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the foreboding as to women's clubs and the results that would come from them have alike proved groundless. While the clubs originated for social and intellectual advancement, they soon developed an earnest and unwavering desire to help their communities and their times. To the founder of the Sorosis Club, the movement signified "the opening of the door," "the stepping out into the freedom of the outer air and the sweet sense of fellowship with the whole universe that comes with liberty and light."
Things we once despised are found after long years to be necessary. Since the time when Adam's rib was removed and by the hands of the Creator mysteriously wrought into a subtle human being called woman, to quite recent times, man has looked upon her as an unnecessary and meaningless thing, whose sometime charm was the only reason why she should be allowed to trespass upon the earth which was barely large enough for himself. But gradually man is outgrowing this primitive idea of woman's limited share in the inheritance of the universe. In the hospital she may be a nurse; in the school she may be a teacher; in the office, a stenographer; in politics, a follower. He allows her an afternoon off to attend the club. So, gradually she has gained point after point until now she aspires to help in the important concerns of life. She does not ask to manage, to direct, but only to be allowed to help. If she can, with tender hand, place the bandage on the suffering patient, if she can with encouraging sympathy give a cup of cold water to cool the parched tongue, why may she not do more? Are there not other places where she may help?
If she cannot assist man in his philosophy of education, if she cannot evolve the thing, may she not help to environ education, so that the forces shall not be so prodigally spent? She now has an organization that she has been perfecting for years, numbering over 800,000 and of the best in the land. The members of this organization, as the mothers of children, are closer to them than the fathers, who are burdened with the commercial side of life, can ever expect to be. Men are doing the material work of the world-building its bridges, feeding its multitudes, and bartering in its marts; and women, who are comparatively free to devote their energies to their children's training, are the natural allies of the professional educator and coadjutors in the work of properly developing the child.
Is there a place for woman? Does she not approach the school from a different viewpoint from man? It is important to note that she comes to it from the outside; not being a teacher and free from the scholastic prejudices of the teacher, broader in her plans and having wisdom born of knowledge of the homely affairs of life and a sympathy nurtured in the environment of her own children, she may expect to bring forces to the work that can be obtained nowhere else.
The school of the past, while we are thankful for it and have only praise for those faithful ones who spent their lives in trying to help on the rising generations, failed to meet the wants of the day, and turned out the child edu
cated in a sense but not well enough adapted to meet what life required of him. The courses of study seemingly followed the law of the Talmud, "Take a child of six and load him like an ox," while they have forgotten that it also required him to learn a trade by his twelfth year lest "he otherwise learn to steal."
Too long have we clung to the old idea of learning, gained thru those centuries when its feeble life was preserved in monasteries, and which did not fit man for life in the world. His business was to know arbitrarily, not by putting in practice. With woman it is otherwise. She has been brought up on the homely proverb that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. As soon as she begins to learn, she wants to put what she has learned out at interest to discover whether it is really true or only a glittering counterfeit that can bring her no returns.
And so, naturally, her whole system (and a most unsystematic system it has been at times), is a kind of educational method. Beginning with books, she is slowly turning to life itself for lessons not to be found in any library.
Is it any wonder that women have always taken more kindly to the kindergarten idea than men? Their whole brief experience has been on the approved Froebel doctrine; they have "learned to do by doing," and while their educational ideals may not have been so high as those of the world's great savants, they have been broader. To them it seems more necessary that all children should know how to read and write one language than that a few college professors or monastic anchorites should know a dozen or so languages-dead or alive.
If the scholar of the closet can say, "Too low they build who build beneath the stars," the women of the clubs have remembered that He who placed the stars in the heavens, also set His bow of promise in the clouds of earth. The truly educated child is practical, is adapted to his surroundings.
And here we revert to what has previously been said that reason could not formulate an ideal education. The coals must be brought hot from the furnace of experience to kindle the fires of life. There is great advantage to be gained by accepting this help from outside the school. Woman's chief interest is first and foremost the welfare of the children. The primitive woman, sheltering her offspring from the elements antagonistic to its existence, the civilized but intellectually undeveloped mother lavishing often unwise care upon her children, the woman, intelligent and conscientious, taught thru association in mutual interests the value of united effort and thru wise direction the true needs of all children-each has filled her place, and the law of the survival of the fittest ordains that the last of the three shall be the woman of the future.
Undoubtedly there are women who do not understand the obligations. entailed upon them as mothers, and who fail to perform even the obligations of which they are aware. Undoubtedly there are school-keepers who are not teachers either born or made. School-makers and home-makers each have their limitations, but one class must help the other more nearly to fill the part
which each should play in shaping the destiny of the child. If "education is life," the child must have the united work of both to be properly educated.
The states with the highest educational facilities are those where the women are the most active. They have been largely instrumental in bringing about the establishment of ethical and industrial training. They have steadily agitated the economic questions of the schools, having always been unjustly discriminated against in the matter of payment for services.
A noted sociological student writes: "Illiteracy looms largest where women have least power and grows less where they vote. Of the twenty states which have fewest illiterate children, women vote on school questions in eighteen. We have half a million illiterate children in this country and nearly two million children working for a living. In this we rank with Russia, and not with the enlightened states of western Europe." Now, how can we continue to boast of American opportunities when we have to admit the existence of this terrible disgrace ?
Surely there is need for the women of this country, whether in clubs or out of them, to come to the rescue of these two and a half million children. It is admitted that the nature of woman is powerful in its influence on the race. Infinitely superior to even the influence of many women in sporadic attempts to influence the race must be the organized, conscious influence of woman. Woman herself is not exempt from that law of evolution-organization. We must all "join hands" and "pull together," if we wish to effect much. Woman has not been with us in education in the past. She is now with us individually. Do we not need her with us collectively?
The organizing of women for the first time is one of the splendid achievements of the nineteenth century. Up to that time women's lives had been isolated. They had existed only as separate individuals. The experience of men for centuries of working in organized masses was unknown to women. All through the ages appear heroic figures of women, like Deborah, Miriam, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth of England; but these were leaders of men. It remained for our own generation to develop among women leaders of women and to organize women in every community. Matthew Arnold said, "If ever the world sees a time when women shall come together purely and simply for the benefit and good of mankind, it will be a power such as the world has never known."
The world is beginning to see that time. Will Arnold's prophecy be fulfilled? Let us consider some of the work that women's organizations have accomplished in the cause of education in the schools, and in the country at large.
Upon first acquaintance with the list of responsibilities these organizations have boldly assumed and the objects they seek to compass, the inquirer might readily be reminded of those who are said to "rush in" where certain others "fear to tread." But as investigation continues, the same inquirer is led by
proof of successful accomplishment to conclude that the organizations may have been bold, but not "too bold."
No magnificent libraries built by a female Carnegie dot our land, but traveling libraries founded by women's clubs are circulating in the most remote corners of twenty-two states. In the state of Colorado the Federation of Women's Clubs organized and for two years wholly maintained the Free Traveling Library system. In 1903 the legislature recognized its value and popularity by making the Women's Club Committee a State Commission, and now over six thousand volumes are reaching the farthest mountain fastnesses and the most lonely settlements of the rainbelt.
The work of the women's patriotic orders has been extended in nearly every community for the furtherance of the teaching of patriotism and knowledge of our country's history. We all learn by concrete lessons, and the giving of medals for essays on patriotic subjects, the presentation with ceremony of flags to our public schools, make an impression more lasting than the learning of pages of written history. The Committees on History and Landmarks, from the women's clubs, have aided greatly in patriotic work, having successfully labored for the preservation of old missions in California, of Indian mounds in Wisconsin, the collection of historical data in Washington, Louisiana, and other states, the purchase by the state, of the Alamo battle-ground in Texas, the erection by the women of America under the direction of the Oregon club of a bronze statue at the Portland Fair to the only woman connected with the famous expedition, the squaw Sacajawa, to whose guidance Lewis and Clarke were greatly indebted for their success; the preservation of the cliff-dwellings in Colorado and Arizona, of the Palisades in New York and New Jersey, the preservation of Niagara Falls, and the purchase and maintenance of the Mount Vernon estate.
Whether we contemplate the women of South Carolina strugglng to obtain a state industrial school for boys-and succeeding-or the women of Tennessee planting schools in their eastern mountains, or the women of states east and west, variously striving for better child-labor laws, or as in Tennessee, for the enforcement of such laws already enacted; or whether we note the work of that grand federation of clubs in Massachusetts which offers sisterly aid in several states, even maintaining a school in the Great Smoky Mountains; or whether we commend the securing of good compulsory education laws and officers for their enforcement, on the part of Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Colorado, and the District of Columbia; or the establishment or active support of a juvenile court in Georgia, Utah, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and California, and our Denver juvenile court of national reputation, where Judge Lindsey frankly ascribes his continuance in office to the organized effort of the women-whether we dwell upon any or all of these manifestations of the club-women's spirit, we must concede that they justify their claim to the motto, "Nothing human is foreign to me."
In the comparatively new line of arts and crafts great activity has been
fostered. In every town or city where the woman's club has taken root, the Art Committee found schoolrooms barren of picture, statue, and bust, and has left them richer sometimes by one copy of an immortal painting, and often by a complete, harmonious decoration of an entire building. Whole communities. --such as Deerfield, Massachusetts, and the club towns of North Carolinahave found inspiration and livelihood in the revival of ancient arts beautiful and culture-full.
The Minnesota Federation enjoys the distinction of founding a State Art Society which has from the state an appropriation for the purpose of holding - annual exhibits of works of art and handicraft, and for providing a course of lectures each year upon art.
We may have heretofore associated the state of Texas more conspicuously with cattle than with art, yet it is the Texas women's organizations that have established a college of industries and arts for young women.
In the domain of household economics which has always been sacred to women- -may its shadow never grow less-the modern club woman is quite as much at home and more able to entertain the public than women in the days of our clubless grandmothers. Perhaps their nearest approach to working in combination was the preparation of the Thanksgiving feast and their prophetic souls could never have anticipated that their granddaughters would establish chairs of domestic science in state institutions and secure the enactment of pure food laws in twenty-five states and the national congress.
"Whatever we want in the nation's life we should put in the school," sounds well. The truth is that whatever we would have in the nation's life we must have in the homes that make up the nation, and if we would put it there, we should have less complaint of the schools, and this the women are finding out. They are learning that there is much to be done to supplement the meager homes we have; people are discovering that there is a wide difference between food and things to eat, and that it is possible to be overfed without being nourished. And as they learn themselves, they spread the gospel of the simpler life by means of college settlements, neighborhood houses, day nurseries cooking-classes and sewing-schools.
The recognition of the need of scientific temperance instruction was brought about by the work of a great woman's organization-the subject not always well taught as yet, but ever important.
Without the erudition of the clubs, our grandmothers knew that "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach," but they had not learned to pave the way with training-schools for girls and domestic science in the schools of many states. The introduction of handiwork into the public schools has given them a practical interest to the children. There is need of further effort in connecting school routine with the realities of life else we should not need such stringent laws for compulsory education. Because children will not go home we blame the mothers and pass curfew laws. Because children will not go to school we pass laws, hire truancy officers, and continue to blame the parents instead of