March 16, 1872
Victoria C. Woodhull delivered an address on the last evening of February, before this lodge, upon "Finance, and the Relation of Labor and Capital," to a large and enthusiastic audience. It is believed that this is the first time in the history of these unions that a woman was invited to speak before them. To this lodge belongs the praise of breaking the way in this direction. All honor to them!
Recently, Mrs. Woodhull was mentioning to some Congressmen that she was going to speak before this lodge on finance. One of them remarked, "Speak to the laborers on finance? Why, you might as well talk Latin to cattle." She retorted, "Be careful lest you wake up to find that these people, and not you, do understand the question of finance.
A local Suffrage Association holding semi-occasional meetings in an obscure schoolroom somewhere uptown, is doing the cause it professes to espouse such harm as gnats are capable of, by its ludicrous attempts to force the community to believe in its eminent respectability. Comprised of a few women who are hanging by the eyelids on to the outskirts of that rather unsubtantiative, if not mythical thing known in New York as "Society," it fails to perceive that it is really paving the way for an expose of pretentious assumption by its persistent attacks upon women who, to say the least, are not inferior in any respect to those who comprise its membership. The Association has done absolutely nothing since its rise from the ashes of the old Society, and has rather decreased than increased in numbers. Lately there has been considerable beating of the bushes to create an interest in this Association, and at late meetings various schemes of agitation were suggested, among others lectures in the various wards of the city. An enthusiastic member proposed that Mrs. Stanton should be invited to deliver one of the addresses, when up popped an exceedingly voluble, and O, so eminently respectable lady, formerly of New Haven, who glories, like the "penniless lass" in the old Scottish song, in a "lang pedagree" and opposed the movement on the ground that if Mrs. Stanton should deliver an address in this city "the woman Woodhull would be sure to put herself forward on the platform." The insult to ourself, we can afford to smile at, as we have never been in the habit of appearing upon any platform or in any society to which we are not cordially welcomed. The eminently respectable remote descendant of those eminently respectable remote Roman ancestors, whose names we do not just now remember, need give herself no uneasiness. We claim the right to make one of any public audience we have an inclination to mingle with, but we never have the slightest inclination to appear on the platform of an association which repudiates women who are the moral superiors of the majority at least of its membership, and for which, as an association, we havenít the slightest respect.
The insult to Mrs. Stanton, however, is another and graver matter. These women, who are not worthy to untie the latchet of her shoes, shall not insult her over our shoulders without being warned that there is an end to even our forbearance, and that we are ready at a dayís notice to give the world certain biographies which shall compel it to give a verdict concerning comparative respectability.
Some "female (?) writer seeking after notoriety" and the applause of men, asserts that this womanís rights agitation is substantially a quarrel with the Almighty because we are not men. Were I the husband of so short-sighted a mortal I might, perhaps, be tempted to quarrel with some one because I was not a woman, born to serve man, and so having "all the rights I wanted." Should such a wish be granted the next move would be to get away as soon as possible from the woman who would quarrel with her own sex.
It would be cruel certainly for women to attempt to quarrel with the Almighty, since He has admitted that He "repenteth making man."
It would be just as reasonable to assert in reply, that because some noble men justly complain of not realizing a return for the deference and generosity sometimes bestowed on our sex that they should quarrel with their Maker because they are not women. - MRS. W., PHILADELPHIA.
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