p. 9 (Part I): reminescences [= reminiscences]; p. 12 (Part III): Physchologists' [= Psychologists']; p. 12 (Part III): selfcontempt [= self-contempt]; p. 13 (Part II): Old MEN [= OLD MEN]; p. 11 (Part IV): Babies Foods [= Babies' Foods]; p. 11 (Part IV): Russel [= Russell]; p. 13 (Part II): Duffer Coop [= a pun on Duff Cooper]; p. 14 (Part VII): 6067 [= 6067)]; p. 14 (Part VIII): socalled [= so-called]; p. 15 (Part VIII): here. Feminism [= here, Feminism]; p. 13 (Part IX): wrong pig! [= wrong pig!"]; p. 13 (part IX): Russel [= Russell]; p. 13 (Part X): woman are [= women are]; p. 13 (Part X): aeshetics [= aesthetics]; p. 14 (Part X): occured [= occurred]; p. 14 (Part X): Virgina Wolfe's [= Virginia Woolf's]; p. 14 (Part X): Dr. Johnson's, or the distate [= Dr. Johnson, or the distaste]
Woman's contribution to Britain's national decline
Anthony M. Ludovici
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In the Anglo-Saxon world the really significant effects of Feminism on society are mostly hidden and tend to be overlooked by the average citizen.
If, like myself, he was reared in late-Victorian England, where a woman's painted face straightway suggested a street-walker, he may, in modern London, feel as if a mastodonic brothel must have been suddenly emptied on the town.
If he is a man of aesthetic tastes, a longing even for the days of the crinoline may overcome him when he beholds all the broad female behinds now to be seen on the streets, or bouncing on horses' backs, and making the male garments of trousers or dungarees even more hideous than they already are.
If perchance he happen also to know about the secret disgust English women feel at being female, and he notices how often these women choose meek, effeminate and pale reminescences of manhood as their mates, so as not to be too sharply reminded of their own hated biological difference from the male; he may wonder how such couples (especially when they reach the altar) can escape at least the suspicion of Lesbianism.
Finally, if he recalls the health and stamina of the V.I.P.s of yore and their composed and serene gravity when photographed for the Press, he may ask himself what could have happened to our own much less robust V.I.P.s, who think they owe it to themselves, when snapshot for the News, always to grin persuasively from ear to ear, no matter how sick they may be, have been, or soon will be.
Remembering the calm dignity marking the photographs of Queen Victoria, Gladstone (Prime Minister for the fourth time at 83!), and the Marquess of Salisbury to mention only these he may wonder what could have made this cogent, insistent grinning by all public figures a present-day convention. Could it be due to the rage for convincing the world of one's sense of humour at all costs, even about one's duodenal ulcers, one's Caesarian sections, or one's slipped disc? More probably it is simply an infection, spread by the female film star, whose expensive ecstasies and indefatigable Changes of bed-partners, have constituted the chief interest of the national newspapers over since the English Press found it profitable to cater wholly for women.
But all these consequences of Feminism are really trifling. Although obvious to the least observant moderner; they offend only the adult who is able to recall a more dignified, self-respecting, orderly Age.
Effects of Feminism, however, that are gravely deleterious to the nation, are, strange to say, generally overlooked, especially by the women themselves, all of whose lives have become so "glamorous" since their Emancipation, that, in accordance with the vulgarity of expression now standardized in all classes, they unanimously declare everything "quite all right" in our modern womanized society.
They can see only a subject for self-congratulation in the fact, pointed out recently by Dr. J. V. Walker, that "the social world of contemporary Britain is indubitably of feminine type . . . by this we mean that the community is feminine in its outlook and under the predominant control of women's opinion." (HEALTH AND THE CITIZEN, 1951, Chap. II).
Fundamental to the issue and understanding of Feminism, at least in England, is that secretly women hate being women, and are profoundly envious of men. But whilst most women feel this hatred and envy, only the fewest are candid enough to confess it.
Olive Schreiner (English in origin) who as a child "sometimes defied authority by dressing as a boy" and even as a woman "continued to long for male attire," constantly revealed her resentment at being female and in 1888 wrote to Havelock Ellis: "I've not been a woman really, although I've seemed like one." (OLIVE SCHREINER, by D. L. Hobman, 1955), Chap. IV). Marjorie Bowen said in MYSELF WHEN YOUNG (1938, p. 65): "When I grew a little older and realized, with great regret, that I was a girl and should be for the rest of my life, a woman, I regretted this miserable fact because it brought with it a sense of inferiority." Cynthia Asquith declares: "I was very sorry not to be a boy myself" (HAPLY I REMEMBER, 1954, Chap. IX); whilst of Elizabeth Barrett Browning it is said that she was "inconsolable for not having been born a man." (ROBERT BROWNING: A PORTRAIT, by Betty Miller, 1952, Chap. II, 2).
To explain here and now why English women feel this way would take too long and in any ease this matter has been sufficiently discussed in my published works. It is rather with the dire national consequences of their resentment at being female that I am now concerned, especially as most people today, including even most Englishmen themselves, fondly imagine that the Feminist Movement, apart from making white-collar
It hardly requires stressing that, feeling as they did, English women have striven might and main to obliterate as far as possible the implications of their biological difference from the male, and not only to disport themselves as males, not only to appropriate masculine rôles and fight like maenads for the "privileged" male's preposterous Parliamentary Vote, but also to adapt their very lives aye! even their sexual lives, i.e. that part of them most essentially distinguishing them for an important and dignified function in society, to the life-pattern of the male.
Their neurotic conception of female inferiority, blinding them to the immense value that this vital function gave them, they were aware of nothing which was theirs by their own right, proprio jure; of nothing that should have made them scorn to wish to be the equal of any other order of beings, very much as a composer might scorn to be the equal even of a brilliant first violin. They could think of only one way of alleviating their aching sense of worthlessness, and that was to ape the male, and to masquerade and even function like him.
"Whatever was good for man," says Havelock Ellis, "they, the Feminists, thought must be equally good for women. Paternity is but an incident in Man's life, why should maternity be more in Woman's life?" Then Havelock Ellis adds: "In England . . . they desired to suppress or forget all the facts of organic constitution which made them unlike men." (PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. Chaps. VI, XII and I).
Inevitably, therefore, their first insensate attack was launched against the old sane notion that "Woman's Place Is The Home"; and I remember as a young man, and one of the crowd gathered about these strident Feminist orators, wondering how any adult and apparently "educated" female could possibly be so benighted as to imagine, let alone publicly argue, that woman's place is not the Home.
Seeing that a soundly-built and healthy woman's well-being depends on the normal performance of her reproductive functions, which are best provided for in her own home, where she can have her children and rear them, it is scarcely credible that an army of apparently sane English women could in the 19th and 20th centuries have been so hard-driven by their neurotic contempt of femaleness as to question the palpably obvious interest all women have in preserving the home as the ideal site and scene for the reproductive period of their lives.
That the effect on women of the realization of this policy has been disastrous, hardly requires to be said; for by drastically limiting or wholly suppressing their elaborate normal function of reproduction, it has converted them all into frustrated victims of their own false dreams, whether they are or are not conscious of the deprivation they suffer.
Nationally, however, what have proved equally catastrophic, are the political consequences of female influence, the increasing stupidity of the population resulting from the Feminist way of life, the considerable loss of native genius due to this same cause, and the increase in anarchy and crime which, with the best will in the world, cannot be separated from the Movement led by the viragoes of recent times and their predecessors of the 18th and 19th centuries, whose clamour culminated in the clownish militancy of a precocious dement like Mrs. Pankhurst and her deluded followers.
Each of these direct consequences of Feminism I propose to discuss in one or two subsequent articles; and, as I suspect that even after they have been explicitly stated, as above, they may still appear extravagant and perplexing to the average man and woman of to-day, the effort I shall make to elucidate and defend my point of view, will, I trust be considered to have been worth while.
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According to the arguments of the Suffragettes, militant and otherwise, and their incessant assertion that their political co-operation was essential to the nation's welfare, one would have thought (many gullible men did think so) that, as a sex not hitherto included in the electorate and government of the country, women must have something specific and original, not yet thought of by the male, to introduce into our lives, to improve and enrich us.
Truth to tell, however, apart from scoring ever more sensational victories in self-aggrandisement, the advent of women to political power and their presence in Parliament, have done nothing whatsoever to justify their screeching agitations at the turn of the century and a decade afterwards, or to fulfil the hopes of their supporters.
As we shall see in a moment, thanks to their envy and therefore their secret hatred of the male, they certainly showed between the two World Wars an irresponsible loathing of the leading Dictatorships most probably because of the masculine ascendancy they implied. But they did nothing to emulate what was commendable in these polities; nothing, for instance, to raise the status of the mother and housewife, or to increase the prestige of domestic duties, which at least the German Dictatorship did succeed in doing. No wonder Lord Winterton feels able to say of women M.Ps that they have "not notably advanced the cause of women as such." (ORDERS OF THE DAY, 1953, Chap. VII).
In these spheres, they left the deplorable conditions as they were. Indeed, what are they still? As Havelock
Although since the beginning of time their sex has been the first and foremost custodian of Life, emancipated English women did nothing to check the dangerously mistaken attitude of our society to the psycho-physical shortcomings of the population shortcomings I have sufficiently illustrated in my recent articles.
For centuries there had been no concern about the biological aspects of Man. Nothing had been done by male rulers to improve human stocks or to protect the sound remnants of those stocks from deterioration. Here was a virgin field full of golden opportunities for enlightened intervention.
Had women been constructive innovators; had they had something specific to offer to modern thought and action, which was more creative than the capture of ever more glamorous male roles for themselves and their daughters, they might reasonably have been expected to make this virgin field their own.
Not only, however, did they do nothing to halt the traditional morbid drive towards ever increasing State aid for the least desirable and least valuable of human stocks, whilst the nobler and ever diminishing sound stocks were left to fight an unfair battle for survival; but, as we shall see, by the way of life gradually evolved by Feminism, they actually added to the factors causing racial deterioration.
Even if their imagination and initiative could not rise to devising positive measures for regenerating English humanity, one would have thought that at least they might have improvised negative measures to prevent further racial decline.
For instance to mention only one possible sphere of action every year in this psycho-physically deteriorating and increasingly ugly nation, there occurs a steady skimming off from the population of most of the lamentably too few good-looking, soundly-built and well-co-ordinated young women that still remain, who are then drafted into occupations dooming them to infertility. Thus, in a people already largely physically inferior, which, owing to the type-miscegenation now prevalent, is fast growing uglier, we see this shrinking remnant of desirability, that we can ill afford to lose, earmarked for a sterile life by such vast modern industries as the Films, the Stage, including Ballet, and Haute Couture (models and mannequins), besides the Call-Girl traffic.
Yet neither before nor after their political emancipation has there been any concerted feminine agitation for immediate measures to stop this wanton wastage of thousands of our best potential mothers. On the contrary, although the fate of their sisters is here at stake, women have done everything possible to magnify the forces now operating to increase this wastage.
Neither before nor after their emancipation, moreover, was there any organized agitation for prompt measures to reduce child deaths on our roads; and this despite the fact that already before World War I over 1,500 children were being killed unselectively every year by motor vehicles. Even to this day, we see no group of women chaining themselves to street railings, molesting Cabinet Ministers and assaulting policemen as they did for the ridiculous Vote in order to safeguard children on our thoroughfares; although, according to a recent estimate, "a child is knocked down and injured every ten minutes of the day throughout the year."
Again, with their usual intrepid mendacity, the Suffragettes repeatedly assured us that, when once women acquired political power, we should, amid other untold blessings, enjoy perpetual peace. Olive Schreiner, for instance, in 1911, exclaimed emotionally, "On that day, when woman takes her place beside man in the governance and arrangement of the external affairs of the race, will also be that day that heralds the death of war as a means of arranging human affairs." (WOMAN AND LABOUR, Chap. IV).
This utterly insincere claim, taken up by a chorus of women's voices, was repeated even as recently as 1936 by the authoress, S. Frumkin (A WOMAN'S PARTY, Chaps. 17 & 18). Indeed, as Lord Winterton has said, the advocates of Female Suffrage claimed "that the grant of votes for women . . . would usher in an era of peace and prosperity such as the world has never seen" (op. cit., Chap. V.).
Yet, within three years of Olive Schreiner's empty boast, women were showing such frenzied enthusiasm for World War I that they caused some consternation among onlookers. R. N. Bradley, for instance, observed of the English woman, "She likes to see her boy in khaki, and presents white feathers to those who are not." He then adds significantly, "There is undoubtedly a deep-rooted unconscious antagonism between the sexes and I have often wondered whether this in an instance of it." (DUALITY, 1923, Chap. VIII, 2).
John Cowper Powys also speaks of "those ambiguous feminine emotions which seemed to delight in sending handsome young men to the battlefield." (AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 1943, Chap. VI, ii). H. C. Fisher and Dr. E. X. Dubois remark that "many men who had a free choice in the matter were literally sent to war by their women," and they add "it is impossible to relieve women, as a sex, from all responsibility for the war." (SEXUAL LIFE DURING THE WAR, 1937, Chap. II). Norwood Young shares this view and declares: "Women are on balance for war rather than peace." (ENGLAND CONQUERS THE WORLD, 1937, Chap. II). Seventy years earlier, however, Ruskin had already told English women, "There is not a war in the world but you women are answerable for it." (SESAME AND LILIES, Para. 91).
When on leave during World War I, I confess that I was often shocked by the women, young and old, who every day could eat hearty breakfasts whilst from their newspapers, propped against the milk jug, they announced between their mouthfuls the tragic end of some relative or friend; whilst, despite the lethal misery we were all enduring in the trenches, there were those deplorable weekly meetings at the Pavilion, Piccadilly, where Christabel Pankhurst secured unanimous votes from her female audiences to continue prosecuting the war "to the last young man."
Seeing that neither she nor her listeners were suffering the cruel hardships and deaths of this stationary warfare, it was indecent of them as ambusquées, under
But in World War II women's ardour for war was even more blatant. In the months preceding it, few could have failed to observe that it was the English middle-class women who were the most rabid agitators for a war with Germany. Animated by their secret loathing of the masculine accent over the Dictatorships, they fiercely opposed what was called "appeasement."
Nor was I alone in noticing this; for Duffer Coop (later Lord Norwich), himself an opponent of appeasement, writes of the year 1938: "I could count at that time, among my acquaintances, twelve happily married couples who were divided upon the issue of Munich, and in every case it was the husband who supported and the wife who opposed Chamberlain." (Old MEN FORGET, 1953, Chap. XV). Philip Wylie noticed the same spirit in the U.S.A.; for he says of World War II, "it was the moms who have made the war." (GENERATION OF VIPERS, 1942).
Thus, the political influence of women, whether direct or otherwise, has been the source neither of any urgently-needed reforms in our society, of any increase in our prosperity, nor of any guarantee of peace. By and large, they have shown that there was nothing specific in the form of real progress, which, as a sex, they had to contribute to the national life. On the contrary the enhancement of their power has been conterminous, not only with a steady decline in English prestige, prosperity, and psycho-physical standards, but also with the greatest and most ruinous war in all history.
In my next articles I shall show how the way of life established by Feminism in England has added to the factors now operating to deteriorate still further both our economic position and the quality of our human stocks.
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Although disliking to shock South-African-Observer readers by stating the New Psychology's unprintable explanation of Woman's envy of Man and her frenzied emulation of him the reason suggested usually remains subconscious I cannot wholly omit to hint at it if the reckless Feminist efforts to abandon every traditional feminine rôle and feature is to be understood. To ignore it just because it savours of obscenity, leaves the fundamental cause of female revolt unexplained, or, worse still, deceptively disguised as a plain movement for so-called "Freedom".
Only when we ask, "Freedom from what?" and "Freedom for what?", do we begin to suspect the superficial, popular view of Feminism as an agitation for Freedom, of failing to explain the whole phenomenon.
For why should women feel more "free" just because they put on men's garments and imitate their appearance? Would any normal man feel more "free" if he could wear silk panties, expose his legs in nylon stockings and wear heels three inches high? Why should women feel more free by adopting masculine careers, even exacting and painful ones like Science and Mathematics, where they are expected to tell the truth and be objective? Would men feel more free if they could vie with women in babbling gibberish to babies, or in parading as mannequins or ballerinas? Above all, why should women feel more free by denying themselves, either wholly or in part, the normal exercise of their reproductive functions. Would men feel more free if they did the same?
Obviously then, there must be something deeper than the aim of Freedom in Feminist masculinization, and we are bound to admit the justice of the New Physchologists' claim that most women suffer from a sense of organic deficiency, which, contracted in childhood, makes them feel inferior in adulthood, and prompts their blind impulse to resemble the male as much as is physically possible. As Professor Abram Kardiner observes: "The female wanted to become male. This was in all likelihood the basis of the feminist movement." (SEX MORALITY, 1955, Chap. II).
Seen thus, it at once becomes clear that the pathetic humility and selfcontempt implicit in not wishing to be a feminine being in her own right, and in masquerading as a male, is modern woman's neurosis, and that all the Feminist aims, from the claim to the absurd Vote down to the tacit assumption of legalized transvestism, are merely elaborate euphemisms for the fundamental unprintable reality.
Only thus can we understand how in England and countries like England, even thoroughly sound women, through their secret shame over their sex, have been able to go to the extreme of denying their own organisms the health, serenity and sanity depending on the normal functioning of their elaborate reproductive equipment, in order, in millions of cases, so far to emulate the sex-life of males as to limit their sexual expression to sterile cohabitation with their mates.
This they called "Freedom"; and, indeed, it did give them more leisure to gad about, get into mischief, obstruct the pavements of our cities every hour of the day by shop-gazing at the furlongs of drapery-stores' windows, and grow frustrated and discontented, without, of course, knowing why. For, as Dr. J. V. Walker says, a woman "whose fecundity is baulked, is dissatisfied in her unconscious mind, with all the long-term anxieties, neuroses and obsessions that this carries with it." (HEALTH AND THE CITIZEN, 1951, Chap. V).
But before discussing the graver national consequences of the freedom gained by this widespread limitation of even married women's sex life to the extent of complete or partial sterility, I must first notice one unsuspected result of it.
Among the many by-products of the relatively late marriage age of English women in our Feminist society, are not only undue difficulties in childbirth which, as I have conclusively shown elsewhere, are attributable chiefly to comparative senility of modern women at their first childbirth; and not only a marked decline in the capacity to breast-feed (55 per cent. of mothers in the age group 1619 are found capable of adequate lactation, but only 19 per cent. in those of 28 and over; for the capacity to lactate is greatest under the age of 20 and diminishes even during the early twenties." Brit. Med. Journ. 9.10.54 and 18.12.54), but also a morbid protraction of female Narcissism.
It is normal for the young girl to concentrate on her appearance and to display the behaviour and adornments which will present her person, as Schopenhauer long ago pointed out, "with dramatic effect" to the male. By expediting mating, this serves Nature's purpose. When, however, marriage occurs long after adolescence (as it should not do if easy childbirth and good lactation are expected), this normal Narcissistic phase tends to become prolonged and results in the present grotesque spectacle of a nation teeming with aging, fixated Narcissists, all of whom manifest such an abnormal concern about their
Naturally this has resulted in a gigantic development of such wasteful industries as that of Cosmetics, Hair-dos, the rapid and unnecessary creation of fashion-changes in millinery and Haute Couture (improvised to force buying on the part of female Narcissists), and cognate commercial rackets. Women now spend £30,000,000 a year on permanent waving alone, and about £80,000,000 on cosmetics. But these are not the most serious aspects of the matter.
Far more serious is the tendency which this fixated Narcissism has of riveting the modern female to urban life, where the means of gratifying the needs of her embellishment-mania are most accessible. Thus, during the last 50 years, there has been a constant drift of rural women to the towns, and it still continues.
Mr. F. D. Smith and Miss B. Wilcox, in LIVING IN THE COUNTRY (1940, p. 5), acknowledge that "women have sought the towns more than men." Alva Myrdal declares: "It is certain that men are more rural and women more urban" (THE NATION AND THE FAMILY, 1945, p. 31); whilst Countess KeranfIech-Kerenze claims that this is common to all Europe. "D'un bout à l'autre de l'Europe," she says, "la jeune fille se détache de la terre." ("All over Europe, the young girl is leaving the land." LA FEMME DE LA CAMPAGNE, 1933, p. 24).
During fifteen years in an agricultural area of Suffolk I have known of only one girl who stayed at home and married a farm-worker. All the rest, despite the hardships of very early rising, hurried meals and long journeys to urban centres, preferred to seek employment and husbands in towns. Even those girls who might have chosen to settle on the land were often discouraged from so doing. Lord Northbourne, in LOOK TO THE LAND (1940, Chap. I), says: "Parents often object to their daughters marrying a young man as long as he remains a farm-worker" presumably because they know their daughters to he incapable of staying the rural course. "So," Lord Northbourne adds, "he leaves."
Naturally men will not pay for their rural tastes with celibacy. They follow their girls and listen sympathetically when begged to settle in town. Consequently the female drift from the land greatly magnifies the already alarming male drift. In 1908, for instance, when our population was 32,500,000, land-workers numbered 722,000. In 1951, with a population of 43,500,000, we had only 551,000. By June, 1954 this number had suffered a further reduction of 49,000; whilst by November, 1955, 25,000 more had left the land.
In the Commons on July 7th, 1955, Lt. Col. Lipton said: "We are really heading for disaster unless the drift from the land is checked"; and Mr. J. Stewart, organiser of the N.U.A.W. for East Suffolk, said at Halesworth on September 30th, 1955: "If the present rate of drift from the land continued, there would be no farm-workers at all by the end of the century."
But there is no chance of the drift being checked. On the contrary, every possible influence, above all the English female's belated Narcissism, is exerting pressure in the opposite direction.
Meanwhile our needs become every year more difficult to meet. Lt. Col. E. Evans sets our requirements in essential foods at 15,440,000 tons a year. Of these we produce only 7,880,000 tons; a deficit of 7,564,000 tons. (QUARTERLY REV. July, 1954). He adds that we need to settle 3,000,000 families on small farms. But so far every official attempt to achieve this has failed miserably. Christopher Turner, in YEOMAN CALLING, complains that "We have become the least land-minded of all peoples." But it is women who are in the van of this exodus from the land. Ch. H. Pearson, trying to excuse them, says of their drift to the towns: "For women in particular, the gain seems incalculable . . . the streets within a mile of their townhouse contain greater variety than they can find in a whole country." (NATIONAL LIFE & CHARACTER, 1913, p. 163).
But does anyone suppose for a moment that without the artificial and maniacal interests that Feminism has created for women, they would crave for this "greater variety"?
In my next two articles on this subject, however, I shall have to discuss even more calamitous consequences of the Feminist Movement, although, strange as it may seem, they are much more generally unsuspected than the above.
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Since in 1923 I opened my single-handed campaign against the Feminist racket and its supporting swindles, I have addressed so many audiences of English women and have acquired so much knowledge about the female mind as an instrument of thought and judgment, that, without any hesitation, I feel able to claim that the majority of women in this country, like a large proportion even of their menfolk, are quite incapable of taking an objective, or what Ernest Renan called an "achromatic" view of anything, much less of an issue that stirs their subconscious inferiority feelings.
Thus, although as my many books on the subject prove, the Freedom modern women have secured by what is known as "Family Limitation", has led to an enormous amount of sickness, disease and mental derangement among them, I have found it impossible, except in a few instances, to make them see the palpable, obvious truth that, for creatures elaborately equipped for a periodical cycle lasting from conception to the weaning of their child (normally, a span of 18 months), to try to assimilate their cycle, for the whole or the greater part of their lives, to the cycle of the male, is an act of such self-immolating folly that, had it ever been enforced by a law of Man, history would have branded it as the most monstrous legislative infamy on record.
That is why in my books I have given such prominence to the statistics relating to the diseases of the female reproductive organs resulting from the total or partial sterility that "Birth Control" secures even in marriage. Because, for an organism whose reproductive life can extend normally from her 17th to her 45th year, or more, to have one, or at most two offspring during the whole of this period, as millions of women are doing to-day, is deliberately to provoke cruel retaliation from violated Nature.
Now, according to the 1951 Census, 21.5 per cent. of wives under 50 in Great Britain were childless; 31 per cent. had only one child, and 26 per cent. had only 2 children; which means that to-day, as many as 78 per cent. of our married women are living, if not wholly, at least to a dangerous extent, as spinsters, or worse.
It would be unfair to ascribe this state of affairs entirely to women themselves; for Birth Controllers (some of them actually gynaecologists of note!) have not scrupled to tell women that even if they restricted themselves to completely unfruitful marriages they could still lead "normal" lives. What "normal" means in such a context, only the said gynaecologists can explain. Of course, non-scientific advocates of contraception have been repeating the heresy ad nauseam. But at least they knew no better.
Even in the matter of lactation, the craze for "freedom" has likewise wrought disaster; because, as it has long been known, just as childless wives, and spinsters, are more prone to cancer of the ovaries and of the fundus of the womb than mothers, so are they more prone to cancer of the breast than the mother who has suckled her child. Thus the steep and rapid decline in breast-feeding in Feminist England has been marked by a much higher incidence of uterine and mammary disease among married women, who, even as mothers, fail to breast-feed in 65 per cent. of cases.
Again the fault lies not wholly with the mass of wives who in England are ceasing to breast-feed. For, although it should be obvious to the meanest intelligence that the exercise of a normal function must be best for all concerned, mendacious advertisements of Babies Foods "As Good As Mother's Milk" and the spectacle of multitudes of modern mothers too debilitated to be able to breast-feed or unwilling to do so, lend a spurious air of orthodoxy to the practice of artificial feeding, which deceives the average female incapable of "achromatic" reasoning.
But it is in its effects on the children themselves that the prevalence of artificial feeding is nationally most catastrophic; for, apart from the fact that there is massive evidence (which I can produce if challenged) proving the many advantages enjoyed by breast-fed children, in both health and stamina; apart from the impaired mother-child relationship induced by artificial feeding, and apart from the probable connexion between the increasing incidence of child neglect and cruelty to children on the part of mothers (one could wager that in no cases of the kind have the victims been breast-fed); what is nationally most serious, is the steady decline in intelligence, to which artificial feeding makes an important contribution.
But are English people growing more stupid?
Bertrand Russel says outright that "we must expect, at any rate for the next hundred years, that each generation will be congenitally stupider than its predecessor." (WHITHER MANKIND?, 1928, p. 161). Dr. Alexis Carrel declares "Unintelligence is becoming more and more general in spite of the courses given in schools, colleges and universities." (MAN THE UNKNOWN, 1935, Chap. IV, 9).
In May 1950, five scientists Sir Cyril Burt, Sir Godfrey Thompson, Prof. R. A. Fisher, and Drs. E. O. Lewis and L. A. Fraser Roberts in the REPORT OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON POPULATION, maintained that a serious decline in intelligence is going on; whilst Dr. Raymond Cattell found that "the average intelligence of the rural population was declining at the rate of more than 2 I.Q. points per generation" and declared "that a complete inventory of the nation would reveal a rate of decline of more than 2 points per generation." (HUMAN FERTILITY, by Rob. C. Cook, 1951, Chap. 13).
Another scientist who reports the same tendency is J. B. S. Haldane. He concludes that the decline in intelligence in England is "one or two points per generation in the mean I.Q. of the country." (Ibid). Robert C. Cook, himself, after mentioning the decline of intelligence in the British people, remarks that "If this trend continues for less than a century, England will be well on the way to becoming a nation of near half-wits." (op. cit. Chap. 1).
We cannot, of course, ascribe the whole of this moronization of modern England to the decline in breast-
Briefly, the gravamen of the charge against artificial feeding, which must involve the use of some other mammal's mammary secretion, is that is assumes that such secretions are not specific and may be harmlessly interchanged.
Yet we have only to compare the tasks which have to be performed by human and cow's milk respectively, in order at once to appreciate that they cannot, without untoward consequences, take each other's place. Cow's milk has, in a few months, to rear an animal relatively big of bone and small of brain. In a few more months, human milk has to rear a creature relatively small of bone and very large of brain. Unless, therefore, in this matter, Nature has for once departed from her rigid practice of suiting her provisions to the requirements, how can cow's and human milk be interchangeable? Cow's milk contains more calcium than the human baby needs and it contains too little lecithin, which is a brain builder.
Thus to feed human young on cow's milk means giving them an excess of bone constituents (3 1/2 times more than they need, according to Dr. W. Sheldon: THE PRACTITIONER, April, 1935); and, according to Dr. Bunge, who called attention to the matter many years ago, a deficiency of the "lecithin bodies" on which the brain depends for its normal development.
So that here we encounter a cause of mental deterioration which, in Western Europe, and England in particular, has been operating for generations especially in the ruling castes. Hence, probably in England, the partial surrender by the so-called "upper" classes in the 20th century, of the Government of the country to their former miners, van-drivers, railway porters, grooms, et hoc genus omne, whose womenfolk were much more often breast-feeders than were their "betters".
The ancients were wiser. Even queens as recent as Maria Theresa of Austria suckled their offspring, as did the women of the nobility in 16th-century France. Indeed, in the 13th century, Blanche of Castille (Louis VIII's wife) was so convinced that mammary secretions were not interchangeable, even between members of the same species, that when during an enforced absence of a few hours, one of her ladies in waiting put the royal child (the future St. Louis) to her own breast, the queen on her return made the infant vomit the milk up.
At all events there is much evidence to the effect that breast-fed children are superior in intelligence. Carolyn Hoefer and Mattie Crumpton Hardie found that breast-fed elementary schoolchildren were mentally in advance of the artificially fed; whilst Drs. Childers and Hamel found that "undesirable behaviour" was "generally greater" among those children "weaned between the 1st and 6th month of infancy." (THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, 23/3/29). Dr. H. W. Pooler, moreover, claims that from 50 to 60 per cent. of neurotic children are found to have been artificially fed. (BRIT. MEDICAL JOURNAL, 15/12/28). Seven years earlier, Dr. Röse had remarked that breast-fed children "were superior in both intelligence and physical development" (THE TREND OF THE RACE, by Sam Holmes, 1921, Chap. XVI); and a medical writer in THE INTERPRETER (15/2/50) emphasises the psychological advantages enjoyed by the breast-fed.
What is the good of bewailing the unsatisfactory results of our most expensive educational system, when every fresh generation introduces an increased percentage of morons into the country? As Mr. M. M. Lewis aptly remarks, "If our intelligence is declining, what is the hope of stemming the tide of illiteracy?" (THE IMPORTANCE OF ILLITERACY, 1953, Chap. III, iii).
Meanwhile, however, our womenfolk, resolutely struggling to appear happy and contented, are free to gad about and to squander their spare cash on pastimes and fripperies cunningly devised by profiteers to divert a population of morons. They have enough secret and half-conscious anxieties to cope with; why should they worry about the increasing besotment of the nation?
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As was suggested in my article of March 1956, throughout the Mammalia during the whole course of Evolution, the female has acted as the first and chief Custodian of Life. We have but to envisage the immensely precarious situation of the new-born animal or infant, its vulnerability and need of immediate care, nourishment and protection, in order at once to see the vital importance to every genus and species of the Mammalian Order, of an unhesitating maternal impulse which makes the provision of what her young most needs, not only an eagerly-sought gratification of an ingrained instinct, but also a deeply-felt pleasure she would under no circumstances forego.
If the new-born creature is to survive, there must be no possible irresolution, no conceivable occasion for deliberation or critical scrutiny, no hitch in the effective exercise of the instinct to succour and protect. The moment in the young life is too critical, too fraught with hazards. On the one hand you have pathetic helplessness and dependence, extreme defencelessness and an urgent demand for the provision of warmth, sanitary measures and, above all, nourishment.
If, then there were the slightest chance of any indecision, any maternal humming and ha-ing, the very first hours of the young life would be in peril. There must be, there cannot be, any pause for reflection; but only an unreasoning, uncritical, imperious impulse to succour, protect and feed. Discernment at this moment would make survival doubtful. But Nature and Life cannot abide doubt. As Blake in his vivid way observed: "If the Sun and Moon should doubt, They'd immediately go out." (AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE). Provided, however, that the female's health and stamina are normal and the power of her instincts therefore unimpaired, at the appeal of her offspring's helplessness she will spring eagerly into action and blindly perform all the Life-preserving duties that devolve upon her.
Besides, we must remember that the vagaries of genetical processes have in countless species in the past contributed to advances in the form of variations or "sports", i.e., specimens unlike in some particulars (which may be advantageous) the standard type of the species.
If, therefore, it led to maternal action unfavourable to such variations, maternal discrimination might in such cases thwart evolutionary progress. Unfortunately, however, this same saving grace of non-discriminatory maternal care, may also act in a manner favourable to reversions and degenerative specimens; for in this life we cannot have it both ways, and non-discriminatory impulses cannot be expected to distinguish variations favourable to the species from those unfavourable to it.
This accounts for the fact that it is possible to use hens for rearing goslings and ducklings, female dogs and cats for rearing leverets and young rabbits, and that birds like the Tree Pipit or the Water Wagtail can rear Cuckoo fledglings. It also explains how it is that human mothers display the same, if not actually more love, for offspring that are defective and even deformed; for in such specimens the appeal of helplessness is unusually prolonged.
Thus, throughout Nature the female is biologically conditioned to be lacking in discrimination and taste. This is mostly favourable to survival in desirable form; but, when unchecked and uncorrected as it now is in human life, it favours degenerative changes; whilst, in its operation as a social influence, it may have gravely untoward consequences.
This is shown not only by the prevailing ugliness and vulgarity of our Age and even of the higher arts of our Age, since women have seized the helm; it is shown not only by the docility with which they will don and proudly display the ugliest hats and frocks, provided they are the fashion; not only by the fact that, despite their Age-long connexion with the culinary art, men have easily outstripped them in this sphere in modern times; but also and chiefly by their attitude to their fellow-creatures, which is always destitute of any aesthetic component.
Lombroso and Ferrero amplify this. They go so far as to say of woman that "en général, la beauté et l'intelligence la laissent indifférente" ("generally speaking, she is indifferent to beauty and intelligence": LA FEMME CRIMINELLE ET LA PROSTITUÉE, p. 121). Caroline Schlegel, Schopenhauer and Weininger even asserted that women are indifferent to male beauty (DIE WELT ALS WILLE UND VORSTELLUNG, II, Chap. 41, and SEX & CHARACTER, p. 29).
At all events, it is difficult to awaken female interest in any eugenic or kindred reforms. On the contrary, when once they are moved to exclaim: "Ah, paw thing! He can't help it!" they straightway feel more love than horror. Indeed, as the anonymous author of a book entitled WOMEN (1918, Chap. IV, iv) shrewdly observes, "Her (i.e., woman's) sympathy is not an overflowing of kindness but a response to her desire to be of importance to somebody or something outside herself".
Women especially the more greedy ones, would be the first to protest if, on the plea that it was not its fault it was a partridge, you propose to put the bird in a cage, and keep it as a pet so as to save it from being shot. They would have suspected you of dangerous insanity if, during the World Wars, you had exclaimed about the sound and healthy young men, being packed off to the Front: "Ah, paw things! They cannot help being sound and healthy young men; let's keep them at home, to save them from slaughter!"
It is really only in the presence of human decay and degeneration that they are wont to pronounce their tag about someone not being able to help it; and then they are adamant.
This may explain why, in 1928, when I published my NIGHT HOERS, which contained a convincing account of the dire consequences of Birth Control to the quality of the English people, I obtained a response only from men. Among the palpably deplorable results of widespread and drastic contraception, I particularly emphasized the loss it causes, not only in exceptionally well-constituted, but also in highly-gifted, people. I pointed out that when Birth-Controllers argued that Family Limitation allowed of Family Planning, so that quality rather than quantity could be secured, they were guilty of the grossest fraud
For it is deliberately mendacious to advocate the limitation of families to two or three children which the Birth-Controllers did and in the same breath to speak of thereby securing quality rather than quantity.
Nature does not work that way. The operation of the laws of heredity offers no guarantee that the best and most favourable combinations and permutations of parental and stock qualities will appear in the first, second, third, or even fourth child. On the contrary, the evidence points consistently the other way.
And yet even the medical graduates among Birth-Controllers did not scruple to assure ignorant, gullible and "freedom-loving" English women that Family Limitation was a means of breeding for quality.
What these women should have been told was rather that hundreds, if not thousands, of famous names in history would never have been heard of, if the parents who bore them had limited their offspring, as 57 per cent. of English couples now do, to one or two. And this does not include the further 21.5 per cent. who, often by means of Contraception, have no offspring at all.
For instance, if their parents had been content with only two children, Andrea del Sarto, Hume, Dürer, David Garrick, Smollett, Condillac, Descartes, Rubinstein, Lamb and Shakespeare would never have been born.
Had their parents been content with two sons, we should never have heard of Landseer, Bulwer Lytton, Turgot, Richelieu, Montaigne, Nelson, Napoleon and Romanes.
Even if their parents had been content with three children, Schubert, Emerson, Tennyson, Tolstoy, James Watt, Wellington, Gladstone, Erasmus Darwin, Horace Walpole, would never have seen the light; and so on, to Rembrandt, Cromwell, Goldsmith, Voltaire, de Quincey, Charles Darwin, Emily Brontë and Schumann, who were 5th children; Botticelli, Rubens who came sixth, and Sir Joshua Reynolds, Jane Austen, Huxley, Van Dyck and Herrick, who came 7th.
I could of course detain you much longer with such examples; but I hope I have given enough to show the hollowness of the claim that Family Limitation is necessarily consistent with breeding for quality.
Can any one now wonder at the flatness, muddle, anarchy and lack of brilliance, let alone of genius, in the modern world, and the pathetic dependence of western humanity on mediocrities who, owing to the prevailing low level of ability, find themselves hoisted to positions they cannot hold with any distinction, not to mention dignity?
There can be little doubt that this reckless gamble of staking all national quality on the first or second throw of the hereditary dice, is steadily destroying all European, including all English, talent and genius; and it is significant that the ruling classes who, for generations have been much more addicted to family limitation than their pecuniary inferiors, have for a long time been growing more and more commonplace and stupid.
Meantime, however, whilst hundreds, if not thousands, of the nation's potential geniuses and possibly saviours, are every year being lost, the women of Europe and, above all, of England, have been enjoying more and more Freedom and, what is more, fondly imagining that, except for the high cost of cosmetics and contraceptives, there is nothing wrong with the world.
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The part Feminism has played in bringing about the alarming increase in indiscipline and crime in England during the last half century, must now be briefly examined.
Owing to their preponderance at the polls and the exorbitant attention, amounting to adulation, that has long been lavished upon them by the national Press (chiefly because of the large advertisement revenue derived from recommending goods, literature, theatrical and other entertainments appealing especially to them), the influence of women on our society has recently become so powerful that, as we have seen, Dr. J. V. Walker has felt able to state "that the community is feminine in its outlook and under the predominant control of women's opinions" (See Article 1). Nor, to appreciate this, do we need the expert testimony of R. C. K. Ensor, who says: "The bulk of the new advertising expenditure is for goods purchased by women," and that "for advertising purposes women readers are incomparably more valuable than men", and therefore have to be appealed to. (THE CHARACTER OF ENGLAND, 1947, Chap. "The Press"). We have only to road our popular dailies to be convinced that the mind to which they are addressed is that of woman.
But I can only hint at these aspects here; for what now concerns us is the effect on national life, not merely of woman's ascendancy in our society, but also and above all, of her ascendancy in the home.
Most people must have noticed how, for two or three generations now, woman's authority in and outside the home has been steadily growing. Whether owing to male spinelessness, or to the spurious prestige women have acquired by the Press's unremitting attention to them, the male parent has for many years been exercising ever less and less influence in the family. What mother says "goes"; what father says is either discreetly or roughly ignored, according to whether his wife and family are or are not well-mannered. In this denigration of the paternal viewpoint, women generally secure their offspring's allegiance; for, bent on procuring the
Hence Dr. J. V. Walker's remark that "in the dethronement of the head of the household, women have to some extent been the allies of their children." (op. cit. Chap. V). For, in the home, modern women are as a rule less concerned with establishing law and order than with consolidating their authority.
As G. K. Chesterton observed almost fifty years ago, "Women are always authoritarian" (WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WORLD?, 1910, p. 91). Unfortunately, in their case, this tendency does not promote discipline. Two major reasons account for this. First, their deep dissatisfaction with their own sex and the inferiority feelings resulting from it, causes them constantly to seek means for enhancing their self-esteem, and, since their children's attachment and regard help considerably in assuaging the feelings in question, they are never over-scrupulous or prudent in the exertions they make to secure this attachment and regard.
The fact that these exertions too often end in "spoiling" can hardly have escaped the most casual observer of modern English life. Incidentally, women's inordinate fondness for dogs has a similar basis; for the unrestrained and servile flattery of canine devotion has an irresistible lure; and when we bear in mind how very rarely women's dogs are well-disciplined, we see the same factors operating as in the case of "spoilt" children.
When, added to all this, we are reminded that women are in any case averse from discipline, because their own power impulses (never wholly expressed in a normal way nowadays) lead them to assume that it is necessarily "cruel", especially when exercised by someone else, the outcome in the family is usually a condition as near to total anarchy as the patience of two adults can endure; and where there is only one child, the concentration of attention upon it, in order to secure its devotion, is inevitably much more injurious than where there are many children.
The second factor leading to the detrimental influence of English mothers over their offspring, again springs from the female's deep dissatisfaction over her sex; but in this respect it leads them to look on the whole of sex life with distaste, not to say shame. In modern England, therefore, where this tendency finds support in the national tradition of Puritanism and sex-phobia, mothers of all classes (in truth all women) are inclined in any case to exalt children unduly, simply on the ground that they are supposed to be "innocent" i.e., still uninitiated into the adult's "guilty secrets". Hence the storm of hostility and indignation that swept over England when Freud's revelations about the sexual preoccupations of children first became known.
One needs only to observe the average woman, especially the spinster, in the company of a young child, and to note the awed dulcet tones in which she speaks to it wholly different from her manner of addressing adults in order to become aware of this attitude of deep and often only half-conscious veneration.
But this sustained sense of deep moral respect for the child, whether consciously or unconsciously based in sex-phobia, is incompatible with any cool and judicious exercise of discipline; for it is not natural in men, and least of all in women, easily to play the rôle of leader and ruler towards a creature secretly regarded as a moral superior. One is a freer and better educator if one not only dismisses every notion of the child's alleged higher moral worth, but also if one always remembers that he who is about to put on his armour should not be ranked above him who, if not about to take it off, has at least worn it in life's fray much longer than the child.
We cannot, therefore, be surprised that, with the recent vastly increased ascendancy of women in the home, the two factors examined above, both of which lead to the "spoiling" of children, should have operated very powerfully in reducing discipline almost to zero. Thus, when Dr. J. V. Walker, speaking of discipline, remarks of our English world that it is "a society that hardly understands the word" (op. cit. Chap. X), we can form some idea of how this state of affairs has come about; and in view of the many contrivances and amenities of our civilization, from our railways to our motor and aerial traffic, which depend for their safety and efficiency on the vigilant, skilled and reliable attention given to them by those who are in charge of and operate them, this matter of the decline of discipline, quite apart from its effect on the multiplication of crime and delinquency, has the most dangerous consequences.
An impressive body of opinion bears witness to this lack of discipline in modern England. In his IMPORTANCE OF ILLITERACY (1953, Chap. III, ii), M. M. Lewis maintains that "the lowering of standards in speech and writing" is only "part of a general lowering of standards of discipline throughout social life." Middleton Murry acknowledges the general lack of discipline; but when he says, "it is one of the gravest weaknesses of democracy that the need of discipline has never been recognised" (A DEFENCE OF DEMOCRACY, 1939, Chap. VIII), he appears to overlook other major causes of the lack in question.
It may be true that, without democracy, women would never have gained their present ascendancy in the home and outside it; it may also be true that the democratic mania favours a relaxation of law and order. But, in so far as a properly trained, self-controlled young member of society, like the growing plant, acquires his first "bents" (the French properly call them "folds" plis) in his early formative years, it is the home that is the fundamental source of modern indiscipline; and, since women are now paramount here, it is they who are responsible for the untoward state of our modern world. Long ago, Dr. Alfred Adler declared outright that "when a mother or a step-mother dominates, the results (in character formation) are abnormal." (THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN, 1935, p. 111), and he was by no means an antifeminist.
J. H. Bagot deplores the want of "calm and consistent discipline" in the homes of the people, and adds significantly: "Along with the decline of parental discipline has gone an increasing resentment of disciplinary measures taken by others." (JUVENILE DELINQUENCY, 1945), pp. 7780). C. W. Valentine also speaks of the "real danger of an excessive laxity of discipline" (THE DIFFICULT CHILD & THE PROBLEM OF DISCIPLINE, 1940, pp. 4753); but both he and Robert T. Lewis entertain no doubts concerning the chief culprit in the soaring tide of indiscipline in England. The former says (op. cit. pp. 9192), "The mother is more usually the lax disciplinarian . . . it is usually she who does that extreme spoiling of the child, which is liable to make him a difficult child"; whilst the latter implies much the same when he says: "The hand that rocks the cradle can wreck the world." (ROMULUS, 1929, p. 21).
In the sequel we shall see how the prevailing lack of discipline has contributed, and is still contributing, to the mounting incidence of crime in England.
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In the multiplication of delinquents of all ages in modern England, the part played by the decline in parental control and, above all, by the spoiling of children, is attested by many authorities. Nor is this surprising; for the principal untoward effect of spoiling on juvenile character is that it leads the individual boy and girl, and later on the adults into which they grow, to cherish throughout life the following major illusions:
Firstly, that they are the most important people in their world; secondly, that there must not be a moment's delay in gratifying any wish or impulse that may possess them; and, thirdly that they have the incontestable right to gratify any such wish or impulse whilst being able to rely on the condonation of this gratification by an indulgent society in loco parentis.
As early as the third decade of the 16th century, the Spanish aristocrat, Juan Luis Vives, had already warned his generation concerning these consequences of over-indulging children. "It lieth more in the mother than men ween," he said, "to mould the character of the children. For she may make them whether she will, very good or very bad . . . For you mothers be the cause of most part of the evillness among folks, whereby you may see how much your children are beholding unto you, which induce naughty opinions into them with your folly." (INSTRUCTION OF A CHRISTIAN WOMAN, 1523. Translated 1540. Bk. II, Chap. XI).
In 1909, the Chief Constable of Liverpool spoke of "the decay of parental control," to which "juvenile delinquency is almost entirely due"; and since his day many authorities have confirmed his statement. Guilfoyle Williams says of early childhood (THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE CHILD TO MATURITY, 1946, p. 48), "Little wonder that many a personality has been warped for life by the faults of parents, particularly the mother, in this phase of life"; and, of the inordinate self-importance and overweening claims of people who have been spoilt in childhood, he observes, "they originate in a wrong atmosphere in the home and in a wrong attitude of the parents, particularly the mother." (op. cit., p. 188). Nor should it be necessary to point out how easily this feeling of self-importance, together with the habit (induced by spoiling) of having every wish and impulse instantly gratified, leads to asocial and even criminal behaviour; for the impatient temper and sense of exceptional privilege thus cultivated, favour a contempt of conventional restrictions and law.
C. W. Valentine, in THE DIFFICULT CHILD & THE PROBLEM OF DISCIPLINE (1940, pp. 52 and 92), tells us that "over-petting by the mother especially . . . often occurs in home conditions of 'problem children'"; whilst Dorothy Burlingham and Anna Freud (INFANTS WITHOUT FAMILIES, 1943, p. 65), deplore "the primitive tendency in the mother to over-estimate the child" and therefore to indulge it. This point, particularly in regard to England, was dealt with in article VI of this series.
Dr. Kate Friedlander, in THE PSYCHO-ANALYTICAL APPROACH TO JUVENILE DELINQUENCY (1947, pp. 36, 67 and 146), also emphasizes "the power which the mother has at her disposal during the formative years" of childhood, and how it can be used for good or ill. Among the juvenile delinquents J. H. Bagot examined, 59.4 per cent had a history of defective discipline and the proportion was greater among recidivists than first offenders. (PUNITIVE DETENTION, 1944, p. 75). Dr. Cyril Burt, in his YOUNG DELINQUENT (1931, pp. 6067, places "Defective Discipline" first in his list of the causes of delinquency, which he says is found five times more often in delinquent than in non-delinquent children.
The alarming increase in juvenile and adult delinquency in recent years in England, has been attributed to various causes by investigators. The wishful thinkers, who scout unpalatable explanations, especially when they reflect unflatteringly on their fellow-nationals, above all on their womenfolk, have hastened to ascribe the phenomenon to poverty, the films, broken homes and World Wars; so that, indirectly, the blame is laid on Hitler, the Germans, American Film Producers, or at any rate on some cause outside the home, and, if possible, outside England. Such explanations afford immense relief and are a form of escapism, which enables a ruler class to do nothing about it.
But the Report of the Commissioners of Prisons for 1954 upset these complacent artifices. For they discredit
Thus we have official confirmation of the findings already recorded by expert investigators, and we are left with the irksome alternatives of either trying to repair the havoc Feminism has wrought in our home conditions, which would mean reversing our policies in regard to this fatuous Movement, or else of witnessing a progressive increase in the unruly dispositions and pursuits of our young folk, both adolescent and adult.
Truth to tell, uneasiness about children's home conditions, at least in the working classes, has been felt for some time in England. But, instead of trying to remedy the evil at its roots i.e., by improving these conditions and, above all, the parents who create them as usual, the easier, less thorny path was chosen, which was to take the children (at first only the boys) out of their homes altogether and to subject them to "uplifting" influences outside.
Thus, as early as 1884, the BOYS' BRIGADE was founded "to promote obedience and Christian manliness among the boys of the poor"; and this easier policy culminated in 1908 in the BOY SCOUT MOVEMENT, which had a more or less similar object in view.
As might have been expected, however, these measures, which were anything but a radical means of arresting the increase of juvenile indiscipline, were so wholly ineffective that, to the bewilderment of all those who ardently supported and approved of them (and do still!), juvenile delinquency has been steadily increasing with every decade that has elapsed since their inception.
In article VI of this series, I alleged that the women of all classes in England were prone to the sex-phobic exaltation of children which fosters spoiling and indiscipline.
From the higher incidence of juvenile delinquency in the poorer classes, however, it might be inferred that this is mistaken and that middle-class and so-called "upper-class" mothers are less guilty than their pecuniary inferiors of the practices which lead to "problem" and delinquent children. But any such inference would be unjustified. Dr. H. Crighton Miller, for instance, would quite rightly contest it. "I am firmly convinced," he says, "that, as far as the so-called upper-classes go, the mothers of England are deteriorating." (SEXUAL PROBLEMS OF TO-DAY, 1924, edited by Dr. Mary Scharlieb: Essay by Lieut. Col. Shirley, p. 8).
No, the fact that the majority of children that come before the courts are from working-class homes, is due, not to the greater wisdom or sense of responsibility among wealthier mothers, but rather to the ultimate dressing-down their children undergo in the independent schools to which they are sent at an early age.
Neither in the primary nor the secondary schools of the nation is there any agency that can repair or correct the damage done by the mothers whose children attend such schools. In the wealthier classes, on the other hand, the mother's deleterious influence becomes counteracted and virtually dispelled because their children, whilst still in their formative years, are relegated to independent preparatory and public schools for months at a stretch, where they are under the sole influence of strangers who are not handicapped by any Wordsworthian tomfoolery about "clouds of glory" trailed from the heaven which was the children's home; who refuse to put up with any nonsense and very soon show an arrogant child his proper place; disillusion him about his supreme importance, and generally discountenance his overweening claims.
Nor does the code of honour in such schools encourage recourse to whining or complaining to parents and, above all, to adoring mothers, if this process of subsequent repair and correction is severe or even painful. On the contrary, in the State schools a teacher or fellow-pupil who would presume to resent with any severity a cosseted child's overbearing or unruly behaviour, might soon find himself summoned for assault, or else deprived of his front teeth by a ferocious father egged on by his blood-thirsty wife. Many such cases have been reported in the Press.
The actual statistics of crime and juvenile delinquency in England will be dealt with in the VIIIth article of this series.
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As already stated, the authorities in England were beginning to be disturbed in 1909 by the steady increase in juvenile delinquency and, in Liverpool at least this was shrewdly ascribed to "the decay in parental control".
That the evil continued to grow, however, is not surprising; for, as we have seen, nothing radical was done to arrest it. Many movements founded by well-meaning but mostly benighted enthusiasts had been set on foot; but as the idea behind them all seems to have been that patch-work palliatives would suffice, be more easy to apply and, above all, give less offence, than measures promising to uproot the causes of the trouble, nothing effective was done.
During the present century, therefore, the public clamour about child crime inevitably rose in volume, and treatises on the subject began to be published by accredited investigators, most of whom attributed the evil to the lack of proper home control and discipline in the formative years.
In April, 1932, the Home Secretary laid before the Commons disquieting figures of the serious increase in burglaries, smash-and-grab raids and kindred offences. In London alone, these cases had increased from 3,900 in 1921 to 8,000 in 1931; and the Minister acknowledged that the most difficult part of the class of offenders concerned, consisted of young men of 25 to 30 who had lacked proper parental control during 191418; thus taking the view that the War was responsible. But we have seen that both previous and subsequent data, like the conclusions of experts, invalidate this too facile explanation.
Again in July, 1936, the same Minister (Sir Herbert, now Lord Samuel), stirred by the alarming increase in juvenile delinquency, addressed a letter to every magistrate in the country, in which, besides giving them the 1934 criminal statistics, he made it plain that the authorities, were gravely concerned about the crime among juniors. The figures he circulated showed that of the 65,736 persons found guilty of indictable offences during 1934, there were:
11,118 boys and 527 girls under 14,
8,221 boys and 674 girls between 14 and 17,
8,335 boys and 173 girls between 17 and 21.
33 per cent of the cases of "breaking and entering" were committed by children under 14; 21 per cent by adolescents between 14 and 17, and 13 per cent by adolescents between 17 and 21.
Some idea of the spectacular increase in juvenile crime may be gathered from the following figures:
Juvenile Offenders Between 10 and 16 years of age per 100,000 of the Population.
Juveniles and Others in Crimes of Violence against the person:
Aged 16 and Over
Aged over 17
A writer in the POLICE CHRONICLE (23/12/55), says that whereas in 1938 there were 1,583 crimes of violence in England and Wales, in 1954 the total was 4,584; and he adds: "Violence against the person has doubled within eight years . . . Worse still, all the signs are that the trend will continue as more children grow up without discipline at home or school."
The increase in Sexual Offences is equally disturbing. By persons over 16, these leapt from 971 in 1910 to 1,350 in 1933; by persons over 17, from 1,461 in 1934 to 4,187 in 1954; and by persons under 17 to 30 and over, from 2,321 in 1938 to 5,133 in 1954.
After what has been said in the previous articles, it seems unnecessary to comment on the above data; for although it may be unjust to ascribe the whole of the anarchy and lawlessness they imply to the influence of Feminism on the home, this influence has undoubtedly been an important, if not the paramount, cause.
Regarding the increase in sexual crimes, however, something more must be said, as here the influence of Feminism has played a double, if unsuspected rôle. In addition to its indirect influence over the multiplication of such crimes, owing to the grave decline in discipline it has brought about, Feminism has constituted a direct cause of the higher incidence of these crimes, owing to the precarious freedom, especially outside the home, which it has fostered and even proudly secured for girls and young women.
It is insufficiently appreciated in England that the leaders of the Feminist Movement, from Mary Wollstonecraft to the Pankhursts, have all been middle- or "upper-"class women. Female Feminists acknowledge this. Miss E. M. White, for instance, finds it necessary to state, "Woman includes all women and not merely the middle class, which is chiefly in the mind of socalled feminists." (WOMAN & CIVILIZATION, 1940, pp. 4446). Miss Wilma Meikle means much the same when she remarks: "It was the misfortune of the Suffrage Movement that for the most part its leaders were women whose minds had never been winnowed by personal experience of economic need." (TOWARDS A SANE FEMINISM, 1916, pp. 12, 16, 26, 46).
Thus, when these women envisaged and fought for the freedom to gad about unescorted, or escorted by males of their own class, but unchaperoned, they had in mind the kind of tepid, low-powered males to whom they were accustomed and who could safely be trusted to go round the world twice or three times with an attractive girl without anything untoward happening or, as they would put it: "without any nonsense". And, owing to their knowledge of only this kind of sub-normal male, whom they could trust to exercise "gentlemanly self-control", they fondly imagined that passion and sexual appetite were everywhere as feeble as in their own menfolk, among whom, as Keyserling long ago declared, "marriages blancs" are commonplace. Thus they made a clean sweep of old-fashioned chaperonage, and found that they could do so with perfect safety.
It never even occurred to them to reflect that this safety might perhaps be suspicious. Never having considered that among many intelligent people of normal passion, like the Hindus, Chinese, Japanese, and the inhabitants of Southern Europe, chaperonage was still the method of choice, on which Age-long experience had taught them safety in the relationship of inflammable young people of different sexes depended, they secured for themselves and all other classes in England an amount of licence in the social intercourse of the young of both sexes, which, in those ranks of the population still possessed of unimpoverished vigour and passion naturally proved disastrous.
The young males in such classes, maddened by the liberty and, above all, the liberties, to which this free unchaperoned association with girls inevitably led, and deceived by the acquiescence of their female partners in preliminaries which give the male the impression of consent to more intimate procedures (and, what is more serious, stimulate him to attempt them), thus find themselves carried away by their mounting tumescence to behave in a manner which ultimately brings them before a court of law.
And such is the ignorance of sex-psychology in England that, in these cases, although both judge and jury may have been told by the outraged girl that she did not object to being kissed and fondled (for such is the monotonous pattern of all these prosecutions), the man, unless very young, is usually given a stiff sentence and sternly told by the judge that "our young women must be protected against brutes like you".
But it is lunacy to speak of "protection" in this sense. It is like closing the stable-door when the horse has gone and, what is more, flogging the horse because the stable-door was left open.
The fatuous remedy sought is Sex Instruction. But can any one be so besotted as to assume, first, that if the Hindus, Chinese, Japanese and the Southern people of Europe never had the bright idea of Sex Instruction as an adequate substitute for the careful supervision of their girls, it was because they never thought of it; and, secondly, that they remained faithful to the old and well-tried tradition of chaperonage out of sheer pigheadedness?
At all events, we now know that Sex Instruction has done nothing to abate the incidence of the kind of natural sexual crime in question. On the contrary! And, for the increase in this sort of crime in recent years, we have only to thank a Movement which had the arrogance to fly in the face of centuries of world tradition, by sweeping away the one safe and reliable form of protection girls can be given in societies where normal passion and vigour are still possessed by the young of both sexes.
Thus, here. Feminism has been twice guilty.
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By concluding this series with a faint outline of Woman's influence on the Politics and Literature of England, it will be necessary to omit many salient features of my subject. But the brevity imposed by a journalistic approach has this advantage, that it limits to the most essential and significant the aspects that can be dealt with.
In assessing the influence on politics of the majority in a democracy, it is important to do what the idealistic promoters of universal suffrage never did do, which is to form a realistic picture of the average man and woman's daily life. He who does this and, as a bread-winner himself, supplements his observations with an appraisal of his own political interests and the time he can devote to them, soon convinces himself that, by the average male and female worker, politics, even if studied at all, can be allotted but a small, not to say, insignificant amount of their leisure.
To ascertain even the time the average worker spends over the political news in his favourite Daily, is at once to recognize, not only that such news receives at best only perfunctory attention, but also that usually it is overlooked. It is common knowledge, moreover, that in the Dailies with the largest circulation, political news is minimal. Sensational political events may be reported; but serious political comment never occurs.
One must inevitably conclude, therefore, that to the very people who in the greatest number will not hesitate to vote at a General Election, politics means exceedingly little at most, that their political erudition and the information at their command, reduces them to thinking about and furthering only their own sectional interests, or feathering their own nests.
Many investigators have hinted at this. Lord Bryce acknowledged that "The proportion of citizens who take a lively and constant interest in politics is so small, and likely to remain small, that the direction of affairs inevitably passes to the few." (MODERN DEMOCRACIES, Vol. II, Cap. LXXV). Dr. F. Zweig has claimed that "apart from a small minority, British workers are rarely politically minded." (LABOUR, LIFE AND POVERTY, Chap. XIII). J. A. Hobson observes that "the greatest defect in our nominal democracy is the torpor which prevails among the electorate after performing its occasional duty at the polls." (DEMOCRACY AND A CHANGING CIVILIZATION, Chap. VI); whilst Professor
Even the voting of the constituencies at a General Election is never more than fractional; hence Churchill's monstrous suggestion in June, 1948, that non-voters should be prosecuted and fined. I say "monstrous"; because never since the Uniformity of Worship Acts has such a tyrannical proposal been made in a so-called "Free" country.
When we confine our inquiry to the women of England, alone, the situation appears even more extraordinary. For, without appealing to experts, we need but glance at the Dailies and Sunday newspapers with the largest circulation among women, to be convinced that politics are not the average woman's cup of tea. Compare the space devoted to politics in such publications with that covered by the subject of sex, the passions, the matrimonial vagaries of Film Stars, V.I.P.s, Royalties, etc., and by sensational crimes; and it is not difficult to infer that, since these newspapers are highly successful, the average English female's interest in politics must be negligible.
Before me as I write, I have a quite representative issue of the WOMAN'S SUNDAY MIRROR (1/4/56), published by Pictorial Publications Ltd. (very limited!), and in its four-and-twenty pages there is hardly a line that could plausibly be construed as bearing directly on politics. When, moreover, we inquire into the use made by women of their wireless sets, we find that, in the vast majority of homes, if by accident a purely political broadcast is tuned in, it is immediately switched off.
But only a John Stuart Mill, or one of the precocious dements, such as the nitwit, George Lansbury, who, in 1912, followed Mrs. Pankhurst like a lamb, could ever have expected anything else. In view, however, of modern English people's regimentation in the practice of bleating "Democracy is Best", few have the courage or independence even to whisper that women find politics tedious.
Walter Bagehot could say so; for in 1867 it was not yet de rigueur to pay lip-service to this kind of political racket; and when he declared that "women one half of the human race at least care fifty times more for a marriage than a ministry" (THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION, No. 11), there was no moron about to yell "Nazi!" at him. But it required exceptional pluck for R. C. K. Ensor, some 80 years later, to repeat the charge, when heresy-hunters were everywhere tracking down the critics of Democracy.
"Women (in the mass that is)", he said, "have no day-to-day interest in politics. They will not patronize a paper that obtrudes too much serious politics upon them. They have little interest in doctrines, arguments, or serious speculations of any kind." (THE CHARACTER OF ENGLAND, "The Press").
When they do happen to take an active interest in politics, however, it is usually disastrous. Two outstanding examples are their attitude in World Wars I and II. We need only read what the Most Reverend Cosmo Lang said in 1921, or what Lord Grey of Falloden (Edward Grey) said in 1925, about the great wisdom of Lord Lansdowne's famous proposal for an immediate negotiated Peace (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 29/11/1917) with the Central Powers (RECOLLECTIONS OF THREE REIGNS, by Sir F. Ponsonby, 1951, Chap. XXVI, and TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, Vol. II, Chap. XXIII), and to compare these views with the rabid female agitation for a "fight to a finish" (thus, even Lord Lansdowne's daughter, the Duchess of Devonshire disliked his plea for a prompt peace. See Chap. XX of Lord Newton's LORD LANSDOWNE, 1929); or to remember English women's resolute advocacy of war against Germany in 1938 and 1939, in order to appreciate that female influence in these two major events has proved fatally expensive.
We need hardly point out how much better the world and especially the present situation of England would now be had Lord Lansdowne's courageous advice been followed, and there is now abundant evidence to show that Lord Newton was justified in concluding that "a future generation may take the view that Lord Lansdowne was right after all." (Op cit. Chap. XX). As to World War II, little thought is needed to perceive that it was profoundly silly to pull down one Continental Power, and one near to us in blood and culture, in order to establish in formidable strength a much larger, more alien, and far more menacing power in its stead. Even Churchill is reported to have said (after the event of course) that "we have killed the wrong pig! (RUSSIA, Part II, Le Blanc Publications, 1955, New York).
When, moreover, the consequences of this folly were aggravated by the policy of Unconditional Surrender and such agreed terms with Soviet Russia as those of the Yalta Conference, which inevitably led to Russia's domination of Central Europe, the Balkans and the Far East, it is hardly credible that English people could have looked on without extreme displeasure. Indeed, the precarious condition of the World ever since the second global War is sufficient demonstration of the incompetent leadership of the West ever since 1938. Yet nothing that has happened has disturbed English women. They could hardly be better pleased.
The reader need only consult such writers as Captain Russel Grenfell (UNCONDITIONAL HATRED), Emrys Hughes, M.P. (WINSTON CHURCHILL: British Bulldog, 1955), Hanson W. Baldwin (GREAT MISTAKES OF THE WAR, 1950), and even Sven Hedin (GERMAN DIARY, 1951) to mention only these in order to appreciate that the charges against Anglo-French and American policies since 1938 are not my invention.
In other fields of government, women, owing to their dislike of male ascendancy, their rooted distrust of their own menfolk, and their adverseness from long-term reforms, favour the drastic scrapping of old and tried, and the improvisation of new and untried, institutions, rather than efforts to improve the men who control old institutions a policy which mistakes the true cause of institutional breakdowns.
Secondly, owing to their subjectivity and sentimentalism, they are always insistent advocates of new bad laws to meet hard cases. Thus, when H. G. Wells concluded that "the only traceable consequence of giving the vote to women has been the further enfeeblement of the waning powers of Democracy" (EXPERIMENT IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 1934, Vol. II, Chap. VII, 4), he did not overstate the case.
No concern with politics, which is the prevalent female attitude, may, in view of women's periodical vote, be dangerous, because it reduces their political activity to promoting only their sectional interests at a given moment. But even more dangerous is female political influence claiming to be informed and prompted by so-called "patriotic" ardour; because, by deriving from emotional and subjective impulses, it has not even the chance of being right by a mere fluke.
The state of the world today, at least in those countries where female influence has for generations grown increasingly strong, sufficiently proves the justice of these conclusions.
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In this last article of the series, a rapid sketch will be attempted of Woman's influence on English literature.
The June issue of this journal dealt with the biological reasons for the female's bad taste, or lack of taste, due to her relationship to her offspring, but not with the biological reason due to her relationship to her mate.
In my WOMAN: A VINDICATION (Chap. VIII), I showed that, again owing to natural causes, the female's taste in mating tends also to vulgarity; because of the importance Life forces her to attach to adequate means of support for her progeny. This makes her congenitally prone to favour the affluent male, regardless of his other qualities. As Samuel Johnson observed 170 years ago, "a lady will take Jonathan Wilde (a notorious crook, 16821725) as readily as St. Austin, if he has threepence more." (BOSWELL: June, 1784). It is this fact that may have induced Baudelaire to claim that Woman is essential vulgar (MON COEUR MIS À NU, V-6).
Thus, when, as in England to-day, woman are in the ascendant, everything tends to be judged by a vulgar cash yard-stick; nor can it surprise us that, wherever women exert much influence, these two biological reasons for female bad taste, combined, have the direst effect on a nation's culture.
Even the exquisite taste of French literature in the 17th and 18th centuries, when women were all-powerful, does not invalidate the generalization. For, in those days, both tradition and male ascendancy still made men the arbiters in aeshetics and prevented female influence from corrupting the Arts. This is still much more true of France than of England. Although the 19th century certainly acclaimed a writer like George Sand, few men of really good taste approved of her. (See Nietzsche: BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, para. 233, and THE TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS, Sect. IX; also Proust: LE TEMPS RETROUVÉ, Vol. II, p. 32; and above all, Baudelaire: op. cit, XXVIXXVIII; for, in this deadly attack, Baudelaire was rebuking not only Sand herself, but also the Sainte Beuve group of her admirers).
Seeing that a woman as gifted as Mdme de Sévigné could be so vulgar as to prefer Pradon before Racine, La Claprenède before La Fayette, and Nicole before Pascal, can we wonder that her less brilliant sisters are but poor judges of the Arts? It was no female censor, but the Duke de La Rochefoucauld who in his day was the ultimate arbiter of taste, and the great Molière himself never staged one of his plays before it had got the duke's blessing. (MÉMOIRES TOUCHANT LA VIE ET LES ÉCRITS DE LA MARQUISE DE SÉVIGNÉ, by Walckenaer, 1856, Vol. IV, Chap. IV).
Even the women of wit and education never lacked some male friend who checked their judgements. Mdme Geoffrin had her Fontenelle; Mdme d'Épinay, her Grimm; Mlle de Lespinasse, her d'Alembert, etc., "who set the tone at their gatherings, inspired their points of view and, with a light hand, directed them to the new values." (JULIE DE LESPINASSE, by the Marquis de Ségur, 1905, Chap. III). Thus, Victor de Bonstetten, in 1770, wrote: "The need all feel to judge every novelty as it appears, compels every household to possess its intellectual mentor, who settles its decisions on all questions." (Ibid. Chap. V).
These conditions lasted up to the 19th century; for Balzac could state, "J'écris pour les hommes et non pour les jeunes filles." ("I write for men, not for schoolgirls." BALZAC, by Mdme L. Surville, 1858, p. 178). Owing large-
Masculine dignity and taste, however, still ruled the English Press up to the last decades of last century; and of the penny Dailies of this period, R. C. K. Ensor says: "They catered distinctively for the upper and middle classes, and almost exclusively for the male reader." (ENGLAND: 18701914, 1936, Chap. V). But Ensor exaggerates when he extends this period to the outbreak of World War I; for no witness of the developments since 1897 could deny the lamentable changes apparent in 1900. He says of English newspapers, "before the War they still catered mainly for men"; since then "popular papers have been above all shaped to attract the woman reader" as "incomparably the most valuable to advertise to." (Ibid. Chap. XV).
But these changes occured long before World War I, notably in the realm of fiction. Except for a prodigious genius like Emily Brontë, whom no English man or woman understood, and whose masterpiece, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, remains to this day the object of ignorant and puerile criticism, the power of female bad taste had, even before 1870, paved the way for our ultimate literary and, above all, journalistic, débâcle.
Dickens was the last novelist who, like Balzac, wrote for men. Gissing maintains that "With female readers Dickens was never a prime favourite . . . on the whole it was for men that Dickens wrote. To-day the women must be few who by deliberate choice open a volume of his works." (CHARLES DICKENS, 1902, Chap. VII).
The appeal of Charlotte M. Yonge, Mrs. Henry Wood, Olive Schreiner, Marie Corelli (whom Queen Victoria extolled), and a host of lesser authoresses, was to women; and those male authors who, after 1880, or at least a decade before Edward VII's reign, aimed at success, had to toe the feminine line. Thus Anthony Hope, Hichens, Wales, Wells and Arnold Bennett, wrote for a public whose standards were essentially feminine.
Ensor mentions only Bennett as a writer who "in the Edwardian era was writing primarily for women"; and he adds: "adoption of the feminine outlook by the best writers is a phenomenon confined to the 20th Century." (op. cit. Chap. V). But the flood of mediocre and largely salacious literature, increasingly attuned to female taste, rose long before 1900; and as early as 1889 Cardinal Newman was already alarmed by this "great evil." (THE IDEA OF A UNIVERSITY, p. xxii).
Impressive reputations were, however, being achieved by it. Bernard Shaw, whom Ezra Pound rightly dubbed "fundamentally trivial", deliberately built his success on his appeal to women. (See Preface to THREE PLAYS FOR PURITANS), whilst a far more wretched mediocrity, who without overstatement could hardly be termed even sixth-rate Benjamin Kidd scored a phenomenal triumph by means of a farrago of nonsense, calculated to enhance the English female's ever-flagging self-esteem. But for this, his SCIENCE OF POWER would have made him a universal laughing-stock.
Starting out with an utterly mistaken view of the Evolutionary Hypothesis, and remaining until the end ignorant of Spencer's magisterial rebuke to Martineau for propounding the same mistaken view (CONTEMPORARY REV., June, 1872), he proceeded to propound a theory of his own, based on the absurd assumption that the ORIGIN OF SPECIES was "the bible of the doctrine of the Omnipotence of Force", only to conclude by exalting women to the rank of the "Future Saviours of our Civilization." In vain did Frederick Harrison expose the imbecility of the book. (FORTNIGHTLY REV. April, 1918). It was a roaring success, proved a best seller for years, and remains the most forbidding monument to female influence on English thought.
On a much higher plane, but still below a manly intellectual standard, Shaw scored repeated successes by wantonly doing violence to Biology, Psychology and even school-boy History, in order to curry favour with women. Typical of this transparent trickery is his SAINT JOAN, which Mr. J. L. Arnold very properly regards as "absurdly over-praised." (TWENTIETH CENTURY MAGAZINE, June, 1956). And why was it so absurdly overpraised? Obviously because Shaw, not satisfied with declaring the Maid the equal of Napoleon and Wellington, represents her as having had the command of the whole of the French Army; and (quite safely as it turned out) staked on the likelihood of his preponderatingly female fans being ignorant of the truth.
As a matter of fact, Joan never held a higher rank than "Chef de Guerre" and as such she describes herself in her letter to Henry VI. In the 15th century, however, this rank equalled only that of a colonel in the royal armies of the 18th century. In 1424 her first company hardly numbered more than 15 men, and at the end in May 1430 it amounted to at most 400.
But middle-class English women were too thrilled by Shaw's clumsy flattery of their sex to suspect a ruse, and naturally he cashed in on their ignorance. His plays teem with examples of similar adulatory inaccuracies (See my discussion of them in SEX, SOCIETY & THE INDIVIDUAL, 1953, Sect. IV. Chap. XXX).
Nor is the present dependence of a playwright's success on his appeal to women exemplified by Shaw alone. James Bridie acknowledged it as a fact to be reckoned with and, in one of his earlier prefaces, declared that it was "an axiom, and must never be forgotten by any one aspiring to make his mark in contemporary drama." (NEW STATESMAN, 31.12.55).
I can name off-hand at least three more or less recent plays THE TRANSIT OF VENUS, FOR SERVICES RENDERED, and THE COUNT OF CLÉRAMBART all above the average, indeed, excellent. Yet, all three were box-office failures because they contained no feature calculated to appease the aching self-contempt of English female playgoers.
Thus have our standards been deplorably debased; and, from the fame achieved by such inanities as Ruskin's SESAME AND LILIES and Virgina Wolfe's ORLANDO, to the furore created by such tedious trash as THE BLUE BIRD and CHU CHIN CHOW, we are able to infer the decline in good literary taste and, above all, in sound constructive thought.
The only centre of influence whose functionaries have so far escaped being crowded out by female competitors, is the Anglican Church. But whether this is due to St. Paul, Dr. Johnson's, or the distate for feminine spiritual leadership felt by the female members of Anglican congregations, at any rate few would disagree with Dr. Johnson's view that "a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all." (BOSWELL, 31.7.1763).
When, therefore, we draw up the Profit and Loss account of English Feminism, and estimate what it has meant to our society, we can hardly fail to conclude that it has been a disaster; and, if future historians ever attempt to state dispassionately and in a few words the bitter lesson the Woman's Movement should have taught us, they will tell posterity that, not Mrs. Pankhurst and her daughters, not Olive Schreiner, not Dr. Summerskill or Mrs. Braddock, were the great women of England, but the hitherto unsung, unpraised and well-nigh forgotten mothers who gave us Milton, Newton, Nelson, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, and Shakespeare.