INTRODUCTION. THK problem of Woman's position, or " sphere," of her du- ties, responsibilities, rights and immunities as Woman, fitly attracts a large and still-increasing measure of attention from the thinkers and agitators of our time. The legislators, so called, those who ultimately enact into statutes what the really govern- lass (to wit, the thinkers) have originated, matured and gradually commended to the popular comprehension and accepts ance, are not as yet much occupied with this problem, only fit- fully worried and more or less consciously puzzled by it. More < 'inmonly they merely echo the mob's shallow retort to the pe- titi.ni of any strong-minded daughter or sister, who demands that she be allowed a voice in disposing of the money wrenched from her hard earnings by inexorable taxation, or in shaping the laws by which she is ruled, judged, and is liable to be sentenced to prison or to death, " It is a woman's business to obey her h un- hand. k<M-] his hoiiH' ti'ly. and nourish and train his children." Hut ; ins to this, " Very true ; but suppose I choose not to have a husband, or am not chosen fora wife what then ? I am still subject to your laws. Why am I nt ^titled, as a I human V'ing, to a voice in shaping them ? I have phys- i'-.il needs, and must somehow earn a living. Why should I not !> at liberty to earn it in any honest and useful calling ? " the (lout is hushed, and the legislator is struck dumb also. They were already at the end of their scanty resources of logic, and it .nild In- rru.'l f'.r Vi.Mi.m tua-k furtln-r : " Suppose me a il< and my husband a drunken prodigal what am I to do then ? May I M"t am fixxl for my baben ithunt being exposed to ha' it snatched from tln-ir mouths to rej.l'-nish the mm- !! r'- till, and
Page:Woman in the Nineteenth Century 1855.djvu/15
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.