's words in dread array?
Where the ancient crones who wrote:
"Women rule through Beauty's sway"?
And those lovers, where are they,
Who could hold no woman dear
If she had the ballot? Nay!
Where the snows of yester-year?

Prince, inquire no more, I pray,
Whither antis disappear.
Suffrage won; they melt away,
Like the snows of yester-year.

Thoughts at an Anti Meeting

There are no homes in suffrage states,
There are no children, glad and good,
There, men no longer seek for mates,
And women lose their womanhood.

This I believe without debate,
And yet I ask—and ask in vain—
Why no one in a suffrage state
Has moved to change things back again?