Monday, June 18, 2007

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Excerpt from The Woman Question, by Stephen Leacock - written in 1916

I was sitting the other day in what is called the Peacock Alley of one of our leading hotels, drinking tea with another thing like myself, a man. At the next table were a group of Superior Beings in silk, talking. I couldn't help overhearing what they said--at least not when I held my head a little sideways.

They were speaking of the war.

"There wouldn't have been any war," said one, " if women were allowed to vote."

"No, indeed," chorused all the others.

The woman who had spoken looked about her defiantly. She wore spectacles and was of the type that we men used to call, in days when we still retained a little courage, an Awful Woman.

"When women have the vote," she went on "there will he no more war. The women will forbid it."

She gazed about her angrily. She evidently wanted to be heard. My friend and I hid ourselves behind a little fern and trembled.

But we listened. We were hoping that the Awful Woman would explain how war would be ended. She didn't. She went on to explain instead that when women have the vote there will be no more poverty, no disease, no germs, no cigarette smoking and nothing to drink but water. It seemed a gloomy world.

"Come," whispered my friend, " this is no place for us. Let us go to the bar."


I've heard this before, somewhere, there's a group of people running around in the modern day and age that says this kind of tripe too... Oh yes, they are called feminists.

Jeez, the second and third wave feminists of the modern day really are whacked out, aren't they. Nothing like the noble suffragettes who only wanted equality.

The thing is, if one checks out one the major arguments against women's suffrage, back in the day, in that it wasn't equality at all what the suffragettes wanted, but rather the full privileges and entitlements of both sexes. Which of course is not equality at all. And... what many of those had fretted about would happen, has happened. Go figure.

The suffragettes were no more noble than Dworkin.

Check out this page filled with cartoons about feminists from around 1910 - these are the "noble feminists." Every one of these cartoons is just as relevant today as it was nearly 100 years ago.