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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/430

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

of evolution and any general breaking down of this line of division between the duties of the two will end disastrously to both. There can be only two causes for a wife to be in charge of a class, either she has stifled all of the instincts of femininity or her husband is incapable of providing for her. The latter is often justifiable because of misfortune or loss of health. But as young persons can not discriminate, the model before them is terrible. They can only see that the husband is incompetent or the wife is unwomanly, miserly and penurious. A horrible ideal it is to set before them that the chief aim of women in life is to make money instead of to make homes! In spite of this spontaneous repugnance there is a tendency to employ married women, due most likely to an unconscious feeling on the part of educational officials that the "old maid" is too abnormal. It is estimated that in San Francisco 5 per cent, of the teachers are married women; in Denver, 4 per cent.; in Philadelphia, 3 per cent.; in Boston, 2 per cent.; in Chicago about 2 per cent.; all a growth of a very few years. This is a tendency that every one who at all considers the relation of the sexes and the course of development must deeply deplore. The "old maid" in the school is an abnormal exemplar but the wife is a thousand times worse. The woman who neglects the highest, holiest—in fact the only—duty of woman is a hideous monstrosity to teach duty to others.

The best type of male teacher has been discovered after long and wide search—the married man. What is the best kind among women, it is still more important to learn, as we have settled down for the present beyond all doubt to coeducation and to having a large majority of women teachers, whether good, bad or indifferent. The general employment of married ones is repulsive and vicious. The single ones beyond thirty are unbalanced. There is left only woman before that age. She is still normal, still cherishing matrimony as woman's work in life evolved for her through long cycles of time by biology, physiology, sociology and the whole environment of existence. Her path has been marked out for her and the laws of her progress along it laid down by powers far above the scope and the strength of the race to alter. So long as she looks forward to the goal of the wedding she retains the feminine temperament. From the time of maturity until she turns aside from the broad road that the most of her sisters follow, she is almost at the high tide of woman's life. It is then her disposition is most sympathetic and her ideals the clearest and strongest. She is then the most vivacious, the most animated, the most energetic and the best fitted for training the young, because the most companionable with the girls and the best example of womanly graciousness. If we can not have the highest type of normal woman, the wife, we must come as near as possible.

If these golden years, however, are to be taken from a woman's life