Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/184

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168
INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

The editor of the Arena longs for the "era of woman" because, when it arrives, States being woman-governed instead of man-governed, the "age of consent" will be placed at eighteen years. Pointing to the example set in this respect by Kansas and Wyoming, the States which come nearest to being woman-governed, he says in rebuking italics: "All the other States trail the banner of morality in the dust before the dictates of man's bestiality." Mr. Flower supposes himself to be an individualist, and sometimes writes in favor of individualism in a way that commands my admiration. But I am curious to know by what rule he applies the theory of individualism, that he can bring himself to violate and deny the individuality of the girl who wrote "The Story of an African Farm," by favoring a law which would send to prison for twenty years, as guilty of rape, any man with whom she might have freely chosen, at the age when she began to write that book, to enter into sexual relations. Had Olive Schreiner lived in civilized Wyoming instead of semi-barbarous South Africa, and had she chosen to practise the theories which she favors in her book, she would indeed have been raped; not however by the lover of her choice, but by the women who deny her the right of choice, and by the men like B. O. Flower, who glory in this denial; raped, not of virginity, that paltry, tawdry, and overrated gewgaw, but of liberty, that priceless, matchless jewel, which it is becoming fashionable to despise.—Liberty, August 1, 1891.

 

For one I shall shed no tears if the New York law forbidding the publication of accounts of executions is rigorously enforced and its violators severely punished. Much as I value the liberty of the press, yes, because I value it, I should like to see the knife of authority buried to the hilt in the tenderest part of the ordinarily truckling newspapers of New York and then turned vigorously and mercilessly round. Perhaps, after that, Comstock laws, anti-lottery laws, and other similar legal villainies would no longer be made possible by the subservient hypocrites who cry out against oppressions only when victimized themselves. For some time past the New York Sun has been violating law with boasting and defiance, and yet, because in Tennessee a forcible attempt has been made to prevent the employment of convicts in the mines, and because in Kansas an Alliance judge has disobeyed the decree of the supreme court, it solemnly declares that to disregard law "is resistance to the will of the people, except

in the case of an unconstitutional statute, which is really no