Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/132

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If, through ease, self-indulgence, and luxury, through curiosity of learning, through self-esteem and ambitious rivalry of man, a woman becomes disloyal to the home-idea, and despises it in her heart, she is, though perhaps unaware of the fact, helping others to upset the social order.

These weighty words express the central, illuminating, and all-controlling conception of the Lenten lectures. It may be that Dr. Dix could not get a patent on these ideas for their novelty, but are they the views which, as the "Post" alleges, have been employed to resist the elevation of woman in all times? And what is there in them, expressed or implied, that can be construed as unfavorable to female elevation? Dr. Dix is no opponent of the improvement of woman by education; he only lays down the conditions on which all education which can really elevate her must depend. His views may not be new, but they have an urgent application to the tendencies of the present time. The prime postulates of all his reasoning are that woman is a different being from man, and has a different sphere from man, and, if she is to be educated in accordance with the requirements of her nature and position, she must have a different culture from that of man. His telling strictures are accordingly leveled against the wide-spread demand of the present time, that woman shall gain access to the men's colleges that they may obtain the "higher education" of men, and thus adapt themselves to the sphere and pursuits of men. Dr. Dix maintains that this would inevitably be subversive of the home-feeling; and he charges that the aspirants for wider careers have become restive under the restraints and obligations of their sex, and are cherishing ambitions which lead to a general neglect of home-life, and that will only confirm and strengthen the sentiment of disloyalty to the home. The "Evening Post" characterizes these views as a "bold defiance of the soundest, most enlightened, most religious, most conscientious judgment of the day in all lands, on the condition and needs of female education."

But is Dr. Dix really so far wrong as this extravagant language implies? We have not so read the signs of the times. If there is one thing that pervades and characterizes what is called the "woman's movement," it is the spirit of revolt against the home, and the determination to escape from it into the outer spheres of activity that will bring her into direct and open competition with men. In all the talk about female "higher education," and in all the new plans for its extension, it is notorious that distinctive home interests find no place. The literature of the woman's movement is saturated with denunciations of the vulgarity, drudgery, and slavery of life in the domestic sphere; and the "higher education" proposed is not an attempt to ameliorate, redeem, and exalt it, but a rebellion against it. The education that prepares for the home, that would awaken interest in it, give dignity to it, and transform it, is simply scouted. That the feminine nature is different from the masculine nature—different throughout, physically, intellectually, emotionally; that woman's claims, her duties, and her destiny, are profoundly different from those of men, and that her culture should have relation to the requirements of her nature—is derided by all the leaders of the present crusade to get women into the men's colleges.

The fundamental law of educational progress is differentiation of the mental activities, division of labor. In accordance with this law, we have classical colleges, medical colleges, law colleges, engineering colleges, agricultural colleges, dental colleges, and veterinary colleges, all different in the knowledge they impart and the preparation they give for the work of active life. And we have also female colleges—