Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/486

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That children are necessary to the mental and physical health of married women, but that maternity is unfavorable to success in skilled labor or the professions.

That the functions of gestation and parturition are very liable to be attended with mental disturbances which would totally defeat a professional career.

That the change of life is a critical period, prone to be attended with mental and bodily infirmities, unfitting a woman for professional work.

With such possibilities before her, and such necessities urging her, what chance has woman of successfully competing with men of mediocrity in professional life, or in skilled labor? It must be the intent of every woman who essays a professional life to do man's work as well as man can do it, and to secure man's reward for such well-doing. But, I cannot avoid the conclusion that, in the present relation of the sexes, such a standard is impossible of attainment. Whether the conditions which have created and continued the present relation of the sexes will operate as potently in the future as in the past, is a difficult question to answer. I have already said that, in my opinion, there now exist in society forces which will tend to modify the dependence of women. Prominent among these is the persistence with which women are working their way to new relations, which, if continued, will certainly bear fruit, and evoke in its behalf the law of heredity, which is now opposed to them. If we look upon society in a scientific spirit, we must recognize it as a field in which antagonizing forces are contending. This effort of woman to invade all the higher forms of labor is a force battling with the established order of sexual relation. The inertia which it encounters is the universal attendant of established facts in society. If this effort of woman is continued into coming generations, I have no doubt but her relations to society and labor will be in many respects modified. But I believe a long series of generations must pass before women can equal the labor value of men in the professions.




Part II.

I. GRAMMAR.—Can the exercises of the university and of our lyceums give to pupils the advantages they ought to expect in linguistic study? No, a hundred times no! There is little in these exercises that addresses the judgment, or that will be useful in the course of life. The pupils never read authors, they translate them before they comprehend them; or else translate them in fragments—two infallible means of never knowing them.