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Full text of "How it Feels to be the Husband of a Suffragette"

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So-c5o4-7-a 



5^arljarlr College Uibrarg 




Bought with 

Rdoney received fron 

Library Klnes 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 



Hoiv it Feels 

io he the Mmhand, 

of a Svffragette 



fiy Him 



ILLUSTRATIONS BY 
MAY WILSON PRESTON 



NEW YORK 

GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY 



s 



c-'O 6 o^H'O 



SEP 23 1915 



Copyright, 1914, 
By The Ridgway Company 

Copyright, 191 5, 
By George H. Doran Company 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

Please visualize the gentleman "Occasionally 
explaining" to Grandmama 15 

"Oh, Mr. Blank," she said, "Do you think 
women should vote? " 23 

For some odd reason the Wholesale Liquor 
Dealers' Association doesn't happen to like 
the idea of female suffrage 34 

Before she dares approach the distressing fact 
that the grocer's bill was fiercer than usual 
this month 47 

Now and then at odd intervals she slides up in 
a bashful way and asks your help in working 
out an investment 59 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 




-\ ~V7^0U are the party 
■'f A aimed at. You who"- 
stood on the side- 
walk and urged 
\ passionately 
that we who 
'marched go 
home and wash 
the dishes or 
mind the baby. 
Nobody an- 
swered you then. To be frank, you 
didn't say much that sounded worth 
7 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

considering; besides, it's not good 
form for a procession to indulge in 
acrimony. But don't you think for 
a moment that the forlorn little 
corporal's guard marching at the 
tail end of the first suffrage parade 
down Fifth Avenue didn't feel acutely 
every hostile taunt. It takes a good 
deal better man than I've met yet to 
face the mirth of a mob without some 
of it getting under his hide. 

Out in the middle of Fifth Avenue's 
width we felt a heap isolated; it even 
went farther than that — we felt os- 
tracized. Tagging after the girls — 
that's what we were doing; and no- 
body would let us forget it. 

8 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

If you can go back to your kid days 
and remember how the gang at some 
time sat in judgment on you and, for 
alleged failure on your part to shine 
in the full glory of a budding male, 
rounded up on you, called you ''cry 
baby,'' and callously bade you ''go 
play with the girls,'' you'll get a little 
of the sensation we had out there, 
unchaperoned, entirely surrounded 
by empty asphalt, with two or three 
hundred thousand people earnestly 
cracking their larynxes calling us 
"sis" or "henpeck." 
"I don't want to be misunderstood 
— this is not going to be a defense, an 
apology, or a confession — merely a 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

frank statement. After a man has 
lived in the same house with a suffra- 
gette for a number of years, he is 
Hkely to have a severe disesteem for 
all forms of excuse or apology. 

Some one said once: **It's far more 
important that a man make good 
than be good, and this applies with 
special force to husbands.'' 

You can safely add that to the 
husbands of suffragettes it applies 
clear through, and buttons down the 
back. 

For while the suffrage lady has 
been reading, she has also been ob- 
serving. She has a fuller and franker 
knowledge of the motives that move 

lO 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

the world than her grandmother ever 
let on to have had. 

Grandmother had it pounded into 
her, from the cradle to the finishing- 
school, that it would be money out of 
her pocket if she ever confessed to 
knowledge of any human mystery 
deeper than the compounding of cus- 
tard-pie. 

Here, by way of proof, is a quota- 
tion from a time-honored volume 
pertaining to women: 

A lady should appear to think well of 
books, rather than to speak well of them. 
She may show the engaging light that good 
taste and sensibility always diffuses over 
conversation; she may give instances of great 
and affecting passages because they show the 
fineness of her imagination or the goodness 

II 



f*»jp^-;i- 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

of her heart ; but all criticism beyond 
this sits awkwardly upon her. She should, 
by habit, form her mind to the noble and 
pathetic, and she should have an aquaintance 
with the fine arts because they enrich and 
beautify the imagination; but she should 
carefully keep them out of view in the shape 
of learning and let them run through the 
easy vein of impremeditated thought. For 
this reason she should seldom use and not 
always appear to understand the terms of 
art. The gentleman will occasionally ex- 
plain them to her. 

This gem of purest ray serene is 
from a work called 

"THE AMERICAN BOOK OF BEAUTY, 
OR FRIENDSHIP'S TOKEN," 

published in Hartford, Conn., in 

1 85 1, and given to grandmother by a 

very attentive young gentleman, who 

12 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

accompanied it with one of those nice 
little, old-fashioned, lace-edged val- 
entine letters, every word of which 
breathed his ardent and reverential 
devotion to grandmama. 

Wasn't the editor grand? Can you 
see grandmama sitting at home 
alone, carefully cultivating the noble 
and pathetic, while grandpa hooted 
around town nights with the boys, 
finding the noble and pathetic utterly 
unnecessary in his business? And 
that little touch — "The gentleman 
will occasionally explain them to her" 
— isn't that delicate? 

Please visualize the gentleman oc 
casionally explaining some perfectly 

13 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

immaterial proposition and fondly 
hoping that he is successfully divert- 
ing grandmama's mind from some of 
the basic facts of life? 

There is still extant an extremely 
lovely daguerreotype of grandmama, 
aetat twenty-two, at the time of the 
presentation of the book; and, look- 
ing into the beautiful young face, 
sparkling with intelligence, you are 
almost tempted to think that pos- 
sibly grandmama knew a thing or 
two not set down in the editor's pre- 
scription. 

At any rate, granddaughter, the 
suffragette, refuses to fall for ''the 
noble and pathetic." If she has at- 

14 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

tended one of the big colleges for girls, 
she is likely to know just as much 
about art as her gentleman friend. 
She talks some before she is married, 
and more afterward, and she talks 
very much to the point. 

Mr. Husband has got to be pre- 
pared to stand the gaflf, and if he is 
indiscreet enough to come weaving in 
at three G. M., he might just as well 
talk straight. Those diaphanous X- 
ray effects in excuses are out of style. 
His best chance is to look the judge 
right in the eye and announce that he 
stayed out because he didn't want to 
come home; that he thought a little 
cessation of domesticity would ex- 

17 



I 

il 

I 
I 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

pand his moral nature. He had 
better trust for protection to the fact 
that he has at one time rowed a boat 
or lifted weights — if it comes to actual 
physical violence; because if he starts 
to duck he is liable to get something 
for contempt of court. 

So you can put it down as the first 
mile-stone to observe on the road to 
being a suffragette's husband, that a 
reasonable amount of frankness — 
just an ordinary quantity of common 
or garden truth-telling — is a health- 
ful and exhilarating occupation, and 
will conduce, as the Good Book says, 
to ' ' make your days long in the land , ' ' 
although it may possibly shorten 

i8 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

Up your ''nights out" a trifle at 
times. 



Getting a suffragette for a wife is 
no different from obtaining any other i 
kind of a wife. The formula is the 
same in both cases. There's a certain 
excitement, though, in the fact that 
you don't always know she is going 
to be a suffragette until after you 
have got her. But that, happily, is 
getting rarer and rarer. The new 
crop is finding out that advertising 
pays, and it is pretty hard nowa- 
days to pick out a discreet and 
docile suffragette who will abso- 
lutely refrain from confiding the fact 

19 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

to you, if you sit up with her long 
enough. 

Personally, we — I and mine — fell 
into suffrage together and practically 
made only one splash; but it was long 
after we were married. You notice 
that I said mine. I meant it. Shar- 
ing some common things in common 
doesn't necessarily prevent the lady 
from being all yours. 

We had been at a nice little dinner- 
party in a smart suburban town. 
The dinner was all it should be, with 
one exception: the star guest refused 
to perform for the benefit of the com- 
pany. He was a very clever Irish 

lawyer, with a name for wit. He 

20 



HOW IT. FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

came accompanied by a rarely beau- 
tiful wife, and her efforts during the 
evening to have husband jump 
through the hoop and lie down and 
roll over and play dead were pathetic. 
Something had gone wrong business- 
wise during the day, and Melancholia 
had claimed him for her own. He 
would do nothing but grunt and 
grump. 

After dinner, when all were com- 
fortable in the smoking-room library, 
the hostess made a last stab to 
draw him out. The papers at that 
moment were full of the first des- 
patches telling of the astounding 
performances of the English mili- 

21 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

tants, and the hostess said in her 
sweetest coo: 

''Oh, Mr. Blank, do you think 
women should vote?'' 

And in a voice that carried more 
grouch than any previous grunt dur- 
ing the evening, he answered: ''Of 
course I do, course I do; and if they 
hadn't been such damn fools, they 
would have been doing it long ago." 

On the way to the station the lady 
who controls my destinies repeated 
the hostess's question: 

"Do you believe women should 
vote?" 

It was an awful question to have 
put to one in the darkness and mys- 

22 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

tery of a station hack. It was so 
sudden that, I am ashamed to con- 
fess, I dived in the hope of avoiding it. 

I went down Hke a mud-hen, deep 
enough, as I trusted, to let an ocean 
liner go over my head. 

When I came up there was the 
same old question with both barrels 
trained full on me. 

Did I believe that women should 
vote? 

What did I know about it? 

Had I ever given it a single second's 
thought? 

Were the things I thought were my 
thoughts and liked to advertise as my 
ideas anything more than a hazy 

25 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

blend of old cartoons, funny men's 
paragraphs, and an occasional squint 
at a set of spit curls on an elderly 
dame who seemed to be discontented 
with something? 

I held my breath for half a minute 
and thought so hard that I could 
almost hear my mental processes. 

"Yes," I said, "I do beUeve they 
should vote/' 

''Why?" asked the silent partner. 

Well, there was the Revolution — 
no taxation without representation; 
and there was the Rebellion — no slav- 
ery, political or economic. Big wars, 
both of them, mighty expensive, defi- 
nitely deciding the questions involved 

26 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

for all the people of these United 
States. 

Then you get down to the proposi- 
tion: ''Are women peopled' 

I believe they must be, or they 
wouldn't act the way they do. Be- 
sides, it's discouraging to try to argue 
that women aren't people. After 
you've done your best, you are likely 
to wind up by merely proving that 
you yourself are either a Turk or an 
Ishmaelite. They are the only two 
varieties of humans who've ever been 
able to make it stick. They just say 
blandly that women haven't any 
souls, and as they believe it and con- 
vince their lady friends that they 

27 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

believe it, the argument bogs down 
right there. 

Then you've got the fact that about 
fifty per cent, of the population is 
feminine and that in the minds of the 
other fifty per cent, they certainly 
represent at least half of the sweet- 
ness, truth, and idealism of the na- 
tion. 

Of course, there may be an odd 
Schopenhauer here and there who 
jumps sidewise and has a fit every 
time he sees a skirt; but most of us 
aren't nearly as timid as that. 

Somewhere along here it became 
evident that the lady wasn't going to 

insist on any more reasons, but was 

28 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

inclined to accept meekly the heredi- 
tary intellectual dominance of the 
male. 

Lots of good men who have no 
intellectual objection to women's vot- 
ing nurse at heart a timidity when- 
ever they visualize the horrible re- 
sults. You can see it in many a 
polite, genteel citizen's eye, the mo- 
ment suffrage talk starts, as if he 
were wondering just what his own 
women folks would act like around 
the house if they knew they were as 
good as he was and could prove it 
legally. 

Of course it is a false alarm. The 

percentage of divorces doesn't rise in 

29 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

suffrage states because of suffrage; 
and logically there is no more reason 
why two domestic partners who are 
comrades, mutually acknowledging 
a pleasant equality, should separate, 
than there is for the separation of 
two people of opposite sex who, con- 
demned to live together, are striving 
diligently to maintain an inequality. 
And isn't it quaint that the states 
which have given suffrage to their 
women'^should be almost uniformly 
the ''gun" states — states where the 
husky male not infrequently tops off 
his wardrobe with a cartridge belt 
and a gun or two? But there is a kind 
of logic in it, after all, because a man 

30 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

with two guns ought not to be so 
much afraid of his wife as the man 
who is afraid of firearms. It is the 
man whose polite soul cleaves to gen- 
tle ways who is most likely to dread 
the possibility of being surrounded 
by women whom the law has pro- 
nounced his equals. To him the pos- 
sibilities even of verbal rough-house 
seem appalling, and his gentle spirit 
quails. 

For some odd reason the Whole- 
sale Liquor Dealers' Association 
doesn't happen to like the idea of 
female suffrage, either. But this is 
largely, also, a case of false alarm. 
For in spite of the activities of the 

31 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

W. C. T. U., the average woman is 
quite prone to look on drinking 
largely as a masculine accomplish- 
ment, and as long as it is pursued in 
reasonable moderation is fairly con- 
tent to have it that way; that is, she 
neither clamors for the booze herself 
nor is she insistent on wholly separat- 
ing man from it; and you will find 
that few of the states with large 
feminine vote have made any deter- 
mined wholesale assault on alcohol. 
It is only when alcohol is arrogant 
and dictates politics or insidiously 
attempts to wreck homes or ruin 
young lives that the feminine vote 
comes across and lights on the alco- 

32 




D B£ASON THE WHOLESALE UQUOE DEALEKS ASSOCIATION 



. t 



fi 



l! 



i-[| 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

holic neck; and even then it is likely 
to be a measure tending to repress 
rather than to extirpate. 

You may think that all of this is 
irrelevant. You may want more inti- 
mate details. But I was asked to tell 
''how it feels," and that's what I am 
trying to tell you — how it feels rather 
than the daily routine and whether 
the coffee was good this morning 
(which it certainly was), and whether 
she wears good-looking hats (which 
she most assuredly does). 

But you have probably read in the 
English despatches that Mr. and 
Mrs. So-and-so were arrested for 
leading a mob to throw bricks at 

37 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

Mr. Asquith's windows and had to 
spend the next two years in jail 
in separate cells; or you may have 
read in the American press that the 
distinguished Mrs. Blank, who lives 
in New York, is delivering a lecture in 
New Orleans, and immediately your 
mind conjures up Mr. Blank as a sad- 
eyed, lonesome, scared-looking tyke, 
with debilitated side-whiskers, who 
alternates being neglected most to 
death with being hustled around the 
house till he daren't peep. 

From the outside, looking in, it 
may seem to you as if there isn't any 
inside to the home; but, honestly, 
there is. 

38 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

Personally, I^believe that a lady 
with a well-worn latch-key, who has 
healthy interests outside her home, is 
better company than one whose view 
of life is circumscribed by the four 
walls that the landlord refused to 
paper last spring. And that pretty 
clothes as an incidental habit are 
cheerier to live with than swell rai- 
ment as an engrossing topic of con- 
versation and a financial holocaust 
at the end of the month. 

My own pet boss doesn't know how 
to play bridge. When a friend urges 
her to learn, she always says she 
hasn't time. Mind you, she has time 
to study the economics of Australia 

39 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

and the politics of China; she under- 
stands the workings of the Gutenberg 
liquor law, and she has gone pretty 
thoroughly into street-cleaning prob- 
lems with one of the engineers of the 
department. She also has time to go 
on long, lazy fishing trips with me, 
when we rustle our own grub and 
forget what day of the week it is. And 
she drives a car a lot better than the 
lad who draws pay for the job. But 
she hasn't time for bridge. 

You'll say that she is either a 
remarkable woman or else she has 
me hypnotized. 

All right, say it; get it oflF your 

chest. 

40 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

But you are this far wrong: 

She is only remarkable in this, that 
she didn't stop with the ''finishing- 
school," as so many of them do: she 
went right on trying to learn things 
that were worth while, trying to get 
better acquainted with life, trying to 
economize the efforts spent in drudg- 
ery and'utilize'the time saved for bet- 
ter things, trying to stop waste in 
order to enjoy plenty. 

I remember when her books were 
comparatively simple. Now I don't 
know where her reading is going to 
take her next. But I don't care. 
Like the bee, she brings back sweet- 
ness from every field. Solomon was 

41 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

eminently correct when he said — 
speaking of her type of lady — ''her 
price is above rubies." 

You can bet Solomon had a right 
to know. He perished in a gallant 
attempt to live with a thousand of 
the other kind simultaneously, and 
he surely had opportunities to garner 
experience that you and I are bound 
to pray will be forever denied us. 

About the hypnosis — oh, well, I 
guess ril plead guilty. 

But the fact that your wife is striv- 
ing every day to become better read 
and more intelligently able to discuss 
any human subject in no wise detracts 
from her charm as a companion. 

42 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

The fact that she asks for her place in 
the world'as a human being usually 
indicates a consciousness of ability on 
her part. And, having declared this 
consciousness to others, if she is any 
kind of a woman at all she is in honor 
bound to try to make good on the 
ability in her own home. 

I will confess right here — and it 
may be a shock to some of you — that 
I do not wash the dishes in our home; 
nor does my wife, for that matter. 
I believe that something over 11,863 
of you requested me to go home and 
wash them on the occasion of that 
first parade. But I never cared 
greatly for dishwashing, and I doubt 

43 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

whether my wife would let me wash 
them if I did. She values the dishes 
too highly: they are safer in the hands 
of a well-trained maid. 

ril make one exception. When we 
go camping I do it, just as I usually 
do the long end of the cooking; but 
that's because I can do things out of 
doors better than she can, and she 
knows it. In the same way, I sew on 
the most important buttons myself — 
not that she isn't a very dainty seam- 
stress on frail and feminine fabrics; 
but I learned to sew on buttons on 
a coal-schooner, and any job of 
seamstressing that calls for sail 
twine and a three-cornered needle 

44 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

and a brass palm I arrogate to 
myself. 

We share our family finances: she 
has her own income, bank accounts, 
and investments, quite independent 
of me. All you've got to do is to trans- 
late that into masculine terms to find 
out how it works. Which friend do 
you enjoy more — the one who is con- 
stantly coming to you begging for 
small sums of money and exhibiting 
unexpected bills, or the one who sel- 
dom discusses money matters with 
you, and yet who likes you well 
enough to go flat broke for you if the 
occasion arises? Lots of men and 
most women don't like to ask for 

45 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

money; but lots of men who regard 
themselves as good spenders, and who 
fancy themselves as enjoying the spe- 
cial beneficence of that Higher Power 
who is credited with loving a cheerful 
giver, keep their wives on what 
amounts to a domestic bread-line, 
and remain blandly unconscious of 
the fact. 

''Economic independence" is one 
of the watchwords of women nowa- 
days. The lady who has to propitiate 
you with an extra-good dinner and 
spend an hour or two currying your 
fur the right way before she dares 
approach the distressing fact that 

the grocer's bill was fiercer than usual 

46 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

this month, hasn't got it. The lady 
who ALWAYS gives you an extra-good 
dinner, who only mentions her pri- 
vate finances as an occasion for mirth, 
and who now and then at odd inter- 
vals slides up in a bashful way and 
asks your help in working out an in- 
vestment, is economically indepen- 
dent. She has a better time and she 
advertises it as such. I don't know 
whether it costs any more money 
(this is for the benefit of the hard- 
headed business man) ; but if it does, 
it is surely worth it. 

Do you see how her declaration of 
principle commits her to a definite 
line of action in the household? She 

49 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

has got to keep house better than any 
of her women friends who are not 
suffragettes. She knows that they 
would guy her if she didn't. She has 
got to have better-trained help, be- 
cause she has formally announced 
that she has executive ability. She 
has got to be more reasonable with 
them than any other woman would 
be, because one of the planks in her 
platform is that ''woman is a reason- 
ing being." She has even got to be 
more reasonable with me — she knows 
rd guy her if she didn't. 

The fact that she goes out of an 
occasional evening and makes a sim- 
ple, logical little talk to a collection 

50 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

of hard - headed, and often hard- 
handed, men does not break up our 
home life. I sometimes go out of an 
evening myself, and I don't always 
have as much to show for it on my 
return as she does; nor am I always 
prepared to talk as interestingly as 
to where I have been and with whom 
I have conversed. 

There is this, however, about living 
in the house with a woman who takes 
a kind, warm, vital interest in every- 
thing that is going on in the world — 
and you can, if you like, count it as 
one of the hardships of being a suf- 
fragette's husband : you have at times 
to force yourself to seem more intelli- 

51 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

gent than you really feel like being. 
There are times when the promptings 
of the baser nature would lead you to 
camp down on the sofa immediately 
after dinner and snore, when you've 
got to subdue that inclination and 
sit up and look bright-eyed and be 
just as near a nice fellow as lies within 
your power. 

Otherwise, a certain look will come 
into her eye which you can't afford to 
have there. It is a hardship at times, 
I will freely acknowledge, but it 
doesn't leave any permanent bad re- 
sults, and sometimes you are hon- 
estly surprised at how well you do 

behave . 

52 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

There is a streak of vanity, or some- 
thing like it, in most of us male per- 
sons that makes us piteously grateful 
for a kind word now and then. We 
are more sensitive than we are given 
credit for being. We all want a word 
of appreciation occasionally. 

And when it gradually comes over 
you that your particular lady, in the 
course of her pursuit of proving that 
she is a reasonable being, is giving 
out more kind words than the aver- 
age, it is calculated to put you in a 
frame of mind where you don't care a 
darn whom she wants for President 
as long as she continues to vote for 
you as a husband. 

S3 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

f I suppose those English Militants 
stick in your crop more or less. 

But they are running pretty true 
to form — only their petticoats get in 
their way now and then. They were 
not so much rougher than the last 
people who won the vote in England. 
You know the men of Bristol broke 
miles of windows, burned most of the 
public buildings in town, killed and 
got killed. That was eighty years 
ago, and all any one remembers of 
them now is that — 

They got the vote. 

And Mrs. Pankhurst: 

She's a bit trying at times, isn't 
she? But, after all, she probably 

54 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

hasn't been in jail any oftener than 
Saint Peter, and possibly no more 
than John Bunyan. 

I once had the pleasure of sitting at 
dinner in her company. A mild little 
gentlewoman, sad with the sadness of 
too much experience with the hard 
ways of injustice, clever though, and 
with a most fascinating care-worn 
little smile flashing at intervals 
through her talk. Able and willing 
to chat gracefully and intelligently 
on any topic. And yet through it all 
ran an undercurrent that made you 
feel somehow that here might be 
one of the great women of history, 
brooding over her life-work. As 

55 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

God sends, she sees it — mothering a 
race. 

And it's a naughty bad lot of little 
boys she's trying to bring up. 

Asquith has told the women things 
that if he were fifty years younger 
would get him spanked. 

And the politicians are tricky, and 
not always truthful. For sixty long 
years they've been saying with fat, 
comfortable, delusive smiles: ''Yes, 
yes, daughter, right away now. Next 
week. Next month. Next year." 

Time after time the women of Eng- 
land have piled up majorities that 
would have carried any other ques- 
tion through with a yell, each time to 

S6 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

see them fade into the maze of poHtics. 
And Mrs. Pankhurst stood there 
sadly aloof from all the joy and com- 
radeship, everything that makes life 
worth living, and said: 

''Make good on your promises. 
Stop these lies! Or I will make 
your life intolerable to you from the 
ridicule and humiliation heaped on 
your heads. I can't fight you with 
muscle. But I will fight with my 
wits. 

'1 will spoil every sport and pas- 
time you enjoy. 

''I will keep this one subject — jus- 
tice to women — always and eternally 
before you until you tell us the truth • 

57 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

'1 will stop at nothing but harm 
to human life. In all the turmoil and 
rioting we shall be the only sufferers." 

Is it any wonder that the man who 
runs England feared her, that thou- 
sands followed where she led, that 
they subscribed seventy-five thou- 
sand dollars in a single afternoon? 

Of course Fm glad my wife hasn't 
got her job. 

But then Fm glad my wife hasn't 
got Moll Pitcher's job, either — she 
of Revolutionary fame. Mrs. Pitch- 
er's work was rough — and besides, 
Mr. Pitcher is dead. 

A great many people fear that giv- 
ing a woman her honest equal rights 

58 



'It' 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

in the world's work is bound to make 
her act mannish, even if she doesn't 
go to the length of militancy. My 

experience is that so far as it has been 

« 

tried out it merely makes her act a 
little more like a gentleman. 

Of course there will be occasions 
when a frank difference of opinion 
between equal partners will get ani- 
mated . It may be conducted on both 
sides with what you might call 
'Verve" and 'Vivacity," although at 
that it probably will not actually 
make more noise than when on simi- 
lar occasions Mr. Domestic Tyrant 
issues a ukase to Mrs. Domestic 
Dove, or, God defend us, on those 

6i 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

other and worse occasions when Mrs. 
Henry Peck hands out the final word 
to Henry. 

But, after all, it's only part of the 
rugged game of life and likely to be a 
mighty interesting part at that, as 
any one who has ever chummed with 
a wise lady will readily admit; and it 
isn't as black as your fancy would 
paint it, because, as hinted before, if 
you have ever lifted weights or pulled 
an oar, there is always back of any 
domestic disagreement the serene in- 
ner consciousness that if worse comes 
to worst, you can wind it up suddenly, 
take a handful of papers, and go down 

and explain to the judge just why the 

62 



HOW IT FEELS TO BE THE 
HUSBAND OF A SUFFRAGETTE 

officer has charged you with wife- 
beating. 

Of course, if your early training 
hasn't fitted you for an active life, 
and you know that, if it comes down 
to brass tacks, the lady can lick you, 
you are up against it. All you can do, 
my brother, is to pray — pray fer- 
vently — that suffrage may never 
come; but with all due regard to 
Napoleon's remark about God being 
on the side that has the heaviest 
artillery, I'm afraid you lose. 



63 



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