When any woman, old or young, asks the question, Which among all modern books ought I to read first? the answer is plain. She should read Buckle's lecture before the Royal Institution upon "The Influence of Woman on the Progress of Knowledge." It is one of two papers contained in a thin volume called "Essays by Henry Thomas Buckle." As a means whereby a woman may become convinced that her sex has a place in the intellectual universe, this little essay is almost indispensable. Nothing else takes its place. Darwin and Huxley seem to make woman simply a lesser man, weaker in body and mind,an affectionate and docile animal, of inferior grade. That there is any aim in the distinction of the sexes, beyond the perpetuation of the race, is nowhere recognized by them, so far as I know. That there is any thing in the intellectual sphere to correspond to the physical difference; that here also the sexes are equal yet diverse, and the natural completion and complement of the other,this neither Huxley nor Darwin explicitly recognizes. And with the utmost admiration for their great teachings in other ways, I must think that here they are open to the suspicion of narrowness. Huxley wrote in "The Reader," in 1864, a short paper called "EmancipationBlack and White," in which, while taking generous ground in behalf of the legal and political position of woman, he yet does it pityingly, de haut en bas, as for a creature hopelessly inferior, and so heavily weighted already by her sex, that she should be spared all further trials. Speaking through an imaginary critic, who seems to represent himself, he denies "even the natural equality of the sexes," and declares "that in every excellent character, whether mental or physical, the average woman is inferior to the average man, in the sense of having that character less in quantity and lower in quality." Finally he goes so far as "to defend the startling paradox that even in physical beauty, man is the superior." He admits that for a brief period of early youth the case may be doubtful, but claims that after thirty the superior beauty of man is unquestionable. Thus reasons Huxley; the whole essay being included in his volume of "Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews."
Editore Library Of Alexandria
Formato Ebook con Adobe DRM
EAN-13 9781465652430 9781465652430