Woman in Modern Society

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Woman in Modern Society, by Earl Barnes

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Title: Woman in Modern Society

Author: Earl Barnes

Release Date: April 23, 2005 [EBook #15691]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WOMAN IN MODERN SOCIETY ***

Produced by Audrey Longhurst, Melissa Er-Raqabi and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net.

WOMAN IN MODERN SOCIETY

_BY THE SAME AUTHOR:_

STUDIES IN EDUCATION
(IN TWO VOLUMES)

WHERE KNOWLEDGE FAILS

WOMAN
IN MODERN SOCIETY

BY

EARL BARNES

AT ONE TIME PROFESSOR OF EUROPEAN HISTORY IN THE STATE
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANA, AND LATER PROFESSOR
OF EDUCATION IN LELAND STANFORD
JUNIOR UNIVERSITY

NEW YORK
B.W. HUEBSCH

COPYRIGHT, 1912
BY B.W. HUEBSCH
PRINTED IN U.S.A.

This volume is dedicated to a woman endowed by her ancestors with health and strength, reared by a wise mother, trained to earn her own living, and university bred, at one time an independent wage-earner and now equal partner in the business of a home, a social force in the life of her community, member of a woman's club, a suffragist, the devoted and intelligent mother of a group of fine children, and the center of a family which loves and reverences her and finds the deepest meaning of life in her presence.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A WOMAN 9
II. WOMAN'S HERITAGE 31
III. WOMEN IN EDUCATION 57
IV. THE FEMINIZING OF CULTURE 85
V. THE ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE OF WOMEN 107
VI. WOMEN IN INDUSTRY 123
VII. THE MEANING OF POLITICAL LIFE 150
VIII. WOMAN'S RELATION TO POLITICAL LIFE 173
IX. THE MODERN FAMILY 207
X. FAMILY LIFE AS A VOCATION 231
XI. CONCLUSION 251

WOMAN IN MODERN SOCIETY

I

What it Means to be a Woman

If we go back to the earliest forms of life, where the unit is simply a minute mass of protoplasm surrounded by a cell wall, we find each of these divisions to be a complete individual. It can feed itself, that its life may go on to-day; it can fight or run away, that it may be here to fight to-morrow; and by a process of division it can create a new life so that its existence may continue across the generations. With such units it is quite conceivable that life might go on through all eternity, death following birth, were it not that protoplasm contains within itself a principle of change. Life and change are synonymous.

And this change moves ever toward a complexity, which we call development, where cells unite in a larger life, and functions and organs are specialized. Thus there comes a time when the part split off carries with it power to eat and digest, to fight or run away, but only half the power of procreation. This half unit, this incomplete individual, is either male or female, and from this time on, the epic of life gathers around the search of these half-lives for their complements. The force that impels to this search, while at first valuable only for the perpetuation of the generations, gathers into itself modifying feeling and desires and, at a later period, ideas and ideals, which finally, when men and women appear, make it the greatest of all the shaping forces in life.[1]

[1] The fact that sexual selection does not play the part in organic evolution which Darwin assigned it does not affect this statement. See chapter on Sexual Selection in YVES DELAGEE and MARIE GOLDSMITH, _The Theories of Evolution_, New York:...
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