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Maryland suffrage news. (Baltimore, Md.) 1912-1920, June 26, 1915, Image 8

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89060379/1915-06-26/ed-1/seq-8/

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Published Weekly by the
JUST GOVERNMENT LEAGUE OF MARYLAND
817 N. Charles Street
DEDICATION
To the poor women without homes, to the little toilers who
should he in the schools and playgrounds, to the white slaves in
their tragic bondage, and to the children who die, these pages
are dedicated! May every woman who is not too idle to have a
thought, or too vain to have a soul, or too rich in gold to have a
heart, join in the great struggle for women’s freedom!
Purity, Liberty, Justice—these we must work for!
WHY THE CARAVAN
HUMAN emotions are the same, whether the individual lives in
Maine or Maryland. Garrett county people came ten miles to see
the hikers of 1914; St. Mary’s residents drove the same distance to see
the prairie-schooner expedition of 1915; Howard county marvelled at the
activity of the army of suffrage workers that tramped for converts last
August; Charles county viewed and applauded the pilgrims who traveled
350 miles to honor the first suffragist. Stir the imagination of a group,
and you get attention; gain publicity for the “human interest” stories of a
campaign, and you gain sympathy; put up a logical suffrage argument,
and you make converts.
All these things were accomplished by the caravan expedition of the
Just Government League in the lower counties. The history of Margaret
Brent, the romance of the prairie schooner, the publicity given by the
daily press, and the efficient work of the caravaners made a combination
of factors which left Southern Maryland pulsing with the votes-for
women story. Harford county is not less than Charles, St. Mary’s and
Prince George’s. The caravan is on —on with the caravan.
ANOTHER PROP GONE
ONE of those “privileges of woman” whose possession, it is said,
ought to prohibit her from having even so much as desire for the
vote, has been accounted the receiving of alimony. Here comes along a
new set of facts which puts 6354 men into the same “privileged class.”
These are not new cases brought about by the new and restless woman.
They are cases recorded within the United States divorce courts from
the year 1887 to 1906. And they are actual receivers, not merely seekers,
of alimony. The latter class would add another 2000 to the number. The
aggrieved wife who seeks support from her ex-husband gets it in about
72 per cent, of the instances. The aggrieved husband gets about 2 per
cent, less often.
Now, this is not a suffrage State custom. The greatest number of
male alimony receivers hails from Ohio, that State which the “antis”
claim as one most bitterly opposed to woman suffrage. In fact, none of
the older suffrage States shine in this list at all. Incidentally, it may be
news to the antis to learn that the greatest field for divorce is not inside
suffrage territory, but in the north central division, where nearly half of
all the divorces in the United States were granted in the two decades in
question. So these extra privileged men, who should be reminded that
they are jeopardizing special advantages by using their ballots, are found
to be 673 in Ohio, 443 in Michigan, 243 in Nebraska —all States which
have recently refused the ballot to “privileged” women.
MARYLAND SUFFRAGE NEWS
Mention the Maryland Suffrage News When Patronizing Our Advertisers,
THE WOMAN OF LEISURE AND SUFFRAGE
By Mona G. Cockey.
CURIOUS as it may seem, there are thousands today who are doing
literally nothing with their lives. They are women of leisure, some
wealthy, some poor, who are squandering existence.
Yet survival itself depends upon constructive activity. All things, the
human mind included, must mature or degenerate, for nature decrees that
not an atom in the universe shall be motionless for a single instant.
From this inexorable law there is no appeal. When, therefore, a
woman feels that she is not widening her field of knowledge, not strength
ening her power of reasoning, she has ample cause for alarm. A process
of actual decay is going on in her brain. It is worse than useless to console
herself with the notion that she is simply remaining the same. A cancer
patient might just as well hope to escape the tortures of this dreaded dis
ease by merely insisting that it is some other ailment that is consuming
him. Because of this universal law the woman’s mind is either a vital,
growing organism or a sickly, dying one.
Few women of leisure, however, realize this basic principle of exist
ence. Consequently, they are often pre-eminent examples of mental
deterioration. Being without the stimulus of responsibilities, they are
subject to prolonged periods of mental lethargy. The adult mind, with
a natural capacity for fundamental knowledge, is fed on nothing but
trifles, until starvation gradually overcomes it.
Two causes are largely responsible for such brain destruction. First,
long-established habits of indolence prevent the woman of leisure from
attempting any intellectual effort; and secondly, a mistaken idea that even
the most frivolous occupations are legitimate activities permit her to
account for her days with shopping and theaters, card parties and dancing
classes. Indeed, she clings to this pernicious view with the tenacity of a
bulldog, and one is forced to believe that she is still incapable of differen
tiating between progressive and retrogressive motion.
There are countless women, especially under thirty, who are in the
most modest circumstances, yet who have a wealth of time at their dis
posal. Such women owe themselves and society a definite debt. It is
incumbent upon them to feed their brains with ideas which will prevent
them from stagnating and starving, and to accomplish their share of the
world’s work.
What each woman’s portion is to be she herself must decide, for it can
never be any smaller or any greater than her own heart. A membership
in a suffrage club and attendance at suffrage meetings, however, would
open up many lines of thought and many opportunities to the girl who is
seeking to develop her own mentality and serve her fellow-men at the
same time. Suffrage would offer her a chance to do things that are really
worth while, things that bring comfort and relief, inspiration and assist
ance to humanity.
And surely there is more joy and exhilaration for a normal young
woman in doing an act of mercy or in defending the rights of her less for
tunate sisters than there is in attending a ball, a football game or a sewing
club.
Then, too, life suddenly becomes wonderfully full of meaning and
fascination for a youthful suffragist. History, sociology, political econ
omy, philanthropy, science, education, even current events and the daily
papers, take on a new and absorbing interest. The long, restless hours
between engagements which used to pass so tediously are filled to the brim
with eager efforts for the welfare of thousands of women and children.
There is no more time for bitter introspection and brooding. She is soon
too well informed to be narrow, too sympathetic to be selfish, too occupied
and concentrated to indulge in pettiness.
For the young woman of leisure, suffrage means the exchange of the
unimportant and transitory nothings of her life for the great, glorifying,
permanent and fundamental things which extend so far back in the history
of man and reach so far into his future that each fact is surrounded with
the glamor of mystery and pregnant with the inspiration of a gigantic
principle. It means that she renounces her existence as a nonentity in the
world and becomes self-sacrificing, courageous, efficient —a really human
creature, with a right to the respect of her contemporaries.

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