Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/92

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6. Colors serve as an attractive, guiding, or warning device for insects and other animals, more especially for the purpose of securing cross-fertilization and protection from injury.



THE political enfranchisement of women is so prominent a topic of discussion among all people that live under representative governments that no apology seems required for a contribution to the debate. It does not, however, seem necessary to recapitulate the arguments for and against the concession of the ballot to women—as if that alone was the ultimate or principal part of their demand—or to sum up and formulate any judicial finding on the basis of these arguments.

It is not difficult to perceive that the usual ground might be gone over, the usual arguments for woman suffrage stated and conceded, without touching any of the vital issues involved in the proposed change. The fact is, that the right to vote, in giving reasons against which the conservative thinker is always at disadvantage—always obliged to be more or less illogical and inconsistent—is not what is really asked, but something beyond it very much more radical and questionable. Let us see if we can not by an appeal secure from discontented womanhood a frank acknowledgment of the real ultimatum of demand, the specific redress of what is deemed the actual grievance.

There are two alternatives which might be proposed to the Woman Suffrage Association, or whatever other body has a right to represent the political demands of women:

1. Let the ballot be given to all women of full age who are citizens, with the condition, however, in the article or act itself in which this right is given, that they shall not be eligible to any executive, legislative, or judicial office, under the national. State, or municipal governments, except certain clerical and subordinate offices now open to women under custom or law, such as postmaster, register of deeds, member of school committee, etc.
2. Let such women as petition for it be admitted to full citizenship, with the right to vote and hold office, on proving their qualifications before the courts to whom jurisdiction over such petitions may be assigned. The judge listens to the application and the proof offered, that the petitioner is fairly intelligent, that her moral character is irreproachable, and she has not and is not