Salt Lake City
April 1st 1895
I have been interested in reading the papers containing the transactions and speeches of the delegates in the constitutional convention from day to day. Especially that part where it relates to “woman suffrage.” I am pleased to know that so many of our brothers favor womans rights. The few that oppose it are standing in their own light.
It is true that the Lord placed a curse upon man and woman while in the garden of Eden. And mans rule was the heaviest part of womans curse. It was all very well as far as Adam and Eve were concerned, or as long as the Priesthood was on the earth. But when that was taken away and the people began grope in darkness and wickedness bore sway, then “mans rule” was indeed womans curse. Most all the ills of society man has placed to womans credit. But when man is called to give an account of the power placed in his hands, will he pass the ordeal unschased. Woman has had to bear her own burdens and also a great portion of mans curse. She is not only expected to bear children but she must drudge from morning till night, and her duties as wife and mother often follow her from night until morning, and her labors never cease as long as she can place one foot before the other. I do not think that God designed that man should enjoy the sweets of liberty while woman is bowed down in shackles. Liberty is sweet to woman as to man. Her freedom need not deprive him of his rule. He may be the head, but woman is the heart. He may be justice. But she is mercy. He would not like to be fettered with galling chains to keep him in his sphere. Neither does woman. A sensible woman knows her place and can keep it without being bound. Some men seem to think that if woman was granted the franchise she would run wild, and would be obliged to hold public office and do many things unbecoming to her sex. Give her a chance to prove herself not devoid of common sense. Let her show to the world that she is worthy of respect. We do not wish to drag our brothers down, but we desire to raise ourselves up to his level. We have borne the galling fetters a very long time.
Destiny has ordered that male and female go hand in hand down the stream of time; and if the male stream is dark and turgid; while the stream that represents woman is clear and sparkling, why we must yeild to destiny. According to Mr. Robberts speech, the black and dirty stream becomes a little lighter by mingling with the clear stream. Politicks is not the first place where the uniting of the waters commence.
Although the stream is somewhat discolored they roll along in the same channel in peace and harmony until eventualy as ‘Whitney’ says, they enter the grand old ocean of Eternity, and are cleansed from all impurities and still remain united. In my way of thinking there is far more honor confered upon man by ruling over free and inteligent citizens, than there could possible be in governing a set of ignorant degraded slaves. We do not wish to take away any of the rights of our fathers brothers or sons. They may still rule.
If womans emancipation means mans degredation I for one would say let things remain as they are. I would far rather that woman should bow down in humiliation than that my loved kindred of the opposite sex should be deprived of one right or privilege that they now enjoy. Woman should be magnanimous. And to be so is her nature. And if the case was reversed the controversy of womans suffrage would be settled in a few hours instead of days. I believe that God designs that woman shall be free. The curse is to be taken from off the Earth and all that dwell there on, in the last days, and woman alone is not to remain under the curse. If Lund or any other man desires a bond woman for a wife, and to be the mother of his children, I suppose he can find plenty of that strike. But it seems to me if I was a man I would feel more honored to associate with females that were capable of standing erect and possessing a bright intelect, that would reflect honor upon her husband. A man must be very short sighted indeed, that could wish for a moment to deprive his mother and sister, wife and daughters of any blessing or privilege that he himself enjoys. There is an old saying “That what is good for the goose is good for the gander.” And if man is for the field and woman for the hearth let him be bound by law to keep within his sphere, and never intrude himself upon the hearth or into womans sphere. Woman was given to man for a helpmate. Not to cook his food or to wash his clothes, but to do her part in propigating their specie. I do not think the Lord gave much thought about the making of his cloths or any other of that kind of labor, any menial can do that. Some men seem to think that mans’ rights was all God thought of when He created this Earth. Well man and woman were both free then. They together constituted a whole. And it was as one being the Lord planed for his happiness. But through transgression everything was changed. All things were cursed. I cannot see why man should take so much honor upon himself for being made ruler over woman when it was pronounced upon her as a curse. What will he do when the curse is removed, as it certainly will sooner or later. But it will be in God’s time whether our brothers favor us or not.
Considerable stress is laid upon the saying in the bible “That woman was taken from mans side” signifying that he is her protector. Well that may be. But what kind of protection does he give her. Not much that she can ask for if we can judge by some of the speeches made in the convention. If woman was taken from mans side; Where did man come from. I never could see much difference in the way they were organized. Both were born of woman. Both had father and mother. One writer has said the soul has no sex. Be that as it may true worth has no sex. Well I suppose oratory is a fine thing and may have a good deal to do in shaping things sometime. But as Varian says “Oratory is not argument nor rhetoric reason. Argument and reason is what we want. Oratory alone reminds me of a circumstance that happened about 50 years ago in the Prophet Joseph day. A man was telling him a very beautiful dream that he had had, and he asked the Prophet what he thought of it. The answer was ‘Well it is a very beautiful dream, but there is one objection to it.’ Now what is in that one objection? Why, it is not true. That must be oratory without logic. We will thank and honor our brothers for the interest they have taken in our behalf. And if there is any virtue in womans prayer they will be blessed, whether we gain the franchise or not. May we yet taste the sweets of liberty to its fulest extent is the prayer of one of the weaker sex
Emily D P Young