There is a considerable amount of speculation going on at present concerning the changes which are expected as a result of "the greatest war of all times." Some enthusiasts predict a new social era, wherein the lion of capitalism will foregather amicably with the lamb of labor and all men shall be as brothers—neither robbing nor being robbed. A sort of economic elysium, where no one will have too much, and no one too little. Under such a social system each man will "do his bit" for the common weal, and in his spare time smoke the pipe of peace and plenty under his own fig trees, untroubled by tax-gatherers, debt-collectors, penny newspapers, or paranoiac politicians. Sin, or rather crime and criminals, will cease to exist—automatically wiped off the face of the earth. There will be nothing to sin or commit crimes for, these optimistic prophets point out, since want,
While all would hail such a desirable state of affairs with satisfaction, it is well to remember that there are two primal, or instinctive, wants—the food want or hunger, and sex hunger. And since man first shod his tail and started to walk on his hind legs, it is upon these two cravings that every social system has been built. Though food is the first essential, sex hunger is as equally an imperious and persistent craving, and plays such a part in determining the conditions of existence that it is difficult to distinguish which of the twin instincts is the dominant factor in shaping any system of society, it cannot be disputed that since Eve started industrial "problems" by condemning Adam to hustle for a crust—or its equivalent at the time of the eviction—the sex problem has caused man as much worry as the necessity of earning his bread by the sweat of his brow.
The highest among the social animals, modern man, while he may not have to fight with Nature's weapons, still has to struggle for his female, and, when he has got her, to hunt for their joint subsistence. In fact, he has to hunt so persistently that he is forced to delegate the duty of protecting her "from enemies of all kinds," to large and sinewy policemen whose labors are much lightened by the survival of superstitious beliefs and a firmly-fixed faith in the infallibility of the
"Among the higher animals it is a very general fact that the males fight together for the possession of the females. This leads to the stronger or better-armed males be coming the parents of the next generation. Almost all male animals fight together, and from this very general phenomenon there necessarily results a form of natural selection which increases the vigor and fighting power of the male animal; the weaker being either killed, wounded, or driven away."
Whether the theory that
While in the male sex hunger is satisfied by the gratification of the appetite, desire in the female is intensified by the stimulation of other instincts connected with the
Yet notwithstanding the fact that an infraction of the moral code—insofar as it concerns the relations of the sexes—
The British Parliament, alarmed no doubt by the swiftly growing tendency of the marriage tie to become a mere slip-knot appointed a Parliamentary committee to investigate and report on the possibilities of "Marriage Law Reform." With a perspicacity unusual in such bodies, the committee recognised the fact that the ease with which the knot was slipped rendered some sort of reform imperative. Getting married must be made as easy as getting unmarried, or the sanctity of the marriage-tie was doomed. The rigmarole of preliminary observances demanded by the law, and the itching palms of the pimps of piety, had made marriage a complicated, expensive, and tedious process, so much so that the wedding ceremony was beginning to be regarded as hardly worth the trouble and expense entailed. The committee therefore urged that—"At the present time while the manhood of the nation has been depleted,
Whether the committee's efforts to smooth the path to the matrimonial altar (or halter) will save that ancient piece of furniture from being scrapped is uncertain. An entirely new set of conditions has arisen in England since the outbreak of war. Woman has—to an extent hitherto undreamt of—displaced man in the industrial arena. She is doing practically the work of the nation. She will moreover have to keep on doing it as "the manhood of the nation has been depleted" to such an extent that it is estimated that only three girls in every ten in Britain have a chance of getting married. A healthy, well-poised woman who is industrially independent is not, now forced to
Truth (Melbourne ed.) (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), Saturday 12 October 1918, page 5