Carry out the republican principle of universal suffrage, or strike it from your banners and substitute ‘Freedom and Power to one half of society, and Submission and Slavery to the other.’
Again, I shall be told that the law presumes the husband to be kind, affectionate, and ready to provide for and protect his wife. But what right, I ask, has the law to presume at all on the subject?
If any difference should be made by law between husband and wife, reason, justice and humanity, if their voices were heard, would dictate that it should be in her favor.
We have hardly an adequate idea how all-powerful law is in forming public opinion, in giving tone and character to the mass of society.
Do you not yet understand what has made woman what she is? Then see what the sickly taste and perverted judgment of man now admires in woman.
I know that some endeavor to throw the mantle of romance over the subject and treat woman like some ideal existence, not liable to the ills of life. Let those deal in fancy who have nothing better to deal in; we have to do with sober, sad realities, with stubborn facts.
In the laws of the land, she has no rights; in government she has no voice. And in spite of another principle recognized in this Republic, namely, that ‘taxation without representation is tyranny,’ she is taxed without being represented.
If they are unsuccessful in married life, who suffers more the bitter consequences of poverty than the wife? But if successful, she has not a dollar to call her own.
Away with that folly that her rights would be detrimental to her character – that if she were recognized as the equal to a man she would cease to be a woman!
But say some, would you expose woman to the contact of rough, rude, drinking, swearing, fighting men at the ballot box? What a humiliating confession lies in this plea for keeping woman in the background!
From the cradle to the grave she is subject to the power and control of man. Father, guardian, or husband, one conveys her like some piece of merchandise over to the other.
Much is said about the burdens and responsibilities of married men. Responsibilities indeed there are, if they but felt them: but as to burdens what are they?
But it will be said that the husband provides for the wife, or in other words, he feeds, clothes and shelters her! I wish I had the power to make every one before me fully realize the degradation contained in that idea.
Cultivate the frontal portion of her brain as much as that of man is cultivated, and she will stand his equal at least. Even now, where her mind has been called out at all, her intellect is as bright, as capacious, and as powerful as his.
The few bright meteors in man’s intellectual horizon could well be matched by women, were she allowed to occupy the same elevated position.
Blind submission in women is considered a virtue, while submission to wrong is itself wrong, and resistance to wrong is virtue alike in women as in man.
The mass of the people commence life with no other capital than the union of head, hearts and hands. To the benefit of this best of capital the wife has no right.
It is high time to compel man by the might of right to give woman her political, legal and social rights. She will find her own sphere in accordance with her capacities, powers and tastes; and yet she will be woman still.
It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so.
Fathers like to have children good-natured, well-behaved, and comfortable, but how to put them in that desirable condition is out of their philosophy.
In case of separation, why should the children be taken from the protecting care of the mother? Who has a better right to them than she? How much do fathers generally do toward bringing them up?