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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/428

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

in teaching as far back into the middle ages, certainly to a considerable extent in our colonial period. The proportions now are reversed, women being in the majority instead of men. The work of men was deficient because bachelors can not really know life. Our civilization is based upon the family as a unit and only married persons really know the duties and demands of our social structure. As education is nothing but preparing young people to take their places in the framework of life, only those who know what that life is can adequately guide these tender feet.

We tried to supply what was lacking by introducing woman, and at first her natural tact, her sympathy and her deference to age-long authority made her popular with educational management after the first shock of conservatism had passed by. With the advent of the public school system her numbers increased rapidly, especially when she readily accepted a lower rate of compensation.

As each sex is only half of the sphere, is there anything in the temperament of woman that will enable her to come nearer filling the other half herself than her brother did? Just like him she is handicapped by the impassable limitations of sex, and, as with him, her nature attains its full measure only through matrimony. The most fully developed woman is the mother, next the wife, and least of all is the "old maid." This last is entirely a modern type, scarcely going back a century, and therefore her capacities are untried and unknown. It may be said she discharges a new function among the many always being created by our civilization, and has come to stay. Time can alone decide whether any innovation will survive, whether the apparently temporary will become permanent. But the question of sex is the most constant and prevailing of all in the interests and relations of the race, and the main features are neither of to-day nor of yesterday, but of all time. Some phases of woman's temperament are the product of the evolution of the ages, and are fixed. A reference to one or two of these may throw some light on this problem.

There are unquestionably two considerations that make the chances of women succeeding alone in this path more doubtful than those of men. First, is her mother instinct noticeable even in little girls playing with dolls. She grows to womanhood with the idea of queening it in a home of her own, least of all is it a part of her dream to rear children of other women. It is a frightful wrench to her whole nature to give up these aspirations for which she is not at all responsible as they are an inheritance to her from the millions of generations before.

The demolition of this age-long air castle brings about a change of her nature, more usually the souring of her disposition. It is well known that she suffers from nervous troubles much more than the man teacher and it is not to be wondered at. If we are to put any reliance at