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most menial and degrading of services and the entire manual labor of the community, it being considered base of a male to engage in other labor than that of warfare and the chase.


When a child is to be born the mother is driven from the village in which she lives, and is compelled to take up her abode in some roadside hut or cave in the open country, a scanty supply of food, furnished by her husbands, being brought to her by the other women of the tribe. When the child is born the mother remains with it for one or two months, and then leaving it in a cave, returns to the village and informs her eldest husband of its birth and the place where she has left it. If the child is a male, some consideration is shown to her; should it be a female, however, her lot is frightful, for aside from the severe beating to which she is subjected by her husband, she suffers the scorn and contumely of the rest of the tribe. If a male child, the husband goes to the cave and brings it back to the village; if it is of the opposite sex he is left to his own volition; sometimes he returns with the female infant; as often he ignores it entirely and allows it to perish, or may dispose of it to some other man as a prospective wife."1

In Corea women are so little esteemed that they do not even receive separate names, and a husband considers it an act of condescension to speak to his wife. When a young man of the ruling classes marries, he spends three or four days with his bride, then returns to his concubine, "in order to prove that he does not care much for the bride." (Ploss, II., 434.) "The condition of Chinese women is most pitiable," writes the Abbé Huc :

"Suffering, privation, contempt, all kinds of misery and degradation, seize on her in the cradle, and accompany her to the tomb. Her birth is commonly regarded as a humiliation and a disgrace to the family-an evident sign of the malediction of heaven. If she be not immediately suffocated, a girl is regarded and treated as a creature radically despicable, and scarcely belonging to the human race."


He adds that if a bridegroom dies, the most honorable course for the bride is to commit suicide. Even the Japanese, so highly civilized in some respects, look down on women with unfeigned contempt, likening themselves to heaven and the women to earth. There are ten stations on the way up the

1 New York Evening Post, January 21, 1899.

sacred mount Fuji. Formerly no woman was allowed to climb above the eighth. Professor Basil Hall Chamberlain, of the University of Tokyō, has a foot-note in his Things Japanese (274) in which he relates that in the introduction to his translation of the Kojiki he had drawn attention to the inferior place held by women in ancient as in modern Japan. Some years afterward six of the chief literati of the old school translated this introduction into Japanese. They patted the author on the head for many things, but when they reached the observation anent the subjection of women, their wrath exploded :



subordination of women to men,' so ran their commentary, is an extremely correct custom. To think the contrary is to harbor European prejudice. For the man to take precedence over the woman is the grand law of heaven and earth. To ignore this, and to talk of the contrary as barbarous, is absurd."


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The way in which these kind, gentle, and pretty women are treated by the men, Chamberlain says on another page,

"has hitherto been such as might cause a pang to any generous European heart. . . At the present moment the greatest duchess or marchioness in the land is still her husband's drudge. She fetches and carries for him, bows down humbly in the hall when my lord sallies forth on his walks abroad, waits upon him at meals, may be divorced at his good pleasure.


This testimony regarding a nation which in some thingsespecially aesthetic culture and general courteousness-surpasses Europe and America, is of special value, as it shows that love, based on sympathy with women's joys and sorrows, and adoration of their peculiar qualities, is everywhere the last flower of civilization, and not, as the sentimentalists claim, the first. If even the advanced Japanese are unable to feel romantic love-for you cannot adore what you egotistically look down on-it is absurd to look for it among barbarians and savages, such as the Fuegians, who, in times of necessity, eat their old women, or the Australians, among whom not many women are allowed to die a natural

death, "they being generally despatched ere they become old and emaciated, that so much good food may not be lost."1 There are some apparent exceptions to the universal contempt for females even among cannibals. Thus it is known that the Peruvian Casibos never eat women. It is natural to jump to the conclusion that this is due to respect for the female sex. It is, however, as Tschudi shows, assignable to exactly the opposite feeling:

"All the South American Indians, who still remain under the influence of sorcery and empiricism, consider women in the light of impure and evil beings, and calculated to injure them. Among a few of the less rude nations this aversion is apparent in domestic life, in a certain unconquerable contempt of females. With the anthropophagi the feeling extends, fortunately, to their flesh, which is held to be poison



The Caribs had a different reason for making it unlawful to eat women. "Those who were captured," says P. Martyr, "were kept for breeding, as we keep fowl, etc." Sir Samuel Baker relates (A. N., 240), that among the Latookas it was considered a disgrace to kill a woman-not, however, because of any respect felt for the sex, but because of the scarcity and money value of women.


Equally deceptive are all other apparent exceptions to the customary contempt for women. While the women of Fiji, Tonga, and other islands of the Pacific were excluded from all religious worship, and Papuan females were not even allowed to approach a temple, it is not uncommon among the inferior races for women to be priestesses. Bosman relates (363) that on the African Slave Coast the women who served as priestesses enjoyed absolute sway over their husbands, who were in the habit of serving them on their knees. This, however, was contrary to the general rule, wherefore it is obvious that the homage was not to the woman as such, but


1 Fitzroy, II., 183; Trans. Ethn. Soc., New Series, III., 248-88.

to the priestess. The feeling inspired in such cases is, moreover, fear rather than respect; the priestess among savages is a sorceress, usually an old woman whose charms have faded, and who has no other way of asserting herself than by assuming a pretence to supernatural powers and making herself feared as a sorceress. Hysterical persons are believed by savages to be possessed of spirits, and as women are specially liable to hysteria and to hallucinations, it was natural that they should be held eligible for priestly duties. Consequently, if there was any respect involved here at all, it was for an infirmity, not for a virtue-a result of superstition, not of appreciation or admiration of special feminine qualities.1


Dire confusion regarding woman's status has been created in many minds by three distinct ethnologic phenomena, which are, moreover, often confounded: (1) kinship and heredity through females; (2) matriarchy, or woman's rule in the family (domestic); (3) gynaicocracy, or woman's rule in the tribe (political).

(1) It is a remarkable fact that among many tribes, especially in Australia, America, and Africa, children are named after their mother, while rank and property, too, are often inherited in the female line of descent. Lafitau observed this custom among American Indians more than a century ago, and in 1861 a Swiss jurist, Bachofen, published a book in which he tried to prove, with reference to this "kinship through mothers only," that it indicated that there was a time when women everywhere ruled over men. A study of ethnologic data shows, however, that this inference is absolutely unwarranted by the facts. In Australia, for instance, where children are most commonly named after their mother's clan, there is no trace of woman's rule over man, either in the present or the past. The man treats the woman as a master treats his slaves, and is complete master of her children.

1 That moral infirmities, too, were capable of winning the respect of savages, may be seen in Carver's Travels in North America (245).

Cunow, an authority on Australian relationships, remarks (136):


'Nothing could be more perverse than to infer from the custom of reasoning kinship through females, that woman rules there, and that a father is not master of his children. On the contrary, the father regards himself everywhere, even in tribes with female line of descent, as the real procreator. He is considered to be the one who plants the germ and the woman as merely the soil in which it grows. And as the wife belongs to him, so does the child that comes from her womb. Therefore he claims also those children of his wife concerning whom he knows or assumes that he did not beget them; for they grew on his soil."

Similarly with the American Indians. Grosse has devoted several pages (73-80) to show that with the tribes among which kinship through females prevails woman's position is not in the least better than with the others. Everywhere woman is bought, obliged to submit to polygamy, compelled to do the hardest and least honorable work, and often treated worse than a dog. The same is true of the African tribes among whom kinship in the female line prevails.

If, therefore, kinship through mothers does not argue female supremacy, how did that kinship arise ? Le Jeune offered a plausible explanation as long ago as 1632. In the Jesuit Relations (VI., 255), after describing the immorality of the Indians, he goes on to say:

"As these people are well aware of this corruption, they prefer to take the children of their sisters as heirs, rather than their own, or than those of their brothers, calling in question the fidelity of their wives, and being unable to doubt that these nephews come from their own blood. Also among the Hurons who are more licentious than our Montagnais, because they are better fed-it is not the child of a captain but his sister's son, who succeeds the father."

The same explanation has been advanced by other writers. and by the natives of other countries where kinship through females prevails; and it doubtless holds true in many cases.

1 Garcia: Origin de los Indios de el Nuevo Mondo; McLennan; Ingham (Westermarck, 113) concerning the Bakongo; Giraud-Teulon, 208, 209, concerning Nubians and other Ethiopians.

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