The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation.
In all ages woman has taken an active part in the defense of man. She is the best defender he ever had on earth, because she is his mother. True mothers think more of the interest of their children than of their own. God intended it so, All animals have a care for their offspring. The hen will fight the hawk or dog, even man, to defend her little chicks. The farmer's wife will not set a hen the second time that will not fight for her little chickens. Such hens are taken to market. I have heard my mother say: "I must set that hen again for she is such a good mother." The mother bear will die fighting for her cubs. The hunters say they dislike to kill her, because of her mother love, that never yields up those two little cubs that she places behind her, and then fights until she dies. This is the mother love of a brute,--what ought to be that of the human family?
If a man starts a ranch to raise cattle he protects the females in raising their young. He will kill the animals that will destroy his stock, and if he produces the pelt or scalp of these animals the state pays him a bounty. How is it with the human mothers? They produce the most valuable offspring, but this licensed traffic is defended, while children are murdered before our eyes and our hands are tied so we cannot rescue them. No one will say but that woman represents more morality than man, also that the mother is more interested in the children than the father; then of course, the party who has the most care and love should be allowed the largest privilege to exercise it.
America claims more civilization than any other nation on earth. In the main this is so. But certainly she is not true to the motherhood, and THIS is her peril.. Some of the best reigns have been those of queens. All nations have had their women rulers, but the mothers of America are not allowed to say who shall be the ones to help them make good citizens of their own children, while their bitter foes prey upon their offspring as cannibals. A widow with six sons has a little home. She is taxed the same in proportion as the brewer, who carries on the human butcher-shop that grinds up the six sons of the widow. He and his crowd (republicans and democrats) have the ballot that smashes the poor widow's boys and takes her substance to prosecute her boys after they are made criminals, to pay for their arrest, to build a jail for them. Her heart is broken, home is gone, and disgrace is hers. To accomplish this she is rendered helpless by having no voice or ballot to protect herself. God never made an animal that he did not give it some means of defense. While I am writing this I am in Bridgeport, Connecticut. I find this a city of eighty-two thousand. The PRESIDENT of the board of education is P. W. Wren, who is president of the Connecticut Breweries and owner of one of the largest wholesale whiskey houses in the state. This is as consistent as if one were to start a ranch to raise chickens, ducks, pigs and calves and then place a wolf to guard them from harm, The business of the brewer is to sell beer. No animal but mankind will use this rotten slop, for the others by instinct know it is poison. No man would let his horses drink it, for they would be dangerous instead of being useful. The only way to make the brewer's business profitable is to have boys and girls as consumers. The brewer is not the worst to blame. It is the voter. Mothers would never vote for such a man to be the public guardian of the morals of their children. All liquor men, or liquor license men, are opposed to woman's suffrage, for the reason that should women vote, we would have prohibition or abolition of the vice. The women saved prohibition in Topeka in the year 1903 by five hundred majority, while it would have been lost by two hundred if men only had voted. The contest was between the WET and DRY mayors. Where women have the ballot, even in municipal affairs, no state has resubmitted or brought back the saloon. God said: "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helpmate, a partner, a companion, a guardian." When man elevates a woman he elevates himself. A degraded woman means many degraded men. Free men must be the sons of free women. This land cannot be the land of the free or home of the brave, until woman gets her freedom and men are brave and just to award it to her. No man can have the true impulse of liberty and want his mother to be a slave.
The constitution of the United States starts out by saying. "We, the people of the United States." Women are people as well as men. Therefore I advise all women to go to the polls and vote in spring and fall elections. We want the moral, intellectual electorate. The brewer, distiller, saloon man, their agents, even the colored man was given a vote, and never asked for it. The foreigners in a few months, or a year, after landing, are given the ballot, but the loving, true defenders of God, home and all the best interests of humanity, are compelled to see their sons, husbands, and fathers, murdered before their eyes, without the sign of a protest from the government under which they live. The outrageous unfairness of this is quite evident when we consider that the ballot is represented and controlled by the worst element, when it should be by the best. The women are more affected by oppression than man. She is the mother, the rest are the children.
The mother would vote to save the boy.
The mother would do nothing to injure her boy.
The mother makes a good citizen of her son.
The saloon man votes to make drunkards.
The saloon man does all to injure.
The saloon man makes bad citizens.
The best voters are cast out for President, the vilest are put in, no wonder we have a snob and brewers choice.
A boy's best friend is his mother. Boys and girls go wrong when they do not obey their mothers. God has always used women as a mighty factor in salvation. The promise was given her in the garden, after the fall, that she should produce the Savior, who would give the deadly wound to man's great enemy, the devil. It was the "seed of the woman," not the seed of the man. Christ was born of a woman and the Holy Ghost.
No man has ever been greater in God's estimation than Abraham. Yet when he and Sarah had a dispute and Abraham went to God to decide the matter, God said: "In all that Sarah thy wife hath said unto thee hearken unto her voice." Rebecca understood the will of God, contrary to the will of Isaac. She carried out the plan of God. Jacob sent for Rachel and Leah to consult with them before he left Laban, and he took their advice. "Moses, Aaron and Miriam were chosen by God to lead the people out of Egypt." The Bible so states it. Huldah and Deborah were prophets. Rahab was the first convert in Canaan; she and her family were all that was blessed in that cursed city of Jericho. Esther saved the whole Jewish nation. A woman smashed the head of the wicked Abimelech as did Jael the wife of Heber also. In the Psalms, 68:11, the original says: "The Lord gave the word.--Great was the army of women who published it."
Jesus did his first miracle at the request of a woman, still he rebuked her. He felt her powerful influence and would know no higher will except his heavenly Father's. Christ defended woman, saying: "Why trouble ye the woman, she hath wrought a work on me," hereby rebuking men to interfere with any woman's work when it is good. Christ never rebuked even the harlot. There was not a greater preacher than the woman at the well that brought out the city of Samaria to see Jesus. Philip had four daughters that prophesied. Women were the first disciples, they followed Christ from Galilee. He chose the men, the women chose Him. Pheobe was a deaconess of the church of Cenchrea. The Bible records no act or word of woman against Christ. With sufferings not one was caused by a woman. The poor prostitute bestowed the most loving service when she wept at His feet, kissing them.
This gives some of the Bible women. There have been others in all ages. One instance in the early history of Rome. There was a band of men who first settled Rome. They wished to get wives for themselves and this was the plan by which they got them.
The Romans made a great feast; had games; invited the Sabine nation to come with their wives and daughters, which they did. In the height of the footraces and archery, the Romans rushed in among their invited guests and each snatched a woman. The Sabines returned and prepared for war. The lines of battle were drawn. The stolen women had a conference and decided to stop the war. They rushed in between the Sabine men, their former husbands and fathers, and the Romans, their last husbands, and forebade bloodshed by saying: "You will have to kill each other over our dead bodies."
If those heathen women by their act could reconcile two nations, is it not a rebuke to women in this Christian age for their cowardice in not coming forward and demanding recognition in the matter of being a go-between, for one class of men are arrayed against another..
A hundred thousand of our sons are being sent to drunkard's graves and a drunkard's hell every year. By a bold stand for the right, to defend our loved ones, let us rush between and stop this deadly strife, with the same heroism of the women of Rome, "over our dead bodies." Women will get the ballot in time, but it can be hastened only by women themselves. It will be a great victory for mankind when women can veto the curse of mankind. The mother impulse is stronger with women than any, and when she can protect her offspring, she will make a greater effort to do so than now. She will not then do as many now do, make her body a manikin to hang the fashions of the day on. She will not then display her form to attract the vulgar gaze of the world. She will not place the corpses of cats or birds on her head. She will not wear mops at the bottom of her dress to sweep up the filth of the earth. She will not wear shoes that injure her as the heathen do. She will not put her body in the vice of a corset, displacing the organs of her body, unfitting her to be a mother, causing more than half the surgical operations in the hospitals. She will then discuss character more than fashion. She will be ashamed of her silly, giggling and meaningless conversation. God said, "a man shall not wear that which pertains to a woman neither shall a woman put on a mans garment for all that do such things are an abomination unto God" women will then see the vulgarity and immodesty and sin in dressing in male attire or in any other form of indecent exposure of her person.
Young men often say to me: 'Mrs. Nation, if I go to see young ladies I can learn nothing from them. They are not interested in the subjects that are improving to young men. They read only trash." Also they say: "I cannot afford to marry. I cannot support a woman. Their wants are so many.' Dress is a remnant of barbarism. The Indians delight in different colors, the plumage of birds, the skins of animals, even rattle-snakes. We retrograde to their level when we attract the vulgar gaze to such vanities.
God said: "I will make man a HELPMATE," a partner, a helper, not a hinderer to success in any way. What kind of mothers will this class of women make? It is said that a mother does more to mold the mind and heart of the child before it is born than can be done by any one from its birth up to twelve years. God sent an angel to the mother of Samson; told her "not to drink wine or strong drink" before the child was born. Why? God wishes here to teach that mothers can injure their children or entail on them vices before they are born.
Women will triumph in this battle. The devil knows it and has put forth every effort to forestall this great reform. Look at the shop windows, loaded with every style and fashion to attract the eyes of the passing woman. Things that will be but a burden to her, will cause her to use the earnings of her husband and the patrimony of her children and destroy her mother influence and bring upon her just censure of her husband. This is not the rule but the exception, for women, if they are not false, spend more for the advancement of their families than themselves. There never will be a club or other organization of women that will ever make any regulation that will in any way injure the welfare of their offspring. And the interests of men are safe in the keeping of good women.
Woman is also a power for evil. Solomon, the wisest, was not wise enough to keep out of the toils of bad women; and Samson, the strongest, was not strong enough to break away from the bad influence.
Oh! the degradation among women from intoxicating drinks! These degrade women and she degrades men. "Rise up ye women who are at ease in Zion!" The drinking places in the cities, especially in New York, by every device get women in their dens that they may entice men.
Suffrage is not to give woman greater opportunities to be bad but to strengthen their powers to resist evil and help men to do the same. To cause her to think more of the inmates of her home than her raiment. Woman's greatest sins and vices are those of vanity of appearance and dress to attract or please their male companions. The prostitutes do the same thing. Women should be taught to avoid the arts of such. When I see a woman arrayed as I do these women in these homes of sin I think, "There is sympathy."