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. "Woman's Mission in Modern…


"Woman's Mission in Modern Politics." DISCUSSED BY ABERDARE YOUNG LIBERALS. At the Aberdare Liberal Club Assembly Rooms last Thursday, Miss Gwladys Evans gave an exoellent paper on "Woman's Mission in Modern Politics," Mrs. R. H. Miles presid- ing. On account of other meetings being held, there was not a very good attendance, but all wer3 quite enthusiastic on the subject. Miss Evans first dealt with "Woman's ideal position in life generally This, she said, was being talked about to-day in every sphere. Society everywhere was discusising and wrangling about woman's place in life generally. If they could determine her true position there, her position in politics would also be determined; for poli- tics was, after all, only tho science and art of everyday living. Woman should be a helpmate, companion of man; be solid and stable enough to be his fit oompanian in the harder and more strenuous paths of life, and not a sweetmeat- only to be enjoyed in times of pleasure. As Ruskin puts it, "How can a man be served effectively by a shadow, or worthily by a slave?" Miss Evans then expressed the opinion of the most prominent and eminent thinkers of the ages. Ruekin, .she said, had laid special stress on the unity of the two sexes—the rela- tions of womanly to manly natures. There was no superiority of man over woman, according to Ruskin; one completed the other, and the one was not complete without the other. The happiness and completion of the one depended upon what he or she received from the other. Shakespeare had no heroes, only heroines. The catastrophes of life were caused by the fault and folly of man usually., Sir Walter Scott, in the whole range of his writings, eeemed to have only three heroes, but a bevv of fair and noble women. Chaucer and Tennyson, again, had their legends of fair and graceful women. It was a pity this conception was overlooked at present; for how could woman's interest be severed from that of husband, brother, or son? It wasn't man versus woman—never had been nor never can be-but both working together for the good of humanity as a whole. Wordsworth used fine epithets regarding woman; he did not think her inferior to man. She had intellectual capabilities, reason, foresight, temperate will, etc. In foreign literature, woman liad much the same place Dante, in Italian poetry: Homer in Greek—both exacted and ennobled woman's mission. The Egyptians also gave to their spirit of wisdom the form of woman, and into her hand the symbol-a weaver's shuttle. Miss Evans then gave proofs that this ideal of woman was a true and practical one. Women had done much for man, and did so every day. Again, it was the natural outcome of forces which followed Nature's development and pro- gress. It was the height that must be reached of necessity. Primitive times were then looked into I' and, it was found that even in those she had her duty to perform in the universal life. This developed more and more as the ages roil on. The latter part of the address was taken up with the "practical application." Through- out the ages, Miss Evans said, woman's influ- ence had been for good. She had served to ele- vate and keep pure what might otherwise be sordid and mean. This had been her influence, when it oould only be utilised indirectly through the home. How much more effective might H be had she been allowed to use it directly? Ought she not, therefore, to be given the privilege, nay, the right, to register her opinion and mark upon the life of tne nation which was as much hers as it was the man's? This should be done in a constitutional and rational manner. The Women's Suffrage Bill, if passed, would be the beet way of carrying this into effect. The home was a parallel, on a smaller scale, of national life Homes were made up of males and females—some weaker, some stronge--but all linked under the man- agement of-father and mother, and all suffer in their struggles and trials, and rejoiced in their joys. In the ideal home, the male was not the only person consulted in times of crisis. As the mother was necessary, and helped life ¡ to run smoothly at home, why not in the national life? To be consistent, they must also admit there would be only .benefit to be derived from giving her veto in the national political life as well. Without this, our nation- al political life was one-sided—like the mother- less and sisterless home—needing the softer, more refining self-sacrificing eleriieats which were generally attributed to woman's influ- ence. Surely there was,something of the'kind sadly needd in our present, turbulent crises. There v-fis nothing unwomanly in wishing to help in the fuller representation of all the fac- tors at work in our country, nor to use the intellects and talents given woman so that they might be of practical value to the world. Cul- tivate and they would get; neglect and they would lose. It wae both man's and woman's duty to use what ability they had. There.were many pros and cons on the suffrage question, but woman could do an incalculabte amount of work were she allowed to co-operate more uni- versally with man. At the-close of this exoepHonaHv well-received paper, many took part. Mr". Miles, the chair- woman, opening the discussion by eulogising the paper.

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