« PreviousContinue »
No. 3609 September 6, 1913
FROM BEGINNING VOL. OCLXXVIII
QUARTERLY REVIEW 579
CONTEMPORARY REVIEW 594 Color-Blind. Chapter XX. By Alice Perrin. (Conclusion.)
TIMES 599 Some Account of Arcady. By Louise Imogen Guiney.
BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE 605 Charlotte Brontë's “Tragedy”: The Lost Letters.
TIMES 612 Father Michael. By John Barnett.
CORNHILL MAGAZINE 618 Home Defence. By Owen Seaman.
PUNCH 629 Nature's Police.
NATION 630 Some Notes on Cats.
SPEOTATOR 632 The Barbarity of Realistic Tragedy. By Ernest A. Baker.
ACADEMY 634 Manners.
SATURDAY REVIEW 637 A PAGE OF VERSE "Ginger." By C. W. Hutchinson.
BRITISH REVIEW 578 North and South. By Edward Storer.
578 BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY JY
THE LIVING AGE COMPANY,
6 BEACON STREET, Boston.
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION For Sıx DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, The LIVING Age will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage, to any part of the United States. To Canada the postage is 50 cents per annum.
Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office or express money order if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks, express and money orders should be made payable to the order of The Living Age Co.
Single Copies of The Living AGE, 15 cents.
The screaming gulls—the torturing,
vagrant winds When dusk comes slowly and tenderly, That swept your naked streets, Creeping up, vaporlike, out of the The streets that were at once your waters,
shame and joy. Softening, blessing, transforming, The giant factories,
You left me at the first touch of The wharves, and engine houses,
restraint, Gasometers and chimneystacks
You visioned dreary rounds of obligaPut on a dignity and beauty magi. tion. cal,
Clotbes “to keep nice"-to join the And Silvertown
dismal stream (By grace of God) is really Silver Of the beaten and tamed. Town.
The flaring streets were calling to
your heart, There in the poignant peace I see you
The lights, the laughter-and the stand,
liberty. As once I saw, facing the dim waters,
The tide that brought you to me bore A strange, vague figure-one with the you hence, warm darkness,
Peluctant yet resolved. Indolent, hesitant
The river and the streets had claimed A little picturesque in roomy rags,
their own. Palefaced, redlipped-half smiling and 'half sad,
And when the waters sing in the sum. A boy too many in the working world.
iner's peace, Pathos, audacity
When the crop of yellow flowers Met in the tilt of your red-crested spring out of the mist, brow.
I see your eyes defiant, affectionate,
And know no man shall tame The tide had beached you in my hun
That proud, shy spirit but the Man of
Griefs, gry heart, The Tide of God, beside that other tide
Of Joys and Agonies-of Wanderings, That we both loved—I with a dream
Of Nakedness, and Homelessness,-of er's love,
Shames, You with a dumb desire.
Rejections, Mockings, Blows.
No heart shall tame you but His Fiery You gave me love with both your
Heart. nervous hands,
C. W. Hutchinson. With the pale eyes that watched me
The British Review. by my hearth, With the poor, piteous notes from
prison and home And yet your heart retained Secret allegiance that you gave me
NORTH AND SOUTH. not.
The North bends o'er the South
His frosty mouth. I could not hold you at the ultimate Within each other's eyes hour.
A vision of far skies. There was a spirit in you that was kin "All, all my snowy monuments I give To all the wild things in a half-tamed
to thee world;
For one full hour of thy rich Italy." The irresistible
“Take all the vines and sunshine I love Impact and rush of the dark waters'
For one rapt instant on thy rugged That swirled and eddied round your
breast." wharves at home,
MODERN FEMINISM AND SEX ANTAGONISM.*
In a lucid little introduction to Ellen Key's latest book, Mr. Havelock Ellis, after tracing the broad lines OL which the Woman's Movement has developed, suggests that it is now entering a critical period. This view is evidently shared by most of the writers on modern feminism, including some who are not likely to exaggerate the symptoms. The avowed feminist and the declared anti-feminist
are both, of course, concerned to show that society is in a parlous state, either for want of, or because of, some readjustment of social relations on feminist lines which one desires and the other deprecates. We are too much accustomed to writers whose obvious desire is to "make our flesh creep," to pay much attention to jeremiads from either camp; and indeed the vast majority of men and women are sung in too deep a sense of personal security to be capable of any very keen anxiety as to the future. The more thoughtful, however, and even some who are not usually thoughtful, 'have been shaken from indifference by recent developments of feminism. The suffrage campaign is only (on the surface) a by-product of feminism, and militancy is (on the surface) merely a by-product of suffragism; but evolution from feminism to suffragism and from suffragism to militancy is too
"The Woman Movement." By Ellen Key. Translated by M. B. Borthwick. London: Putnam, 1912.
2“Woman and Labor." By Olive Schreiner. London: Unwin, 1911.
g“Woman and Economics." By C. P. Gilman. London: Putnam, 1908.
4“Woman and To-morrow." By W. L. George. London: Jenkins, 1913.
5"The Nature of Woman." By J. L. Tayler. London: Fifield, 1912.
Si John and Irene." By W. H. Beveridge. London: Longmans, 1912. Antagonism."
Ву. Walter Heape. London: Constable, 1913.
"Woman in Modern Society." Earl Barnes. London: Cassels, 1912.
$"A Survey of the Woman Problem." By Rosa Mayreder. Translated by H. Scheffauer. London: Heinemann, 1913.
fundamental to permit that the last phase should be treated as a sporadic outburst.
The average man was not aware of feminism until the persistent advertising methods of the militant suffragette focussed attention on the woman movement. Now he is uncomfortably conscious of something stirring in the other sex which makes for change-exactly what kind of change neither sex seems to know; but it is certain that in the words of Mr. Heape, “man's opinion of woman has been definitely modified; his attitude towards her as an integral component of society can never be the same again.” On the other hand, woman's attitude to man has suffered in certain classes of society) a no less definite modification; and the result is a somewhat acute phase in the long conflict of the sexes.
Few writers on feminism appear to realize that social evolution must have its roots in natural law, and even when they do, they are apt, like Mrs. C. P. Gilman, to ignore certain facts and pervert others in an almost grotesque fashion. Mr. Walter Heape, who treats the subject of sex relations from a biological standpoint, does not get much further than a statement of the elements of the problem. He is a biologist and not a sociologist. His diagnosis of the condition of unrest which, to-day, permeates all civilized society is nevertheless particularly clear. He traces it to three sources, racial, class and sex antagonism; ana he believes the last to be by far the most dangerous, since it is practically family war, and family quarrels are proverbially the most bitter. He agrees with Mr. Havelock Ellis that the movement is entering on a new and critical phase-a conclusion
which few students of feminism will doubt, having in view not only the excesses of a section of women and the change of attitude in both sexes, but the general anarchic trend of feminist literature and the wide extension of doctrines calculated to foster sex-antagonism among the very class which is destined to provide the teachers and models of the next generation.
It is a corrective to the somewhat gloomy perspective opened out by feminist literature to turn to Mr. Beveridge's “John and Irene.” When one is obsessed by the apparently new and insoluble problems presented, one can find infinite consolation in this anthology of thoughts on woman. By quotations which range from Hesiod, the prophet Esdras and the Laws of Manu down to Miss Cicely Hamilton and the report of the Reg. istrar-General for 1910, Mr. Beveridge nearly convinces us that there is no new woman, nor new woman's movement, nor any thing new to be said about woman and her movement. At the same time, in the allegory which is the prelude to the anthology, Mr. Beveridge sounds one uncertain note; and it is to the implied question that one returns.
The allegory sets forth how John, a convinced and ardent feminist, fell in love with Irene, whose wise and careful upbringing had preserved 'her, hitherto, from serious thought about anything. With the imprudence of the reformer who can never let well alone, John
The exact nature of their disagreement is not revealed, but it culminated in the incineration, by John, of a volume believed to be the work of Mr. Bernard Shaw. "They parted in anger that afternoon and would not meet again. Irene . stepping into John's place in the (feminist) ranks, has bought the feminist iibrary which he has sold, and John, who cannot dance, has again been seen at dances. ... So the story ends for the present on a note of hope renewed.”
The note is an uncertain one. John. it is true, will get himself a wife, a hearth, domestic joys, and live the normal life of the normal man. He will accept meekly, nay blindly, the yoke of his normal spouse. He will accept his share of the burden of carrying on the world's work on what he believes to be his own terms. That they are not really his own may never occur to him, so long as his manhood is at once satisfied and exercised by his family relations. But what of Irene? Is she to be permanently contented with a feminist library and a cause?
Feminism, like socialism, is difficult to confine within the boundaries of a formula. Mr. W. L. George in “Woman and To-morrow" has done what is possible in this direction. Feminism, he says, is, broadly, the furthering of the interests of woman, philosophically the levelling of the sexes, and specifically the social and political emancipation of woman. Broadly, therefore, many writers, such as Ruskin, or Dr. J. L. Tayler, are feminists, though they accept neither the philosophy nor its specific appllcation; while a large number of writers with a feminist bias, from Montaigne
1"Women have obtained their places in the world because they are desired by men on grounds which are not of the highest ethical quality; but these are the only grounds which men will consent to...carrying on the burden of a society, about whose invention they were not consulted." (“Essays in Fallacy," Dr. Macphail, p. 96.)
“began to educate her about Woman's cause. . . . She became filled with the delight of reasoning and understanding; she seized on and held her first conclusions with the dogmatism of the undergraduate, and was prepared to sacrifice everything to philosophy. John, on the other hand a perfectly normal person desiring to govern his own life in normal ways."
to Mazzini, might have accepted the philosophy but would probably have hesitated over the specific application of their theories. The modern feminist, particularly the female feminist, is distinguished by her attempt to reduce these theories and generalities to everyday practice. In pursuit of this aim she may, like Irene, be forced to break off relations with the other sex, she may view the privileges of her sex as badges of degradation, and she may, in the pursuit of spiritual and political emancipation, find it neces. sary to place herself on the level of male criminals Not having troubled much over the inductive processes by which her conclusions were reached, Irene—that is Woman-conceives of them as something final and incontrovertible. John, who had been brought up by a managing mother and exacting sisters, theorizes with some selfcomplacency ("it rather pleased him to think of himself as an hereditary grand oppressor") on the equality of the sexes. Irene, with the practical, concrete vision of her sex, asks for its definite expression in the shape of a reformed marriage service, "economic independence,” or a new conception of sexual relations. The keynote to these new relations is to be found in the word "individualism." The weekly newspaper, now a biweekly, which holds the fort of advanced feminism in England, declares itself to be "the only journal of recog. nized standing expounding a doctrine of philosophic individualism.” The German feminist, Rosa Mayreder, speaks of progressive persons as those who live their lives in freedom "undisturbed by the opinion or conduct of the society to which they belong." The woman movement is to her "the
2“These qualities of mind naturally drive
literary interests which are concrete, personal and emotional. Men turn more easily...to the abstract generalizations of science." (Earl Barnes, "Woman in Modern Society.")
battle for the rights of an unfettered personality." Woman, says
the Swedish feminist, Ellen Key, has suddenly discovered that instead of moving forward, as heretofore, only in and with the general progress, she can increase her own motion by self-assertion. "To-day young girls live to apply the principle of the woman movement-individualism."
These words are significant when we remember the reiterated feminist claim that women must be free to "live their own lives," to “develop their personality," instead of being merged in the family and regarded only as a part of it. Among arguments brought forward in favor of woman's possible independence are some culled from natural history. The "domestic slave" or “servant wife" or "female parasite" is minded of the high estate of her sex in geological ages when puny, pygmy, parasitic males struggled for existence, and were used or not, as it happened, like a half-tried patent medicine.” Or she is told to find comfort in the female cirriped, who carried a few extra husbands in her scales "lest she should lose one two," and in the ferocious spider, who uses her hapless little mate "to coldly furnish forth a marriage breakfast" (sic).She may even find satisfaction in the theories of some biologists who believe that life began with and was carried for some distance by the female organism;5 or that the "male element
on its initial appearance was primarily an excrescence, a superfluity, a waste product of nature . . .
strictly speaking, man is undeveloped woman."* To an average person it may appear extraordinary that feminists should feel obliged
Ellen Key, "The Woman Movement," p. 97.
*C. P. Gilman, “Woman and Economics." Lester Ward, "Pure Sociology." 6F. Swiney, "Awakening of Women,"