Baltimore Evening Sun (12 February 1913): 6.
And even if the super-Mahon fails to land the Senatorship, he will still face a life of usefulness in vaudeville.—Adv.
After 10 years’ trial of prohibition, the town of Et Dukkehjem, in Norway, has driven out the blind tigers and set up 20 public kaifs. Respectfully referred to the Hon. William H. Anderson.
Bilious but somewhat obscure complaint of the Hon. Thomas F. Cadwalader:
If woman’s suffrage is not at least as noxious a form of dope as direct primaries I’ll devour my hat. If you go back 75 years and make the same charge against manhood suffrage, well and good—but at least it has those 75 years and a prestige equivalent to arrowroot or camomile tea, and it is insulting to group it at this date with Peruna. But I’m tired of earning $10,000 prizes off of you. You’re not even worth the minor curse, for you never come across.
What the hon. gent. objects to, I take it, is the apparent inconsistency between my advocacy of woman’s suffrage and my occasional reviling of the direct primary, the recall, the initiative and referendum and other such soothing tipples of progressivism. But that inconsistency, I believe, is far more apparent than real. I do not hold, with the suffragettes, that the extension of the suffrage would bring the millennium, that the will to power would become the will to kiss, that sin would perish from the earth. Far from it. But I do hold that the dear girls could do no worse with the vote than men have done, that the present discrimination against them is unjust and absurd, that they ought to have their equal chance to inject their favorite antitoxins into the body politic and perform their pet mazurkas.
The common theory that women would not vote as intelligently as men is one that doesn’t appeal to me. I see no evidence in support of it. Women, in general, are certainly not less intelligent than men. On the contrary, they are probably more intelligent. That is to say, they keep in closer contact with reality, they are less romantic, they yield less to emotion. A woman’s eye is always upon the immediate certainty, not upon the remote possibility. She is not an idealist; she seldom dreams great dreams. But in the everyday, commonplace business of living she renders inestimable services to the human race. She keeps it upon the track; she sees that it gets three meals a day; she darns its socks and bathes its fevered brow; she assiduously counts its change.
In the great business of marriage, for example, the attitude of women is far less sentimental than that of men. A man usually marries romantically: he is full of magnificent visions of incredible bliss. Many men, indeed, are so romantic that they never marry at all—the true explanation of 90 per cent. of all masculine celibacy. But women marry with an eye to the main chance. They seldom allow romance to obliterate worldly prudence. In the whole history of England, I am told, no woman has ever actually refused a Duke. And here in free America it is not often, I venture, that a sane woman ever refuses a man who is her social equal and of good repute and able to support her. She may do it if she has a free choice between two such men, but such opportunities, it must be plain, are rare, and even when they occur there is commonly a Palpable difference between the two men, and so the woman’s choice is not free. She picks the better, not the worse. Her eye is on her number.
Such instinctive sagacity, I believe, would have a good influence upon politics. The woman voter would decide public questions, not from the idealistic standpoint, but from the standpoint of bread and butter. She would regard all political wizards and windjammers with distrust and aversion, just as she regards them now. She would bring to the business of government that salubrious cynicism which she now brings to the business of ensnaring and managing her husband. In brief, she would introduce a sharp common sense into political controversy and combat—a quality now almost wholly lacking.
But the suffragettes! The suffragettes! What of them? Isn’t it a fact that their present propaganda is utterly without sense, that their panaceas are all bosh, that their arguments and claims are romantic and nonsensical? Maybe it is. But don’t make the mistake, beloved, of confusing suffragettes with women in general. The suffragettes, by the irony of fate, are the worst of all imaginable specimens of their sex—not in the sense that they are evil, but in the sense that they are untypical. They no more represent the normal habits and mental processes of women than the fantastic Ibsenites of yesterday represented old Henrik, or than the S. P. C. A. of today represents that kindly and lovable creature, the Canis familiaris.
No; the suffragettes are not typical women, and so it would be absurd to charge their extravagances to the normal feminine character. On the contrary, they are untypical women, romantic women, women without womanly common sense. The thing that attracts thern to the suffrage cause is not the cause itself, but the excitement of the campaign. In brief, they are emotionalists—which is exactly what normal women are not. This explains their eager adoption of such ludicrous jehads as the vice crusade. This explains, too, their willing alliances with prima donna preachers, Chautauqua “sociologists,” Socialists, play censors and other such bogus “thinkers” and laryngeal bravos. And this explains, finally, the curious fact that many of them also belong to other windy lodges—of anti-vivisectionism, of anti-vaccinationists, of medical freedomists, of initiators and referendors, of deep breathers, of eugenists.
But, as I have said, the harmless whooping of such fair ladies is certainly not to be charged against the sex in general. If any considerable number of women joined the band, then it would be high time to question the common sense of women in general. But, as everyone knows, the suffragettes are few in number, and cordially detested by the rest of their sex. It is impossible, indeed, to affront the average woman more effectively than by calling her a suffragette. That she does not seek the vote is not due to cowardice or stupidity on her part, nor to any belief that it would be useless and a nuisance, but simply to her fear of being classed with preposterous poseurs and rabble-rousers. Thus the chief obstacle to the extension of the suffrage is the public cavorting of those who advocate it.
Laws to be passed by the suffragettes as soon as they get the vote:
An act forbidding babies to cry between 8 P. M. and 8 A. M. An act prohibiting roaches and flies.