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FEMINISM AND SEX-EXTINCTION

* * * * *

OLIVE SCHREINER'S GREAT BOOK

WOMAN & LABOUR

_Large Crown 8vo. Cloth._

8s. 6d. net

"The feelings which are behind the various women's movements could not
find clearer or more eloquent expression than they do in this remarkable
book."

_The Daily Mail._

"At last there has come the book which is destined to be the prophecy
and the gospel of the whole awakening."

_The Nation._


T. FISHER UNWIN, LTD., LONDON.

* * * * *

FEMINISM AND SEX-EXTINCTION

by

ARABELLA KENEALY L.R.C.P. (DUBLIN)


"_A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can
a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit._"

"_Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them._"







London
T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd.
1 Adelphi Terrace

First published in 1920

All rights reserved




FOREWORD


Feminism, the extremist - and of late years the predominant cult of the
Woman's Movement, is Masculinism.

It makes for such training and development in woman, of male
characteristics, as shall equip her to compete with the male in every
department of life; academic, athletic, professional, political,
industrial. And it neither recognises nor admits in her natural
aptitudes differing from those of men, and fitting her, accordingly, for
different functions in these. It rejects all concessions to her
womanhood; even to her mother-function. It repudiates all privileges for
her. Boldly it demands a fair field only and no favour; equal rights,
political and social, identical education and training, identical
economic opportunities and avocations, an identical morale, personal and
public.

In _Woman and Labour_, Miss Olive Schreiner sums in a line the Feminist
objective: "_We take all labour for our province._" And this is the text
of the Feminist creed; the elimination of sex-differences and the
abolition of sex-distinctions in every department of life and activity.

Feminists anticipate - the militant faction with zest - fierce economic
encounters between the sexes now that, War ended, our men, having fought
their own and woman's battle in the trenches, are returning to reclaim
their places in the world of work. Secure in that possession which is
"nine-tenths of the law," and armed with their new powers of
enfranchisement, it is further anticipated that the usurpers will be
able triumphantly to stem the masculine reflux, and to retain, on all
hands, their new industrial footing.

By showing that, contrary to Feminist doctrine, the division of Labour
into two sexes, so to speak, is as natural and is as indispensable to
Human Progress as is the division of Life into two sexes, the purpose of
this book is to dissuade women from exploiting a world's misfortunes for
their own immediate profit, and to reconcile them, in their profounder
and more vital interests and in those of the Race, to surrender freely
all the essentially masculine employments into which mischance has cast
them.

Human evolution and progress have resulted absolutely from an opposite
trend, in inherence and development, of the two sexes, as regards Life
and characteristics, aptitude and avocation. The progressive
differentiations and specialisations of vital processes and living
forms, whereby human character and faculty have been increasingly
advanced to higher powers, reach their most admirable culmination in the
complex division of Humanity into two genders; each of which is enabled,
by way of such complex specialisation, to promote, to intensify and to
dignify its own allotted order of qualities. To oppose and frustrate
this natural dispensation, whereby Human development is achieved by the
two sexes travelling along diametrically opposite lines of Ascent, is to
nullify all that civilisation has secured, and to transform the impulse
of Progress into one of Decadence.

Nature, marvellously prescient in all her processes, has provided that
the sexes, by being constituted wholly different in body, brain and
bent, do not normally come into rivalry and antagonism in the fulfilment
of their respective life-rôles. Their faculties and functions, being
complementary and supplementary (and obviously best applied, therefore,
in different departments of Life and of Labour), men and women are
naturally dependent upon one another in every human relation; a
dispensation which engenders reciprocal trust, affection and
comradeship.

Feminist doctrine and practice menace these most excellent previsions
and provisions of Nature by thrusting personal rivalries, economic
competition and general conflict of interests between the sexes.


Should any reader find in these pages allusions and passages which,
without biological or medical knowledge, may not be wholly clear to him,
let him remember that these are addressed to such as have dipped more
deeply into the subjects dealt with.

The main outlines and implications of the new Hypothesis presented here,
of the origin and evolution of Sex, are all that he requires to grasp,
in order to follow the argument of the book in its relation to Feminist
methods.

ARABELLA KENEALY, L.R.C.P.




CONTENTS


CHAP. PAGE

FOREWORD v


BOOK I

WOMAN'S PART IN HUMAN EVOLUTION

I. IMPASSIONED FALLACIES OF FEMINISM 3

II. INCREASING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALE AND
FEMALE SEX-CHARACTERISTICS AND FUNCTIONS
ARE THE MAIN FEATURE OF HUMAN ADVANCE 21

III. THE MYSTERY OF SEX AND SEX-TRANSMISSION 35

IV. ONE SIDE OF BODY IS MALE, THE OTHER SIDE IS FEMALE 51

V. MASCULINE MOTHERS PRODUCE EMASCULATE SONS BY
MISAPPROPRIATING THE LIFE-POTENTIAL OF MALE OFFSPRING 73


BOOK II

WOMAN'S PART IN HUMAN DECADENCE

I. DECLINE AND FALL OF ANCIENT CIVILISATIONS
DUE TO FEMINISM 95

II. THE EVOLUTION OF SEX IN ADOLESCENCE 109

III. THE EXTINCTION OF SEX IN ADOLESCENCE 126

IV. THE WOMAN BRAIN: ITS POWERS AND DISABILITIES 146

V. MALE AND FEMALE SEX-INSTINCTS AND MORALE
DIAMETRICALLY DIFFERENT 166

VI. FEMINIST DOCTRINE AND PRACTICE DISASTROUS
TO INFANT-LIFE AND HUMAN FACULTY 190

VII. FEMINIST DOCTRINE AND PRACTICE DESTRUCTIVE
OF WOMANLY ATTRIBUTES, MORALE AND PROGRESS 219

VIII. DANGEROUS SEPARATION OF WOMEN INTO TWO
ORDERS: FEMINISTS AND FEMININISTS 242

IX. THE IMPENDING SUBJECTION OF MAN 264


APPENDIX

FURTHER EVIDENCES IN SUPPORT OF BIOLOGICAL AND
MENDELIAN PROPOSITIONS ADVANCED IN BOOK I 292




BOOK I

WOMAN'S PART IN HUMAN EVOLUTION




CHAPTER I

IMPASSIONED FALLACIES OF FEMINISM

"The sexual love which has its origin in what is external and
accidental may easily be turned to hate, a kind of madness that is
nourished on discord; but that love, on the other hand, is lasting
which has its source in freedom of soul and in the will to bear and
bring up children." - _Spinoza._


I

There is no subject save that of Religion about which so much
impassioned fallacy has been spoken and written as has been spoken and
written round the Woman Question.

For more than half a century - since Mill wrote his famous _Subjection_,
indeed - it has become an increasing vogue to regard Woman as a martyr;
more or less sainted, more or less crushed and effaced beneath the
iron-heeled tyrannies, personal, economic, and political, of the
oppressor, Man. And it has been in the spirit of this conviction and in
fervid endeavours - indignant and chivalrous on the part of the one sex,
and still more indignant and but little less chivalrous on the part of
the other - to liberate unhappy victims from a barbarous oppression, that
most of the impassioned fallacy has been spoken and written, and doughty
deeds done.

At the certain cost, therefore, of being stigmatised as a reactionary
(severely qualified), I propose to unmask some of these which I believe
to be baseless obsessions, and to present a wholly new - and, I hope, a
more veracious and inspiring version of the case between the sexes.

To begin with, I assert boldly that the so-called Subjection of Woman,
very far from having been a cruel injustice merely, on the part of man,
has served, on the contrary, as a blessing and an inestimable benefit
not only to herself but to the Race bound up in her. A blessing often
rough and painful in its methods, during epochs when all other methods
were both rough and painful, attended, too, by wrongs and cruelties;
yet, in the main, operating vastly to her well-being and advancement
and, in hers, to those of the Race.


Looking back upon the hard and bloody routes of Evolution whereby the
human Races have attained to present-day developments, we see our
forbears groping blindly, fighting blindly, advancing blindly;
stumbling, falling, picking up again; making new departures only
hopelessly to lose the road; making new departures, now to find it and
trudge on. In all its painful and laborious phases, a terrible and
sordid climb. Yet, nevertheless, in its great annals of Ascent, a noble
and a wondrous March of Progress.

And whether we are Religionists or Evolutionists - or are sufficiently
broad-minded to be both - the history of Life is seen to have been a
history of deathless effort, never ceasing, never waning; renewed with
every generation; intensified by every further acquisition of new power,
as, with every further recognition of new goals and problems, the
ever-increasing Purpose and the ever-increasing perplexity and
complexity of The Purpose revealed itself at every step. It becomes
increasingly clear, moreover, that Creation, or Creative Evolution (to
employ Professor Bergson's phrase), has been the resultant of a
progressive aggregation of Atomic Matter about some vast immanent
_Idea_, slowly and by infinitesimal degrees materialising in the
objective. Very much as bricks are grouped about the pre-conceived plan
of a house, and could not be assembled in the building of the simplest
tool-hut without predetermination of the site of every brick, and of
the relation of every brick to every other.

And in all those past ages of conflict, bringing Order out of Chaos,
Progress out of Order, and an ever-increasing domination of blind Energy
and Inorganic Matter by Mind and Purpose, the fighting male it has been
who, in his conquest of the Earth as in his conquest of other fighting
males, both brute and human, has borne the greater heat and burden of
the day. Women have striven also - toil has been the crux of their
development as of their mates. But men have striven twofold. While women
toiled in the security of homes, the sword, the blunderbuss or
press-gang, or the equivalent of these, according to the epoch, awaited
men and still await them at most street-corners of the arduous male
career.

Women have suffered more, _psychically_; because this way lay their
nature and their human lot. Men have suffered more, _materially_;
because here lay theirs. And since advancement comes by suffering, women
are reaping to-day the harvest of past travail of their sex, in the
higher psychical development which now characterises that sex. During
centuries when men were vastly too hard-pressed by the struggle for
barest existence to have been aware that they possessed souls, women
were privileged to be aware of theirs - by the affliction thereof.

The immediate purpose of this fencing of the women behind the stronger
frames, the stronger wills, and stronger brains of fighting males was
the Racial one, of course. While men battled with environment and with
alien aggressors for their lives and for their food, as for those of the
family, the sheltered women were alike the loom and cradle of the Race.
As well, they made havens, or homes, for the fighters to return to for
sleep and refreshment. They plied a simple, primitive agriculture,
practised a primitive healing art, and otherwise evolved The
Humanities. But since mortal power is limited, power expended in one
direction is power withdrawn from some other. Power spent in battle is
power lost to progress. The woman who, with the instinct for home and as
shelter for her babes, laid the foundations of Architecture in a hut of
mud, was enabled to do this solely by virtue of masculine protection.

It is in peace only that Progress arises, in leisure that The Arts
evolve. And woman, walled in by the lives of the males, found leisure of
body and mind to pluck flowers for the adorning of her hut, to shape
platters of clay, and, later, even for embellishment of these with crude
designs. Thus she was the first artist.

The fighting male was - by necessity - destructive. He invented a club.
The female was - by privilege - constructive. She invented the needle (a
fish-bone, doubtless). And while the male transmitted to offspring his
virile fighting and destructive qualities, woman tempered and humanised
these by incorporating with them her milder traits and artistries of
peace. Lacking the male aggressive and protective faculties, however,
increasing in skill and resource with his ever further Adaptation to
(and of) environment, woman's gentler and humanising aptitudes would
have had neither opportunity for evolution, nor scope for exercise and
further sway.


II

I have been reading an account, by a naturalist, of some phases in the
life-history of crabs. And it is interesting to find even among
creatures so low in the Life-scale (although Darwin regarded these as
the most intelligent of _crustaceæ_) that same instinct of protection of
the female which is seen in the higher orders of creation.

A crab, being encased in an unyielding shell, is able to increase its
growth only by "casting" its shell and developing one of larger size
over its increased bulk. During the interval between casting an old
shell and acquiring a new one, the crab in its soft, pulpy condition is
readily injured, or falls prey to its natural enemies. To protect itself
as well as may be, it shelters in rocky crevices or in other available
hiding-places. This shell-casting occurs in both sexes, of course. But
the circumstances under which the change is made differ widely in the
sexes. For while the male-crab has no protector during his defenceless,
shell-less state, his shell is cast a month or more earlier than occurs
in the female; after which he feeds up, in order to be in superior
fighting trim for her protection during her shell-casting phase.
Fishermen describe him as then spreading himself over her as a hen
covers her chicks, and in her defence desperately attacking all comers.
The result of such protection of the female is that, although males are
larger and fiercer, "hen-crabs" are numerous, while males are scarce.

The like is true of nearly every species. The males protect the females.
Even the gorilla, savage and most terrible of beasts, lies at night on
guard beneath the tree in which his mate and offspring sleep. If need
arise, he fights to the death in their defence.

With regard to the chivalrous devotion of male-birds, Olive Schreiner
thus comments in _Woman and Labour_ (an example of that I have ventured
to describe as the "impassioned fallacy" hurtling round the Woman
Question): "Along the line of bird-life and among certain of its
species, sex has attained its highest æsthetic, and one might almost say
intellectual, development on earth ... represents the realisation of the
highest sexual ideal which haunts humanity."

(This however, less, I fear, to accredit the male-sex with chivalry than
to discredit the human male by ornithological comparison!)

* * * * *

One does not profess that such protective rôle of males - beast and bird
and crab - is the outcome of sentiment. It is instinctive, subconscious.
Nature's purpose being to preserve and to perpetuate species, she
achieves this by safeguarding the female. The province of the male in
reproduction is but slight and brief. It exacts so little from him as to
interfere not at all with those other masculine activities which are the
function of his sex.

Whereas, as Professor Lester Ward says, "Woman [and the female of all
species] _is_ the Race." Out of her blood and bone and vital powers she
evolves and fashions it, nurtures and ministers to it.


III

For the preservation of species, two rôles are essential: the Male rôle
of Combat, demanding strength and boldness, resource and
fighting-quality, in order to protect and provide for the female and
offspring; and the Female rôle of Devotion and Self-surrender, in order
to nurture offspring ante-natally, and, after birth, to nurture and to
tend its helplessness.

Now all but biologists, perhaps, take it as matter-of-course that Love
had its origin in Sex.

Seeing love between the sexes as the strongest and most dominant of the
civilised passions, it is natural to infer that it was born of the
instinctive attraction between male and female, and that this
instinctive attraction, with the growth and expansion of faculty, mental
and temperamental, has evolved to the high and tender issues to be found
in latter-day romantic passion; theme of poets, novelists, artists;
richest and most exquisite of life's emotions; inspiration and motive of
the finest human achievements. A passion which, for a space at least,
transfigures the natures and ennobles the lives of all but the crass and
the sordid.

Nevertheless - Love did not arise out of sex. The sex-relation in primal
men and women held no element of affection; no sympathy, tenderness,
self-sacrifice, or other attribute of Love. On the part of the female,
it was compulsory surrender and the habit of surrender to superior
strength, mitigated, doubtless, by a subconscious instinct to secure
offspring. In the male, it was impulse as tyrannous and selfish as was
the instinct to kill. Like the instinct to kill, a factor in it made for
fitness for survival. There was in it, accordingly, an element of
instinctive selection. But the selection made for survival-fitness
merely in the mate. It owed nothing to sentimental appeal exercised by
one female, and lacking in another. The instinct to mate was implanted
by Nature for the continuation of species. If its observance contained
an element of gratification, it held no more of reciprocity than did the
gratification of that stronger lust, to kill, include a consideration of
the feelings of the prey, or than greed of any other form of possession
extends a grace of reciprocal benefit to the thing acquired.

Modern savages have no conception of sexual love. There are no
love-songs, no courtship, no affection in their matings. The males marry
mainly in order to secure wives to work for them. And they select strong
women because these are best fitted for work. Or they select women who
have some or another small possession. Biological instinct is a factor,
doubtless, but it is not a factor of sentiment.

In his fine book, _Natural Law in the Spiritual World_, Professor
Drummond says:


"Probably we have all taken for granted that husbands and wives
have always loved one another. Evolution takes nothing for granted
... in the lower reaches of Human Nature, husband and wife do not
love one another ... for the vast mass of mankind during the long
ages which preceded historic times, conjugal love was probably all
but unknown....

"The idea that the existence of sex accounts for the existence of
love is untrue. Marriage among early races has nothing to do with
love. Among savage peoples, the phenomenon everywhere confronts us
of wedded life without a grain of love. Love then is no necessary
ingredient of the sex-relation; it is not an outgrowth of passion.
Love is love and has always been love, and has never been anything
lower."


Even to-day, despite the evolution of the higher faculties, despite long
centuries of inherited habit and tradition, and despite the circumstance
that in all the nobler types of men and women the sex-instinct is
spiritualised by affection and understanding - Even in this late day of
civilisation, the male sex-instinct may be seen still in all its native
tyranny and selfishness; seeking gratification in sensuality and
cruelty, with callous disregard alike of the welfare as of the suffering
of its victim. In the violation of women and children that occurs both
in peace and in war, the instinct manifests as an impulse of aggression,
and the sex-function as one of brutality or ruthless lust.


IV

Respecting the origin of Mind and Emotion, Charles Darwin said:


"In what manner the mental powers were first developed in the
lowest organisms, is as hopeless an inquiry as how life itself
first originated."


And Huxley:


"I know nothing, and never hope to know anything of the steps by
which the passage from molecular movement to states of
consciousness is effected. The two things are on two utterly
different platforms, the physical facts go along by themselves and
the mental facts go along by themselves."


While Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace (the biologist who was working out the
theory of Natural Selection simultaneously with Darwin, both unaware
that the other was working in the same direction) attributes to a
Creative act of God, all the moral and intellectual qualities which have
been super-added in man to those lesser and simpler ones he possesses in
common with the higher animals. Wallace describes this as a "Divine
Influx," and regards it as being wholly distinct and apart from the slow
and gradual processes of Natural Selection.

But yet, in point of fact, what was it that inspired and energised the
earlier processes, if not this same Divine Influx? The simpler processes
must, from their earliest rudimentary beginnings, have been leading up
to the later and more complex. And the later and more complex were,
surely, continuous with the simpler - since Nature abhors miracles, and
works by slow progressive biological sequences.

Nothing shows as more impersonal than a crystal; cold, hard, senseless,
motionless. And yet in crystals is the element of Life, even the power
of reproduction, showing factors of sex already operative in them. While
living bodies, charged with warmth, mobility, sentience, intelligence,
have Inorganic Matter for their basis of construction. And that
Inorganic elements are very far from being the impersonal things they
seem, but are linked by subtle correspondences to living Mind and vital
powers, is shown by their effects on living processes and consciousness.
Given as medicines, digestion (which is a species of rapid evolution
from lower to higher forms of energy) develops such vital inherences
within them as prove their apparent impersonality to contain a principle
continuous not only with living processes, but with the highest
mentality.

Professor Leduc observes in his illuminating book, "The Mechanism of
Life," "_the ordinary physical forces have, in fact, a power of
organisation infinitely greater than has been hitherto supposed by the
boldest imagination_."

Coralline structures and beautiful shells, fungi, leaves, and plants
bearing coloured, flowerlike blooms spring into growth when a formless
fragment of calcium salt is dropped into a chemical solution. And these
"Osmotic growths," artificially produced, possess far greater complexity
of structure and of function than do the simpler living organisms of
Nature.


The evidences of a Vast Stupendous Plan, which every further scientific
discovery still further emphasises, are slowly forcing from our men of
Science the confession that behind the marvellous phenomena their
findings reveal, and which they are powerless to explain, must lie a
Cause, occult and irresistible, an Impulse, all-pervading,



Online LibraryArabella KenealyFeminism and sex-extinction → online text (page 1 of 27)