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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/864

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"The Relation of the Sexes to Government," which appeared in "The Popular Science Monthly" for October. Especially has this been marked in Wyoming, for it is here, I believe, that we find the nearest approach to a relation of both sexes with the Government. In the outset of his article Prof. Cope stated that, "being free from the disabilities imposed by maternity, the male could acquire a greater mastery over his environment than the female." Now, in all observations of animal life lower than man, the contrary appears to be the case. We find the female taking the most active part in the struggle for the existence of the young, and certainly doing as much for her own existence as the male for his. The lioness, in providing for and protecting her young, which in animal life represents the home, exerts a much greater "mastery over the environment" than the male, which only for a brief period shows a care for the female, and neither affection for nor government over the young. The horns of the female kine in defense of the calf are to be dreaded as much as those of the male. We do not find the male cat feeding or protecting the kittens. The hen not only provides for and defends but also chastises and governs her brood. In the insect world we find that the female spider eats her husband, bees kill theirs, and female ants make slaves of theirs. Coming to man, we find that among the Indians the female does the drudgery, and also the providing, with the exception of the hunting. In the wild Kurdish mountains we find women doing labor that the beasts of burden fail in, bringing great bundles of fire-wood down those terrible mountain-sides. We find them protecting their fields from the ravages of bears, fighting and slaying them with as much fury as the men, hindered neither by lack of physical strength nor by maternity. Macaulay speaks of a scene in the Scottish Highlands where aged mothers, pregnant wives, and tender girls are harvesting oats, while the men bask in the sun or angle in the streams.

Prof. Cope claims that women would be irresponsible voters, as they can not assist in the execution of the laws that they help make. Does their physical nature prevent them from doing this? In the riots of Ireland, Canada, and the United States does woman stand back hindered by physical weakness from throwing stones, beating the magistrates, or barricading street-car lines? Can it be proved scientifically that man had rather meet infuriated woman in preference to a male antagonist? In the pioneer days did not woman's bullet speed as true to the mark as man's in the protection of her home? Where has woman failed? In the exhausting marches of exiles to Siberia do the facts show that man stands the journey better than the Russian woman?

Again, the professor says, "The mastery by him has accustomed her to yielding, and to the use of methods of accomplishing her desires other than force." This amounts to saying that, while man is superior in force, woman is superior in diplomacy. Now, if it can be proved that in government the latter is as important as the former, then will be shown the absolute necessity for co-operation of the two sexes in political affairs. In the garden of Eden we find, instead of Adam choking the apple down the throat of Eve, Eve persuading Adam to partake, and here diplomacy wins. It can not be denied by our most adverse opponents that during the last half-century woman has taken possession of educational government. The teachers of the United States to-day are women. Our sex governs the schools throughout this broad land, and we maintain this government, not through force, but through tact or diplomacy.

Here in Wyoming some experience with woman suffrage has been acquired, though in a Territory of course there can not be as wide scope for its exercise as under Statehood. Now, if it could be believed all over this land that women would allow themselves to be "loaded" into wagons by their man, and driven to the polls to vote his ticket, as the writer of the article in question rudely states it, this would give a mighty impetus to woman suffrage. But this is false. Suffrage is not denied woman because she will vote as man dictates, but because she will not; and man knows full well that force would very quickly succumb to diplomacy. It is true we go to the polls in carriages placed at our disposal by the candidates, but is this any proof of disloyalty to our convictions? Are the members of a choir who attend the services of the G. A. R. in carriages provided for them to be accused of having no patriotism nor respect for the honored dead? Is it to be supposed that, in spite of birth, education, or culture, we would become as ignorant vassals to the husbands and fathers whose love, respect, and protection we had possessed, or that our male associates are so debased that they would wish us to become such willingly, or compel us to become so unwillingly? There are women, no doubt, who vote as their husbands vote; but, having been a resident and a voter eleven years in Wyoming, I have yet to find one case where a woman has voted as the force of man dictated. There are women in Wyoming who do not vote, but it is not because their male associates compel them to remain at home, and they resent such an imputation. Neither is the woman-suffrage movement condemned by them. The majority of the women in Wyoming vote, and vote according to their own preferences, and the men so desire and expect them to vote. It has been stated, rather coarsely, that woman, for the sake of remaining her own master politically, would be tempted to refrain from legal marriage. But were this to prove true, and were woman without a legal protector to step up to the