To Mrs. Professor Fawcett
Gender, Politics, Domestic Economy, Human Development, Animal Behaviour
Discussing Fawcett's recent lectures on the 'Electoral Disabilities of Women' (a version of which was published as Fawcett 1872), the writer attacks her criticism of the separate spheres of action of men and women. Insists that 'in parcelling life into two great fields, the one inside, the other outside the house-doors, and in creating two beings so distinct in body, mind, and affections as man and women, the Framer of the Universe must have meant the two for different functions'. Insists that 'a similar distinction runs through the whole animal kingdom' and that 'so long as the masculine creature keeps aloof from the domain of the feminine, and leaves to her the nursing and rearing and training of the family, and the ordering and gracing of the home, there lies a tremendously strong presumption against the wisdom of the feminine entry on the masculine domain of business and politics'. Concludes by considering the enfranchisement of women, arguing, 'if Nature had meant you for the franchise, you would have had it long ago'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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