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The Influence of Women in the Future.

The risQ-t'of women—who form the majority of the race m most civilised countries—to supreme power m the near future is certain. Whether one looks at? : it with hope or with despair, one has to> ; recognise it. For, my own part I find it ian unfailing source of hope. One cannot. ; help feeling that along the purely masculine line no striking social advance is; likely: to be made. Men ara idealists,, in> se'stfch of wealth usually, sometimes of artistic visions ; they, have little capacity/ for social organisation. It is sonttjtintes said that the fundamental inferiority of Women is shown by the very few surpassing women of genius m the world's history. In. their anxiety to combat this argument

women have even enlisted Semiramis and Dido into their ranks. But it is a fact. For »11 great solitary and artistic achievements —the writing of Divine Comedies, the painting of Transfigurations, the construction of systems of metaphysic, the inauguration of new religions—men are without rivals; the more abstract and unsocial on art is, the _ easier it is for men to aflain eminence m it. In music atid m the art of erecting philosophies men have had, least of all, any occasion to fear the rivalry of women. Such things are precious, although it may be that what we call 'genius' is something abnormal and distorted, like those centres of irritation which result m the pearls we likewise count so precious. Women are comparatively free from < genius.' Yet it might probably be maintained that the average level of women's intelligence is fully''equal to that of men's. Compare the men and women among settler. > m the Australian bush, or wherever else m»n and women have been side by side to construct theirsociallife as best they may, and it will often be to the disadvantage of the men. In practical and social life—even perhaps, though this is yet doubtful, m science—women will have nothing to fear. The most important mental sexual difference lies m the relative and absolute preponderance m women of the lower—that is, the more important and fundamental nervous centres. What new forma the influence of women will give to society we cannot tell. Our most strenuous efforts will be needed to see to it that women gain the wider experience of life, the larger education m the full sense of the word, the entire freedom of development, without which their vast power of interference m social organination might have disastrous as well as happy results.— 'The New Spirit,' by Havelock Ellis (Bell and Sons).

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The Influence of Women in the Future., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2485, 7 August 1890

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The Influence of Women in the Future. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2485, 7 August 1890

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