Invention w/in Sphere
Pp. 154-155 When I speak of the appropriate sphere of woman, and of her taxing her powers of invention there, I would by no means indulge myself in any narrow or circumscribed views in regard to her field of operation. I should have no sort of objection to the application of her inventive powers to the work of facilitating the usual labors of the other sex - particularly in the departments of agriculture an horticulture. But I do not perceive any necessity for this. I believe there is work enough - profitable and philanthropic work, too - to task woman's powers of invention for many centuries, without her going out of her appropriate sphere. In the art of cookery especially which certainly has a great deal to do with physical education and physical improvement - there is great room for the exercise of her inventive powers. This important art is, as yet, entirely in its infancy; and where any progress has been made, it has been chiefly in a wrong direction, and under the guidance of wrong principles. Be it yours, young women, to give this matter a right direction, and to bring it to bear as efficiently on the happiness of mankind, as it has hitherto on their slow destruction.
Sphere of Woman
Pg 206-207 To what are generally termed learned women, Dr. and Mrs. Pierpont entertained a great aversion, but they could discern a wide difference between a well-educated woman and a pedant. The former is a rational companion, who enlivens the social hour; the latter is one who, neglecting and scorning the homely duties incumbent upon a woman, stores her mind with deep learning, and thus encroaching upon the province of man, by him is considered with astonishment, rather than admiration, with pity rather than love; while, by the greater part of her own sex, she is looked upon as one who has quitted their pale, and having done so, loses that gentle fellowship which binds the together.
The dislike of, and outcry against, educated women, has arisen from an improper display which some have made of their knowledge, and the ardour with which they have pursued abstruse studies at the expense of those avocations and employments which more immediately belong to their sex; when they have been engaged in solving a problem, translating a difficult passage, or calculating the distance of a fixed star, while their house has been in disorder, their children in rags, their husbands neglected, and themselves presenting a picture of anything but that neatness which is so incumbent upon a woman.
Knowledge is like riches; the source of much happiness or misery according as we make a good or bad use of it; if the former, we cannot possess too much or it; if the latter, the less we possess the better. It requires a s much honesty in collecting, as much care in keeping and as much prudence in distributing. and surely, if the possessing of it enables a woman to perform her duties more perfectly, to be the instructress of youth, and the friend and rational companion of man, it cannot be amiss to cultivate her mind. Ignorance is a fruitful source of error, and although it may sometimes be an excuse and palliative for misdeeds, it negatives virtue, and takes from the perfection of our character, by rendering us the children of habit, rather than of reason.
pg 262 Females are better calculated, by nature and providence, for attending the sick, than males. They have more fortitude in scenes of trial and distress; their manners and methods are more gentle; their devotion to what they undertake is greater; their thoughts less engrossed by other objects, especially the cares and pressure of business; and, what would seem to follow, their attention more constant and unremitted. In a word, they are formed for days, and nights, and months, and years of watchfulness, not only over our infancy, but over both our first and second childhood; and it were strange indeed if the Creator, in qualifying them for all this, had not also qualified them to watch over us an bind our brow, in the pain and sickness of the years that intervene.
Sphere of Women
pg 277 Now that there are wives who cannot be safely entrusted with a secret, I have no doubt; yet I cannot help hoping they are few. Life cannot be spent very happily with a companion of whom we are every moment fearful, least she should incautiously say something which she ought not. If a husband cannot trust his wife better than this, he has made a mistake, it would seem, in marrying her.
But it is said also tat, after all, woman's advice is worth very little, even when she fully understands her husband's concerns, and is worthy of his entire confidence. Her judgment, it is said, was not intended by the Creator for such things, and is comparatively weak. To consult her about matters of business is to call her out of her own sphere.
That woman has her own appropriate sphere, and that this requires a cast
of mind somewhat different, in its original structure, from that of man,
there can be no doubt. Nor is it to be doubted that this circumstance, along
with her habits, disqualifies her for deciding for the husband, in
matters of business. But to advise is one thing, and to decide is quite
Independent Woman--in her own sphere
pg.358-360 ...I still insist on her having a distinct character; and no on e is more forward than myself in opposing the idea of her merging her own individuality in that of her husband. I insist on her forming for herself a character quite independent of his; and a perfect one, too. In becoming a wife, I say again, no individual is t dispossess herself of any trait of character which was hers before. She is still an independent woman, notwithstanding: just as I am none the less and independent man, by becoming a member of some association. My new character and the new duties are superinduced - added to the duties which existed before. In the same way we lose nothing - dispossess ourselves of nothing - when we form new relations. No person is the less a brother, a sister, a child, a neighbor, or a citizen, because he or she has entered into the bonds of matrimony. New duties are indeed added, and new obligations imposed; but the old ones remain. We have, in effect, so many different characters to sustain; and marriage only adds one - though a very important one - to the number already existing. The wife, in becoming one with her husband, and forming, in one point of view, a new and more perfect character, loses nothing, of necessity. of her individuality; nor does her husband. Nay, more - much more than all this - the latter is, or at least ought to become so much the more perfect by it. ...
The truth is, that these characters, however valuable to the world they may be, would be more valuable if more devoted to their appropriate sphere. But has not the custom of lauding to the skies such individuals, while thousands in useful domestic life have been over looked and forgotten, been one reason why so many young females of the present day have such aversion to the kitchen, and gravely tell us they would almost as soon die as have their hands employed in dish water?
Return to Advice Literature