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as often well done, and been quite as fundamental a part of civilised life, as the paid labour of men. But every census shows that more women enter the paid labour market year by year.
The main causes are, the preponderance of female compared to male population owing to emigration, the invention of labour-saving household implements that lighten indoor work, the co-operative tendencies of city life that cause baking, washing, dressmaking, and upholstering to be done outside ; and more especially the increased orderliness and propriety of English life that enables women to go and come in the streets and public conveyances without fear of insult or assault. The rapidly increasing wealth of the middle classes has deprived thousands of women of the necessity for household toil; but education and increased opportunities for intellectual and public work draw these same women, if not in the first, then in the second generation, into busy useful lives, giving satisfaction to themselves and benefit to the community at large. If, then, society rests on labour, and women contribute more and more to that labour, it becomes absolutely necessary for them to have a voice in all labour laws and regulations, and in all social questions.
It is quite possible that the most crying injustices from which women suffer may be removed by a Parliament of men, elected only by men ; but women have had to complain in the past more of the ignorance and prejudice of men in regard to labour legislation than of their unfairness or injustice. They have repeatedly attempted by legislation to prevent women from working in the most difficult and exhausting fields of labour. The result has been merely to reduce their wages and increase their hours of work in the unrestricted employments; whereas, had men invited the co-operation of women in trades unions as well as in legislation, it is probable their efforts would have been better directed, and have borne good fruit for men and women alike. Moreover, all trade legislation undertaken by men alone is open to the accusation, often, unfortunately, too well founded, of restricting women's labour, not in the most irksome, but in the best-paid posts.
Were men of their own free will to remove all the unjust laws of which women complain, they would find they had removed all the barriers to feminine emancipation invented in the past to shut women out from wage-earning and public life. They would find women placed immediately in such a position of social and economic equality with men, that to withhold merely the vote would be illogical and inconvenient. We have one great proof in England that legislation in this direction has not gone faster than public wants and opinions. When the law allowed women to become guardians of the poor, excellent women of character were ready at once to occupy the posts. When the law allowed women to become members of School Boards, no difficulty was found in securing suitable candidates. When women can vote, they do vote, in ever-increasing numbers. They have never yet shirked the responsibility once it has been imposed, and, though Mr. Labouchere may say not one woman in a thousand wants a vote, we have only to turn to wellascertained facts to point to a very different conclusion.
One of the grave disadvantages about substituting feminine influence for feminine votes is the extremely demoralising effect it has always had on men's characters to find the female part of the community entirely dependent on them for their rights and privileges. Men are but human, and while they never fail to taunt lady canvassers with working most heartily for the best-looking candidate, they must be aware that the personal charms of the women who ask them for help and protection have much more to do with securing their attention and devotion than such an abstract consideration as justice.
We are anxious to relieve men of this responsibility, and provide members of Parliament, through the ballot-box, with a means of impartially carrying out the ascertained wishes of their feminine constituents, whether old or young, ill-favoured or fair to look upon.
It is really an interesting study to notice how every argument used to delay the enfranchisement of working men and farm labourers reappears to do duty against women. How often has the question been asked, "What does Hodge know about finance and foreign policy, colonial affairs and commercial interests?'
The fact is, we bave made up our minds in England that to insure every class obtaining justice every class must be directly represented; and that, while we pay large salaries to specialists to look after these great questions, we cannot have too wide an opinion from the people as a whole on the main principles that are to guide our life as a nation. Woman may never be intellectually fitted for the position of minister of the Crown or ambassador, though with her present rate of progress he would be a rash man who would attempt to predict exactly how far she will go ; but that does not affect one way or the other her right to vote, or the right of the nation to have her recorded opinion on every question with which she is familiar. Why should she sit on a School Board, and in that capacity make recommendations to the Government on the Education Code, and yet when that same Code is before Parliament have no power to support its provisions or secure its rejection? Why should she sit on boards of guardians, and after visiting pauper schools, and planning perhaps some new scheme that will turn our most hopeless and wretched population into valuable bread-winners, yet have no influence with Parliament to get that scheme carried into effect ?
We cannot afford as a nation to allow such a potent moral influence as that of women to lie fallow. It is very well to call it a reserve force, but a reserve force that is never to be put into action is
of small practical value. We think the time has come when that moral influence must be both organised and put in action. In old times, when population was scattered and manners were patriarchal, individual charity and personal influence could work wonders. With our vast cities and ever-increasing complication of interests and industries, combination of influence and co-operation in good works have become absolutely necessary, unless the feminine element is to be entirely eliminated. Men are going forward so fast, that the rift between the sexes will become wider if women are to continue working on the old lines and never take a step in advance. The choice is not between going on and standing still, it is between advancing and retreating.
The practical difficulties that beset the question of dividing women into electors and non-electors are precisely similar to the same division among men. It is equally objectionable to base the suffrage on marriage or no marriage, as it is on property or no property. But this molehill that seems such a mountain can easily be swept aside by practical persons. The nation, we believe, would like to make an experiment in woman suffrage by enfranchising a limited number and then judging of the result before going further. We believe the experiment will be successful, and will prove a precedent for future legislation whatever the section of women selected in the first instance; and that there should be a difference of opinion
a among women themselves on this point only proves how keen they are to take a responsible part in the national life, and directly contradicts the supposed apathy that is said to exist.
The appeal is superior to the ordinary male attack on woman suffrage, in so far that it does not condescend to discuss which political party will momentarily benefit by the passing of a Suffrage Bill into law. For this we are duly thankful. These ladies seem to consider that the question has not been sufficiently discussed, and they take the best possible means for remedying the want by raising afresh this controversy, in a way that has called forth an echo in almost every periodical in the United Kingdom.
It is not controversy that we fear. We passed successfully through the storm of ridicule and contempt, and we have languished through years of indifference and neglect; and, just when we thought the public tired with our innumerable meetings and bored with signing our petitions—when we were beginning to think that every one had made up his mind, and that the kindest and most judicious course for us to pursue would be to take every opportunity in Parliament of getting the matter settled once and for all—we are refreshed and invigorated by being told that more information is wanted, and that the public has gone through no sufficient discipline of discussion on the subject. We should be the last to shrink from this test. We have always found that every discussion, every large audience, every newspaper controversy, has added to our numbers and increased our organisations. Converts among our opponents have not been rare of late years, but undoubtedly our greatest victories have been won in the past (and are possibly awaiting us in the near future) among those men and women who have never thought about the subject at all.
AGAINST FEMALE SUFFRAGE.
[In furtherance of the appeal against female suffrage, which appeared in the June number of this Review (the names appended to which are repeated below), the accompanying Protest is laid before the readers of the Nineteenth Century, with the request that such ladies among them as agree with it, and may not already have signed it, will be kind enough to do so, on the opposite page,
and return it, when detached, to the Editor.
Many hundreds of signatures have been already sent in, and continue to arrive from day to day. They will be published hereafter as a voluntary expression of opinion on this subject from the women readers of the Nineteenth Century.
Meanwhile additional copies of the Protest will be forwarded upon application by Messrs. Spottiswoode & Co., New Street Square, E.C., to any readers who (as many complain), being only subscribers to lending libraries, do not feel justified in detaching the fly-leaf.
EDITOR, Nineteenth Century.]
SIGNATURES TO THE APPEAL OF JUNE, 1889. Dowager Lady STANLEY OF ALDERLEY, Mrs. WESTCOTT, Cambridge, and Abbey Dover Street
Gardens, Westminster Lady FREDERICK CAVENDISI, Carlton Mrs. CHURCH, The Deanery, St. Paul's House Terrace
Mrs. Boyle, The Deanery, Salisbury Lady WIMBORNE, Arlington Street Mrs. Woods, Trinity College, Oxford Lady RANDOLPH CHURCHILL, Connaught The COUNTESS WHARNCLIFFE, Place
Wharncliffe House, Curzon Street, W. Lady Fanny MARJORIBANKS, Picca- Mrs. MUNDELLA, Elvaston Place, S.W. dilly
Mrs. OSBORNE MORGAN, Green Street, The Duchess OF ST. ALBANS, Bestwood, Grosvenor Square Arnold, Notts.
The COUNTESS OF MORLEY, Prince's Lady ALWYNE COMPTON, The Palace, Gardens, S.W. Ely
Mrs. HENRY BROADHURST, Brixton Lady Louisa EGERTON, Piccadilly
Lady CONSTANCE SHAW-LEFEVRE, Mrs. Goschen, Portland Place
Bryanston Square, W. VISCOUNTESS Halifax, Hickleton, Don- Mrs. T. H. GRLEN, Oxford caster
Mrs. LESLIE STEPHEN, Hyde Park Gate, Lady REVELSTOKE, Charles Street, S.W. Berkeley Square
Mrs. HUMPHRY WARD, Russell Square, Hon. Mrs. MEYNELL INGRAM, Temple W.C. Newsam
Miss BEATRICE POTTER, The Argoed, Mrs. Knox-LITTLE, The College, Wor- Monmouth cester
Mrs. IIOLFORD, Dorchester House, Park Lady WADE, Cambridge
Lane Mrs. CREIGHTON, Cambridge, and The Mrs. J. R. GREEN, Kensington Square, College, Worcester