A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
Though disfranchised we have few women in
the best sense, we have simply so many reflections, varieties,
and dilutions of the masculine gender. The strong, natural
characteristics of womanhood are repressed and ignored in
dependence, for so long as man feeds woman she will try to please
the giver and adapt herself to his condition. To keep a foothold
in society woman must be as near like man as possible, reflect
his ideas, opinions, virtues, motives, prejudices, and vices. She
must respect his statutes, though they strip her of every
inalienable right, and conflict with that higher law written by
the finger of God on her own soul. She must believe his theology,
though it pave the highways of hell with the skulls of new-born
infants, and make God a monster of vengeance and hypocrisy. She
must look at everything from its dollar and cent point of view,
or she is a mere romancer. She must accept things as they are and
make the best of them. To mourn over the miseries of others, the
poverty of the poor, their hardships in jails, prisons, asylums,
the horrors of war, cruelty, and brutality in every form, all
this would be mere sentimentalizing. To protest against the
intrigue, bribery, and corruption of public life, to desire that
her sons might follow some business that did not involve lying,
cheating, and a hard, grinding selfishness, would be arrant
nonsense. In this way man has been moulding woman to his ideas by
direct and positive influences, while she, if not a negation, has
used indirect means to control him, and in most cases developed
the very characteristics both in him and herself that needed
repression. And now man himself stands appalled at the results of
his own excesses, and mourns in bitterness that falsehood,
selfishness and violence are the law of life. The need of this
hour is not territory, gold mines, railroads, or specie payments,
but a new evangel of womanhood, to exalt purity, virtue,
morality, true religion, to lift man up into the higher realms of
thought and action.

We ask woman's enfranchisement, as the first step toward the
recognition of that essential element in government that can only
secure the health, strength, and prosperity of the nation.
Whatever is done to lift woman to her true position will help to
usher in a new day of peace and perfection for the race. In
speaking of the masculine element, I do not wish to be understood
to say that all men are hard, selfish, and brutal, for many of
the most beautiful spirits the world has known have been clothed
with manhood; but I refer to those characteristics, though often
marked in woman, that distinguish what is called the stronger
sex. For example, the love of acquisition and conquest, the very
pioneers of civilization, when expended on the earth, the sea,
the elements, the riches and forces of Nature, are powers of
destruction when used to subjugate one man to another or to
sacrifice nations to ambition. Here that great conservator of
woman's love, if permitted to assert itself, as it naturally
would in freedom against oppression, violence, and war, would
hold all these destructive forces in check, for woman knows the
cost of life better than man does, and not with her consent would
one drop of blood ever be shed, one life sacrificed in vain. With
violence and disturbance in the natural world, we see a constant
effort to maintain an equilibrium of forces. Nature, like a
loving mother, is ever trying to keep land and sea, mountain and
valley, each in its place, to hush the angry winds and waves,
balance the extremes of heat and cold, of rain and drought, that
peace, harmony, and beauty may reign supreme. There is a striking
analogy between matter and mind, and the present disorganization
of society warns us, that in the dethronement of woman we have
let loose the elements of violence and ruin that she only has the
power to curb. If the civilization of the age calls for an
extension of the suffrage, surely a government of the most
virtuous, educated men and women would better represent the
whole, and protect the interests of all than could the
representation of either sex alone. But government gains no new
element of strength in admitting all men to the ballot-box, for
we have too much of the man-power there already. We see this in
every department of legislation, and it is a common remark, that
unless some new virtue is infused into our public life the nation
is doomed to destruction. Will the foreign element, the dregs of
China, Germany, England, Ireland, and Africa supply this needed
force, or the nobler types of American womanhood who have taught
our presidents, senators, and congressmen the rudiments of all
they know?

3. I urge a Sixteenth Amendment because, when "manhood suffrage"
is established from Maine to California, woman has reached the
lowest depths of political degradation. So long as there is a
disfranchised class in this country, and that class its women, a
man's government is worse than a white man's government with
suffrage limited by property and educational qualifications,
because in proportion as you multiply the rulers, the condition
of the politically ostracised is more hopeless and degraded. John
Stuart Mill, in his work on "Liberty," shows that the condition
of one disfranchised man in a nation is worse than when the whole
nation is under one man, because in the latter case, if the one
man is despotic, the nation can easily throw him off, but what
can one man do with a nation of tyrants over him? If American
women find it hard to bear the oppressions of their own Saxon
fathers, the best orders of manhood, what may they not be called
to endure when all the lower orders of foreigners now crowding
our shores legislate for them and their daughters. Think of
Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung, who do not know the
difference between a monarchy and a republic, who can not read
the Declaration of Independence or Webster's spelling-book,
making laws for Lucretia Mott, Ernestine L. Rose, and Anna E.
Dickinson. Think of jurors and jailors drawn from these ranks to
watch and try young girls for the crime of infanticide, to decide
the moral code by which the mothers of this Republic shall be
governed? This manhood suffrage is an appalling question, and it
would be well for thinking women, who seem to consider it so
magnanimous to hold their own claims in abeyance until all men
are crowned with citizenship, to remember that the most ignorant
men are ever the most hostile to the equality of women, as they
have known them only in slavery and degradation.

Go to our courts of justice, our jails and prisons; go into the
world of work; into the trades and professions; into the temples
of science and learning, and see what is meted out everywhere to
women--to those who have no advocates in our courts, no
representatives in the councils of the nation. Shall we prolong
and perpetuate such injustice, and by increasing this power risk
worse oppressions for ourselves and daughters? It is an open,
deliberate insult to American womanhood to be cast down under the
iron-heeled peasantry of the Old World and the slaves of the New,
as we shall be in the practical working of the Fifteenth
Amendment, and the only atonement the Republican party can make
is now to complete its work, by enfranchising the women of the
nation. I have not forgotten their action four years ago, when
Article XIV., Sec. 2, was amended[113] by invidiously introducing
the word "male" into the Federal Constitution, where it had never
been before, thus counting out of the basis of representation all
men not permitted to vote, thereby making it the interest of
every State to enfranchise its male citizens, and virtually
declaring it no crime to disfranchise its women. As political
sagacity moved our rulers thus to guard the interests of the
negro for party purposes, common justice might have compelled
them to show like respect for their own mothers, by counting
woman too out of the basis of representation, that she might no
longer swell the numbers to legislate adversely to her interests.
And this desecration of the last will and testament of the
fathers, this retrogressive legislation for woman, was in the
face of the earnest protests of thousands of the best educated,
most refined and cultivated women of the North.

Now, when the attention of the whole world is turned to this
question of suffrage, and women themselves are throwing off the
lethargy of ages, and in England, France, Germany, Switzerland,
and Russia are holding their conventions, and their rulers are
everywhere giving them a respectful hearing, shall American
statesmen, claiming to be liberal, so amend their constitutions
as to make their wives and mothers the political inferiors of
unlettered and unwashed ditch-diggers, boot-blacks, butchers, and
barbers, fresh from the slave plantations of the South, and the
effete civilizations of the Old World? While poets and
philosophers, statesmen and men of science are all alike pointing
to woman as the new hope for the redemption of the race, shall
the freest Government on the earth be the first to establish an
aristocracy based on sex alone? to exalt ignorance above
education, vice above virtue, brutality and barbarism above
refinement and religion? Not since God first called light out of
darkness and order out of chaos, was there ever made so base a
proposition as "manhood suffrage" in this American Republic,
after all the discussions we have had on human rights in the
last century.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | 143 | | 144 | | 145 | | 146 | | 147 | | 148 | | 149 | | 150 | | 151 | | 152 | | 153 | | 154 | | 155 | | 156 | | 157 | | 158 | | 159 | | 160 | | 161 | | 162 | | 163 | | 164 | | 165 | | 166 | | 167 | | 168 | | 169 | | 170 | | 171 | | 172 | | 173 | | 174 | | 175 | | 176 | | 177 | | 178 | | 179 | | 180 | | 181 | | 182 | | 183 | | 184 | | 185 | | 186 | | 187 | | 188 | | 189 | | 190 | | 191 | | 192 | | 193 | | 194 | | 195 | | 196 | | 197 | | 198 | | 199 | | 200 | | 201 | | 202 | | 203 | | 204 | | 205 | | 206 | | 207 | | 208 | | 209 | | 210 | | 211 | | 212 | | 213 | | 214 | | 215 | | 216 | | 217 | | 218 | | 219 | | 220 | | 221 | | 222 | | 223 | | 224 | | 225 | | 226 | | 227 | | 228 | | 229 | | 230 | | 231 | | 232 | | 233 | | 234 | | 235 | | 236 | | 237 | | 238 | | 239 | | 240 | | 241 | | 242 | | 243 | | 244 | | 245 | | 246 | | 247 | | 248 | | 249 | | 250 | | 251 | | 252 | | 253 | | 254 | | 255 | | 256 | | 257 | | 258 | | 259 | | 260 | | 261 | | 262 | | 263 | | 264 | | 265 | | 266 | | 267 | | 268 | | 269 | | 270 | | 271 | | 272 | | 273 | | 274 | | 275 | | 276 | | 277 | | 278 | | 279 | | 280 | | 281 | | 282 | | 283 | | 284 | | 285 | | 286 | | 287 | | 288 | | 289 | | 290 | | 291 | | 292 | | 293 | | 294 | | 295 | | 296 | | 297 | | 298 | | 299 | | 300 | | 301 | | 302 | | 303 | | 304 | | 305 | | 306 | | 307 | | 308 | | 309 | | 310 | | 311 | | 312 | | 313 | | 314 | | 315 | | 316 | | 317 | | 318 | | 319 | | 320 | | 321 | | 322 | | 323 | | 324 | | 325 | | 326 | | 327 | | 328 | | 329 | | 330 | | 331 | | 332 | | 333 | | 334 | | 335 | | 336 | | 337 | | 338 | | 339 | | 340 | | 341 | | 342 | | 343 | | 344 | | 345 | | 346 | | 347 | | 348 | | 349 | | 350 | | 351 | | 352 | | 353 | | 354 | | 355 | | 356 | | 357 | | 358 | | 359 | | 360 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.