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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/454

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

movement has been met by a counter movement among women themselves. An antisuffrage association has been active in Massachusetts for a number of years; in 1896 the New York State Association opposed to woman suffrage was formed, and in two years it had no less than twenty thousand members, a standing committee of a hundred, and branches in various cities. The Illinois Association, founded in 1897, issued a circular from which the following is quoted:

A little reflection shows that the kind of intelligence which the law-makers should possess, the knowledge of practical things of the outside world, such as currency, banking, franchises granted to corporations, the general control of vast commercial and manufacturing interests, with other details of practical life not easily enumerated, are affairs which lie wholly within the affairs of men, and which it would be a sad waste of energy for women in general to become familiar with. Does it follow that women on the whole are inferior to men? By no means. In her own domain which includes the most vital, the most spiritual, the most progressive elements of life, woman is a man's superior as he is hers in outer and material things.

Through their clubs women have been active of late in municipal affairs. During the last decade they have aided materially in bringing about reforms in education, public charity and sanitation in several cities, notably in Chicago, Washington, Denver and Louisiana. It is to be hoped that they will occupy a still larger part of their leisure with problems of municipal reforms, and that a scientific discussion of such matters may get into the higher grades of schools.

The call for more men in public schools should be a call for more able men. So long as the marked superiority among women teachers continues, so long they should continue to be preferred. The difficulty lies in the fact that promotion and tenure of office are very uncertain, and salaries rarely sufficient to secure men of first-rate ability. The average salary of men teachers in the United States is higher than that of women, but it is still wretchedly low. It amounts to only $46.53 a month for 7 months and 6 days, or about $337 a year. According to Mayo Smith, the average wages of operatives, skilled and unskilled, were in 1890, for males, above 16, $498. Carnegie says in his 'Empire of Business,' "In one of the largest steel works last year the average wages per man, including all paid-by-the-day laborers, boys and mechanics, were $4 a day for 311 days." This would be $1,244 a year. Compare it with the $337 the male teacher gets, and judge of the average capacity our schools are likely to attract. The United States census for 1900 gives the mean annual wages of all laborers, including men, women and children, white and black, skilled and unskilled, as $437.96; one hundred dollars more than the average male teacher receives. If the salary, low as it is, were the only drawback the teacher contends with, he would be comparatively happy. He holds a political office, and though it is not usually under the system of political parties,