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amples of painting and sculpture are available to any group or any community through such coöperative and capacious institutions as the Grand Central Art Galleries of New York?
By the year 1950 we shall probably have learned that the problems humanity is facing are neither men's problems nor women's problems, but the problems of humanity itself; and that if we are to reach a solution of them, it must be through the joint efforts of both men and women. There is no woman-problem that is not essentially a race-problem. There is no problem of human welfare now engaging the attention of men, that does not also need and deserve the attention of women, though men do not always realize this.
When France first became alarmed over the decreasing birth-rate and appointed a National Birth-Rate Commission to learn what could be done about it, no woman was appointed a member of the Commission; they said this was a serious business and that it was none of woman's concern; woman's place was in the home where the cradlerocking was going on, and when the man decided what was to be done about the birth-rate, he would come home and tell his woman. There was something wistful about a resolution passed at the first meeting of organized women in which they pleaded with men to allow them to become members of the National Divorce Reform League. In the dim recesses of their souls they seemed to feel that this was their business too.
Why a "League of Women Voters"? Why not a "League of Vot
ers"? Women may need political missionary work more than men, but women but women never have had any luck persuading women. Mrs. Catt knew that when she failed to provide women speakers for her latest conference on the Cause and Cure of War, held in Washington. Mrs. Catt knows perfectly well that women prefer the tongues of men or angelsespecially men. But it is equally true that women have a technique in handling and persuading men, that is undreamed of in man's philosophy. There would be, therefore, more hope of getting the fifty per cent of non-voting American citizens to the polls if we administered a fifty per cent mixture of feminine lure and masculine logic.
Gradually, thinking people of both sexes are coming around to this belief, and the great and powerful clubs of the future will be co-clubs, composed of men and women associated together because of some common interest or some common need. In law, medicine and other professions, men and women pursue the same courses of study, take the same examinations, pay the same license, and practise under the same regulations. Why, then, must we have Women's Medical Associations and Women's Bar Associations? Why Chambers of Commerce and Women's Chambers of Commerce? Is there any sense in male democrats and female democrats having separate organizations?
Woman is moving inevitably toward her proper place in the human scheme of things, whether she wills it or not. It is as if we were on a moving sidewalk, propelled by an invisible power, onward and upward
to some plane we cannot see. Just how much organized woman has done to accelerate the progress of woman no one can say, but to this writer it seems evident that, in this stage of our progress, we can do little more than mark time so long as women persist in working in sexgroups at things that concern the whole of humanity-especially when the effort is directed to fields over which men have control, which is to say almost every field.
The woman movement, in its broader aspects, is as different from the woman's club movement as the motion of a great ocean liner is different from that of a little tugboat hustling around inside the harbor. One has swiftness, sureness, grace and power; it moves majestically, and keeps unerringly to its prescribed course. The other operates busily and noisily within a limited area, and is not constructed for long journeys or heavy cargoes; it huffs and puffs, guiding a gigantic and unwieldy ocean ship many times its size, into its narrow berth, or pushing with its nifty little nose an obstinate monster of the deep, toward its dock; its mission is to go nowhere in particular, to do nothing for its own sake, but to pull to-day and push to-morrow, and always with enthusiasm, whether the cargo be coal, gold or human lives. It will always be necessary for great ships to make their way through narrow channels to crowded docks, but the usefulness of the tug will decline as piloting and docking facilities are improved. The organization with a single high purpose is glad enough for a pull here and a push there, as long as every cause has many organizations; but
as the method of the single-purpose organization is improved, and as the fashion of belonging to many organizations declines, it will have less need for outside assistance.
Feminism in America has developed in two distinct directions. The first woman's platform written in the world, aside from a declaration of rights, was formulated at the organization meeting of the International Council of Women and the National Council of Women of the United States, held in Washington in 1888. That meeting was initiated by a group of feminists including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, May Wright Sewell, Clara Barton, Frances Willard, Mary A. Livermore, Julia Ward Howe and Lucy Stone. The meeting was called in commemoration of the Seneca Falls, New York, meeting of 1848, at which women made their formal demand for equality. Delegates were present from fifty-three organizations, ten of which were devoted to temperance work, about twenty to religious causes, the rest being "purity leagues," "anti-vice societies," and "suffrage organizations.” Only one "culture club" was represented-Sorosis of New York, with Mrs. Jenny June Croly, its founder and president, as delegate. Sorosis was twenty years old when the Washington meeting was called, having been organized by Mrs. Croly in 1868, and during those twenty years "culture-clubs" had been springing up here and there all over the country.
Mrs. Croly left no record of her impressions of the Washington meeting, but its program was perhaps a
little stronger than she thought the women were ready for. Those feminists of the forties believed that women should have equality of opportunity in every field-in education and the professions, in industry and in the churches. They demanded equal pay for equal work and a single standard of morals. It is a tribute to the wisdom and vision of those feminists of forty years ago that the platform they wrote is still intact, plank for plank. These are the things women are standing for today. It is with some reluctance, though, that I record that the eternal feminine asserted itself even in that first serious-minded convention. We almost wish they hadn't done it, but they did they passed a resolution providing that a committee be appointed "to suggest a business costume for women, which shall meet the demands of health, comfort and good taste." Why the business women only were to be reformed, we are not told.
Mrs. Croly, listening in on this program, evidently had her own idea as to the direction the woman movement should take. In 1889, the year following the Washington meeting, sixty-one clubs sent delegates to a meeting held in Madison Square theatre, New York, and, under the leadership of Mrs. Croly, what is now the General Federation of Women's Clubs came into being. Of this meeting Mrs. Croly said, "There was nothing aggressive in the work . . . only the opening of doors and windows of souls, and constant light and sunshine flowing in upon their minds and souls. It was the most wonderful of experimental gatherings."
It is plain that the new organization had no reforms in mind. It said, "Give us culture or give us nothing." It concerned itself almost wholly with letting the light into its own soul, while the feminist group considered the male the benighted sex, and its activities were centered in sending the light into man's darkened soul.
The Federation was born with a slogan on its lips: "We look for unity, but unity in diversity." They may still be looking around for unity, but certainly diversity has been achieved. The present president, in her last official address said: "From four committees in the beginning, the work has so grown to meet the opportunities and demands for federation service that there are now eight departments of work, each with its divisions, committees, specialists, and advisers, and more than one hundred and twenty-five activities are being given effective attention. To-day the Federation has coöperative relations with more than 100 agencies among the federal departments, bureaus, and services, and national and international organizations." If that isn't diversity what is it?
In these two great organizationsthe National Council of Women founded by the feminists and the socially minded, and the General Federation of Women's Clubs, motivated by the desire for self-improvement-began the melting and flowing toward a new mold of hightempered feminism. One was sophisticated and forthright, the other uncertain and coy. It would seem that one was right as to program and
the other was right as to method, for at the end of forty years we find the National Council of Women little more than a name, while the General Federation is dizzy with success. What is still more interesting, the Federation no longer admits pursuit of culture as its main object but its eight departments of work follow almost to the letter the program laid out for women by the feminists in 1888.
Were the Federation leaders right? Were women unable to bear too much light flooding through the doors and windows of their souls all at once? Were forty years of training necessary to socialize their thinking and bring them to the point where the suffragist leaders thought they should start? That the National Council languished while the Federation grew, cannot be denied. To quote Mrs. Sherman, the national president: "Nothing ever succeeded like the success of the club movement in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Every woman joined some club and some women joined every club, as long as their finances permitted the payment of dues. There were big clubs and little clubs, inclusive and exclusive, for every purpose under the sun."
The simple and inescapable truth is that organized women have at last got back to where they started forty years ago. But is it going to take them forty years longer to develop a technique adequate for their work? I believe they will seek and find a short cut to service through smaller and more specialized groups composed of men and women. The State organizations are far more efficient and more effective than the
national organization of which they are parts.
I dare to prophesy a clubless woman's world by 1950, in the face of reports of increasing numbers of clubs joining the General Federation and their increasing number of members. It is this very bigness of which it constantly boasts and the hopeless multiplicity of its interests, that render the Federation of Women's Clubs an unresponsive, inefficient organization, despite the unquestioned ability and zeal of its leaders. It is being consumed by fires kindled by its own energies, and no genius of leadership can save it from itself. The larger it becomes the more unwieldy it is. The Federation itself is beginning to feel a kind of hardening of the arteries, and its greatest danger lies in enlargement of the heart. It is so big and so complicated that it is easily clogged; and it is so kind-hearted that it warms up to every cause from feeding the birds to international relations, forming committees and passing resolutions endlessly in their interest. Its latest contribution in the field of international relations was a pageant, presented with great success at the Atlantic City Biennial. It handles the most ponderous questions with a light and cameo-like touch. One example of the Federation technique will, I think, prove my point.
One of the eight departments of work is "Public Welfare," a comprehensive topic of vast importance. This department they have divided neatly into six divisions-Child Welfare, Public Health, Problems of Delinquency, Problems of Industry, Indian Welfare and Narcotics. In
each of these such highly specialized agencies as the Children's Bureau and the Women's Bureau are functioning effectively. If any appreciable results are to be obtained in any one of these fields, it will require the undivided attention of the entire organization for a generation, and at best, the effort would be amateurish. Yet a chairman of Public Welfare, working without pay or expense money, is expected to make a showing at every convention.
Though the present chairman of Public Welfare is one of the ablest and most experienced women in the country, she was helpless before the task. She reported that within the two-year period she had written 2600 letters. Now that is a great many letters for one woman to write when so many other things are pressing in on her, but it is an average of only one letter a year to each 100,000 of the population—hopeless, utterly hopeless as a measure of education or reform. "The study of health laws," continues the report, "has assumed national importance," and yet we are told the only project of importance "was made possible by the generosity of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company."
The question of narcotic control is considered to be important enough to justify a division devoted to the subject, and yet the chairman's report filled scarcely a page of the small pamphlet covering the whole field of Public Welfare. To quote: "Illness in the families of two chairmen of the Western Division has handicapped the work which has had to be carried on by the States without regional assistance. Nobody has heard from the regional chairman
The only widespread response to the chairman's efforts on behalf of three million club women in the interest of the welfare of a hundred million people, was in regard to a suggested May-day celebration which was carried off enthusiastically in thirty-four of the forty-eight States. If evidence were needed of the futility of much of the well-meant effort of national organizations to do worth while things, it may be found in the final paragraph of the report of the chairman of Public Welfare: "Summing up the situation, it would seem that a subject that is purely educational is not as arresting as one that provides more entertainment, and if each year shows an increase in interest, one must be satisfied." But the point is that women of intelligence are not satisfied with May-day parties and such once-a-year frills, when vital and all-the-year-round problems are crying for attention.
Having within the past year observed club women in action in forty States, I am convinced that the majority is weary with the inertia and ineptitude of the old-fashioned women's clubs, and in many States and in many individual clubs, the program has been completely socialized by leaders who are not willing to waste their time in futile efforts.
Notably in North Carolina, club women are facing the realities of public welfare work, and are meeting