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The University--the Woman Question

The University--the Woman Question image
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Mit. Editor: J Invine; read lo a prcvious issue oí your : ápér " Obscrvcr's " flrticlc tipon tho - íission of nomen to thc Univenrtty, and ! eing flcsirous to present the views of thc othcr s'ule " as well as our own limitcd owers will allow, we crave thc privilege of laking thc " retort courteous" tlirough ie columns of jour paper. Thc specdy downfall is predictcd vrithdue olemblty by " Obscrvcr." After the inva ion of thosc halls so long sacred to boots nd broadcíotlis by euris and crinoline, Hls ! ssumed as inevitable tliat somc changes inst takc place. Since it is settled that lierc can " no good lhn:r como out o!' Nazrctli," and that women can do naught but ,-, why forsooth, crnmbllng walls, eserted bnlldlDgs, and general devastación nut ensuc. Graas will grow In the paths ow trod by bnsy feet, - "Uptdee" and C.anibanibuH " will bc hcard uq more In ur strects, - aldewalka wjll bc sufferedto cnuiin in orthodox and rcspectr.ble posiions, - thc boardlng house keepers will akc down thelr shlnglea la despair, and lic wliole city will becoine " coinpletely emorallzed." ]5ut thc women of lichigan are not preared to accept this conclusión. Tliey are s proud of the State Universlty ns are the icn, mul ils downfull wou'.d be assincerely egrottcd by them. We confesa oi;:nablc to discover - notwlthstanding " Ob erver's" exposition, and the sarcastlc cditrial commeiits v.pon the matter - liow the draission of woraen to its privileges is to ccclcrate its downfall. Undcr the present egulations all applicants who can snstain he neecssary examlurftlons are permitted ,o enter. The standard Is not lowered to 'acilitate the admissioji of fonales. Wc do ot ask that it should be lowered, nelther vill enter on " conditions." Rather than lo this, if we fail, we wil! emólate the exnipli: of our brethren - qunlify ourselccs, nd return again to the charge. Perhaps ome faint-hearted sister, still following the sample set us by yifang men, raay tremble nd sigh at the hard labor and " condltionug Freshman," and longing for the materlal glngerbread, beat an inglorlous retreat. Jut lf we are the " weaker sex," is not thc allure more excusable lo ns than in those who boast themselves " Lords ofCreatlou f" "Wc crave light pon another poiut. We uote fro;n " ()bserver"s " artlcle : "Pi jy thc niet uiiicii all will appredrfte, that he rejectiou of a lady applicant will be ather hazardous, etc." We think we lou't quite " appreciate " that " fact." Vill it be hazardous mentaüy, inorally, or )hyslcaUyf EnUghten ns. It i3 also statcd that in 1807 the Freshman ciass numbered 101, but as Soplimores only 03, and he queetlon Is statcd with Lrave signlflcance, " What shall prevent similar drop)lng off In thc femalc ranks ?" We answer, thc same remedy wliich prevente it in the nasculinc rauks. We pronilse you the defection shall not bc greatcr. Then comes the announecment that it is not thc Irue woman, the modeet woium who will ask ftdmïttance, but those who are " restlcss onder the natural and divine law of womanhood," and " who pant for :ioloriety." The "divine law of womanhood" has furnlahed material formore senseless "twaddle " than any other four vrords in the English languagc. Is it the " divine law " íor woman to think of uothing, care for nothinsr, know nothing but to fry, bake and stcw, wash, iron and scrub, till the end of existence ? Did God créate woman to be a helpnieet to man solely to prepare lus food, black iiis boots, and mend his old clothes ? Did He not design her to be liis companion, aympatklzlng v.-ith hlm In his pursuits, assistiug him in his labor, cneouragiug him to highcr purposes, loftier aims ? Aré not thc future men and women of our uation committed to her charge? Can she discharge all these dutlcs satisfactorily to hei God and to her conscience unlcss she be educatcd to it ? Can she sympathize with her husband unless shc knowssomething of hls purposes, his aspirations his mental necessities ? Will lie bc interested in the recital of her trials with Bridget in the kitchcn, and bc pleased that his male guests shall find her versed only in pickle aml preserve kuowledge ? Will he be satisfled that food and shelter for the body shall bc all his chlldren shall receive at home? Wc will grant 3-ou a woman's place should be home, in thc " bosom of her family," but alas, not all of us have homes, husbands or childreu. Bnt if it is necessary that those who are married should not be intellectually inferior to their husbands, nnc while attending to domestic duties stili keep in view the fact that these are not the Cblef end of existence, the need is greater that those who are dependent upou their own cxertions for a livelihood should have the fullest privileges of obtalnlng a libera' education. Not every woman lias a husbaud to support her, or home duties to employ her. These are a few, wc trust, who consider marriage a divine institution, too holy to bc lightly entcred upon ; ivlio con slder love, mutual, sincere and undyíng, its basis ; and who are not prepared to entei Into these solemn relations with any ma: who asks them, for the sake of a home, or for fear of incurring the epithet of " ok maid." These, quite a class too, must have emplóyment. Many of ttitïti teach om schools, are governcsses in private families or are in othcr ways entrustcd ivith thc erin catión of the youKig, at a time wlicn thc iiiind is most plastic, most easily inflnence( for good or evil, and most desirous Instruc tion. It is also well known that knowledg earllest acqülred Ia longest retalned ; to th mind of the aged thc sceues and lessniis o his youth ofteiMjst recur. Is t not thon i;n portant that these ilrst teacMngs should b of the rlght ebaracter ? Must not the char actcroitlie teaeher accord with her teach i!i?;s? Wül a liltle Fn.-nch, a little music a little " commcu branches " disciplina bc mind suilicientiy, and enable her to dis charge arlght the duties of her rcsponsibl .■:t:lti()ll ''. We do not desire seats in Congrcss ; th olilce of Circuit Judge, or even the posltloi of Supervisor hath no charms for us; wo man suffrage is not our cry ; but we do de clare that iustitutious of learnlng to wblc] our brothers are admltted, ought to. b open to us, if wc choose to avail oursclvc of their privileges. Credit me, it is not th l'nvoious copy of thc latcst fashiou p!;it nor thc sentimental reader of Wlshy-wash; novéis who will enter the lists as candi dates lor admissiou, but uobte-mlnded carncst, Iruly modesl women, - who rcalizi.' the fnct that there afc God-glven talcnts cntrusted to their kceping, and who remember with fear and trembling the fute of him who " dlgged In the earth and hld lus Lord's money." Biit suppose a woraan take ft degrec at the Univcrsity, we ueed not infer that becanse she can she needs must put out her "shlngle"as "Attoruey and Coimsellor at Law," or become a disciple of Galen. Yct, if it be nocessary, Iet her do so, we beg you, ratber than be drlvenby poverty and want to crime, or to pander to the vices of those who wonlJ coullnr her to her " sphere." Better heal the sick, minister to the wants of the dying, alleyiate the woes of the disiressed; better raltle law paper, and 'ive goothlng artvicc to belllgerent liumanity, than to starre in a gatret, sewing her Ufe into shirts at sixpence a piece. Bnt another terri!)lo consequence of the opening of I alreralty portals to women, Is breseen by " Observer." Perhaps at sume futuro there may be eorae MlssorMrs. , so amblllona, so Ineltned lo " paiit tbr notorlety," ;is to be competent to flll tlie cliair of a Professor in tliis University. Perhaps Borne future Board of Kegents, - not i tear of BEan befóte their eyc?, and recollectlng how many times ; the past ycar, the íresldency of this ition Jiasbeeu oflbred to wort] distlngniahed gentlemen, on]' to be respectfnlly dccllned, " with regrets," Hke au tnvltatUn to ölne- mlght hav dty to ofier it to the before mentloned Miss or raand sh.:, conscious of ability to discharge the dutlcs of the posltlou, hare the lmpncïenco to accept. Such a conti r.geucj' '. "in the conreo of human et take place, and ergo, let us :eop women out of these halls, lest our great-grandchlldren should come under petticoat government '. Sensible, very ! " Aiüs, and W08 is me " Ibaf fiteProressors should hare slgned a cali for a " Woman'a Rlghts üonrentlon " at Jjattle Creek. [OW naughty in the Professors to snppose women have a ríghí to asoeroble at other Conrentlona tban a W-party! How extremely stiriiilef thom to bclieve that thcir daughtere have the same right to the iïuits of thn tree of knowledge' p.s their .sor.s ! io'.v rii'iculous that tiiey should conslder that when a .voman does a man's work, as -.vel! as a man, site should bc paid man':; Avages! But whên men of their known woith and wisdom wlll enlist in support of "tlicories" whlch In "Obscrver's" eyes, race clvllizatlon," -va (o indeed predict ultimate success to the cause, r.nd despite the admission of women, long lifc and continued prosperity to our noble Uuiversity. PATRICIA.


Old News
Michigan Argus