Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/408

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the number of single women of corresponding age—that is, of women who have remained single to middle life.

As a matter of fact, support through marriage can not he co-extensive with the need of support for women. It does not cover the whole period of working-life, and it fails to be a support in a considerable proportion of cases.

It would seem that there must be a fallacy in the view that would make the natural provision for honorable and satisfactory support depend upon a relation that does not cover the whole need in any case, and can not be certainly counted upon in any individual case. The same tendency toward complexity of conditions and relations, which makes equality in domestic service a thing of the past rather than of the future, would lead us to anticipate that the number of women workers must increase rather than diminish. In taking methods for improving their condition we must look forward rather than backward, to means which are in harmony with influences now at work, rather than to such as would require a return of conditions which have passed away.

We believe, therefore, that a careful consideration of the movements which have gone on and are going on in social life leads to the following conclusions:

1. There is no necessary connection between domestic life and domestic work.
2. Domestic life means the united life of the members of a family, and is a constant social element.
3. Most of the work now done as domestic work is only so done because it has not yet been brought within the grasp of business organization. The range of such work is constantly growing narrower.
4. Our method of doing it by domestic service is imperfect, because domestic service involves a servile relation that does not exist in nondomestic labor.

But if all work tends thus irresistibly to become organized into departments of business, the question of the future industrial position of women is settled. They must follow their work under its new forms, or cease to work at all. Extremes meet, and the organization of industry must end by giving back to women what it began by taking from them, a place in the varied work of the world.

So far from the perfection of domestic life being imperiled by the gradual substitution of non-domestic for domestic labor, many advantages would be thereby gained:

1. It would help to free marriage from any but personal considerations. The question as to the capacity of a woman for house-work would become as foreign to that of her desirability as a wife as is now her ability as a tailor. It would be a wife only, not also a domestic, that the young man would need to seek.