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DOMESTIC RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT.

disadvantages entailed by their constitutions, and so to equalize the lives of the sexes as far as possible.

In respect of domestic power, the relative position of women will doubtless rise; but it seems improbable that absolute equality with men will be reached. Legal decisions from time to time demanded by marital differences, involving the question which shall yield, are not likely to reverse all past decisions. Evenly though law may balance claims, it will, as the least evil, continue to give, in case of need, supremacy to the husband, as being the more judicially-minded. And, similarly, in the moral relations of married life, the preponderance of power, resulting from greater massiveness of nature, must, however unobtrusive it may become, continue with the man.

When we remember that up from the lowest savagery civilization has, among other results, brought about an increasing exemption of women from bread-winning labor, and that in the highest societies they have become most restricted to domestic duties and the rearing of children, we may be struck by the anomaly that at the present time restriction to indoor occupations has come to be regarded as a grievance, and a claim is made to free competition with men in all out-door occupations. This anomaly is traceable in part to the abnormal excess of women; and obviously a state of things which excludes many women from those natural careers in which they are dependent on men for subsistence justifies the demand for freedom to pursue independent careers. That any hinderances standing in their way should be, and will be, abolished must be admitted. At the same time it must be contended that no considerable alteration in the careers of women in general can be, or should be, so produced; and, further, that any extensive change in the education of women, made with the view of fitting them for businesses and professions, would be mischievous. If women comprehended all that is contained in the domestic sphere, they would ask no other. If they could see all that is implied in the right education of children, to a full conception of which no man has yet risen, much less any woman, they would seek no higher function.

That in time to come the political status of women may also be raised to something like equality with that of men, seems a deduction naturally accompanying the preceding ones. But such an approximate equalization, normally accompanying a social structure of the completely industrial type, is not a normal accompaniment of social types still partially militant. Just noting that the giving to men and women equal amounts of political power, while the political responsibilities entailed by war fell upon men only, would involve a serious inequality, and that the desired equality is therefore impracticable while wars continue, it may be contended that though the possession of political power by women would possibly improve a society in which state-regulation had been brought within the limits proper to