When Will Woman’s Mental Life Begin? by Arthur Brisbane

Story type: Essay

It is pathetic to hear women of intelligence arguing in support of woman’s claim to “equality” with man.

Of course, woman is really man’s superior in important matters. She is vastly superior morally, beyond any question.

She does the greatest work in the world; she gives to earth its thinking population and creates every one of the great men that move civilization along. —-

But otherwise, in the way of MATERIAL accomplishment, woman cannot be said to equal man at present, and she cannot be said ever to have equaled him.

Many of the most intelligent women demand recognition for woman as equal or superior to man in all ways.

They are deeply hurt if in gentle, patient reply you ask them to mention a female equivalent to a Newton, Archimedes or Shakespeare. It annoys them to tell them that a million autopsies prove fundamental differences between male and female brains in favor of the former–at least as regards volume and depth of cerebral convolutions.

Sometimes, after you have listened to a proud, high-spirited woman trying to prove that women would equal men in material accomplishment, if only they had a chance, you get so sad that you find yourself helping her out–digging up De Sevignes, De Staels, and other “great” women who have made up in brains for what they perhaps lacked in femininity. —-

It is necessary to bear in mind that this earth, when man was turned loose upon it, was really a sort of desert island. It was a conglomeration of swamps, forests, deserts–all filled with wild beasts. Even the human beings, struggling feebly toward better days, were not far from the beasts at first. (They are not very far from them even now.)

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Two kinds of work had to be done. The men had to fight, dig, hunt, drain marshes and murder each other.

The women had to SUPPLY THE MEN to do all the working and fighting and killing.

Beasts, wars, fevers killed off the sons of women almost as fast as they could bear them. Women must supply the demand for soldiers and workers and at the same time a surplus big enough to populate the globe. Thus far she has put on earth fourteen hundred millions of her own kind. Quite an achievement, we should say, when the career of a Napoleon or an Alexander called for a couple of million of men extra, or a plague like the black death, due to man’s stupid lack of cleanliness, wiped out two-thirds of Europe’s people. —-

Men were the material workers–of course they exceeded in material achievement the women nursing babies at home.

But woman, caring for her children, sacrificing her life for them, developed on earth the moral sentiments, started each generation on its career a little better than its predecessor. She could not do all this and do the material things as well. In fact, she could not even THINK except on matters very near to her cradle, or her affections.

Remember that throughout the world’s history it has been the lot of a vast majority of women to be constantly caring for young infants, or young children. Families of twenty children, or even more, have been common. It is probable that woman from the beginning of our racial existence until now has been the mother of from fifteen to twenty-five children on an average.

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The dullest mind can see what that means.

Atrocious suffering. Endless worry about the children. Constant warfare against the man’s selfish brutality.

How could woman rear her twenty children and at the same time do other work? How could she keep every thought, every effort of her brain on her offspring and develop her mind in other ways at the same time?

Give a man one young child to take care of FOR ONE DAY, and when you return to him you find a semi-imbecile, half-tearful creature.

In every great man’s life you hear some remark of this sort: “How can I work, Maria, if you let the children make such a noise?”

Well, how could the millions of Marias work with the children hanging to their skirts all through history? —-

But a better day is ahead for woman, and we are proud to point it out to her.

Wise men begin to wonder what we shall do when the earth is fully peopled? Shall we kill surplus babies, or what shall we do?

There will be no surplus babies. Nature will arrange that.

For every two human beings on earth two new ones will be born.

Wars will be ended. Common sense will have done away with the unnecessary illness which now robs millions of mothers.

No woman will have more than two children. Education will be understood. Women will not be slaves to their babies. They will be admired and thanked and made happy before the babies arrive –instead of being half ashamed, as at present.

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The rearing of children will be simple. Each woman, instead of devoting twenty years of her life to child slavery, will have practically her whole life to devote to other things. She will be able to cultivate her mind. She will have more of a hold on Mr. Selfish Man, and he will have to pay more attention to her.

WOMAN’S hour of full mental development will arrive with the final and complete population of the globe, just as man’s day of real mental growth will come after he shall have mastered the forces of nature and learned the elements of true social science.


Even then we do not anticipate that repulsive “equality” between men and women which is so much prated about.

The complete human being is not A MAN, nor is it A WOMAN. The COMPLETE human being is a man AND a woman. The TWO MAKE ONE. Each will contribute a share to the perfection of the whole. That was the way it was planned from the beginning, and we think we could prove it, if this column were six feet longer.

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