Woman – Incentives to Duty

Moore’s Rural New-Yorker

March 30, 1861

Woman – Incentives to Duty

It is a well-proved fact that woman is an inferior existence; – that she never ascends to the highest pinnacle of intelligence, and takes the blessings which Heaven offers? Is her soul so dead that she never longs to drink from the deep fountain of intellectuality, at which her brother man satiates his thirst for immortal good?

With one earnest glance of life, all these interrogations arise, and a solution, either correct or incorrect, followers. In studying these living marvels, we find it to be an invariable fact, that the of intelligence which illuminate the human mind, are convergent in the mind of man, and divergent in the mind of woman. Man concentrated every ray of truth upon a specific object until he can clearly see to perfectly accomplish that object. He perfects the thought that interests him most, and thereby makes proficiency in something. Woman’s thoughts are seldom, if ever, brought to a focus; consequently there is not the requisite light in her mind to enable her to penetrate any intricate subject, and, therefore, she makes proficiency in nothing. The fault is not that Nature did not make an equal distribution of gifts, but that woman, by will and circumstance, has become almost incapable of excelling in anything useful. It is true that some, comparatively very few, have excelled in literature, science, and aft, but these few have scrupulously obeyed the aspirations of the soul, and listened to the whisperings of genius as to the commands of a divinely commissioned teacher.

Another cause of the mental inferiority of woman is, that she allows herself to be attracted by every passing vanity, and instead of consulting the garden of the mind, she neglects it altogether, and spends the golded moments “in stooping the pinion back to earth, which beareth up to heaven.”

It is the climax of folly for women to complain of oppression, until she better improves the privileges that she now possesses. When the era shall arrive in which woman will walk just as far as permitted in the field of truth, then we shall see the gates opening into other, and more extended, avenues, that she may go on and on, until she reaches the fountain of perfect justice. Worthiness will secure for her the longed-for equality! It is but seldom we find a woman who possesses genuine nobility of soul, – that sterling principle which causes her to be a purifying element in society, – and it is because she has so long stooped to the conformity of foolish and fashionable customs, that she is mentally deformed; and while she is being “delightfully entertained” in the gossiping circle, man is pursuing something useful, and increasing, therefore, the disparity of mind, and also position!

Impatience is another cause of woman ever being with the substrata of society. If, perchance, a glorious thought springs up in her mind, she cannot wait for its maturity, but, in her eagerness, she gives it to the world only half grown. She evidently cannot learn that a thought needs time, as well as a nutriment, to complete its beauty and usefulness.

Man is not the oppose of the elevation of woman that is frequently supposed. How often have we heard good old orthodox people say that, “we can have the religion we live for.” Thus it is with woman, she can have all the rights for which she will live.

Amie W. Livonia, N.Y., 1861

Read more “Their Life; Their Words

Published in: on April 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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