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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/578

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and respect for the family tie. To summon women to the polls would signify an antagonism between their interests and those of men. It would signify that a man and the women of his household are separate social units in the same sense in which two men are, and that they require protection against one another—that each must be armed with the ballot lest the others encroach. This assumption, in our opinion, is not warranted. Making all deductions for unfortunate instances, the family is in general a unit, and the wife, daughter, or sister has no desire to antagonize the vote of the husband, father, or brother. How about those women, it will be asked, who have no husband, father, or brother to represent them in a satisfactory manner? Our answer is that their case does not appear to us to be one of hardship unless it can be shown that, considering them as a class apart from those who have male relatives, they are suffering through lack of political influence. Simply as women they receive whatever benefit accrues to the sex in general through such improvements in the law as are daily taking place, and through the sympathy with woman which characterizes the normal man. To a considerable extent also the same means of influence are open to them as are open to other women. They are not cut off from society: they can speak and write; and how potent "women agitators" can be in procuring changes of the law Miss Tweedy has told us. What is mainly needed, in our opinion, is the deepening of the sense of trusteeship in men, and that fortunately is a process which is realizing itself more and more before our eyes. Far better so than that all trusteeship should be snatched from man with the snappish declaration that henceforth his wife, daughter, and sister will take care of their own interests. A singular time indeed for such a change to be made, when things have so shaped themselves that so earnest a female suffragist as our contributor is hard put to it to say what the disadvantages are under which women labor through man's control of the suffrage, or what laws they want passed which if duly explained and urged they could not now get passed!

There are other views of the question which we have only space to glance at. We can not lose sight of the fact that all law means compulsion—physical compulsion in the last resort; and this to our mind points to the conclusion that the responsibility for making laws should rest with those who could if necessary fight for their enforcement. It has before been pointed out that the situation which would be created if a large majority of women, in combination with a minority of men, passed laws repugnant to a large and effective majority of men, would be a very critical one for social order. Yet if nothing of this kind is going to happen, it is difficult to see where the special influence of woman's vote will come in.

Another point deserving of consideration is that the male sex, when all is said and done, is the progressive sex. Mr. Havelock Ellis's interesting and certainly far from prejudiced book on Man and Woman makes this clear. Broadly speaking, woman shows the statical, man the dynamical, aspect of humanity, and, as the work of legislation is in its nature continuous and progressive, it seems natural that it should be intrusted to that sex which best represents the onward movement of the race. Here, however, we must adjourn the discussion, which is one difficult to confine within narrow limits. Much probably remains to