AN APPEAL TO THE MEN OF NEW ZEALAND.
" An Appeal to the Men of New Zealand," by a woman, is a thing that demands some notice from its very nature, and without any reference to the merits of the case. The oppeal must be entertained, even though after trial it should bedismissed with costs. It is in the nature, however, of appeals of this kind — appeals against the existing usages of society — that a first or second decision is not final. Time after time thecasemay be dismissed with the heaviest costs — costs iti the shape of time and labour of brain, of earnest striving, of patient watching, and of the hope deferred that maketh the heart sick. And yet where there is a fixed belief that there is a good case according to the law recognized in the Supreme Court of Nature, the cause will certainly be brought on again, and if the belief be well founded, a judgment will ultimately be obtained. It is always desirable, therefore, with a view to saving litigation, that the case should be examined at the outset, and considered on its merits or with reference to the probability of its success. As if witli the object of enabling us to do this, the authoress of the little pamphlet before us has judiciously offered a distinct issue about which there can be no mistake. She limits herself to the franchise, and she claims for her sex what Mr. Mill has claimed for them in the British House of Commons — that those of them who are heads of houses, who pay taxes, who are allowed to be competent in the management of property, shall have a voice in the making of those laws in which they are as much interested as men. It was remarked by Punch that Mr. Mill, though defeated iv his motion, must have enjoyed a rich triumph in the miserable imbecility of the arguments used by his opponents. We should rather think the philosopher must have been iuclined to weep that truth and reason should be so long obstructed by such rotten barricades. Por ourselves, we find it very difficult to argue iv favour of the admission of female householders to the franchise, for the simple reason that the thesis seems to us to be too plain for argument. The strongest argument seems to be a simple statement of: the case. The- declaration is amply sufficient to entitle the plain tifis to judgment, and any argument must come first from the other side. "When any are adduced iv which any cogency can be discovered, they will demand our careful attention ; but we have met with none such yet. and we are strongly of opinion that we never shall. So eutirely one-sided is the argument upon this question that we are convinced the concession demanded by Foramina would be very soon granted if many of her sex felt the same interest in the subject a3 herself. That they do not do so is only a proof of the efficacy of that repressive system of education which has put shackles on their minds and restricted their rauge of thought. There is all the more reason why the mind of women should be a little stimulated upon this subject, and why every assistance should be given them in enabling them to see for themselves the vast amelioration they might effect in society if they were only rendered competent by a right culture aud training. The pamphlet of Foramina is so short that we shall make no quotations from it, but refer those who wish to see what a woman has to say on this subject to the original source. We can only say that we cordially welcome it, and trust it may assist iv arousing our fellow-countrywomen to an intelligent consideration of their position and their mission. We conclude by assuring Femmina that we are entirely with her in the cause she advocates, and that not only because we wish to do justice to her sex, but because we are fully convinced that an improvement in the status of women is not more necessary for them than it is for men. There is work to be done which we cannot do without the assistance of women, and it is for the sake of our common humanity that we desire to see women co-operate with men in the highest and noblest objects. * An appeal to the Men of Neiv Zealand : By Femmina. Nelson : J. Hounsell.
Permanent link to this item
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXVIII, Issue 70, 1 September 1869
AN APPEAL TO THE MEN OF NEW ZEALAND. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXVIII, Issue 70, 1 September 1869
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.