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    And unto Adam the Lord said; "Cursed be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herbs of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground, for dust thou art and into dust thou shalt return. Gen. 3: 17-18-19.

    Upon man was pronounced the curse of the world's work. The Bible declares it was because of his sinfulness that the earth was to be cursed; for his punishment that he was to eat of it in sorrow all the days of his life; because of his wickedness that it was to bear thorns and thistles; and in consequence of his disobedience that he was to eat the herb of the field in the sweat of his face until he returned unto the ground from whence he came. No curse of work was pronounced upon woman; her "curse" was of an entirely different character. It was a positive command of the Lord God Almighty, that upon man alone the work of the world should fall and this work he was to perform in sorrow and the sweat of his brow.

    Thus far this book has been devoted to a consideration of the doctrines taught by christian men in regard to "woman's curse," and so earnestly has this doctrine been proclaimed that man seems to have. entirely forgotten the "curse," also pronounced upon himself or if he has not forgotten, he has neglected to see its

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full import, and in his anxiety to keep woman in subordination he has placed his "curse" also upon her thus thwarting the express command of God. It is therefore but just to new devote a few pages to the consideration of man's "curse" and an investigation of the spirit in which he has accepted the penalty imposed upon him for his share in the transgression which cost him Paradise. At the commencement of this investigation, it will be well to remember that Eve was not banished from the Garden of Eden. Adam alone was cast out and to prohibit his re-entrance, not hers, the angel with the flaming sword was set as guardian at its gates.

    We must also recall the opposition of the church through the ages to all attempts made towards the amelioration of woman's suffering at time of her bringing forth children, upon the plea that such mitigation was a direct interference with the mandate of the Almighty and an inexcusable sin. It will be recalled that in the chapter upon witchcraft, the bitter hostility of the church to the use of anæsthetics by the women physicians of that period was shown, and its opposing sermons, its charges of heresy, its burnings at the stake as methods of enforcing that opposition. Man, ever unjust to woman, has been no less so in the field of work. He has not taken upon himself the entire work of the world, as commanded, but has ever imposed a large portion of it upon woman. Neither do all men labor; but thousands in idleness evade the "curse" of work pronounced upon all men alike. The church in -its teachings and through its non-preaching the duty of man in this respect, is guilty of that defiance of the Lord God it has ever been so ready to attribute to woman. The pulpit does not proclaim that this

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curse of work rests upon any man; does not preach this command to the idle, the profligate, the rich or the honored but on the contrary shows less sympathy and less respect for the laborer, than for the idle man. The influence of this neglect of its duty by the church has permeated the christian world, we everywhere find contempt for the man who amid thorns and thistles tills the ground, obeying his primal "curse" of earning his bread by the sweat of his brow; and everywhere see respect accorded to the man, who by whatever means of honest or of dishonest capacity evades his curse, taking no share in the labors of the field, nor earning his bread in the sweat of his brow.

    Anæsthetics have justly been called the greatest boon ever conferred by science upon mankind. But after the persecution of the witchcraft period a knowledge of their use was lost to the world for many hundred years, but when rediscovered during the present century, their employment in mitigating the sufferings of the expectant mother, again met with the same opposition as during the middle ages upon the same ground of its interference with "the curse" pronounced by God upon woman. The question of their use at such time was violently discussed at ministerial gatherings, and when Sir James Simpson, physician to Queen Victoria, employed them at the birth of the later princes and princesses he was assailed by pulpit and press as having sacrilegiously thwarted "the curse." When the practice was introduced into the United States, prominent New England clergymen preached against their use upon the same ground, of its being an impious frustration of the curse of the Almighty upon woman. But the history of christendom does

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not show an instance in which the church or the pulpit ever opposed labor by woman, upon the ground of its being an interference with the "curse" pronounced upon man, but on the contrary her duty to labor has been taught by church and state alike, having met no opposition, unless, perchance she has entered upon some remunerative employment theretofore monopolized by man, with the purpose of applying its proceeds to her own individual use. Nor has objection then arisen because of the work, but solely because of its money-earning qualities. An investigation of the laws concerning woman, their origin, growth, and by whom chiefly sustained, will enable us to judge how far they are founded upon the eternal principles of justice and how far emanating from ignorance, superstition and love of power which is the basis of all despotism. Viewing her through the Christian Ages, we find woman has chiefly been regarded as an element of wealth; the labor of wife1 and daughters, the sale of the latter in the prostitution of a loveless marriage, having been an universally extended form of domestic slavery, one which the latest court decisions recognize as still extant. It is the boast of America and Europe that woman holds a higher position in the world of work under christianity than under pagandom. Heathen treatment of women in this respect of ten forms the subject of returned missionary sermon s from men apparently forgetful that servile labor of the severest and most degrading character is Performed by christian women, is demanded from them in every christian country, Catholic, Greek, and Protestant alike, many savage and barbarous races showing superiority over christian lands in their general treatment of women.

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    England claiming to represent the highest result of christian civilization shows girls of the most tender years and married women with infants at the breast working in the depths of coal mines nearly naked, where harnessed to trucks they drag loads of coal on their hands and knees through long low galleries to the pit mouth. Among the pit-women in England are those to whom Christianity is not even a name; one to whom the word Christ was spoken, asking "who's him; be he a hodman or a pitman?" It has been truthfully declared that England protects its hunting dogs kept for their master's pleasure, far better than it protects the women and children of its working classes. It takes about $2,500,000 annually to pay the maintenance of the 20,000 hounds owned in Great Britain, while women and children are left to slowly die at starvation wages. A few years since a commission was instituted by Parliament to inquire into the condition of women working in the coal mines and the wages paid them. The facts ascertained were of the most horrible character, no improvement being shown in the past fifty years, men and women, boys and girls, still working together in an almost naked condition.

    "In the Lancashire coal-fields lying to the north and west of Manchester, females are regularly employed in underground labor, and the brutal conduct of the men and the debasement of the women are well described by some of the witnesses examined by them. Betty Harris, (one of numerous persons examined), aged thirty-seven, drawer in a coal pit, said: "I have a belt around my waist and a chain between my legs to the truck, and I go on my hands and feet; the road is very steep and we have to hold by a rope, and when there is no rope, by anything we can catch hold of. There are six women and about six boys or girls in the pit I work in; it is very wet, and the water comes

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over our clog-tops always, and I have seen it up to my thighs; my clothes are always wet." Patience Keershaw aged seventeen, another examined, said: "I work in the clothes I now have on (trousers and ragged jacket;) the bald place upon my head is made by thrusting the cones; the getters I work for are naked, except their caps; they pull off their clothes; all the men are naked. "Margaret Hibbs, aged eighteen, said: "My employment after reaching the wall-face is to fill my bagie or stype with two and a half or three hundred weight of coal; I then hook it on to my chain and drag it through the seam, which is from twenty six to twenty-eight inches high, till I get to the main road, a good distance, probably two hundred to 400 yards; the pavement I drag over is wet, and I am obliged at all times to crawl on my hands and feet with my bagie hung to the chain and ropes. It is sad, sweating, sore an fatiguing work, and frequently maims the women." Robert Bald, the government coal-viewer, states, that "In surveying the workings of an extensive colliery under ground, a married woman came forward groaning under an excessive weight of coals, trembling. in every nerve, and almost unable to keep her knees from sinking under her. On coming up she said, in a plaintive and melancholy voice, "Oh sir, this is sore, sore, sore work." A sub-commissioner said: "It is almost incredible that human beings can submit to such employment-crawling on hands and knees harnessed like horses, over soft, slushy floors, more difficult than dragging the same weight through our lowest sewers." Hundreds of pages are filled with testimony of the same revolting character. These miserable human beings are paid less than twenty cents per day. The evidence shows almost as terrible a condition of the employees of the workshops and large manufacturing establishments.

    For the same kind of work men are paid three times more wages than are paid to women.

    Women in the iron trade of the Midlands are compelled, according to a labor commission witness, to

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work in the sheds scantily covered and in the summer have to divest themselves of nearly all their clothing while hammering nuts and bolts. They bring their children to the factories and cover them up to prevent their being burnt by red-hot sparks. Often they have to carry bundles of iron weighing half a hundred weight. For such work they earn 4s. or 5s. a week, while the men make about 14 s.

    As early as 1840 an inquiry into the mining affairs of Great Britain, while showing a pitiable condition of the male laborers, exhibited that of women and children in a much worse light. As the natural guardians of children, well aware of their immaturity of body and mind, no mother allows their employment in severe labor at a tender age unless herself compelled to such work and unable to save her children. But at this investigation, men, women and children were found working together in the pits all either nude or nearly so, and according to the Report, not seeing daylight for weeks at a time. Women soon to become mothers were found yoked to carts in the pits; girls carried baskets of coal on their backs up ladders; while mere children crawling like dogs, on hands and feet, hauled carts along narrow rails, the system in operation requiring these victims to remain underground for weeks at a time, breathing foul air and deprived of the light of day. The spirit of ambition is not dead among these wretched serfs, these women working out man's "curse." The most degraded woman in the English coal mine will fight for precedence. She has all the force of the man by her side whose religious equal she is not; whose political equal she is not; he possessing those elements of power, entrance to the priesthood and use of the ballot, denied to her. Through the ballot he receives higher wages for the same kind and amount of work the church having taught his superior rights upon

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every point; through the ballot he influences the action of government in his own favor to the injury of his fellow work-woman. A few years since the male miners petitioned against the employment of women in the mines, when a clause to that effect was immediately introduced to the Coal Mine Bill, then before Parliament, although in the Lancashire districts where one hundred and sixty-four women were employed, all but twenty-six were widows or single women entirely dependent upon their own earnings. As severe as the work, the women were remarkable for their bright and healthful appearance as contrasted with the woman workers in the factories of Great Britain. Man, hereditarily unjust to woman under the principles of the Patriarchate and the lessons of Christianity, is even more unjust in the fields of work he has compelled her to enter, than in those of education and the ballot which she is seeking for herself. Organizations, strikes, the eight hour law demand, are largely conducted by men for men. The grim humor originating the proverb "a man's work is from sun to sun, a woman's work is never done," still clings with all its old force to women in most employments. To such small extent has man made the woman worker's cause his own, that instances are to be found even in the United States, where men and women working together and together going out upon a strike, the men have been reinstated at the increase demanded, the women forced to return at the old wages. Nor is our own country the chief sinner in this respect. It was found imperative many years since, among the women of England to organize leagues of their own sex alone, if they desired their own interest in labor to be protected; the male Trades Unions of that country excluding women from some of the best

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paid branches of industry, as carpet making, cloth weaving, letter press printing.2 In self defense, the Woman's Protective and Provident League, and a "Woman's Union Labor Journal" were founded. The principle of exclusion has not alone been shown against woman's entrance into well paid branches of work, but in those they have been permitted to enter they have found themselves subjected to much petty annoyance. Among the male painters of pottery a combination was formed to prevent the use by woman of the arm-rests required in this work. Tram-way trains carry London workmen at reduced rates, but a combination was entered into by male laborers to prevent women workers from using the low-priced trains. Nor in many instances are employers less the enemies of women, unions having been found necessary for the purpose of moral protection. A most deplorable evidence of the low respect in which woman is held and the slavery that work and cheap wages mean for her, is the suggestion often made by employers that she shall supplement her wages by the sale of her body. The manager of an industrial league in New York City a few years since found that no young girl escaped such temptation. Neither extreme youth nor friendliness afforded security or protection but were rather additional inducements for betrayal, most of the victims numbering but fourteen short years. The late Jennie Collins, of Boston, one of the earliest persons

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in the United States, to devote herself to this branch of the "woman question," said:

    It is easy for a young girl to obtain employment but let her go where she will, even in government positions at Washington, she will find her innocence assailed if not made the price at which she gets a chance to work. And that same government does not pay its women employees the same amount of wages for the same kind of work.

    In the Scottish collieries women are compelled to work in mines filled with gas and flooded with water,3 little girls commencing work in these collieries at four years of age, and at six carrying loads of one hundred and fifty pounds upon their backs. Half clothed women work by the side of entirely nude men, dragging ponderous loads of 16,000 yards a day by means of a chain fastened to a belt, the severe labor of dragging this coal up inclined places to the mouth of the pit, testing every muscle and straining every nerve. It is a work so destructive to health that even the stoutest men shrink from it, women engaged in it seldom living to be over thirty or forty years of age.

    A gentleman traveling in Ireland blushed for his sex when he saw the employments of women young and old. He described them as patient drudges, staggering over the bogs with heavy creels of turf on their backs or climbing the slopes from the sea-shore laden like beasts of burden, with heavy sand-dripping sea-weed, or undertaking long journeys on foot into the market towns bearing heavy hampers of farm produce. Man in thrusting the enforcement of his "curse" upon woman in Christian lands has made her the great unpaid laborer of the world. In European countries and in the

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    United States, we find her everywhere receiving less pay than man for the same kind and quality of work. A recent statement regarding women workers in the foundries of Pittsburgh, Penn., where five hundred women are employed in putting heads on nails and bolts, declared they received less than one-half the sum formerly paid to men who did the same kind of work; women getting from but four to five dollars a week while the wages of men ranged from fourteen to sixteen dollars a week. But as evil as the experience of young women in the world of work, that of old women is in some respects even greater. While the young girl is almost certain to obtain work even if at small wages, it is very difficult for the woman of mature years to obtain work at all, either in households as seamstresses or in manufactories. Societies in the City of New York, for the aid of the working women find it impossible to secure employment for middle-aged women. The report of one such society stated that some of these women managed to procure commitment to the Island in order to obtain food and prevent absolute starvation; others slowly died from want of sufficient food; still others, like the poor hard working girls of Paris, sought the river as an end to their sufferings. As in the witchcraft period when the chief persecution for many years raged against old women, we still find in our own country that the woman of middle life is the least regarded in her efforts for a livelihood. The reason remains the same. Looked upon during the Christian ages from a sensual standard, the church teaching that woman was made for man still exerts its poisonous influence, still destroys woman. Not alone employers and male laborers oppress woman, but legislation is frequently invoked to prevent

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her entering certain occupations. The Coal Miner's Bill was one of many instances in Great Britain. Women work there also at making nails, spikes and chains. Not long since legislation prohibiting their entering this branch of work was attempted, when a deputation of women iron-workers waited upon the home secretary to protest against government interference with their right to earn a livelihood. One of these representative women had entered the work at seven years of age, being then fifty-seven. Having spent nearly half a century in this occupation she was practically incapacitated for any other form of labor.

    The terrible condition of working women in Paris, has attracted the attention of the French government. In but three or four trades are they even fairly well paid, and these few require a peculiar adaptation, as well as an expensive training out of reach of most women laborers. And even in these best paid kinds of work, a discrimination in favor of man exists; at the China manufactory at Sévres where the men employed receive a retiring pension, the women do not. From fifteen to eighteen pence represents the daily earnings of the Parisian working girl, upon which sum it is impossible for her to properly support life. Many of these girls die of slow starvation, others are driven into prostitution, still others seek relief in the Seine. French women perform the most repulsive labors of the docks; they work in the mines dragging or pushing heavy trucks of coal like their English sisters, through narrow tunnels that run from the seams to the shaft; eating food of such poor quality that the lessening stature of the population daily shows the result. This decreasing size of Frenchmen especially

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among the peasantry, the majority not coming up to the regulation army height, has within the last fifteen or twenty years called attention of the government during conscription, yet without seeming to teach its cause as lying in the poor food and hard labor of women, the mothers of these men. The heaviest burdens of porters, the most offensive sanitary work, the severest agricultural labor in that country falls upon woman. "I pity the women, the donkeys, and the boys," wrote Mrs. Stanton when traveling in the South of France. It is the poor nourishment and excessive labor of woman which makes France to-day a country of rapidly decreasing birth-rate, seriously affecting its population and calling the earnest attention of statistical bureaus and physicians to this vital question; a question which affects the standing of France among the nations of the earth. According to the report of the chief of the statistical bureau, 1890, there were fewer births than deaths that year, the births amounting to 838,059, the deaths to 876,505, an excess of 38,446 deaths. Commenting upon these returns, "Der Reichsbote" of Berlin, attributed the cause to a wide-spread aversion to large families; acknowledging, however, that the lower classes had become weakened and dwarfed by the tasks imposed upon them. What neither the statistical bureau, the press, or the church yet comprehend is the fact that the work imposed upon its Christian women, the "curse" of man thrust upon her, is the chief cause of the lessening size and lessening population of that country. A French gentleman employing a large number of women in a flax factory was appalled at the great amount of infant mortality among the children of his employees. Believing the excessive death rate to be in consequence of

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the continued labor of women, he released expectant mothers for a month previous, and two months after the birth of a child, with a marked diminution of the death rate. The ordinary food of the peasantry is of poor quality and meager quantity. Those employed in the manufacture of silk largely subsist upon a species of black broth proverbial for its lack of nutritive qualities. The absence of certain elements in food both creates specific diseases and inability to combat disease. Vital stamina is closely dependent upon, the number of red corpuscles in the blood, the quality of food possessing direct connection with these corpuscles. Dr. Blackwell, of the London Anthropological Society, examined the blood of different races as related to the food eaten by them, finding the number and shape of the red corpuscles to be dependent upon the kind of food eaten. Dr. Richardson, a Philadelphia microscopist, said: "Any cause which interferes with perfect nutrition may diminish the red corpuscles in number." These corpuscles are recognized as "'oxygen carriers," therefore any cause which tends to diminish the number of red corpuscles also deprives the system of a portion of the oxygen required for sanitary needs. Blood not fully oxygenated is poisonous to the system. Among the causes recognized by physiologists as creating that alteration in the functions of the body which materially changes the character of the red corpuscles, are poor food, bad air and overwork. These specifically produce blood poisoning, creating new substances in the body that are injurious to the organism.

    It is not alone in France that such effects are to be noted, although governmental attention has not elsewhere been called to the condition produced, yet twenty

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years since, "Frazer's Magazine" in an article on "Field Farming Women in England" in reference to the poor food and overwork of women of this class, said of their children: "The boys are always very short for their age, those of fifteen being no larger than town boys of ten; girls are thin and skinny, angular and bony." Eight years ago, Dr. Rochad, who has given much time to this question, prophesied that the population of France would become stationary before the end of the century. At that time his words carried no weight; he was ridiculed as a vague theorizer, but this result has been reached in one half the time he gave and the results are even of graver character than Dr. Rochad assumed them to be. The balance has already fallen upon the opposite side and in a single year the deaths have outnumbered the births nearly 40,000. Two hundred and fifty thousand infants annually die in France because of the impoverished blood, hard work and general innutrition of French mothers. "These lives are the more precious to France which can no longer afford to lose them, since in a single year the death rate outnumbered the birth rate 40,000. Through the effort of Dr. Rochad, a society has been organized, rules for feeding infants formulated with penalties attached, and like futile methods for effecting a change suggested; while the real cause of the lessening population is left untouched. Until the condition of the mother as life-giver is held as sacred under Christianity as it was among the Greeks and Romans; until man taking his own "curse" upon himself frees woman from its penalties; until she and her young children are supplied with nourishing food and woman secures pure air to breathe and freedom from the hardships so supremely her lot under existing

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laws and customs, not until then will a change take place. Parker Pillsbury in "Popular Religion," says:

    Once I journeyed among the magnificent fields, villages and vineyards in the south of France. Women tanned, browned, almost bronzed by the sun, wind and much exposure, weary and worn, many of them mothers, or soon to become such, spaded, shoveled, plowed, harrowed, often drawing harrows themselves across furrowed fields; they mowed, raked, pitched, loaded and unloaded the hay of the meadows; they harvested the crops and then hastened to haul manure and prepare the ground for other crops, rising early and toiling late, doing almost all kinds of work men do anywhere, and some kinds which neither man nor woman should ever do.

    Germany, whose women were revered in the centuries before Christianity, now degrades them to the level of beasts. Women and dogs harnessed together are found drawing milk carts in the streets; women and cows yoked draw the plough in the fields; the German peasant wife works on the roads or carries mortar to the top of the highest buildings, while her husband smokes his pipe at the foot of the ladder until she descends for him to again fill the hod. To such extent is woman a laborer that she comes in competition with the railroad and all public methods of traffic. Eight-tenths of the agricultural laborers are women; they plow and sow, and reap the grain and carry immense loads of offal for fertilizing the land. As street cleaners they collect the garbage of towns, work with brooms and shovels to cleanse roadways; and harnessed alone, or with cows or dogs, perform all the most repulsive labors of the fields and streets. Nor for a knowledge of their work are we dependent upon the statements of travelers, but official documents corroborate the worst. An American consul says of a Circular

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Upon Labor recently issued by the German government: An important factor in the labor of Germany is not enquired of in the circular, viz., the labor of dogs. I have heard it estimated that women and dogs harnessed together do more hauling than the railroads and all other modes of conveyance of goods united. Hundreds of small wagons can be seen every day on all the roads leading to and from Dresden, each having a dog for the "near horse" harnessed, while the "off horse" is a woman with her left hand grasping the wagon tongue to give it direction, and the right hand passed through. a loop in the rope which is attached to the axle, binding the shoulder; the harnessed woman and dog trudge along together, pulling miraculous loads in all sorts of weather.

The pay of woman for this strange, degrading labor is from ten to twenty-five cents a day. Nor is that of sewing more remunerative. In March, 1892, a libel suit against an embroidery manufacturer brought to light the fact that women in his employ received but five cents a day. No burden in Germany is considered too heavy for woman until the failing strength of old age necessitates a change of occupation, when amid all varities of weather they take the place of the newsboys of our own country, selling papers upon the streets. Munich, the capital of Bavarian Germany, is famed for its treasury of art; paintings, ancient and modern sculptures, old manuscripts of inestimable value, large libraries and splendid architecture make it the seat of the fine arts. But its women are still victims of Christian civilization. Dresden is another city whose art treasures and architectural beauty has rendered it famous among European cities as the "German Florence." Yet both of these cities employ women in the same kinds of work under the same repulsive conditions that are found in other portions of that empire.

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    Bavarian men wearing heavy wooden shoes drive their bare-footed wives and daughters before the plough in the field, or harnessed with dogs send them as carriers of immense loads of merchandise through the cities. Says a writer:

    Women become beasts of burden; still they do not grumble; they do not smile either--they simply exist. The only liberty they have is liberty to work; the only rest they have is sleep. The existence of a cow or a sheep is a perpetual heaven, while theirs is a perpetual hell.

    In addition to all this out-of-door labor performed by the German women, they have that of the house and the preparation of clothing for the family. They industriously knit upon the street while doing errands; they cook, they spin and make clothing which takes them afar into the night, rearing their children amid labor so severe as forever to drive smiles from their faces, bringing the wrinkles of premature old age in their place. Switzerland, whose six hundredth anniversary was celebrated in 1888, the oldest republic, sees its women carrying luggage and blacking boots as porters at inns; propelling heavily laden barges down its romantic lakes; swinging the scythe by the side of men in the fields; bringing great baskets of hay strapped to their shoulders down the mountain side; carrying litters containing travelers up the same steep mountain top; bringing heavy baskets of fagots from the forests, and carrying in the more pleasant cutting of grapes at the vineyard harvest. From five o'clock in the morning till eight in the evening is the peasant woman's day of work. A stolid expressionless face, eyes from which no soul seems to look, a magnificent body as strong as that of the man by her side, is the result of the Swiss woman's hardships and work. It

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is but a few years since the laws of Switzerland compelled division of the paternal estate with sisters as well as brothers, this change provoking intense opposition from the men. On the Alps, husbands borrow and lend their wives, one neighbor not scrupling to ask the loan of another's wife to complete some farming task, which loan is readily granted with the under standing that the favor is to be returned in kind. Says one writer:

    The farmers in the Upper Alps, though by no means wealthy, live like lords in their houses, while the heaviest portion of agricultural labors devolves upon the wife. It is no uncommon thing to see a woman yoked to a plough with an ass, while her husband guides it. An Alpine farmer counts it an act of politeness to lend his wife to a neighbor who has too much work, and the neighbor in return lends his wife for a few days labor whenever requested.

    In Vienna, women lay the brick in building, while throughout Austria young girls carry mortar for such work. They also work in the fields, in the mines, pave and clean the streets, or like their German sisters, harnessed with dogs, drag sprinklers for the street or serve milk at the customer's door. Prussian women are also to be found working the mines, in quarries in foundries, building railroads, acting as sailors and boatmen, or like those of Holland, dragging barges in place of horses on the canals, or like those of other European countries, performing the most severe and repulsive agricultural labors. A correspondent of the "Cincinnati Commercial" traveling through Belgium, said: "No work seems to be done except by woman and dogs. With few exceptions women do the harvesting, working like oxen." The physiological fact that the kind of labor and the kind of food affect the physical frame is noticeable in Belgium the same as

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in France and England. Women of all ages from fourteen to sixty, work in the coal mines, married women sometimes carrying babies strapped to their backs into the pit, laying the infants near them while digging coal, some mine owners refusing to employ a miner unless he can bring one or more members of his family into the pit with him. Employers prefer girls and women because of their lower wages and greater docility; for twelve hours work a woman receives but thirty cents. Even in little Montenegro, husbands lend their wives to each other during the harvest season, and an exceptionally strong or quick-moving wife finds exceptional demand for her services. This little state degrades woman to still greater extent than her sister countries, as they there form the beasts of burden in war, and are counted among the "animals" belonging to the prince.

    The Russian peasant woman under the Greek church, finds life equally a burden, and is even to greater extent than in most countries the slave of her husband and the priest, no form of labor or torture being looked upon as too severe to impose upon her. The women are much more industrious than the men and the hardest work is done by them. As Russia is primarily an agricultural country it possesses immense fields of hay, oats and wheat, the work largely performed by women. The wheat sown broadcast is either harvested with sickles or the old-fashioned scythe with a broad blade Women do the entire work of gathering up, binding and stacking the wheat, neighbors during harvest helping each other. Women of every age from the young girl to the aged grandmother, take part, assembling at daybreak. Horses are also there in number for carrying food, water, extra implements,

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and the men and boys of the conclave. The women, however aged, walk; the day's work lasting over eighteen hours or from daybreak until dark; in that northern land at harvest time it continues light from 3 a. in. to 9:30 p. m. Nor are mothers with young infants excused from this toil. Babies are carried into the fields where they lie all day under trees, or partially sheltered by a bough over them, covered with insects from which the mother can find no time to relieve: them. Under such circumstances of neglect, it is not surprising that infant mortality is excessive. Nor do the children of a slightly larger growth receive the care requisite for their tender years, and it is estimated that eight out of every ten children in Russia die under ten years of age. But no one form of Christianity monopolizes the wrong. Everywhere, under every name and sect, man has thrown the carrying out of his "curse" on to woman. Italy, the center of Catholicism, under a careful analysis of statistics, showing that the wages of the Italian working woman do not exceed four pence a day. In Venice a traveler was recently shown some wonderfully beautiful articles of clothing; scarfs, shawls, mantles, handkerchiefs, many of them requiring six months' for the production; expressing amazement at the astonishingly low price demanded for such exquisite fabrics he was told, "we pay our young girls but seven cents a day." A correspondent of the Philadelphia "Press," writing from abroad in 1885, declared the debasement of woman to be more thorough and complete in Protestant Stockholm than in any city of northern Europe, as there she supplanted the beasts of burden. He spoke of her as doing all the heavy work on buildings and paid only one kroner (equivalent to a trifle over

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twenty-six cents) for a hard day of this toil. He found women sweeping the streets, hauling rubbish, dragging hand-carts up the hills and over the cobble-stones, unloading bricks at the quays, attending to the parks, doing the gardening and rowing the numerous ferries which abound in that city. The entire dairy business of the city is in their hands and here they have the help of neither horses nor dogs but take the entire place of the beasts, carrying the heavy cans of milk on their shoulders from door to door; he said:

    I am not altogether unfamiliar with woman's work in Europe; I have seen her around the pit mouth, at the forge, and bare foot in the brick yards of "merrie" England; filling blast furnaces and tending coke ovens in "sunny France." I have sadly watched her bearing the heat and burden of the day in the fields of the "fatherland" and in Austria-Hungary doing the work of man and beast on the farm and in the mine. I have seen women emerge from the coal pits of "busy Belgium" where little girls and young women were underground bearers of coal and drawers of carts. Aged, bent and sunburned, I have seen women with rope over shoulder toiling on the banks of canals and over dykes in "picturesque Holland." Having witnessed all this, I was yet surprised to find in a city so beautiful and seemingly so rich as Stockholm, women even more debased.

    In the Connellsville coke region of Pennsylvania, United States, the Hungarian woman workers are found engaged in the severest labor under authority of the husband or father, half nude women drawing the hot coke from the chambers. Master Workman Powderly visiting the place early one morning, said of it:

    At one of the ovens I saw a woman half naked drawing the coke from one of the chambers. She had no covering on her head and very little on her person.

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    Her appearance was that of one whose spirit had been broken by hardship and hard work. Her attire consisted of a chemise and a pair of cowhide boots. In a freight car close by stood another woman forking the coke as it came into the car. The woman stood in the doorway and was dressed in a rough, loose-fitting outer garment and an apron. Her person from the waist up was exposed. When she stooped over to handle the coke, she caught her hair between her teeth in order to keep it out of her way. Her babe which she brought to the works with her, lay in front of the car with scarcely any covering except the shadow of a wheel barrow which was turned up in order to protect the child from the rays of the sun.

    The suffering of helpless infants and children from privation and neglect through enforced labor of the mother, is one of the most shocking things connected with this degradation of woman in labor. The ownership by the husband of the wife's services; his power under the Christian law of church and state of compelling her to work for him; the public sentiment of church and state which not alone recognizes absolute authority over the wife as inhering in the husband, but which are the creators of such belief, are the causes of illness, death, moral degradation, insanity, crime and vice of every kind. One year even, of civilized housekeeping with its routine of washing, starching,

ironing, scrubbing, cooking, baking, pickling, canning, sewing, sweeping, house-cleaning, etc., etc., with all their accompanying overheating and overlifting; the care of children both night and day, whether sick or well, the constant demands upon her time and strength, thrown upon women of the Christian household, are labors more severe than fell on the old-time savage woman of America during her whole life. Until the customs of civilization reached the Indians, their

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wives, according to Catlin, Schoolcraft and others, were not called upon to work with half the severity of the women of to-day, nor had they tradition of children ever born deaf, dumb or blind. Those kinds of labor pointed to as showing the hardships of an Indian woman's life, Schoolcraft dismisses very lightly. The lodge built by her is not made of heavy posts and carpentry, but of thin poles bent over at the top, such as a child can lift. When a family changed its residence these poles were not removed; only the thin sheets of birch bark covering, were taken to the new rendezvous. The gathering of the fuel by the women, was cutting dry limbs of the forest not over eighteen inches in length, with a hatchet. The tillage of the fields shared alike by the old men, women and the boys, was very light. No oxen to drive, no plough to hold, no wheat to plant or thresh. The same corn hills were used year after year, forming small mounds that were long a puzzle to the antiquarian. The squash and the pumpkin grew luxuriantly, while the children made holidays of gathering nuts and acorns for winter use. And to-day Africa, "The Dark Continent" is the children's paradise, says Mrs. French Sheldon, the wonderful woman explorer, who carried peace with her everywhere and whose investigations in that part of the world exceed in value those of Livingstone or Stanley. She says:

    In all these months among the children every day, I never saw a child struck and I heard a child cry but twice while on the Dark Continent.

    How different from the countries of Christian civilization where children, mere infants of three and four years, are put to the most severe labor or because of the mother's enslaved condition, die from neglect. It

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will be said, but these instances, especially in the United States, are exceptional. This is not so, although the work performed may be of a different character. The wife even in this country is expected to understand and perform many kinds of labor. She is cook and baker, laundress and seamstress, nurse for her children and the sick, besides a thousand and one cares which rise before her every hour. One such overworked mother acknowledged to placing the cradle where the sun would shine in the baby's eyes, thus compelling them to close, when she would push all out of the way underneath the bed. Said a German girl working "as help" in the modern kitchen of a well-to-do American family. "I plowed at home harnessed beside a cow, and the work was not as hard as in your hot kitchen." The care of children and domestic labor are not compatible with each other. One must be neglected, and she of whom, 'meals on time' are demanded, can say where the neglect necessarily falls. A consistent carrying out by man of his "curse" would cause him to take upon himself the entire work of the world; not alone tilling the soil, but all household labor; the baking and brewing, the cooking and cleaning and all the multitudinous forms of work which make such wearisomely incessant demands upon woman's strength and time. From all sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidering, she should be freed, and even beyond this, under the principles of his "curse," upon man should fall all the work of rearing children, as woman's "curse" so often quoted does not refer to aught but bringing them to life in sorrow and suffering. Custom, which has been defined as unwritten law, adds its force to legislative enactments and soon becomes as binding upon thought as a moral command. People

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soon cease to question a custom, or a law, accepting both in that conservative spirit so utterly destructive to liberty. For that reason what has long been so, is regarded as right, and even while regretting the neglect of her children so unavoidable to the ordinarily situated mothers, few women give thought to the cause bringing it about. Women are not sufficiently permeated with the meaning of personal liberty. They do riot sufficiently investigate the causes of their restricted condition, and the break made within the past twenty-five to forty years against conditions, has rather been in the nature of a blind instinctive revolt, than brought about through philosophic thought except in the minds of a few, who by the protest of speech, opened the way that vast multitudes are now entering upon. Open rebellion against law is ever considered by the majority as rebellion against morality. Speaking of the moral influence of law, Sheldon Amos says:

    As soon as a law is made and lifted out of the region of controversy, it begins to exercise a moral influence which is no less intense and wide-spreading for being almost imperceptible. Though law can never attempt to forbid all that is morally wrong, yet that gets to be held as morally wrong which the law forbids.

    No less does unwritten law come to be regarded as morally right. The customs of society built up through teachings of the church, and laws of the state, have destroyed that sense of personal security among women which is the chief value of social life and of law. The very foundation of religion tends to this end even with man, but the division of rights and duties promulgated by the church as between man and woman, the changing form of laws--class legislation--has rendered the position of woman notably insecure. This usurpation

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is productive of immense loss to the state as France so clearly shows. Take the one article of food alone, the delicacies and the substantials alike are claimed by man. No proof of this statement other than the innumerable saloons and restaurants chiefly supported by men, is required. While the dairyman, the bird-fancier, the horse trainer, and even the pugilist, recognize the value of food as far as a factor of life and strength, where his own immediate money interest is concerned, neither governments, religions nor scientists have to any extent noted the influence of proper food for the mother upon the health and life of the unborn child. Victor Hugo, while upon the island of Guernsey, noted the vastly beneficial effect that even one good meal a week had upon the peasant children. Food, building muscles, nerves, the brain, what can be expected but a deterioration of humanity when mothers eat insufficient or improper food?

    The effect of the kind of food eaten has recently been noted in the new industry of ostrich farming, in California, of which it is said: "Ostriches yield the best feathers if the birds are well cared for. The quality of the plumes depends upon the quality of the food. If the ostriches are well fed, their plumes are soft and big. Bad feeding makes the feathers hard and coarse." Nor are animals from whom the best products are looked for, allowed to labor. Their lives are those of ease and comfort that best results may be obtained. Innutrition and the hard labor of expectant mothers are, the two great factors in physical degeneration and infantile mortality. The question is not one of sentiment or of law or of religion, but of physiology. It does not alone involve the destiny of mothers but of the race. There is not a national problem,

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be it of war or population or finance that is not based upon the condition of woman. Its neglect has depopulated the world in times past, it has lessened intellectual development, it has almost entirely obliterated certain kinds of morality and can no longer be regarded from the standard of either of those great institutions, church or state.

    The recent official report of the Factory Inspector of the state of New York upon the condition of working women, showed a condition quite in line with the worst features of foreign lands. Overwork, bad ventilation, low wages, poor food, all combining for their physical and moral destruction. "The Churchman" under heading of "In Darkest New York" speaks of the condition of the poor in that city, both men and women; but while not forgetting the wrongs of the male laborer, we must ever remember that the condition of woman is still lower, and the results of her severe work and semi-starvation, much more injurious to the world.

    We must leave the tenements without attempting to reproduce any of the shocking cases of crowded rooms in which almost incredible numbers of poor wretches are huddled together even in summer, when Mr. Riis, has found the thermometer rise to 115 degrees. In some of these places there is more than struggle; there is often starvation. Every once in a while a case of downright starvation gets into the papers and makes a sensation. But this is the exception. Were the whole truth known it would come home to the community with a shock that would arouse it to a more serious effort than the spasmodic undoing of its purse-strings. I am satisfied that hundreds of men, women and children are every day slowly starving to death with my medical friend's complaint of 'improper nourishment.' Within a single week I have had this year three cases of insanity provoked directly by poverty and want. Worse than even that is the evil case of

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thousands of ill-fated working girls. The average wages of 150,000 of them is 60 cents per day; and that includes the incomes of the stylish 'cashiers' who earn $2 a day as well as the pittance of girls who earn 30 cents a day in east-side factories. The lot of the average saleswoman who does not partly depend on her family is hard indeed."

    That the average wages of the 150,000 working-girls in the city of New York alone are but sixty cents a day, some receiving as little as thirty cents in the cast side factories; that 30,000 young girls between the ages of twelve and fourteen employed as cash girls cannot supply themselves with food unless having parents upon whom to partially depend, are no less moral than material questions. Nor are they questions confined to that one city, or to any one portion of the United States, or of christendom, but belong to humanity itself. As all are parts of one great whole, the evil that afflicts one class touches all; all suffer because of the wrong done to even one human being, The population of the city of New York is more largely comprised of women than of men and a great proportion of this class are dependent upon their own labor for a livelihood. Although many foreign-born women emigrate to this country, over two millions having landed upon our shores within the nine years from 1881 to 1890, it is not alone upon them these conditions of severe labor fall, but native-born American women, both within and without the household, suffer from the same kind of oppression. Even upon the Pacific coast where few foreigners except Chinese are found, little girls of five and six years are put to work in the jute mills and factories by side of their drudging mothers, whose wages do not equal those of the men employed. In government clerkships at Washington,

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women receive but one-half the pay that men receive for the same kind and quality of work. Although the sweating system in the manufactories of clothing has called the nation's attention to its abuses, yet in the District of Columbia, under sole power of Congress, a system of similar nature exists. Nor are statistics of woman's severe work in the United States of immediately recent date. The labor Commission report of the state of Connecticut for 1876, declaring that the wives and daughters of the farmer engage in work which he can find no man to do, rising at four o'clock in the morning and working until nine in the evening. Analyzing the statistics of the Massachusetts Labor Bureau for 1891, the "Boston Globe" showed the greatly inferior payment of women laborers:

    The figures simply show that in the employments in which the very lowest wages are paid, women constitute over 70 per cent. of the workers, while in the employments where as high as $20 a week are paid, they constitute hardly over 3 per cent. In addition to all this is the humiliating fact that in some occupations, standing side by side with men, the females are paid less wages for the same work; or, what amounts to the same thing, a woman of 20 years or upwards is made to work side by side with a boy of ten at the same wages. Women are compelled, then, to fill most of the cheap places, and paid less wages for the same work at that.

    In this report the shameful fact is proven through governmental statistics that the wages paid to a girl of twenty years are no more than those paid a boy of ten, women constituting over seventy per cent. of the workers to whom the very lowest wages are paid. Underlying all other results are those upon woman herself. Before every question of population, is that of woman as an individual. Overwork and the under

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nourishment of muscle, nerve, brain, render her own proper evolution either as a physical or as a moral being impossible. To just the extent that such pressure comes upon her, does she cease to be a morally responsible being. Thousands to whom life and comforts are sweet, throw aside all scruples, entering that one avenue of escape always open to a young woman or a girl. For the statement that the majority of women entering upon immorality have been driven by actual want to this mode of life, we are again indebted to rigorous investigation and statistics for information, but the moral deterioration of the race arising from these wrongs to women can not be estimated by figures. In teaching, the only absolute equality of wages between man and woman is found in the Cherokee nation of Indians. The civilization of the Indian tribes is a question of woman's education and freedom. The world still holds a mistaken idea of force and power, those questions not so fully pertaining to the physical as to the intellectual and spiritual parts of the being. The "New York Nation" recently said, It is absolutely essential to the preservation of the dignity and independence of women that they should be on a par with men as regards property and education, the two things that in modern times have supplanted physical force as elements of power.

    Real estate possesses more power as property than either money or jewels. The real strength of American civilization lies in the fact that almost every family owns its home. Permanent national strength lies in the division of realty. In England women are more rapidly becoming part of the governing class than in the United States, and in that country one-seventh of the landed property owners are

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women. These facts should be borne in mind in regard to the civilization of the native races of America. It is through the Indian women that the problem of their civilization must be answered; the title in fee simple to lands should be in the hands of the women.

    The union of the state with the church in the enforcement of man's "curse" upon woman is most forcibly shown by a decision of the New York Court of Appeals rendered early in 1892 which held that the services of a wife belong to the husband and that she cannot recover wages from him even if holding his written promise to pay. This decision like that of the Agar-Ellis case in England, was upon the principle that the wife is so fully under subjection to her husband as to incapacitate her from making a contract even with that husband. In all the wife's relations to the husband she is regarded as a being without responsibility. The case upon which this decision rested is this: A woman fell down a coal-hole and sued for damages, recovering $500. The defendant asked for a new trial upon the ground that the woman was working for her husband and the court had taken into account her loss of wages. The services of the wife belonging to the {sic. hsuband; husband}, her claim for lost wages was a fraud. But this decision of the Court of Appeals doubtless will not interfere with the power of the husband to recover damages for loss of her time by reason of this injury which deprived him of her services. The decision of the Court recognized the right of the husband to compel the wife to perform household duties for him. When in England, 1880,--the married woman's property rights bill was before parliament, a commission of inquiry was sent to New York to learn the effect of securing the control of their

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own property to married women. Under various amendments since the first passage of this act in 1848, the legislature of New York has farther secured to married women the right of making wills, of collecting wages for work, and of entering business outside of the household, the proceeds belonging entirely to herself. But under this decision of the Court of Appeals, the ground was taken that the wife cannot collect wages from the husband, and that household work for him is compulsory upon her.4 This decision as to compulsory housework controverts that other right recognized by legislation, of entering into business, doing work outside of the home, the proceeds to belong solely to herself. Under this decision of the Court of Appeals, a wife can be compelled to work for the husband in the house without wages, and is debarred from all outside business.

    St. Augustine in his "City of God," taunts Rome with having caused her own downfall by her treatment her slaves. He speaks of the slaves as miserable beings put to labor only fit for the beasts of the field and even degraded below them; their condition had brought Rome to its own destruction. But Roman wives were not forced to labor. The peace made by the Sabines with the Romans after the forcible abduction of the Sabine maidens, had for one of its provisions that no labor except spinning should be required from wives. Among both the ancient Greeks and Romans, the woman about to become a mother,

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as heretofore shown, was held sacred; she was exempt from hard labor and no one was allowed under penalty of punishment, to vex or disturb her mind.

    If degrading their slaves below the beasts of the field led to the destruction of Rome, as declared by Augustine, what may not be predicted of that Christian civilization which in the twentieth century of its existence degrades women and children to such labors as, he declared unfit for the slaves of ancient Rome, suitable only for the beasts of the field; which harnesses them by side of cows, asses and dogs to do the most menial work, which robs them in wages and stints them in food in the name of "religion?"

Next: Chapter IX. The Church Of To-day.


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1.  See Decision of New York Court of Appeals, 1892, page 463-4.

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2.  During the Parliament Commission inquiry, a witness, Peter Garkel, collier, said that he preferred women to boys as drawers; they were better to manage and kept time better; they would fight and shriek and everything but let anybody pass them. The London National Reformer states that "The first woman member (Mrs. Jane Pyne), of the London Society of Compositors was admitted by the executive on August 30 (1892). Two years ago Miss Clementine Black applied for permission to join the society but the request had to be refused on the ground that "it was not proposed that woman should be paid on the same scale as men."

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3.  Lecture by Felix Adler, 1892, The Position of Woman in The Present.

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4.  "The New York Court of Appeals has rendered an opinion which shows that married women in that state are still in bondage. A woman fell down a coal-hole and sued for damages, recovering $500. The defendant asked for a new trial on the ground that the woman was working for her husband and the court had taken into account her loss of wages. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision and sent he case back for a new trial. It held that the services of a wife belonged to her husband, and she can not recover any wages even if she holds his written promise to pay."--Chicago Inter Ocean. Jan. 1892.