As a thinking and intelligent being, man must constantly, and conscious of his purpose, change, improve and perfect his social conditions, together with all that thereby hangs; and he must so proceed in this that equally favorable opportunities be open to all. Every individual must be placed in a position to be able to develop his abilities and faculties to his own as well as to the advantage of the collectivity; but his may not be the power to injure either others or the collectivity. His own and the advantage of others must be mutual. Harmony of interests must be brought about; it must substitute the existing conflict of interests to the end that not even the thought may be conceived of ruling and injuring others.
Darwinism, as all genuine science, is eminently democratic. If any of its advocates holds a contrary view, he only proves himself unable to grasp its range. Its opponents, particularly the reverend clergy, who ever display a fine nose, the moment earthly benefits or injuries are imminent, have understood this well, and, consequently denounce Darwinism as Socialistic and Anarchistic. Also Prof. Virchow agrees with his sworn enemies in this. In 1877, at the convention of naturalists in Munich, he played the following trump declaration against Prof. Haeckel: "The Darwinian theory leads to Socialism." Virchow sought to discredit Darwinism and to denounce it because Haeckel demanded the adoption of the theory of evolution in the schools. To teach natural science in our schools in the sense of Darwin and of recent investigations, that is an idea against which are up in arms all those who wish to cling to the present order of things. The revolutionary effect of these theories is known, hence the demand that they be taught only in the circles of the select. We, however, are of the opinion that if, as Virchow claims, the Darwinian theories lead to Socialism, the circumstance is not an argument against Darwin's theories, but in favor of Socialism. Never may a scientist inquire whether the conclusions from his science lead to this or that political system, to this or that social system, nor seek to justify the same. His is the duty to inquire whether the theory is right. If it is that, then it must be accepted along with all its consequences. He who acts otherwise, be it out of personal interest, be it out of a desire to curry favor from above, or be it out of class and party interests, is guilty of a contemptible act, and is no honor to science. Science as a guild so very much at home in our Universities, can only in rare instances lay claim to independence and character. The fear of losing their stipends, of forfeiting the favor of the ruler, of having to renounce titles, decorations and promotions cause most of the representatives of science to duck, to conceal their own convictions, or even to utter in public the reverse of what they believe and know. If, on the occasion of the festival of declaration of allegiance at the Berlin University, in 1870, a Dubois-Reymond exclaimed: "The Universities are the training places for the life-guards of the Hohenzollern," one may judge how the majority of the others, who stand both in knowledge and importance far below Dubois-Reymond, think regarding the purpose of science. Science is degraded to a maid-servant of the ruling powers.
We can understand how Prof. Haeckel and his disciples, such as Prof. O. Schmidt, v. Hellwald and others, defend themselves energetically against the charge that Darwinism plays into the hands of Socialism; and that they, in turn, maintain the contrary to be true: that Darwinism is aristocratic in that it teaches that everywhere in Nature the more highly developed and stronger organism dominates the lower. Seeing that, according to these gentlemen, the property and cultured classes represent these more highly developed and stronger organisms in society, they look upon the domination of these as a matter of course, being justified by nature.
This wing among our Darwinians has not the faintest notion of the economic laws that sway capitalist society, whose blind will raises, without selecting either the best, or the ablest, or the most thorough, often the most scampish and corrupt; places him on top; and thus puts him in a position to make the conditions of life and development most favorable for his descendants, without these having as much as to turn their hands. Striking an average, under no economic system is the prospect poorer than under capitalism for individuals animated with good and noble qualities, to rise and remain above; and it may be added without exaggeration that the prospect grows darker in the measure that this economic system approaches its apogee. Recklessness and unscrupulousness in the choice and application of the means, are weapons infinitely more effective and promiseful of success than all human virtues put together. To consider a social system, built upon such a basis, a system of the "fittest and best" is a feat that only he can be capable of whose knowledge of the essence and nature of such a society equals zero; or who, swayed by dyed-in-the-wool bourgeois prejudices, has lost all power to think on the subject and to draw his conclusions. The struggle for existence is found with all organisms. Without a knowledge of the circumstances that force them thereto, the struggle is carried on unconsciously. Such a struggle for existence is found among men also, within all social systems in which the sense of solidarity has vanished, or has not yet come to the surface. This struggle changes according to the forms that the social relations of man to man assume in the course of social evolution. In the course of this evolution it takes on the form of a class struggle that is carried on upon an ever higher plane. But these struggles lead—and in this human beings differ from all other creatures—to an ever clearer understanding of the situation, and finally to the recognition of the laws that govern and control their evolution. Man has in the end but to apply this knowledge to his social and political development, and to adapt the latter accordingly. The difference between man and the brute is that man may be called a thinking animal, the brute, however, is no thinking man. It is this that a large portion of our Darwinians can not, in their one-sidedness, understand. Hence the vicious circle in which they move.
A work from the pen of Prof. Enrico Ferri proves, especially as against Haeckel, that Darwinism and Socialism are in perfect harmony, and that it is a fundamental error on the part of Haeckel to characterize, as he has done down to latest date, Darwinism as aristocratic. We are not at all points agreed with Ferri's work, and especially do we not share his views with regard to the qualities of woman, a matter in which he is substantially at one with Lombroso and Ferrero. Ellis has shown in his "Man and Woman" that while the qualities of man and woman are very different, still they are of equal value,—a confirmation of the Kantian sentence that man and woman only together constitute the human being. This notwithstanding, the work of Ferri comes quite apropos.
Professor Haeckel and his followers, of course, also combat the claim that Darwinism leads to atheism, and we find them, after themselves having removed the Creator by all their scientific arguments and proofs, making hysterical efforts to smuggle him in again by the back door. To this particular end, they construct their own style of "Religion," which is then called "higher morality," "moral principles," etc. In 1882, at the convention of naturalists at Eisenach, and in the presence of the family of the Grand Duke of Weimar, Prof. Haeckel made the attempt not only to "save religion," but also to represent his master Darwin as "religious." The effort suffered shipwreck, as all will admit who read the essay and the letter of Darwin therein quoted. Darwin's letter expressed the reverse of that which Prof. Haeckel sought to make out, although in cautious words. Darwin was constrained to consider the "religious sentiments" of his countrymen, the English, hence he never dared to express his opinion openly upon religion. Privately, however, he did so to Dr. L. Buechner, as became known shortly after the Weimar convention, whom he frankly informed that since his fortieth year—that is to say, since 1849—he believed nothing, not having been able to find any proof for his belief. During the last years of his life Darwin supported an atheist paper published in New York.
Woman is to take up the competitive struggle with man on the intellectual field also. She does not propose to wait till it please man to develop her brain functions and to clear the way for her. The movement is well under way. Already has woman brushed aside many an obstacle, and stepped upon the intellectual arena,—and quite successfully in more countries than one. The movement, ever more noticeable, among women for admission to the Universities and High Schools, as well as for admission to the functions that correspond to these studies, is, in the very nature of existing conditions, confined to the women of the bourgeois circles. The circles of the working-women are not directly interested therein: to them, these studies, together with the posts attainable through them, are shut off. Nevertheless, the movement and its success are of general interest, partly, because the matter concerns a question of principle, affecting the position in general of woman towards man, partly also because it will show what woman is capable of achieving, even now, under conditions highly unfavorable to her development. Finally, the female sex has a special interest herein, in cases of sickness, for instance, when they may confide their ailments more freely to a physician of their own than to one of the opposite sex. To a large number of women, female practitioners, are a positive benefit. The necessity of having to resort to male doctors in cases of illness, generally connected with physical disturbances that flow from their sex peculiarities, frequently deters women from seeking timely aid, or any aid at all. Hence arise a number of troubles, not infrequently serious ones, not to the wives alone, but to their husbands as well. There is hardly a physician who has no cause to complain of this frequently criminal diffidence on the part of women, and their objection to state their complaint freely. All this is easy to understand; irrational, however, is the posture of the men, and of several physicians among them, who will not admit the justice and necessity of the study of medicine, in particular, by women.
Female doctors are no new sight. Among most of the ancient peoples, the old Germans in particular, it was upon woman that the healing cares devolved. There were female physicians and operators of great repute during the ninth and tenth centuries in the Arabian Kingdom, particularly among the Arabians (Moors) in Spain, where they studied at the University of Cordova. The pursuit by women of scientific studies at several Italian Universities—Bologna and Palermo, for instance,—was likewise due to Moorish influence. Later, when the "heathen" influence vanished from Italy, the practice was forbidden. In 1377 the faculty of the University of Bologna decreed:
"And whereas woman is the fountain of sin, the weapon of the devil, the cause of man's banishment from Paradise and the ruin of the old laws; and whereas for these reasons all intercourse with her is to be diligently avoided; therefore do we interdict and expressly forbid that any one presume to introduce in the said college any woman whatsoever, however honorable she be. And if, this notwithstanding, any one should perpetrate such an act, he shall be severely punished by the Rector."
Indeed, down to this day, Christian clergymen, of both Protestant and Catholic confession, are among the most zealous enemies of the pursuit of scientific studies by woman. The fact was shown in the debates of the German Reichstag on the admission of women to the study of medicine; it is furthermore shown by the reports of the Evangelical convention, held in the spring of 1894 in Frankfurt-on-the-Main, where clerical mouth-pieces protested sharply against allowing women equal rights in the discussions of the convention.
The admission of women to the pursuit of University professions has, above all, the result of exercising a beneficent influence upon the industry of the male youth. As admitted from different quarters, the ambition of the male students leaves much to be wished for. That alone were a great gain. Their morals also would be greatly improved: the inclination to drunkenness and brawling, as well as habitual dissipations in taverns, so common among our students, would receive a severe blow: the institutions whence mainly proceed our political pilots, judges, district attorneys, higher police officers, clergymen and members of legislatures would acquire a tone better in keeping with the purpose for which these institutions are established and supported. According to the unanimous opinion of impartial people, qualified to judge, an improvement in this tone is a crying need of the hour.
The number of the countries that admit women to the Universities and High Schools has been greatly on the increase during the last twenty years; nor can any country, that lays claim to being a member of civilization, shut its ears in the long run to the demand. Ahead of all went the United States; Russia followed—two political systems that present in all respects the strongest contrasts; that notwithstanding, both were guided by the identical views with regard to the equal rights of woman. In the North American Union, women are to-day admitted in all the States to University studies,—in Utah since 1850, Iowa since 1860, Kansas since 1866, Wisconsin since 1868, Minnesota since 1869, California and Missouri since 1870, Ohio, Illinois and Nebraska since 1871; since then all the other States followed in rapid succession. In keeping with the extension of female studies, woman conquered her place in the United States. According to the census of 1890, there were in the country 2,348 female physicians and surgeons, 2,136 female architects, 580 female journalists, 300 female writers, 165 female ministers, 110 female lawyers.
In Europe, Switzerland, principally, opened its Universities to women. There the number of female students grew, since 1887, as follows:—
Total Female Year. Students. Students. 1887 2,229 167 1888 2,339 206 1889 2,412 196 1890 2,552 248 1891 2,889 297 1892 3,076 318 1893 3,307 451 1893-94 (Winter course) 3,609 599
Accordingly, the participation of women in University studies increased considerably in the interval between 1887-1894. In 1887 the number of female students was 7.5 per cent. of the total number of students; in 1893-1894, however, it had risen to 16.6 per cent. In 1887, there were, among 744 medical students, 79 women, or 10.6 per cent.; in the winter course of 1893-1894, there were, of 1,073 medical students, 210 women, or 19.6 per cent. In the department of philosophy, in 1887, there were, of 530 students, 41 women, or 7.8 per cent.; in 1893-1894, there were, of 1,640 students, 381 women, or 23.2 per cent. The large majority of the female students in Switzerland are foreigners, among them many Germans, whose number increases almost yearly. The example of Switzerland was followed in the early seventies by Sweden; in 1874 by England, in so far as medical colleges for women have been established. Nevertheless, it was not until 1881 that Oxford, and 1884 that Cambridge decided to admit female students. Italy followed in 1876, then Norway, Belgium, France and Austria. In Paris, during 1891, there were 232 female students, mostly of medicine. Of these female students, 103 were Russian, 18 French, 6 English, 3 Roumanian, 2 Turk, and 1 each from America, Greece and Servia. In the department of philosophy there were 82 French female students and 15 foreigners matriculated.
As it will have been noticed, even Turkey is represented among the female students. There, more than anywhere else, are female physicians needed, due to the position that custom and religion assign to woman as against man. The same reason caused Austria also to open Universities to female students, in order that the Mohammedan women of Bosnia and Herzegovina might enjoy medical attendance. Even Germany, whose "pig-tail" was thickest, i. e., where the disfavor towards admitting women to the Universities was most bitter, has been compelled to fall in line with progress. In the spring of 1894, the first female student passed her examination in Heidelberg for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and a second one in the fall of the same year in Goettingen. In Karlsruhe and Berlin, High Schools were established to prepare women for the Universities; finally in the summer of 1894, the Prussian Minister of Public Worship issued regulations for the remodelling of the higher instruction of girls, looking for their preparation for the study of medicine. Also India has furnished a small contingent of female students. Obviously, there is progress everywhere.
All medical authorities are agreed that women render the best service as nurses of the sick, aye, that they positively can not be got along without. In an address, delivered by Prof. Ziemssen a few years ago, he said:
"Above all, see to it, gentlemen, in your practice that you have thorough, well trained, kind-hearted, characterful female nurses. Without them, all your sacrifices of time and effort are idle."
In the September, 1892, issue of the "German Review", Prof. Virchow thus expressed himself in favor of female nurses:
"That the post of real responsibility at the sick-bed shall fall to woman is, in my opinion, a principle that should be enforced in all our hospitals. In the hands of a cultivated, womanly, trained person the care of even a sick man is safer than in those of a man."
If woman is fit for the extraordinarily difficult service of nurse, a service that places a heavy strain upon patience and self-sacrifice, why should she not be also fit for a physician?
Above all, the idea must be resisted that women shall be educated for physicians by separate courses of study, i. e., separated from the male students,—a plan that Frau Mathilde Weber of Tuebingen has declared herself satisfied with. If the purpose be to degrade the female physicians, from the start, to the level of physicians of second or third rank, and to lower them in the eyes of their male colleagues, then, indeed, that is the best method. If it is no violation of "ethics" and "morality" that female nurses assist in the presence of male physicians at the performance of all possible operations upon male and female subjects, and on such occasions render most useful service; if it is "ethically" and "morally" permissible that dozens of young men, as students and for the sake of their studies, stand as observers at the bed of a woman in travail, or assist at the performance of operations on female patients, then it is absurd and laughable to deny such rights to female students.
Such prudery in natural things is the rage, particularly in Germany, this big children's play-room. The English, discredited by reason of the same qualities, may, nevertheless, be our teachers in the treatment of natural things.
In this direction, it is the United States, in particular, that furnish the example most worthy of imitation. There, and to the utter horror of our learned and unlearned old fogies of both sexes, High Schools have existed for decades, at which both sexes are educated in common. Let us hear with what result. President White of the University of Michigan declared as early as the middle of the seventies: "The best pupil in Greek, for several years, among 1,300 students, has been a young lady; the best pupil in mathematics in one of the strongest classes of our Institute is, likewise, a young lady; and several among the best pupils in natural science and the sciences in general are likewise young ladies." Dr. Fairchild, President of Oberlin College in Ohio, where over a thousand students of both sexes are instructed in common, said at about the same time: "During my incumbency of eight years as professor of ancient languages—Latin, Greek, and Hebrew—also in the ethical and philosophic studies, and during my incumbency of eleven years in abstract and applied mathematics, I have never noticed any difference in the two sexes except in the manner of reciting." Edward H. Machill, President of Swarthmore College in Delaware County, Pa., and author of a pamphlet, from which these facts are taken, says that, after an experience of four years, he had arrived at the conclusion that, with an eye to both manners and morals, the education of the two sexes in common had given the best results. Many a pig-tail has yet to be cut off in Germany before common sense shall have broken its way through here.
More recently, lively controversies have arisen in the literature of almost all countries of civilization on the question whether woman could achieve intellectually as much as man. While some, by dint of great acumen and with the aid of facts supposed to be proofs, deny that such is possible, others maintain that, on many fields, it undoubtedly is the case. It is claimed that, generally speaking, woman is endowed with qualities that man is deficient in, and vice versa: the male method of reasoning is reflective and vigorous, woman's, on the contrary, distinguishes itself by swiftness of perception and quickness of execution. Certain it is that woman finds her way more quickly in complicated situations, and has more tact than man. Ellis, who gathered vast materials upon this question, turned to a series of persons, who had male and female students under their guidance for many years, and questioned them on their opinion and experience. McBendrick of Glasgow answered him: "After having taught female students for twenty years, I would sum up my observations with the statement that many women accomplish as much as men in general, and that many men do not accomplish as much as the female average." Other opinions in Ellis' book are less favorable, but none is unfavorable. According to the Yearbook of Berlin for 1870, pp. 69-77, investigation showed girls to be stronger in the sense of space, boys at figures; the girls excelled in the telling of stories, the boys in the explaining of religious principles. Whatever the way these questions may be turned and twisted, the fact appears that the two sexes supplement each other; the one is superior on one, the other on some other field, while on a number of others there is no difference in point of sex, but only in point of individual.
It follows, furthermore, that there is no reason for confining one sex to a certain field, and prescribing to it the course of development that it shall pursue, nor that, based on differences in natural bent, in advantages and in defects, which mutually equalize themselves, privileges may be deducted for one sex, hindrances for another. Consequently—equality for all, and a free field for each, with a full swing according to their capacity and ability.
Based upon the experience made during the last decades in the higher studies of woman, there is no longer any valid reason against the same. The teacher can do much, by the manner in which he teaches, to affect the attitude of his male and female pupils. Women, who devote themselves to a science, are often animated with an earnestness and will-power in which they excel most other students. The zeal of the female students is, on an average, greater than that of the male.
In reality, it is wholly different reasons that cause most professors of medicine, University teachers, in general, to take a hostile stand towards female students. They see in it a "degradation" of science, which might lose in the esteem of the narrow-minded masses, if the fact were to transpire that female brains also could grasp a science, which, until then, was confined to the select of the male sex only.
All claims to the contrary notwithstanding, our Universities, along with our whole system of education, are in poor plight. As, at the public school, the child is robbed of valuable time by filling his brain with matters that accord neither with common sense nor scientific experience; as a mass of ballast is there dumped into him that he can not utilize in life, that, rather, hampers him in his progress and development; so likewise is it done in our higher schools. In the preparatory schools for the Universities a mass of dry, useless matter is pounded into the pupils. These matters, that the pupils are made to memorize, take up most of their time and engage their most precious brain-power; whereupon, at the University, the identical process is carried on further. They are there taught a mass of antiquated, stale, superfluous lore, along with comparatively little that is valuable. The lectures, once written, are reeled off by most of the professors year after year, course after course, the interlarded witticisms included. The high ministry of education becomes with many, an ordinary trade; nor need the students be endowed with great sagacity to find this out. Furthermore, tradition regarding University life sees to it that the young folks do not take their years of study too seriously, and many a youth, who would take them seriously, is repelled by the pedantic and unenjoyable style of the professors. The decline in the zeal to learn and to study is a fact generally noticed at all our Universities and higher schools, and is even cause for serious concern with those in authority. Intimately connected therewith is the "grafting" tendency, which, in these days of ours, so poor in character, makes great progress and grows ever ranker in the higher schools. To have "safe views" takes the place of knowledge, and the poison spreads. To be a "patriot," that is to say, a person without a mind of his own, who carefully takes his cue from above, sees how the wind blows there, and trims his sails accordingly, bends and crawls,—such a person is more considered than one of character and knowledge. When the time for examination approaches, the "grafter" crams for a few months what seems most indispensible, in order to squeeze through. When, finally, examination has been happily passed and an office or professional post is secured, most of these "ex-students" work along in a merely mechanical and journeyman style, and are then highly offended if one, who was not a "student," fails to greet them with the greatest respect, and to treat them as specimens of some other and higher race. The majority of the members of our so-called higher professions—district attorneys, judges, doctors, professors, Government officials, artists, etc.,—are mere journeymen at their trades, who feel no need of further culture, but are happy to stand by the crib. Only the industrious man discovers later, but only then, how much trash he has learned, often was not taught the very thing that he needed most, and has to begin to learn in good earnest. During the best time of his life he has been pestered with useless or even harmful stuff. He needs a second part of his life to rub all this off, and to work himself up to the height of his age. Only then can he become a useful member of society. Many do not arrive beyond the first stage; others are stranded in the second; only a few have the energy to reach the third.
But "decorum" requires that the mediaeval trumpery and useless curriculum be retained; and, seeing, moreover, that women, as a consequence of their sex, are from the start excluded from the preparatory schools, the circumstance furnishes a convenient pretext to shut the doors of the University lecture rooms in their faces. In Leipsic, during the seventies, one of the most celebrated professors of medicine made the undisguised confession to a lady: "The gymnasium (college) training is not necessary to the understanding of medicine. This is true. Nevertheless, it must be made a condition precedent for admission, in order that the dignity of science may not suffer."
Gradually is the opposition to the necessity of a "classical" education for the study of medicine being felt in Germany also. The immense progress made in the natural sciences, together with their importance to life, require an early initiation. Collegiate education, with its preference for the classic languages, Greek and Latin, looks upon the natural sciences as subordinate and neglects them. Hence, the students are frequently devoid of the necessary and preparatory knowledge in natural science that are of decided importance in certain studies, medicine, for instance. Against such a one-sided system of education opposition begins to spring up even in the circles of teachers, as proven by a declaration published in the autumn of 1894 by about 400 teachers of the German High Schools. Abroad, in Switzerland, for instance, the leading place has long since been given to the studies in natural science, and any one, even without a so-called classic education, is admissible to the study of medicine, provided otherwise sufficiently equipped in natural science and mathematics. Similarly in Russia and the United States.
In one of his writings, the late Pro. Bischoff gave "the rudeness of the students" as the reason why he did not recommend the study of medicine to women. He certainly was a good judge of that. In another place, and also quite characteristically, he says: "Why should not one (as professor) now and then allow some interesting, intelligent and handsome woman to attend a lecture upon some simple subject?"—an opinion that v. Sybel evidently shares and even expresses: "Some men there are who have rarely been able to refuse their assistance and help to a female pupil, greedy of knowledge and not uncomely."
Pity the words spent in the refutal of such "reasons" and views! The time will come, when people will trouble themselves about the rudeness of the "cultured" as little as about the old fogyism and sensuous lusts of the learned, but will do what common sense and justice bid.
In Russia, after much pressure, the Czar gave his consent in 1872 to the establishment of a female faculty in medicine. The medical courses were attended in the period of 1872-1882 by 959 female students. Up to 1882 there were 281 women who had filled the medical course; up to the beginning of 1884, there were 350; about 100 came from St. Petersburg. Of the female students who visited the faculty up to 1882, there were 71 (9.0 per cent.) married and 13 (1.6 per cent.) widows; of the rest, 116 (15.9 per cent.) married during their studies. Most of the female students, 214, came from the ranks of the nobility and government officials; 138 from the merchant and privileged bourgeois class; 107 from the military, 59 from the clergy, and 54 from the lower classes of the population. Of the 281 female physicians, who, up to 1882, had finished their studies, 62 were engaged by several Zemstvos; 54 found occupation in clinics; 12 worked as assistants at medical courses; and 46 took up private practice. It is noteworthy that, of these female students, more than 52 per cent. had learned neither Latin nor Greek, and yet they did as good work as the men. This notwithstanding, female study was far from being a favorite among the Russian Government circles, until the great services rendered by the female physicians on the theater of war in Turkey during the Russo-Turkish campaign of 1877-1878, broke the ice. At the beginning of the eighties, female studies took great increment in Russia: thousands of female pupils devoted themselves to several branches. Due thereto, and due especially to the fact that thereby free ideas were breaking through, threatening to endanger despotism, the female courses were suppressed by an imperial ukase of May 1, 1885, after the lives of the female students had for some time been made as hard as possible. Since then, resolutions have been adopted at several Russian conventions of physicians to petition for the re-opening of the medical courses for women,—more than a German convention of physicians would do. As yet the attempt in Russia has remained unsuccessful.
In Finland, a country that, although belonging to Russia, occupies an exceptionally privileged position in the Russian system, 105 female students were at the University of Helsingfors during the winter course of 1894-1895, as against 73 in the summer course of 1894. Of these 105 female students, 47 were entered in the faculty of philosophy of history and 45 in that of mathematics; 5 studied medicine, a strikingly small figure compared with elsewhere; 7 law; and 1 theology.
Among the women who distinguished themselves in their studies, belong the late Mrs. v. Kowalewska, who received in 1887 from the Academy of Sciences in Paris the first prize for the solution of a mathematical problem, and since 1884 occupied a professorship of mathematics at the University of Stockholm. In Pisa, Italy, a lady occupies a professorship in pathology. Female physicians are found active in Algiers, Persia and India. In the United States there are about 100 female professors, and more than 70 who are superintendents of female hospitals. In Germany also the ice has been broken to the extent that in several cities—Berlin, Dresden, Leipsic, Frankfurt-on-the-Main, etc.,—female physicians, especially dentists, are in successful practice.
With regard to energy and capacity in the scientific studies, England, in particular, can cite a series of handsome results. At the examinations in 1893, six women and six men held the highest marks. The examinations on art and on the theory and history of pedagogy were passed by nine women and not one man. At Cambridge, ten women sustained the severest test in mathematics. According to the sixteenth report of examinations of female students in Oxford, it appears that 62 women sustained the test of the first class, and 82 that of the second class; moreover the honorary examinations were sustained by more than one-half of the female candidates. Surely extraordinarily favorable results.
Hostility to competition with women is particularly pronounced in Germany, because here the military turns out every year such a large number of mustered-out officers and under-officers as aspirants for the Civil Service, where there is little room for applicants from other sources. If, however, women are employed, and then at lower salaries, they appear to the already jealous men in a light that is doubly bad,—first, as cheap labor; then as lowerers of wages. An extensive field of activity have women gained as teachers, a field for which, on the whole, they are well fitted. This is particularly the case in the United States, where, in 1890, of 363,000 teachers, 238,000 were female. In Berlin there were on January 1, 1892, along with 194 Rectors and 2,022 teachers, 1,024 pedagogically educated and 642 technical female teachers, inclusive of their helpers. In England, France and the United States there are, furthermore, since several years, women successfully engaged in the important service of Factory Inspectors, a move that, in view of the enormous proportions that female labor is assuming ever more in the trades and industries, is well justified and becomes everywhere a necessity.
At the Chicago Exposition of 1893 women, furthermore, distinguished themselves in that, not only did female architects draw the plan and superintend the execution of the magnificent building for the exhibition of female products, but that women also appeared as independent operators in a number of products of art, which provoked general applause, and even astonishment. Also on the field of invention have women distinguished themselves, a subject on which, as early as 1884, a publication in the United States imparted information to the world by producing a list of female inventors. According to the list, the following inventions were made or improved by women: an improved spinning machine; a rotary loom, that produces three times as much as the ordinary loom; a chain elevator; a winch for screw steamers; a fire-escape; an apparatus for weighing wool, one of the most sensitive machines ever invented and of priceless value in the woolen industry; a portable water-reservoir to extinguish fires; a device for the application of petroleum in lieu of wood and coal as fuel on steamers; an improved catcher of sparks and cinders on locomotives; a signal for railroad crossings; a system for heating cars without fire; a lubricating felt to reduce friction on railroad cars; a writing machine; a signal rocket for the navy; a deep-sea telescope; a system for deadening noise on railroads; a smoke-consumer; a machine to fold paper bags, etc. Many improvements in the sewing machines are due to women, as for instance: an aid for the stretching of sails and heavy stuffs; an apparatus to wind up the thread while the machine is in motion; an improvement for the sewing of leather, etc. The last of these inventions was made by a woman who for years kept a saddle and harness shop in New York. The deep-sea telescope, invented by Mrs. Mather, and improved by her daughter, is an innovation of great importance: it makes possible the inspection of the keel of the largest ship, without bringing the same on the dry-dock. With the aid of this glass, sunken wrecks can be inspected from the deck of a ship, and search can be made for obstructions to navigation, torpedoes, etc. Along with these practical advantages, its application in science is full of promise.
Among the machines, the extraordinary complexity and ingenuity of whose construction excited great admiration in America and Europe, is one for making paper bags. Many men, leading mechanics among them, had until then vainly sought to construct such a machine. A woman, Miss Maggie Knight, invented it. Since then, the lady invented also a machine to fold paper bags, that does the work of 30 persons. She herself superintends the construction of the machine in Amherst, Mass. That German women have made similar inventions is not yet known.
The movement among women has spread even to Japan. In the autumn of 1892, the Japanese Parliament decided that it was forbidden to women to figure as publishers or editors of newspapers, also of such papers as are devoted to fashions, cooking, education of children, etc. In Japan, even the unheard-of sight has been seen of a woman becoming the publisher of a Socialist paper. That was a little too much for the Japanese legislators, and they issued the above stated decree. It is, however, not forbidden to women to act as reporters for newspapers. The Japanese Government will succeed as little in denying their rights to women as its European rivals of equal mental make-up.
 On this subject, the law for protection of working-women, adopted by the people of the canton of Zurich in August, 1894, with 49,909 votes against 12,531, contains an excellent provision. The law makes it a penal offence for working-women to take from the shop, where they are employed during the day, work to be done at home. This law goes further than any other known to us for the protection of working-women. It also prescribes an extra pay of 25 per cent. for the extra hours fixed by law: the most effective means to check the evil of overwork.
 The census of 1890 gives 3,914,571 women of at least 10 years of age engaged in gainful occupations in the United States; that is 17.6 per cent. of the total population engaged in gainful occupations, and 12.7 per cent. of the total female population of the country.
According to the census of 1900 there were 5,319,912 women of at least 10 years of age engaged in gainful occupations in the United States; that is 18.2 per cent. of the total population engaged in gainful occupations, and 14.3 per cent. of the total female population of the country.
Classified by kinds of occupation, the census of 1900 shows: 977,336 women engaged in agricultural pursuits; 430,576 in professional service; 2,095,449 in domestic and personal service; 503,347 in trade and transportation; 1,313,204 in manufacturing and mechanical pursuits.—THE TRANSLATOR.
 For the sake of verification, and especially with the view of avoiding any serious discrepancy that might arise from a translation back into English from a German translation of the original English, an attempt was made to secure a transcript of the original of the above interesting article. A serious difficulty was encountered. Besides the indefinite date, the abbreviated form, in which the German text gives the name of the Maine paper quoted from—"Levest. Journ."—and as reproduced in this translation, forced a recourse to guess work. The nearest that any Maine paper, given in the American Newspaper Directory, came to the abbreviation was the "Lewiston Evening Journal." The below correspondence tells its tale:
"Daily People, 2, 4 and 6 New Reade street, "New York, May 18th, 1903.
"Editor 'Lewiston Evening Journal,' Lewiston, Me.:
"Dear Sir—The within is a translation from the German of what purports to be a German translation of an article, or part of an article, that appeared in the 'Journal.' The only date given is 1893.
"I shall esteem it a favor if you will let me have an accurate transcript of the passage in the original. If the 'Journal' had such an article, the enclosed re-translation back into English may help to identify the article. Thanking you in advance,
Yours truly, "D. DeLeon, "Ed. 'The People.'"
"D. DeLeon, Esq., New York City:
"My Dear Sir—I regret that I can not find the article of which the enclosed is a transcript.
"I have no doubt of its correctness, for such is frequently the case in cities like these, where the woman is the six-loom weaver, and by her deftness is the better wage-earner.
"Very truly yours, "Arthur G. Staples, "Managing Ed. 'Lewiston Journal.'"
Though success was not complete, the letter of the managing editor of the "Lewiston Journal" is a corroboration of the substance of the passage quoted.—THE TRANSLATOR.
 "Die gewerbliche Thaetigkeit der Frauen."
 Statistisches Jahrbuch fuer das Koenigreich Sachsen auf das Jahr, 1894.
 Factory Inspector A. Redgrave delivered in the end of December, 1871 an address in Bradford, in the course of which he said: "I have been struck for some time past by the altered appearance of the wool factories. Formerly they were filled with women and children, now machinery seems to be doing all the work. On Inquiry a manufacturer gave me the following information; 'Under the old system I employed 63 persons; after the introduction of improved machinery I reduced my hands to 33, and, later, in consequence of new and extensive alterations, I was able to reduce them from 33 to 13.' Thus, within a few years, a reduction of labor, amounting to almost 80 per cent. took place, with an output at least as large as before." Many interesting items of information on this subject are found in Marx's "Capital."
 "Original Property," chap. 20.
 "Bau und Leben des sozialen Koerpers," Tuebingen, 1878.
 "Husband and Wife," Dr. Havelock Ellis.
 Possibly the opposite is the case. We repeat what we explained above more extensively, that it is a widely diffused fact that women and girls nourish themselves worse and are worse nourished than men and boys. There was a time when the fashion prevailed for woman to eat as little as possible; she was to have as "etherial" an appearance as possible; the conception of beauty in our upper class, even to-day, is to the effect that it is "vulgar" if a young girl or young woman have a blooming complexion, red cheeks and a vigorous frame. It is also known, that with numberless women, under otherwise equal social conditions with men, the food is greatly inferior. Out of ignorance and acquired prejudices, women expect incredible things of themselves, and the men encourage them therein. Such neglect and maltreatment of physical nutrition must have the very worst consequences, if carried on through many generations by the very sex that, by reason of the heavy monthly losses of blood and of the expenditure of energies, required by pregnancy, child-birth and nursing, has its physique heavily taxed.
 "Men of genius are, as a rule, of inferior size and massive brain. These are also the leading features of the child, and the general facial expression as well as the temperament of such men recall the child."—Dr. Havelock Ellis, "Husband and Wife."
 The corporal weights are taken from Taupinard's "Anthropologie."
 If, with the authority quoted by Delaunay, we assume 11 kilograms as the difference in weight between men and women, we would have found 35 to 70 grams.
 L. Manouvrier, "Revue Scientifique," No. 23, June 3, 1882.
 Quatrefages found the proportion to be slightly larger with woman than with men. Thurman found the reverse, just as L. Manouvrier.
 "Die neuere Schoepfungsgeschichte."
 Dr. Havelock Ellis furnishes a number of proofs of this fact in his frequently quoted book. According thereto, woman, among wild and half-wild people, is not only equal to man in physical strength and size of body, but she is partly superior. On the other side, Ellis agrees with others that, in consequence of our progress in civilization, the difference in the capacity of the skull of the two sexes has steadily become more marked.
 This is a discovery, first made by Karl Marx, and classically demonstrated by him in his works, especially in "Capital." The Communistic Manifesto, that appeared in 1848, and was composed by K. Marx and Frederick Engels, is grounded upon this fundamental principle, and must be considered, to this day, as the norm for all agitational work, and the most excellent of all.
 "The Hall of science is the Temple of democracy," Buckle, "History of Civilization in England."
 Ziegler, quoted above, denies that such is the meaning of Virchow's argument. His own quotation of Virchow's argument, however, confirms the interpretation. Virchow said: "Now, only picture to yourselves how the theory of the descent of man presents itself in the head of a Socialist! (Laughter.) Yes, gentlemen, that may seem funny to some; it is, however, a serious matter, and I hope that the theory of the descent of man may not bring upon us all the horrors that similar theories have actually brought upon our neighboring country. At any rate, this theory, if consistently carried out, has a side of extraordinary gravity; and that Socialism has shown its sympathy therewith, will, it is to be hoped, not have escaped you. We must be perfectly clear upon that." Now, then, we have simply done what Virchow feared: we have drawn the conclusions from the Darwinian theories, conclusions that Darwin himself and a large portion of his followers either did not draw at all, or drew falsely. And Virchow warned against the gravity of these theories, just because he foresaw that Socialism would and was bound to draw the conclusions that are involved in them.
 Dubois-Reymond repeated this sentence in February, 1883, to the attacks directed upon him, on the occasion of the anniversary celebration of Frederick the Great.
 "Socialism and Modern Science (Darwin-Spencer-Marx)."
 According to the census of 1900, the figures for these respective occupations were: 7,387 female physicians and surgeons, 1,041 female architects, designers and draftsmen, 2,193 female journalists, 5,984 female literary and scientific persons, 3,373 female ministers, 2,193 female lawyers.—THE TRANSLATOR.
 "Aerztinnen fuer Frauenkrankheiten, eine ethische und sanitaere Nothwendigkeit," Berlin, 1893.
 "An Address upon the Co-education of the Sexes."
 Neue Zelt, 1884, "Das Frauenstudium In Russland."
 The census of 1900 gives 327,614 female teachers and professors in colleges, out of a total force of 446,133, leaving, accordingly, only 118,519 men on this field.—THE TRANSLATOR.
WOMAN'S CIVIC AND POLITICAL STATUS.
The social dependence of a rank or a class ever finds its expression in the laws and political institutions of a country. Laws are the mirror in which is reflected a country's social condition, to the extent that the same has been brought within definite rules. Woman, as a subject and oppressed sex, constitutes no exception to the principle. Laws are negative or positive. Negative in so far as they ignore the oppressed in the distribution of privileges and rights, as though he did not exist; positive, in so far as they expressly assign his dependent position to the oppressed, and specify possible exceptions in his favor.
Our common law rests upon the Roman law, which, recognized persons only as property-holding beings. The old German law, which treated woman more worthily, has preserved its force only partially. In the French language, the human being and the man are designated by the same word, "l'homme"; likewise in the English language,—"man." French law knows the human being only as man; and so was it also until recently in England, where woman found herself in slavish dependence upon man. It was similarly in Rome. There were Roman citizens, and wives of Roman citizens, but no female citizens.
Impossible were it to enumerate the numberless laws found on the motley map of German common rights. Let a few instances suffice.
According to the common law of Germany, the wife is a minor towards her husband; the husband is her master, to whom she owes obedience. If the woman is "disobedient," then, according to the law of Prussia, the husband of "low" estate has the right of "moderate castigation." Men of "high" estate also there are said to be who arrogate such a right to themselves. Seeing that nowhere is the force or number of the blows prescribed, the husband is the sovereign judge. The old city law of Hamburg declares: "For the rest, the right of moderate castigation of the wife by her husband, of children by their parents, of pupils by their teachers, or servants by their masters and mistresses, is hereby adjudged just and permissible."
Similar provisions are numerous in Germany. According to the law of Prussia, the husband may prescribe to the wife how long she shall suckle her child. In cases of disposing of the children, the father alone decides. If he dies, the wife is in most German States compelled to accept a guardian for her children: she herself is considered a minor, and is held unfit to attend to their education herself, even when she supports her children by her property or labor. As a rule, her husband administers her property, and, in cases of bankruptcy, the same is considered and disposed of as his own, unless a pre-marital contract secures the property to her. Wherever the right of primogeniture attaches to landed property, a woman, even if she be the first born, can not enter into possession if there be younger brothers. She can step in only when she has no brothers. In most German States, a married woman can contract only with the consent of her husband, unless she owns a business in her own name, such as, according to more recent law, she is allowed to start. She is shut off from all public function. The Prussian law on associations forbids pupils and apprentices under 18 years of age and women to join political organizations. Until a few decades ago, the attendance of women among the public at open trials was forbidden by several German codes of criminal procedure. If a woman gives birth to an illegitimate child, it has no claim to support from its father if its mother accepted any presents from him during her pregnancy. If a woman is divorced from her husband, she continues to carry his name as a lasting memento, unless she marry again.
In Germany, hundreds of frequently contradictory laws are met with. According to the bill for the new civil laws of Germany, the administration of the wife's property falls to the husband, unless the wife has secured her property to herself by special contract. This is a reactionary attitude, long since discarded by many other countries. On the other hand, the wife is allowed to retain what she has earned by her own personal labor, and without assistance of her husband, or by the independent conduct of a business enterprise.
In England, and down to 1870, the common law of the land gave to the husband all the personal property of the wife. Only with regard to real estate were her proprietary rights safeguarded; the husband, nevertheless, had the right of administration and of use. At the bar of law, the English woman was a zero: she could perform no legal act, not even execute a valid testament; she was a veritable serf of her husband. A crime committed by her in his presence, he was answerable for: she was at all points a minor. If she injured any one, damage was assessed as if done by a domestic animal: the husband was held. According to an address delivered in 1888 by Bishop J. N. Wood in the chapel of Westminster, as recently as a hundred years ago the wife was not allowed to eat at table or to speak before she was spoken to: above the bed hung a stout whip, that the husband was free to use when the wife displayed ill temper: only her daughters were subject to her orders: her sons saw in her merely a female servant. Since 1870 and 1882, the wife is not merely secured in the sole possession of the property that she brings with her, she is also the proprietor of all she earns, or receives by inheritance or gift. These rights can be altered only by special contract between the husband and wife. English legislation followed the example of the United States.
Particularly backward is the civil law of France, of most of the Swiss cantons, of Belgium, etc., in the matter of woman's civic rights. According to the Code Civil, the husband could sue for divorce upon the adultery of the wife; she, however, could institute such an action only if the husband kept his concubine at his own home (Article 230). This provision has been repealed by the divorce law of July 27, 1884, but the difference continues in force in the French criminal code,—a characteristic manoeuvre on the part of the French legislator. If the wife is convicted of adultery, she is punished with imprisonment for not less than two months nor more than three years. The husband is punished only when, according to the spirit of the former Article 230 of the Code Civil, he keeps a concubine under the domestic roof against the wish of his wife. If found guilty, he is merely fined not less than 100 and not more than 1,000 francs. (Arts. 337 and 339 Code Penal.) Such inequality before the law were impossible if but one woman sat in the French Parliament. A similar law exists in Belgium. The punishment for adultery by the wife is the same as in France; the husband is liable only if the act of adultery is committed at the home of the married couple: he may then suffer imprisonment for not less than one month, or more than one year. Slightly juster is, accordingly, the law in Belgium than in France; nevertheless, in the one place as in the other, there are two different standards of right, one for the husband, another for the wife. Similar provisions exist, under the influence of French law, in Spain and Portugal. The civil law of Italy of 1865 enables the wife to obtain a divorce from her husband only if the husband keeps his concubine at his own home, or at such other place where the concubine's presence must be considered in the light of a grave insult to the wife.
In France, Belgium and Switzerland, woman falls, as in Germany, under the guardianship of her husband, the moment she marries. According to section 215 of the Code Civil, she is not allowed to appear in Court without the consent of her husband and of two of her nearest male relations, not even if she conducts a public business. According to section 213 the husband must protect the wife, and she must yield obedience to him. There is a saying of Napoleon I. that typifies his idea concerning the status of woman: "One thing is utterly un-French—a woman that can do what she pleases." In these countries, furthermore, woman may not appear as a witness in the execution of contracts, testaments or any notarial act. On the other hand—odd contradiction—she is allowed to act as a witness in all criminal trials, where her testimony may lead to the execution of a person. Within the purview of the criminal code, she is on all hands considered of equal value, and she is measured for every crime or offense with the same yard-stick as man. The contradiction, however, does not penetrate the wool of our legislators. As a widow, she may dispose of her property by testament; as witness to a testament, however, she is not admissible in a number of countries; all the same, according to Art. 1029 of the Code Civil, she may be appointed the executor of a will. In Italy, since 1877, woman is qualified to appear as a witness in civil actions also.
According to the law of the canton of Zurich, the husband is the guardian of his wife; he administers her property; and he represents her before third parties. According to the Code Civil, the husband administers the property that the wife brings with her, he can sell her property, alienate it, load it with mortgages without requiring her consent, or signature. Similar provisions exist in several other cantons of Switzerland besides Zurich, in France, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark and also in a large part of Germany. Countries in which community of property may be excluded in marriage are, besides parts of Germany, and a large part of Switzerland, Austria, Poland and the Baltic provinces. Countries in which the absolute independence of married women exist with respect to their property are: Italy, Russia, Great Britain and Ireland. In Norway, a law of the year 1888, on the administration of the property of married persons, provides that a married woman has the same power to dispose of her property as unmarried women, only the law specifies a few exceptions. In this law the expression is used that woman becomes un-free in marriage. Who could blame her if, there also, as happens frequently in France, women are seen to waive formal matrimonial contracts?
According to the law of Berne, what the married woman earns belongs to her husband. Similarly with most cantons of Switzerland, also in France and Belgium. The consequence is that the wife often finds herself in a state of virtual slavery: the husband squanders with lewd women or in the grog-shop what his wife makes: he incurs debts: gambles away his wife's earnings: leaves her and her children in want. He even has the right to demand from her employer the wages due her.
By the law of December 11, 1874, Sweden secures to the married woman the right to dispose freely of that which she earns by her personal effort. Denmark has raised the same principle to the force of a law; nor can, according to Danish law, the property of the wife be seized to cover the debts of the husband. Similarly runs the law of Norway of 1888. The right of educating the children and of deciding thereupon is, according to the legislation of most countries, the attribute of the father: here and there a subordinate co-operation is granted the mother. The old Roman maxim, that stood in sharp contradiction to the principles prevalent during the mother-right, and that clothed the father alone with rights and powers over the child, is to this day the key-note of legislation on the subject.
Among the continental countries, woman holds the freest position in Russia,—due to the communistic institutions there still in existence, or to reminiscences of the same. In Russia, woman is the administrator of her property: she enjoys equal rights in the administration of the community. Communism is the most favorable social condition to woman. The fact transpired from the sketch of the age of the mother-right, given on previous pages. In the United States women have conquered full civil equality; they have also prevented the introduction of the English and similar laws regulating prostitution.
The civic inequality of woman has provoked among the more advanced members of the female sex demand for political rights, to the end of wielding the power of legislation in behalf of their civic equality. It is the identical thought that moved the working class everywhere to direct their agitation towards the conquest of the political powers. What is right for the working class can not be wrong for woman. Oppressed, disfranchised, relegated everywhere to the rear, woman has not the right only, she has the duty to defend herself, and to seize every means she may deem fit to conquer a more independent position for herself. Against these efforts also the reactionary mob, of course, bristles up. Let us see how.
The great French Revolution, that, as is well known, started in 1789 and threw all old institutions out of joint, conjured up a freedom of spirits such as the world had never seen before. Woman also stepped upon the stage. During the previous decades immediately preceding the outbreak of the Revolution, many of them had taken part in the great intellectual struggle that then raged throughout French society. They flocked in swarms to the great scientific discussions, attended political and scientific meetings, and did their share in preparing the Revolution, where theory was to crystalize into fact. Most historians have noted only the excesses of the Revolution,—and as always happens when the object is to cast stones at the people and arouse horror against them—have enormously exaggerated these to the end of all the more readily extenuating the shameful transgressions of the ruling class. As a rule, these historians have belittled the heroism and greatness of soul, displayed also by many women in both camps. So long as the vanquishers remain the historians of the vanquished, it will ever be thus.
In October, 1789, a number of women petitioned the National Assembly "that equality be restored between man and woman, work and occupation be given them free, places be left for them that their faculties were fit for."
When in 1793 the Convention proclaimed "le droit de l'homme" (the Rights of Man), the more far-seeing women perceived that these were only the rights of males. Olympe de Gouges, Louise Lecombe and others paralleled these "Rights of Man" with 17 articles on the "Rights of Woman," which, on the 28th Brumaire (November 20, 1793) they defended before the Commune of Paris upon the principle: "If woman has the right to mount the scaffold, she must also have the right to mount the tribune." Their demands remained unheeded. When, subsequently, upon the march of monarchic Europe against the Republic, the Convention declared the "Fatherland in danger," and called upon all men, able to carry arms, to defend the Fatherland and the Republic, inspired Parisian women offered to do what twenty years later inspired Prussian women likewise did against the domination of Napoleon,—defend the Fatherland, arms in hand. The radical Chaumette rose against those Parisian women and addressed them, asking: "Since when is it allowed to women to renounce their sex and become men? Since when is it usage for them to abandon the sacred cares of their households, the cradles of their children, and to appear at public places, to speak from the tribunes, to step in the files of the troops,—in short, to fill duties that Nature has devolved upon man alone? Nature said to man: 'Be thou man! Racing, the chase, the cultivation of the fields, politics and violent labors of all sorts are thy privilege!' It said to woman: 'Be thou woman! The care of thy children, the details of thy household, the sweet inquietudes of motherhood,—that is thy work!' Unwise women, why wish you to become men? Is not mankind properly divided? What more can you want? In the name of Nature, remain what you are; and, far from envying us the perils of so stormy a life, rest satisfied to make us forget them in the lap of our families, by allowing our eyes to rest upon the fascinating spectacle of our children, made happy by your tender care."
The women allowed themselves to be silenced, and went away. There can be no doubt that the radical Chaumette voiced the innermost sentiments of most of our men, who otherwise abhor him. We also hold that it is a proper division of work to leave to men the defense of the country, and to women the care of the home and the hearth. In Russia, late in the fall of the year and after they have tended the fields, the men of whole village districts move to distant factories, and leave to the women the administration of the commune and the house. For the rest, the oratorical gush of Chaumette is mere phrases. What he says concerning the labors of the men in the fields is not even correct: since time immemorial down to to-day, woman's was not the easy part in agriculture. The alleged labors of the chase and the race course are no "labors" at all: they are amusements of men; and, as to politics, it has perils for him only who swims against the stream, otherwise it offers the men at least as much amusement as labor. It is the egoism of man that speaks in that speech.
At about the same time when the French Revolution was under way, and engaged the attention of all Europe, a woman rose on the other side of the Channel also, in England, to labor publicly in behalf of equal rights for her sex. She was Mary Wollstoncraft, born in 1759, and who, in 1790, published a book against Edmund Burke, the most violent enemy of the French Revolution. She later, 1792, wrote a second book—"A Vindication of the Rights of Woman"—in which she took the stand for absolute equality of rights for her sex. In this book she demands the suffrage for women in the elections for the Lower House. But she met in England with even less response than did her sisters in France. Ridiculed and insulted by her contemporaries, she went under after trying ordeals. Before the Revolution it was the encyclopedist Condorcet who principally took the field for the equal rights of both sexes.
To-day, matters lie somewhat differently. Since then, conditions have changed mightily,—the position of woman along with them. Whether married or unmarried, more than ever before woman now has a deep interest in social and political conditions. It can not be a matter of indifference to her whether the Government chains every year to the army hundreds of thousands of vigorous, healthy men; whether a policy is in force that favors wars, or does not; whether the necessaries of life are made dearer by taxes, that promote, besides, the adulteration of food, and are all the harder upon a family in the measure of its size, at a time, at that, in which the means of life are most stingily measured for the large majority. Moreover, woman pays direct and indirect taxes out of her support and her income. Again, the system of education is of highest interest to her: it goes far towards determining the position of her sex: as a mother, she has a double interest therein.
Furthermore, as has been shown, there are to-day millions of women, in hundreds of pursuits, all of them with a lively personal interest in the manner that our laws are shaped. Questions concerning the hours of work; night, Sunday and child-labor; payment of wages and notice of discharge; safety appliances in factory and shop; etc.—all are political questions that concern them as well as the men. Workingmen know little or nothing about conditions in many branches of industry, where women are mainly, or exclusively, engaged. Employers have all the interest in the world to hush up evils that they are responsible for. Factory inspection frequently does not extend to branches of industry in which women are exclusively employed: such as it is, it is utterly inadequate: and yet these are the very branches in which protective measures frequently are most needed. It suffices to mention the workshops in which seamstresses, dressmakers, milliners, etc., are crowded together in our larger cities. From thence, hardly a complaint issues; thither no investigation has as yet penetrated. Finally, as a trader, woman is also interested in laws on commerce and tariffs. There can, accordingly, be no doubt that woman has an interest and a right to demand a hand in the shaping of things by legislation, as well as man. Her participation in public life would impart a strong stimulus thereto, and open manifold new vistas.
Such demands, however, are met with the curt rebuff: "Women know nothing of politics, and most of them don't want to, either; neither do they know how to use the ballot." True, and not true. True enough, until now, very few women, in Germany at least, have ventured to demand political equality also. The first woman, who, as a writer, came out in its favor in Germany was, as far as we know, Frau Hedwig Dohm. More recently, it is mainly the Socialist working-women, who are vigorously agitating for the idea; and their number is ever larger.
Nothing is proved with the argument that women have, until now, shown little interest in the political movement. The fact that, hitherto, women have troubled themselves little about politics, is no proof that they should continue in the same path. The same reasons, advanced to-day against female suffrage, were advanced during the first half of the sixties in Germany against manhood suffrage. Even as late as 1863, the author of this book himself was of those who opposed manhood suffrage; four years later he owed to it his election to the Reichstag. Thousands of others went through the same mill: from Sauls they became Pauls. Many are the men, who either do not care or do not know how to use their important political rights. And yet that fact was no reason to withhold the suffrage from them, and can be none to now deprive them of it. At the Reichstag elections in Germany, 25 to 30 per cent. of the qualified voters do not vote at all. These non-voters are recruited from all classes: among them are scientists and laborers. Moreover, of the 70 to 75 per cent. of those who participate in the election, the majority, according to our judgment, vote in a way that they would not, if they realized their true interests. That as yet they have not realized them comes from defective political training, a training, however, that these 70 to 75 per cent. possess in a higher degree than the 25 to 30 per cent., who stay away altogether. Among the latter, those must be excepted who remain away from the hustings because they cannot, without danger, vote according to their convictions.
Political education is not gained by keeping the masses from public affairs; it is gained by admitting them to the exercise of political rights. Practice makes perfect. The ruling classes have hitherto found their account in keeping the large majority of the people in political childhood. Hence it has ever been the task of a class-conscious minority to battle with energy and enthusiasm for the collective interest of society, and to shake up and drag the large inert mass after them. Thus has it been in all great Movements: it is neither astonishing nor discouraging that the experience made with the Movement of the working class is repeated in the Movement for the emancipation of woman. Previous successes prove that pains, labor and sacrifices are rewarded; the future brings triumph.
The moment woman acquires equal rights with man, the sense of her duties will be quickened. Called upon to cast her ballot, she will ask, What for? Whom for? Immediately, emulation in many directions will set in between man and woman that, so far from injuring, will materially improve their mutual relations. The less posted woman will naturally turn to the better posted man. Interchange of ideas and mutual instruction follows,—a condition of things until now found most rarely between husband and wife: it will impart a fresh charm to life. The unhappy differences in education and view-points between the two sexes,—differences, that so frequently lead to dissensions between husband and wife, that place the husband at variance with his many-sided duties, and that injure the well-being of all, will be wiped out. Instead of a clog, the husband will gain a supporter in a compatible wife; whenever prevented by other duties from personal participation, she will spur her husband to fulfil his own. She will find it legitimate that a fraction of his earnings be spent in a newspaper, for agitational purposes, because the paper serves to educate and entertain her also, and because she realizes the necessity of the sacrifice, a sacrifice that helps to conquer that which she, her husband and her children lack,—an existence worthy of human beings.
Thus, the joining of hands by husband and wife for the common weal, so closely connected with the weal of the individual, will exert a most ennobling influence. The very reverse is called into life of that which is claimed by near-sighted people, or by the foes of a commonwealth based upon the equality of all. Nor would it end there. The relation between the two sexes would be beautiful in the measure that the social institutions will liberate husband and wife from material cares and from excessive work. Practice and education will, here as in all other cases, give further aid. If I go not in the water, I shall never learn to swim; if I study no foreign language and do not practice it, I shall never learn to speak it. Everyone finds that natural; and yet many fail to realize that the same holds good in the affairs of government and society. Are our women unfitter than the far lower negroes, to whom full political equality was conceded in North America? And shall a highly intellectual woman be vested with lesser rights than the rudest, least cultured man,—an ignorant day-laborer of the backwoods of Pomerania, or an ultramontane canalman, for instance, and all because accident let these come into the world as men? The son has greater rights than his mother, from whom, perchance, he derives his best qualities, the very qualities that alone make him what he is. Truly wonderful!
Moreover, we in Germany would no longer be running the risk of being the first to take the leap in the dark and the unknown. The United States, England and other countries have opened the way. In the State of Wyoming in the United States, woman suffrage has been tested since 1869. On November 12, 1872, writing from Laramie City, Wyo., on the subject, Judge Kingman says in the Chicago "Women's Journal":
"Three years ago to-day women obtained the right of electing and of being elected to office in our Territory, in the same manner as the other electors. During this period they have voted and have been voted for; they have exercised the functions of jurors and arbiters; they have taken part in large numbers at our elections, and although I believe that some among us oppose the admission of women from motives of principle, no one, I think, can refuse to recognize that their influence on the elections has been an elevating one. It caused them to be conducted in a more peaceable and orderly manner, and at the same time enabled our courts of justice to discover and punish various kinds of crime that had until then remained unpunished.
"For instance, when the Territory was first organized, there was scarcely a man who did not carry a revolver and make use of it in the slightest dispute. I cannot remember a single case in which a jury composed of men brought in a verdict of guilty against one of those who had shot with a revolver, but when two or three women were among them, they have invariably attended to the instructions of the Court."
In what esteem woman suffrage was held in Wyoming twenty-five years after its introduction, may be gathered from the address issued on November 12, 1894, to the Parliaments of the world by the Legislature of that State. It says:
"The possession and exercise of suffrage by the women in Wyoming for the past quarter of a century has wrought no harm and has done great good in many ways; it has largely aided in banishing crime, pauperism, and vice from this State, and that without any violent or oppressive legislation; it has secured peaceful and orderly elections, good government, and a remarkable degree of civilization and public order; and we point with pride to the facts that after nearly twenty-five years of Woman Suffrage not one county in Wyoming has a poorhouse, that our jails are almost empty, and crime, except that committed by strangers in the State, almost unknown; and as the result of experience we urge every civilized community on earth to enfranchise its women without delay."
While giving fullest credit to the political activity of the women of Wyoming, we cannot go to the extreme, reached by the enthusiastic defenders of woman suffrage in the Legislature of that State, of ascribing exclusively to the ballot in woman's hands the enviable conditions, which, according to the account of the address, Wyoming rejoices in. A number of social causes of other nature contribute thereto. Nevertheless, the fact is unquestionable that female suffrage has been accompanied by the most beneficent results for that State, and without one disadvantage. That is the most brilliant justification of its introduction.
The example of Wyoming found followers. To-day there are a number of countries in which woman enjoys political rights to greater or less extent. In the United States, women obtained several years ago the ballot in Colorado, and in 1894 they elected a number of representatives; likewise in Arizona, and still more recently in Minnesota. In New Zealand, they took a lively part in the parliamentary elections of 1893, livelier, in fact, than the men, although they were only qualified to elect: only men were qualified to be elected. In March, 1894, the Prime Minister declared to a deputation of women that he would advocate their qualification to be elected. In 1893, there were twenty-two States in the North American Union where women were qualified both to elect and be elected for the School Boards. In Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, Dakota, Idaho, Minnesota and Montana they are fully qualified electors for municipal officers, provided they are resident citizens. In Argonia, Kans., the wife of a physician was elected Mayor; the same thing happened in Onehunga, New Zealand. Since more than ten years ago, women in Sweden have the suffrage for departmental and municipal elections, under the same restrictions as men.
In England, the struggle, for woman's political rights has a regular history behind it. According to the old custom of the Middle Ages, women, seized of landed property, were also vested with the suffrage, and, as such also filled judicial functions. In the course of time they lost these rights. In the bill for Parliamentary Reform in 1832, the word "person" was used, a term that, according to English conceptions, includes the members of both sexes, men and women. This notwithstanding, the law was interpreted adversely to women and they were turned back wherever they made the effort to vote. In the electoral reform Act of 1867, the word "man" was substituted for the word "person." John Stuart Mill moved the re-insertion of "person" in place of "man," with the express purpose that women shall be vested with the suffrage under the same conditions as men. The motion was defeated by 196 votes against 83. Sixteen years later, 1883, the attempt was again made in the Lower House to grant women the suffrage. A motion to that effect was defeated by a majority of 16. A further attempt in 1884 was defeated in a fuller House by more than 136 votes. But the minority did not evacuate the field. In 1886 it succeeded in carrying to a second reading a motion to grant women the suffrage; but the dissolution of Parliament prevented a final vote being taken. Again, on April 27, 1892, the Lower House defeated with 175 votes against 152, the second reading of a motion on the subject presented by Sir A. Rollit, and which provided as follows:
"Every woman who in Great Britain is registered or entitled to be registered as an elector for a Town Council or County Council or who in Ireland is a rate payer entitled to vote in the election of Guardians of the Poor, shall be entitled to be registered as a Parliamentary elector, and when registered, to vote at any Parliamentary election for the county, borough, or division wherein the qualifying property is situate."
On November 29, 1888, Lord Salisbury held a speech in Edinburgh, in the course of which he said: "I earnestly hope that the day is not far distant when women also will bear their share in voting for members in the political world and in the determining the policy of the country." And Alfred Russell Wallace, celebrated as a naturalist and follower of Darwin, expressed himself upon the same question this wise: "When men and women shall have freedom to follow their best impulses, when both shall receive the best possible education, when no false restraints shall be imposed upon any human being by the reason of the accident of sex, and when public opinion shall be regulated by the wisest and best and shall be systematically impressed upon youth, then shall we find that a system of human selection will arise that is bound to have a reformed humanity for its result. So long as woman is compelled to regard marriage as a means by which to escape poverty and avoid neglect, she is and remains at a disadvantage with man. Hence, the first step in the emancipation of woman is the removal of all restraints that prevent her from competing with man on all the fields of industry and in all pursuits. But we must go further, and allow woman the exercise of her political rights. Many of the restraints, under which woman has suffered until now, would have been spared to her, had she had direct representation in Parliament."
In most sections of England, married women have the same political rights as men in the elections for the School Boards and Guardians of the Poor, and in many places are themselves qualified for election. At the county elections, unmarried women have the right to vote under the same restrictions as men, but are not themselves qualified for election. Likewise did all independent tax-paying women obtain the right to vote by the Reform Act of 1869, but are not qualified for election. Married women are in virtue of a court decision, rendered in 1872, excluded from the suffrage, because in English law woman loses her independence by marriage—a decided encouragement for women to keep away from the legal formality of legitimate marriage. Seeing that also in other respects unmarried or divorced women in England and Scotland are clothed with rights denied to married women, the temptation is not slight for women to renounce legitimate unions. It is not exactly the part of wisdom for the male representatives of bourgeois society to degrade bourgeois marriage into a sort of slave status for woman.
In Austria, women who are landed proprietors, or conduct a business, to which the suffrage is attached, have the right to exercise the privilege by attorney. This holds both for local and Reichstag elections. If the woman is proprietor of a mercantile or industrial establishment, which gives the right to vote for the Chamber of Commerce, her franchise must be exercised by a business manager. In France, on the contrary, a woman who conducts a business, has a right to vote at the election of members for the tribunals of commerce, but she cannot herself be elected. According to the law of 1891 of the old Prussian provinces, women have the suffrage, if the landed property that belongs to them conveys the right to vote, nevertheless they must exercise the privilege through a male representative, neither are they eligible themselves. Likewise according to the laws of Hanover, Brunswick, Schleswig-Holstein, Sachsen-Weimar, Hamburg and Luebeck. In Saxony, the law allows women the suffrage if they are landed proprietors and are unmarried. If married, the woman's vote goes to her husband. In all these cases, accordingly, the right of suffrage does not attach to persons but to property—quite a light upon existing political and legal morality: Man, thou art zero if moneyless or propertyless; knowledge, intellect are secondary matters. Property decides.