Woman’s Rights and Aunt Betsy

Moore’s Rural New-Yorker

May 11th, 1861


Woman’s Rights and Aunt Betsy

Seeing a communication from “O.” to Aunt Betsey, and feeling somewhat interested in the old lady, – of whom, by the way, I have some slight knowledge, – excuse the liberty I have taken of saying a few words on the subject, which shall be done with due deference for her gray hairs.

Our aunt, being country born and bred, has a heart, – a real, loving heart, that feels for others woes. She is ever ready to assist the needy or relieve the distressed, and as she is naturally of a very cheerful disposition, I think something must have happened, which “riled” her more than common, when she spoke of woman’s rights. Often does she gather us about her, and many are the words of wisdom which fall from her lips as she relates her experiences in order that we may profit thereby. She is called a kind, charitable person, and I beg you, “O.,” not to judge her by that conversation. I cannot agree with her, for to me life appears like the April day, all clouds and sunshine, and that “Woman’s Rights” are to guard woman’s home from the storms that oft will cloud the domestic sky, and so to arrange her culinary affairs that the “butter and honey” of forbearance and love, in place of being all used at once, shall be spread so evenly on the bread of everyday life. In such a home, the husband, instead of treading her “rights under his foot,” will feel that his right to cherish and protect her is the dearest one on earth. As for the wood and water, not true man will let his wife bring them in while he sits idle, and when he asks for his shirt, it is not because he knows your dislike to tumbled drawers; and does not his smile amply repay you for your trouble. Yes, indeed, and there’s another of your right, to win that smile, from your liege lord, by kindly deeds and pleasant words, and a true woman will value it more than all the rights of suffrage which can be granted her.

I do not wish to be understood as saying that there are no abused women, for alas, there are many such; but I cannot think “the best of men” will so far, forget their manhood as our aunt declares, – if so, oh shades of Horace, deliver me from such a fate. Better for us, Cousin O., to live the unloved, unloving old maid’s life, than the loving but unloved one of a husband’s slave.

Jennie. Dowittville, N.Y., 1861.


Read more “Their Life; Their Words

Published in: on May 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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