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    The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Unexpurgated Case Against Women Suffrage, by

    Almroth E. Wright

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with

    almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or

    re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included

    with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org

    Title: The Unexpurgated Case Against Women Suffrage

    Author: Almroth E. Wright

    Posting Date: September 20, 2012 [EBook #5183]

    Release Date: February, 2004

    First Posted: May 31, 2002

    Language: English

    Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

    *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CASE AGAINST WOMAN SUFFRAGE ***

    Produced by Thomas Pollock

    THE

    UNEXPURGATED CASEAGAINST

    WOMAN SUFFRAGE

    BY

    SIR ALMROTH E. WRIGHT M.D., F.R.S.

    NEW YORK

    PAUL B. HOEBER69 EAST59THSTREET

    Copyright, 1913BY PAUL B. HOEBER

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    CONTENTS

    PAGE

    PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Programme of This Treatise--Motives from which

    Women Claim the Suffrage--Types of Men who Sup-

    port the Suffrage--John Stuart Mill.

    PART I

    ARGUMENTSWHICHAREADDUCEDINSUP-

    PORT OFWOMAN'SSUFFRAGE

    I

    ARGUMENTS FROM ELEMENTARY NATURAL RIGHTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

    Signification of the Term "Woman's Rights"--Argu-

    ment from "Justice"--Juridical Justice--"Egalitarian

    Equity"--Argument from Justice Applied to Taxation--Argument from Liberty--Summary of Arguments

    from Elementary Natural Rights.

    II

    ARGUMENTS FROM INTELLECTUAL GRIEV-

    ANCES OF WOMAN . . . . . . . . . 54Complaint of Want of Chivalry--Complaint of "In

    sults"--Complaint of "Illogicalties"--Complaint of

    "Prejudices"--The Familiar Suffragist Grievance of

    the Drunkard Voter and the Woman of Property Who

    is a Non-Voter--The Grievance of Woman being Re-

    quired to Obey Man-Made Laws.

    III PAGE

    ARGUMENTS WHICH TAKE THE FORM OF

    "COUNSELS OF PERFECTION" ADDRESSED

    TO MAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72Argument that Woman Requires a Vote for her Pro-

    tection--Argument that Woman ought to be Invested

    with the Responsibilities of Voting in Order that She

    May Attain Her Full Intellectual Stature.

    PART II

    ARGUMENTSAGAINSTTHECONCESSIONOF THE

    PARLIAMENTARYSUFFRAGETOWOMAN

    I

    WOMAN'S DISABILITY IN THE MATTER OF

    PHYSICAL FORCE . . . . . . . . . 79 International Position of State would be Imperilled by

    Woman's Suffrage--Internal Equilibrium of State

    would be Imperilled.

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    II

    WOMAN'S DISABILITY IN THE MATTER OF IN-

    TELLECT . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Characteristics of the Feminine Mind--Suffragist Illu-

    sions with Regard to the Equality of Man and Woman

    as Workers--Prospect for the Intellectual Future of

    Woman--Has Woman Advanced?

    IIIWOMAN'S DISABILITY IN THE MATTER OF PUB-

    LIC MORALITY . . . . . . . . . . 98 Standards by which Morality can be Appraised--Con-

    flict between Different Moralities--The Correct

    Standard of Morality--Moral Psychology of Man and

    Woman--Difference between Man and Woman in Mat- ters of Public Morality.

    IV PAGE

    MENTAL OUTLOOK AND PROGRAMME OF THE

    FEMALE LEGISLATIVE REFORMER . . 114

    V

    ULTERIOR ENDS WHICH THE WOMAN'S SUF-

    FRAGE MOVEMENT HAS IN VIEW . . . 136

    PART III

    ISTHERE,IF THESUFFRAGEISBARRED,ANY

    PALLIATIVEORCORRECTIVEFOR THE

    DISCONTENTS OFWOMAN?

    IPALLIATIVES OR CORRECTIVES FOR THE DIS-

    CONTENT OF WOMAN . . . . . . . 155What are the Suffragist's Grievances?--Economic and

    Physiological Difficulties of Woman--Intellectual

    Grievances of Suffragist and Corrective.

    APPENDIX LETTER ON MILITANT HYSTERIA . . . . . . 167

    PREFACE

    IT has come to be believed that everything

    that has a bearing upon the concession of the

    suffrage to woman has already been brought

    forward. In reality, however, the influence of women

    has caused man to leave unsaid many things

    which he ought to have said.

    Especially in two respects has woman re-

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    stricted the discussion.

    She has placed her taboo upon all general-

    isations about women, taking exception to

    these on the threefold ground that there would

    be no generalisations which would hold true of

    all women; that generalisations when reached

    possess no practical utility; and that the ele-

    ment of sex does not leave upon women any

    general imprint such as could properly be

    brought up in connexion with the question of

    admitting them to the electorate. 11

    Woman has further stifled discussion by

    placing her taboo upon anything seriously un-

    flattering being said about her in public.

    I would suggest, and would propose here

    myself to act upon the suggestion, that, in con-

    nexion with the discussion of woman's suf-

    frage, these restrictions should be laid

    aside. In connexion with the setting aside of the

    restriction upon generalising, I may perhaps

    profitably point out that all generalisations,

    and not only generalisations which relate to

    women, are ex hypothesi[by hypothesis]subject to individual

    exceptions. (It is to generalisations that the

    proverb that "the exception proves the rule"

    really applies.) I may further point out that

    practically every decision which we take in or-

    dinary life, and all legislative action without

    exception, is based upon generalisations; andagain, that the question of the suffrage, and

    with it the larger question as to the proper

    sphere of woman, finally turns upon the ques-

    tion as to what imprint woman's sexual sys- 12

    tem leaves upon her physical frame, character,

    and intellect: in more technical terms, it turns

    upon the question as to what are the secondary

    sexual character[istic]sof woman.

    Now only by a felicitous exercise of the fac-

    ulty of successful generalisation can we arriveat a knowledge of these.

    With respect to the restriction that nothing

    which might offend woman's amour propre [self love]

    shall be said in public, it may be pointed out

    that, while it was perfectly proper and equit-

    able that no evil (and, as Pericles proposed,

    also no good) should be said of woman in pub-

    lic so long as she confined herself to the do-

    mestic sphere, the action of that section of

    women who have sought to effect an entrance

    into public life, has now brought down uponwoman, as one of the penalties, the abrogation

    of that convention.

    A consideration which perhaps ranks only

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    next in importance to that with which we have

    been dealing, is that of the logical sanction of

    the propositions which are enunciated in the 13

    course of such controversial discussions as that

    in which we are here involved.

    It is clearly a precondition of all useful dis-

    cussion that the author and reader should be in

    accord with respect to the authority of the gen-

    eralisations and definitions which supply the

    premisses for his reasonings.

    Though this might perhaps to the reader

    appear an impractical ideal, I would propose

    here to attempt to reach it by explaining the

    logical method which I have set myself to fol-

    low.

    Although I have from literary necessity em-

    ployed in my text some of the verbal forms of

    dogmatism, I am very far from laying claim

    to any dogmatic authority. More than that, Iwould desire categorically to repudiate such a

    claim.

    For I do not conceal from myself that, if I

    took up such a position, I should wantonly be

    placing myself at the mercy of my reader.

    For he could then, by merely refusing to see 14

    in me an authority, bring down the whole edi-

    fice of my argument like a house of cards.

    Moreover I am not blind to what would hap-

    pen if, after I claimed to be taken as an author-

    ity, the reader was indulgent enough still to goon to read what I have written.

    He would in such a case, the moment he en-

    countered a statement with which he disagreed,

    simply waive me on one side with the words,

    "So you say."

    And if he should encounter a statement with

    which he agreed, he would in his wisdom, cen-

    sure me for neglecting to provide for that

    proposition a satisfactory logical founda-

    tion. If it is far from my thoughts to claim a right

    of dictation, it is equally remote from them to

    take up the position that I have in my argu-

    ments furnishedproofof the thesis which

    I set out to establish.

    It would be culpable misuse of language to

    speak in such connexion ofproofor disproof. 15

    Proof by testimony, which is available in con-

    nexion with questions of f