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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/257

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WOMAN AND THE BALLOT.

of energy which an official oath exacts" without disregarding the spiritual welfare of their flocks; and if they are true pastors, it would not be amiss to compare them in the multiplicity of their cares to the mothers of young families. Physicians in active practice can not well be judges or sheriffs without neglecting the vocation for which they are especially fitted. Scientific men engaged in original research are not expected to abandon their laboratories, where they may be on the eve of bringing forth the fruit of lives wedded to patient observation, even if a mistaken populace should nominate them for mayors or Congressmen. Manufacturers and business men have even been known to decline senatorial honors, since these conflicted with the responsibilities of their callings.

If a count could be made of all these men who, for various reasons, will not accept political candidacy, it might be found to equal in number the mothers who are disqualified for office-holding.

It is to be observed that at any given time only a minority of mothers are even thus conditioned. That four fifths of woman-kind between the ages of twenty and sixty are ineligible for public office proves thus to be an exaggeration.

Planted upon this astounding proposition, our antisuffragist then proceeds to discuss the complications that may arise if women enter upon political life. While they attend committee meetings, the scarlet fever may invade the nursery. If they engage in jury duty, the husband, fretted with financial cares, will fail to find sympathy at home.

It may be presumed that women with young children will not generally accept candidacy for public office; but should they in some cases think best to do so, such contingencies are not unlike those that occur outside of political life. A wife is called to the bedside of a dying mother, one thousand miles away. She leaves her children; the measles breaks out among them, and the father, although an inexperienced man, nurses the flock back to health. Instances are not wanting in which men have wrestled victoriously also with other diseases, so that a great gloom need not settle down upon mankind at the prospect of a mother's occasional attendance upon a committee meeting.

The dearth of sympathy at home is no matter for jesting. No doubt thousands of women, in times of anxiety, have gone entirely unconsoled while their husbands were jurymen. If men have a taste of this experience, where is the injustice?

Not very relevantly our opponent breaks in here with the assertion that "the suffrage is a question of readjusting the occupations of men and women as established by all civilized and uncivilized people." As the occupations of men and women vary with