Baltimore Evening Sun (17 May 1913): 6.


Only two years more! And then the greased chute and–Whoop-la!

Two years more of McCay McCoy! Two years more of the Calvert Bank! Two years more of goose grease and cocoa butter! Two years more of government by Sunday-school superintendents!

From a nonsensical letter by a member of the Maryland Anti-Vivisection Society in Thursday’s Letter Column:

  1. Hydrophobia has been described as a “neurotic or hysterical manifestation” which may be due to many different causes, one of the commonest of which is fear.
  2. The explanation of the cure [by the vapor bath recommended by the society] is that the poison is eliminated from the system by the sweating process.

What vapid bosh! First hydrophobia is a form of hysteria, and then it is caused by poisons! First it is mental, and then it is physical! But such childish balderdash will surprise no one familiar with anti-vivisectionist literature. That literature represents, not the sober thought of intelligent men, but the idle mooning of ignorant and superstitious old maids. And it is supported by the testimony of quacks, grafters and mountebanks.

In the present case, for example, the witness called to testify for the vapor bath is one “Dr. Buissen,” a French “expert” who happens to be wholly unknown to the medical reference books. This Buissen, according to the letter I have quoted, was “the proprietor of a bath establishment.” In other words, the views of Dr. Pasteur, of Dr. Metchnikoff and of all other reputable pathologists in Christendom are to be exploded by the unsupported testimony of a French Bath House Jean!

Boil your drinking water! Don’t let Anderson go! Watch Bob come back!

From literature circulated by the anti-suffragettes:

No more than 8 per cent. of the women of America want the vote. Why should the remaining 92 per cent. be dragged to the polls against their will?

Well, who wants to drag them to the polls? Certainly no one will object if they refrain from voting. Nearly a third of the men who are now entitled to vote refrain from voting, and yet no one tries to force them. But the antis will have to go to the polls to kill the suffragettes’ votes? Bosh! Even supposing the suffragettes do vote together—which is very unlikely—their “8 per cent.” will not be dangerous.

It is very seldom, in the United States, that important elections are determined by so small a percentage of the voters. The Hon. Woodrow Wilson was elected by a plurality of more than 33 per cent. Professor Taft was elected, in 1908, by 16 per cent.; Colonel Roosevelt, in 1904, by more than 30 per cent. McKinley beat Bryan, in 1900, by nearly 12 per cent. Even in 1896 the plurality against Bryan was more then 8 per cent. Before 1896, true enough, Presidential pluralities were usually smaller, but the present tendency is for them to increase. Those of Colonel Roosevelt and Dr. Wilson were both above 2,000,000 votes.

Moreover, there is no prospect that the suffragettes, if they had the vote, would misuse it more than men misuse it today. True enough, they have helped to put through red-light bills and other such toys of the uplift in those States wherein they now vote, but bills just as silly have been put through in other States by the votes of men alone. Perunaism is not a purely feminine malady. Certainly it is not a purely suffragette malady. Here in Maryland, if I make no mistake, the antis join the suffragettes in whooping up the millennium. Both are in favor of vice crusades, policewomen, incessant raiding and all other such inventions of malignant morality. Both petition the public authorities to lock up the poor on Sunday.

The truth is that the suffragettes and the antis, for all their denunciation of each other, are sisters under their skins. Both are moved by the same impulse—i. e., the impulse to cut a figure in the world, to take a hand in important events, to escape from the fetters of the home. The suffragettes mount the stump and yell for the vote; the antis mount the stump and cry down the suffragettes. Both enterprises stimulate the higher cerebral cells–and are fatal to Koche, Kirche und Kinder. The anti reveres the dishpan no more than the suffragette. She is equally eager to emerge from its dark depths, and to shake herself dry, and to sniff the beauty of the world.

This impulse is wholly worthy and laudable. It is a sign of awakening intelligence in women. So long as they were ignorant and childish, it was all well enough for them to be the slaves of their lords and masters, but today they read good books, they go out into the world to work, they grapple with fundamental problems, they meet men on equal terms. It is ridiculous to expect such emancipated and curious women to be content with the petty round of domestic duties. For good or for ill, they have more attractive fish to fry.

The one danger in this effort to strike off old shackles is that it makes a good many women overestimate the lot of man. That is to say, they fall into the erroneous assumption that man’s work has no drudgery in it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the man whose work seems most stimulating spends four-fifths of his time in tedious drudgery. It is drudgery for Dr. Wilson to receive visits from Congressmen and job-seekers. It is drudgery for a general of brigade to drill his troops. It is drudgery unspeakable to score a symphony, or to rehearse an opera troupe, or to march upon the North Pole, or to make the drawings for a skyscraper, or to cut out an endless succession of appendices. Such drudgeries men have to submit to; they differ in quality, but not in kind from the drudgeries of the kitchen, the sewing. room and the nursery.

But this point remains: that women, like men, should have a reasonable chance to select their own drudgeries. If they want to cook, darn and raise children, then let them do it. They have a great talent for that work, and the vast majority of them prefer it to any other. But if they want to write melodramas, or lead strikes, or keep kaifs, or boss vice crusades, or bellow at Chautauquas, or go to the Legislature, then let them do it again. They have a clear right to choose for themselves. There is nothing but bumptious pretense in the theory that men should be allowed to do the choosing for them.

Let me end with a platitude: women are as human as men. The trouble with many men is that they don’t know it. The trouble with the antis is that they try to disprove it.