WAILED AT BY THE WOWSERS.
Mouthings of Middle-Aged Misogynists
"Things Were Different in Our Days."
Mediaeval and Modern Mental Misfits.
Every now and then the platitudinous piffle of some ermined oracle, or theological thunder-thrower, calls public attention towards the mediaeval attitude adopted towards the relations of the sexes by both ecclesiastic and judicial guardians of public morality. The modern code of morals—insofar as that elastic convention concerns sexual matters—seems to cause these elderly and anaemic-minded gentlemen much uneasiness. Immorality, they declare, is increasing at an alarming rate. When they were young, things were different. Women in those days, more especially young women, were different, quite different altogether. They did not stray so frequently into the inviting by-paths that branch off from the straight and exceedingly prosaic highway that ends—or, maybe, begins —at
THE MATRIMONIAL ALTAR.
Women were modest; they did not seek the company of the opposite sex. They had to be sought, and wooed, and won.
Putting aside the fact that it has been laid down as an axiom that there is no definite change in morality from age to age, it is, nevertheless, fairly obvious that the strictures of these mentally-decrepit dunderheads are sincere. Their alarmist assumptions concerning the modern maiden's partiality for pleasant sins are based on personal experience. With superb egotism they imagine that the indifferences displayed towards them in their youth by the amateur Delilahs of that period was the common lot of all the young men of that generation. This quaint delusion is not uncommon among elderly folk whose facial landmarks and physical conformation suggest that if it was possible for them to renew their youth, the damsels of to-day would
DISPLAY THE SAME RESERVE
—where the glad eye is concerned—as did the girls of a couple of generations ago.
That the relations of the sexes were controlled by a code of morality akin to the Julian laws when these egotistic old bald-heads were young is absurd. In every age, and in every clime, women have had an instinctive detestation for the "good young man that died" type of masculinity. Strength, energy of character, and courage she admires in her lover—and possible husband—above all other qualities combined. Even the most ethereal and romantic love rests on a physical basis, and vigor, bravery, and endurance yet the glad eye and the inviting smile in the present year of our Lord, even us they were bestowed upon Samson. Who ever heard of a love-sick damsel
RISKING HER LIFE
or even her reputation, to mate herself with a sad-eyed sanctimonious snuffler?
Women mobilise in battalions of beauty at all contents of strength and skill to-day, just as they crowded to the Coliseum combats— the Olympian games, and the neolithic war dances. That Might is Right is the eleventh commandment in the private decalogue of femininity, and invariably takes precedence of the other ten in affairs of the heart. Briseis, when her lord and master was slain by Achilles, consoled herself with the reflection that the slayer would follow the custom of the time and take her to his own bed. The Scandinavian battle-maidens—tho Valkyries— mated only with their conquerors. The love affairs of Solomon, David, and other domineering gallants occupy much space in the Old Testament, and among the women of Europe in olden times it was held that it was "Better to be
THE MISTRESS OF A KING
than the wife of a subject." In old stories and ballads the lover galloped off boldly with the lady, and—as with "Young Lochinvar'— found that Beauty welcomed abduction.
The history of the world teems with instances of erotic enthusiasms: love and sexual passion—stimulated or created—music, dancing, painting and other arts. And while every heroic exploit immortalised in song and story can be traced—directly or indirectly—to the impulse of sex, the mouthings of middle-aged misogynists about the immorality of modern times merely indicate that the sins of the fathers, in some instances, are responsible for quaint results. It is a well known fact in sex psychology that there is what is termed a "persistence of fossilised, or atrophied, stages of sexual habit."
This possibly accounts for the infinitesimal section of the fair sex, who endeavor to mould their lives according to the doctrines enunciated by the
and judicial joltheads who imagine that morality consists of a system of sex-repression. The mental outfit of the woman infected with the belief that the chief human affections and desires are matters for semi-sentimental gigglings, and suggestive secrecy, necessarily provokes peculiar aberrations. It is as natural for such a woman to prevaricate as it is for a man to resent a blow in the face. Her whole sweet and healthy sex nature is stunted and distorted, and she seeks relief in false religious superstition and fads of various kinds. To her the facts of sex are obscenity; but she likes to pray the hypocrite, and under her presence of modesty her thoughts are carnal self-centred and materialistic. She imagines that she should be
PLACED UPON A PEDESTAL
and worshipped—not for her humanity, but for her sex. It is not to be wondered at that she becomes vain, shallow, deceitful, and incapable of meeting a man as an individual standing on the same footing—as a comrade, a friend, and an equal. By the false teaching of her mediaeval-minded mentors she is taught to consider herself as a toy, an idol, or an ornament, and relies on deception a defence against both her female rivals and her lover or husband.
It is women of this type that cause so much domestic unhappiness. The natural exercise of sexual function is a necessity for the healthy development of every individual, whether man or woman, and when the sweet fragile
GIRLY-GIRLY YOUNG THING,
or the lean and prudish spinster, is called upon to take up her maternal duty she is mostly found to be organically incapable. With busts made of adjustable indiarubber, and with narrow or padded hips, her life— unlike the normal healthy minded woman's —is not dominated by sexual instinct and maternity. Should she conceive, the delicate embyro has to be nurtured into life, and afterwards fed and weaned "on the bottle." Can any race hope to maintain its predominance should it
"Reverse the rules that stupid farmers heed,
And mend the stronger by the weakling breed?"
While progress depends as much on mental as on bodily alertness and strength, of what use are the young of such women? Obsessed by
they surround themselves with artificial barriers and attempt to suppress the strongest instinct of humanity, with disastrous results. The facts of sex are closely interwoven with existence, and while none wish to pull up the mystic flower of life to see how it grows, the study of life, naked and unashamed, is the best assurance against mental and physical degeneration.
Waxworks and punch-and-judy shows belong to a bygone period, and are not to be brought up-to-date by labelling them afresh as Christianity or social purity. This is the day of surf bathing and picture shows, and a recrudescence of mediaeval habits of thought should be discouraged.
Truth 22 December 1917,