« AnteriorContinuar »
undertake frequent wars on "punitive expeditions," the same thing would take place in this country, for women are now resolved to have a voice in national discussions which so vitally touch the family life. It is a well-recognized fact, in all countries, that it is increasingly difficult to secure by enlistment men who are equal to the army requirements. In countries where there is no conscription. army men will acknowledge this difficulty, which undoubtedly is to be accounted for by the yet unrecognized, but potent, change in the home point of view towards army life and the soldier's profession.
This sounds in the reading very materialistic, but it is said "that civilization is an economic fact." Certain changes which industrial democracy operates to bring about in the spiritual realm are startling in their expression-it may well be that it will read new meanings into War and Peace.
If War's economic waste is great, what shall be said of its spiritual waste? The writer once heard the late General Walker say that the materialism and commercialism which prevail among men to so great an extent in the United States were, in his opinion, the result of the loss to the country, both in the North and the South, of the "men of the ideal" in our Civil War. Those who for love of home or for freedom's sake went to the front were of the quality of which poets, artists, priests and authors are made-perhaps the Churches have felt their loss more than any other agency which makes for righteousness. It may be that the lack of business ideality, the difficulty of making business dramatic as it were, can also be accounted for by the fact that the excessive demands made on the lives of the men of the ideal, those who were the most capable of putting the human side into business ventures, are gone, leaving the ultra practical man of business in the ascendancy.
The apparent supremacy of American women on the cultured side of life over the men may also be explained, as they, as a group, were not at that time subjected to the same spiritual
The world is always in need of the love and gracious influence of the daughters of men. In a civilization which boasts that woman's influence is all powerful, she cannot raise her voice in the Councils of the Nations to urge moderation, conciliation; she cannot by her vote turn down war as "useless argument," but
she can emphasize the blessing of peace in the home, in society, by expressing her firm conviction that civilization is founded on Peace on Earth, Good-will toward men-and this message she may carry into the marts of trade-into the social world-into the great Congress of Nations.
It is fitting, after these noble words, that we should have noble music from the friends who have so kindly come to make more attractive our program-the members of the St. Cecelia Society and the Wednesday Morning Singing Club, under the direction of Mr. Victor Harris.
(Music. "How lovely are the messengers that preach us the gospel of Peace !")
The next speaker represents what Emerson said was "woman's organic office in the world,"-education. The school has gone out from the home and has become a separate institution. As it has left the home it has initiated great educational interests on behalf of women, and now we have women's colleges and presidents of women's colleges, and social responsibilities placed heavily upon educated women.
I take great pleasure in introducing to you Miss Mary E. Woolley, President of Mount Holyoke College for women.
The Relation of Educated Women to the Peace Movement
PRESIDENT MARY E. WOOLLEY.
The impressiveness of a gathering like this Peace Congress must be felt by all. It is an inspiration to have a part in a movement which is commanding the attention of the civilized world, to feel the impetus which comes from great assemblies, from wise words and eloquent appeals, from the sense of a common interest which knows no limitation of race or nation. Such occasions are significant in the progress, not only of the movement represented, but of civilization itself, for inspiration is the great motive power of achievement.
Yet it is equally true that such a gathering as New York has seen this week would fail of the highest results were it not followed by continued effort. It is with this thought in mind. that I welcome the opportunity to speak to an audience of women, for upon you rests the real burden of this responsibility. The changes have been rung upon the "new woman"; she has been extolled and ridiculed, explained and explained away, but the fact remains that she does exist, that the type of womanhood to-day is essentially different from that of any other age. The intellectual type is not new; the woman of force, the ruler, the politician, the warrior, the intriguer-the Elizabeths, the Madame de Maintenons, the Boadiceas, the Catherine de Medicis-have been known in other ages. Nor is the emotional type a novelty either in history or fiction. The achievement, the distinction of the representative womanhood of to-day, is that it unites the intellectual and the emotional for some larger social end than the world has ever known before. Her opportunity extends from neighborhood nursing to world organization in the cause of peace. The woman of force now is the woman of the multitude, the woman in industry, in the home, in society. Education has become so general that to be educated no longer places womanhood on a pedestal; it simply broadens horizons and opens eyes to the opportunities of life and the responsibilities which those opportunities bring. The union of the intellectual and the emotional gives to a woman peculiar fitness for work in uplifting humanity. Her response to need is quick, her sympathy keen and her interest personal, and when she adds to these qualities an intelligent understanding of conditions and the power of discrimination she becomes a power in all efforts for the common welfare.
Why should the peace movement make a special appeal to women with their greater interest in matters of common welfare, their new outlook beyond the walls of their own homes and the eager interest which gives a vitality to all their work?
First, because of its practical character. We talk about the mingling of the races and a world unity, and we have only to step from our own doorway to see the possibility made a reality. Jew and Greek, Teuton and Slav, Hindu and Celt, mingle in the current of life on the streets of this city. No country is alien, no race unknown. Naturally, inevitably, there is developing a unity of interests, of customs, of ideas among the representatives
of the most diverse races, and the way is open as never before for presenting the ideal of world unity.
The fundamental principles of the movement enter into the most common experience, for they govern all just and pure living. How can we preach justice to the nations when dealing unjustly with the representatives of those same nations in the tenement districts of our own city; or strive for world unity when busy in erecting barriers between classes? Oppression of a weaker nation, the crushing out of its individuality and the enslavement of its people, is not unlike the industrial oppression which, for the sake of gain, would force little children into the slavery of the cotton mills and men and women into labor which makes of life a mere warfare for existence. On the other hand the attempt to transform a city into a place "where men live a common life for noble ends" is a long step toward world unity.
The task is not a light one, but it can be accomplished if there is developed a keen sense of individual responsibility. Privilege always means responsibility and "noblesse oblige" belongs to the present as truly as to the past. It places upon the womanhood of America the obligation of working in every practical way for the principles for which the peace movement stands; for the rights of the weak, whether they be little children in the factory and women in the sweat-shop, or a defenseless people across the seas; for the recognition of the oneness of the great human family, as real among the classes of New York as among the nations of the world; for the right of the individual as a human being, whether he be an American in Turkey or a Chinaman or Negro in America; for the promotion of justice and arbitration instead of injustice and force, in industrial as well as in international relations.
Secondly, the peace movement makes a strong appeal because of its ideal character. In our exaltation of what is practical, we sometimes overlook the truth that ideals are the condition of all progress and one of the greatest dangers of the present age is the attempt to build a state minus an ideal. It is the duty of education to withstand this drift in the national life and to maintain that the development of the material resources of a country come second to the development of the highest nature of its citizens. In a certain sense every woman is an educator, although the sphere of her work may be more often the home or
society than the school room. It is unnecessary to emphasize to this audience the value of educating the life in the principles on which it should be established. In social work, in religious training, in intellectual culture, this truth is recognized. If we would substitute arbitration for brute force, peace for war, an ideal of world unity for national and racial antagonisms, the reasonable hope of permanent accomplishment of these ends lies in the education of the children and the youth of to-day, the men and women of to-morrow. "Imitation enters into the very fastnesses of character" and the ideals held before the child determine to a great extent what the man will be. It is because of the strength of this appeal to the imagination that the proposed naval and military display at Jamestown is capable of accomplishing so great harm. If we really wish to develop the spirit of mercy, rather than that of cruelty, to exalt reason rather than violence, why not depict "the enticing splendors of peace" instead of "the enticing splendors of war"?
The peace movement places the emphasis upon the man who can think rather than upon the one who can fight; it would make right stronger than might; subordinate selfish interests to the common good, allay passion, promote self-control and give to individual, nation and race the opportunity to "set the noblest free."
Man's near approach; so in man's self arise
Of a dim splendor ever on before
In that eternal circle life pursues.
For men begin to pass their nature's bound
We have already touched upon the great new coming conflict, that which is signalized by "a motion toiling in the gloom, yearning to mix itself with life"; the great movement by which a new industrial order is establishing itself among the