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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/362

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358
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

self-subordination to heroes and mob rule, are thus marks of defective development and of abnormal growth.

Sexual attraction is strongest between two people of the same stock with different defects. Whoever has a character of normal excellence will arouse, stimulate and subordinate one of the opposite sex who has this character in some retarded or abnormal form. If two people of the same stock have different defects each will control and arouse the other where he is normal and his mate is abnormal. The feeling of affinity is greatest when half of the faculties of each is dormant, while the normal part of each complements that of the other. Weininger asserts that two affinities taken together would show the characters of a normal man and a normal woman. I contend that the sum of their characters equals that of one normal person. He thinks that the children of these affinities will be stronger and better than the average of mankind because the qualities of their parents make a normal man and a normal woman. I contend that these children will be below the average because both of the parents are defective and the children will be subject to even more retardation in development. Let us assume that in two families on intimate terms the wife of one finds that the other man is her affinity and wants a child by him and that her husband assents promising to raise the child as his own. Weinmyer would say that this love child would be above the average of the two families, stronger in intellect and body. In my opinion it would be weaker and more defective. From his position this act should be commended; from mine it should be punished.

If I am right, Weininger is also in error in regard to woman's emancipation. He starts with the thought that the characters of men and women are different and that the emancipated woman is an intermediate form having masculine qualities. In the development of his thesis, however, he shifts over to the assumption that all positive characters are masculine and that the pure woman is nothing more than sexuality. This failure to find definite characters in woman shows the falsity of the assumption that characters are the result of sex heredity. The undeveloped man is dominated as much by sexual impulses as is the retarded woman. Positive characters that raise them above their sexual appetites come to women as to men only by the process of development. The environment of women, however, is more defective than that of men and the drains on her system are more severe. Few women go far in their development before defects become so numerous as to check further progress. If they escape these set-backs they develop the same characters that appear in men who have an unobstructed development. The emancipated woman is thus not the hysterical woman out of her normal place, but the woman with a more favorable environment than her sisters have. Her gains in character due to these