Thursday, February 18, 2016

Women of the Future!

In the previous post, a variety of experts polled at the beginning of the 20th century spoke of the man of the future, or more particularly, the fate of the humankind. Below is an article printed originally in The Christian Herald (New York) which asked some of the most prominent leaders of the women's rights movement what the fate of women would be in the coming twentieth century. 

In spite of the fact that the respondents represented the luminaries of female emancipation of the day, the answers were somewhat ordinary, i.e., progress will be made. Elizabeth Cady Stanton seemed to be speaking to a narrow topic, women as the focus of campaigns to clean up vice. But, enough of my judgment, here is the article.

Outlook for Woman in the New Century

From the Advance Sheets of the Christian Herald, New York

Give Woman Her Rightful Place

By Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Ever and anon public thought is aroused on the question of vice in cities. Though an aroused public sentiment can repress the evils for a time in one locality, they reappear at once with renewed energy in many others. Occasionally church officials make their protests, but one seems to understand the hidden cause of all these outrages.

  The authorities of the Episcopal church are just now fully aroused to action. The first step to be taken is to teach woman a greater self-respect and the rising generation a more profound reverence for her. So long as we assign to her an inferior position in the scale of being: one unfit to stand in the "Holy of Holies" in cathedrals; to take seat as delegate in a synod, general assembly or conference; to be ordained to preach the gospel or administer the sacraments--so long will the degradation and dependence of woman continue!

  All our efforts to suppress vice are hopeless until woman is recognized in the Canon law and all church discipline, as equal in goodness, grace and dignity with bishops, archbishops--yea, with all who are called the head of the church.

  Our sons in the law schools do not rise from their studies of the invidious statutes and opinions of jurists in regard women with a higher respect for them. Our sons in theological seminaries do not rise from their studies of the Bible, and the popular commentaries on the passages of Scripture concerning woman's creation and position in the scale of being, with an added respect for the mothers who went to the very gates of death to give them life and immortality.

  Just as long as the church and the state continue to make woman an outcast she will be the sport of the multitude. If the same respect of the masses are educated to feel for cathedrals, altars, symbols and sacraments was extended to the mothers of the race, as it should be, all these problems would be settled.

                                 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

Woman To Become the Peer of Man.

By Lillie Devereux Blake

Despite the fact that women have through the Christian centuries been condemned to positions of inferiority, when happy conditions or strange accidents have given to fine specimens of their sex the opportunity to show their ability, they have proved their superiority in innumerable instances. The armies of Israel were led to victory by Deborah when Barak lacked the energy to continue the contest. The armies of France were led by Joan of Arc, when the French generals had met only defeat. Elizabeth of England, Maria Theresa of Austria, Catherine the Great of Russia are familiar examples of Queens who were greater than the kings who preceded or followed them.

  Woman's capacity is beyond dispute, and if this be granted, there can be no doubt of her ability to bear the burdens and responsibilities of government. And no woman will ever be elevated to high official position unless she has shown herself at least the peer of those who now hold such places.

Woman An Active Worker in the Church.

By Grace Greenwood (Mrs. Lippincott).

  It is one of the consolations of age that I can look back to almost the beginning of the wonderful progress of woman toward Stuart Mill calls her "emancipation." Some of our hopeful, stout-hearted workers believe themselves working toward emancipation from old-time tyrannies of custom and prejudice, toward political, moral, social and legal equality. It is a happy, second-sight vision, but my heart tells me that such a blessed period in the history of humanity will never arrive without spiritual aid--without the alliance of religious faith and forces. I believe that, first of all, woman should be allowed her true power and position in the Protestant church. When I was a child I heard frequently of a famous woman minister, in a neighboring Methodist church, under whose fervent preaching old men sat gladly, while among the "sisters" of other congregations of the same liberal denomination were many eloquent exhorters. Woman has not kept pace in advance with man in secular fields. Many good women in the church are allowed to do the greater part of its charity and missionary work, but it is not enough. Many a woman sits silent and apart in your conferences and prayer meetings, who has a treasure all unsuspected locked in her devout soul--a passionate persuasive eloquence that might draw many disciples to the Master--and who is gifted with a power of "fervent, effectual prayer" that might lift your sinking and world burdened souls upward and heavenward as on mighty wings.

  "The female prayer meeting" is doubtless a good influence and agency, as are all forms of "female" religious meetings, but they are by no means sufficient for the well-being of women of the church and the complete development of the Christian character and energies. If you do not look forward to a divided heaven, you should begin now to work for co-operation, introfusion, equality. In church organizations woman has been robbed of "the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free."

Woman's Future as Judged by the Present.

By Kate Tannatt Woods.

  Woman's future in business depends not only upon her tact, but her environment. At the present time women are competing with men against heavy odds. Men milliners, dressmakers and shopkeepers do not as a rule make her business life easy. In the professions she has already accomplished much, and is destined to do far more. In the pulpit she is justly honored; in law, she is trusted and encouraged, while in medicine, despite some opposition in the past, she is doing a grand work, which cannot be measured by dry statistics. Her executive faculties are steadily developing as occasion demands, while her management of large organizations has commanded the admiration of statesmen and political leaders.

  As a rule, the progressive West offers better opportunities to women our more conservative East. More women are employed in banks, one lady having the reputation in Illinois several years since of being a "superior bank president." In the State of Washington a woman was first employed as "clerk of the Senate." As librarians women are fast forging to the front and are doing excellent work.

  In literature her efforts have been most successful in weeding out the "goody good trash" formerly offered to the young, and her genuine dislike of can and hypocrisy will do still more in the future: it will aid in overcoming the sensational tendency now so disastrous to legitimate literary work. All this means better wives, wiser fathers, more intelligent mothers, happier spinsters, and a better world, through the general uplifting of our social and spiritual forces.

Woman in Trade, The Army and Politics.

By Harriet Prescott Spofford

  In the future, as in the past, there will doubtless be some women who will cultivate the mercantile spirit, and they can claim the example of Mrs. Henry Green who has turned one million into many millions. And while it does not follow that they need to be eccentric or notorious or niggardly in doing it, it is certain that they will do it better, and to nobler ends by reason of the training received all over the country in schools and colleges of to-day.

  The bad habit of dependence, if not subjection, which until lately has been encouraged in women, has hindered their inventive development. But it is likely that the superior effect of the modern methods, the self-dependence fostered, will increase the inventive quality, and the manual training given in the schools will have taught the use of tools, and the old joke of the woman and the hammer will have lost its clinch. If they can never enter trades that require muscular strength, they can enter those that do not require so much, as many men do. The enlargement also of the intellectual powers, must of course find play in the professions, and women have already demonstrated their value as lawyers, as physicians, helped by feminine tenderness, as ministers, to whom the long cultivation of the spiritual nature through generation after generation lends an added heavenly grace.

  It is often quoted as an argument against the advancement of women that they cannot fight, as if there were nothing in the world to do but to fight, as if, indeed all men could fight.

  There is an ample field for women in connection with the army, in commissary and sanitary and hospital departments, quite as important as any other service. And it should be remembered that when responsibility is brought home to women there will be much less fighting than there is these days.

  And in conclusion, may I not say that while those concerned in our country's welfare are urging the cultivated and refined among them to go into politics, it would seem that the presence of women in politics could not be otherwise than beneficial to the country.

Woman's Advancement in the Professions.

By Belva A. Lockwood.

Woman's introduction into the business world was a necessity fostered by education, that has resulted in the commercial independence of a very large class of American women. All classes and grades of work are to-day the result of skilled machinery instead of skilled handiwork. Skilled machinery must be operated by skilled minds, in which, to a very large extent sex does not enter. In all of the prairie states of the west, where the farming is done by machinery, the women can do the plowing and reaping as well as the men. They have won a power in this industrial independence that has lifted them out of tutelage. We are no longer educating girls to get married, but are training them like the boy, to trades and professions. In the business future of the country there will be a rivalry between men and women for preferment, but heavy contracts, large ventures, and business requiring large capital and intricate problems and long experience will for the next half century be in the hands of men.

  The professions have been opened to woman, who has succeeded in them to a degree that will form a precedent for those who come after, so that the number of women lawyers, doctors, and ministers will increase with each succeeding year. Already the woman doctor has become a necessity for every considerable town, and she welcomed by all of the countries of the orient, where the seclusion of women has been for centuries past the custom of the people.

  The advent of women into the real political life of the country has been mostly confined to the new states of the west, but women politicians will increase and multiply as the years roll on, and they will gradually occupy higher places. Wu Ting Fang, the very astute Chinese minister to this country, who has been much interested in noting our progressive women, said to me, "I believe that some day the United States will have a woman president, but they must first become cabinet ministers." I think however, that to succeed politically women must go into the primaries, be sent as delegates to the nominating conventions, and talk and write in the political campaigns. Nor will this progress lead to the degradation of women as has been feared. 

(as reprinted in the Helena Independent, Helena, MO, December 31, 1900)

A Predator's Game is available for pre-order through Amazon.

A Predator's Game, available March 30, 2016, Rook's Page Publishing.

Nikola Tesla, Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Henry H. Holmes are all characters in my forthcoming thriller, A Predator's Game, Rook's Page Publishing, March 30, 2016.

Back page blurb of A Predator's Game (advance copy, subject to change).

Manhattan, 1896.

When the author Arthur Conan Doyle meets Nikola Tesla he finds a tall, thin genius with a photographic memory and a keen eye, and recognizes in the eccentric inventor the embodiment of his creation, Sherlock. Together, they team up to take on an "evil Holmes." Multi-murderer Dr. Henry H. Holmes has escaped execution and is unleashing a reign of terror upon the metropolis. Set in the late nineteenth century in a world of modern marvels, danger and invention, Conan Doyle and Tesla engage the madman in a deadly game of wits.

Martin Hill Ortiz, also writing under the name, Martin Hill, is the author of A Predatory Mind. Its sequel, set in 1890s Manhattan and titled A Predator's Game, will be available from Rook's Page Publishing, March 30, 2016. It features Nikola Tesla as detective.

His recent mystery, Never Kill A Friend, is available from Ransom Note Press. His epic poem, Two Mistakes, recently won second place in the Margaret Reid/Tom Howard Poetry Competition. He can be contacted at


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