Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/462

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race, religious beliefs, surviving customs and traditions, degree of culture, etc.; and doubtless the many coöperating causes give rise to incongruities which qualify somewhat the conclusion drawn. But, on summing up the several arguments, we shall, I think, see that conclusion to be substantially true.

The least entangled evidence is that which most distinctly forces this conclusion upon us. Remembering that nearly all simple uncivilized societies, having chronic feuds with their neighbors, are militant in their activities, and that their women are extremely degraded in position, the fact that in the exceptional simple societies which are peaceful and industrial there is an exceptional elevation of women almost alone suffices as proof: neither race, nor creed, nor culture, being in these cases an assignable cause.

The connections which we have seen exist between militancy and polygyny, and between industrialness and monogamy, present the same truth under another aspect; since polygyny necessarily implies a low status of women, and monogamy, if it does not necessarily imply a high status, is an essential condition to a high status.

Further, that approximate equalization of the sexes in numbers which results from diminishing militancy and increasing industrialness, conduces to the elevation of women; since, in proportion as the supply of males available for carrying on social sustentation increases, the labor of social sustentation falls less heavily on the females. And it may be added that the societies in which the surplus of males thus made available undertakes the harder labors, and so, relieving the females from undue physical tax, enables them to produce more and better offspring, will, other things equal, gain in the struggle for existence with societies in which the women are not thus relieved by the men: whence an average tendency to the spread of societies in which the status of women is improved.

There is the fact, too, that the despotism distinguishing a community organized for war, is essentially connected with despotism in the household; while, conversely, the freedom which characterizes public life in an industrial community, naturally characterizes also the accompanying private life. In the one case compulsory coöperation prevails in both; in the other case voluntary coöperation prevails in both.

By the moral contrast we are shown another face of the same fact. Habitual antagonism with, and destruction of, foes, sears the sympathies; while daily exchange of products and services among citizens, puts no obstacle to increase of fellow-feeling. And the altruism which grows with peaceful coöperation, ameliorates at once the life without the household and the life within the household.[1]

  1. Too late to be inserted in its proper place, and so late that I have canceled stereotype plates to bring it in, I have met with a striking verification in the just-issued work of Mr. W. Mattieu Williams, F. R. A. S., F. C. S., "Through Norway with Ladies." He says, "There are no people in the world, however refined, among whom the relative posi-