I never can understand why men are so terrified of women having special talents. They have no consistency in argument. They are as sure as the Rock of Gibraltar that they have all the mental superiority and that women are weak-minded, feeble conies; then why do they get in such a mad-bull panic at any attempt on the part of women to express themselves? Men strut and blow about themselves all the time without shame. In the matter of women’s brain power they organise conditions comparable to a foot race in which they have all the training and the proper shoes and little running pants, while women are taken out of the plough, so to speak, with harness and winkers still on them, and are lucky if they are allowed to start at scratch. Then men bellow that they have won the race, that women never could, it would be against NATURE if they did. Surely it is not brave to so fear fair play. No self-respecting woman could possibly respect men, no matter how strong an appetite she might have for them, but to be sorry for them, as some women pretend, is mawkish, and is carrying dissimulation too far.
Carry out that notion a little farther, and depict ten thousand, a hundred thousand homes in England saddened by the thought of the coming calamity, and oppressed by the pervading gloom. My next-door neighbor perhaps has parted with her son. Now the ship in which he is, with a thousand brave comrades, is ploughing through the stormy midnight ocean. Presently (under the flag we know of) the thin red line in which her boy forms a speck, is winding its way through the vast Canadian snows. Another neighbor’s boy is not gone, but is expecting orders to sail; and some one else, besides the circle at home maybe, is in prayer and terror, thinking of the summons which calls the young sailor away. By firesides modest and splendid, all over the three kingdoms, that sorrow is keeping watch, and myriads of hearts beating with that thought, “Will they give up the men?”
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