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The position assigned to women by Plato may perhaps have seemed to his contemporaries the most paradoxical of all his projects, and it has been observed that here he is in advance even of our own age. But a true conclusion may be deduced from false premises; and Platos conclusion is not even identical with that reached on other grounds by the modern advocates of womens rights, or rather of their equitable claims. The author of the Republic detested democracy; and the enfranchisement of women is now demanded as a part of257 the general democratic programme. It is an axiom, at least with liberals, that no class will have its interests properly attended to which is left without a voice in the election of parliamentary representatives; and the interests of the sexes are not more obviously identical than those of producers and consumers, or of capitalists and labourers. Another democratic principle is that individuals are, as a rule, the best judges of what occupation they are fit for; and as a consequence of this it is further demanded that women should be admitted to every employment on equal terms with men; leaving competition to decide in each instance whether they are suited for it or not. Their continued exclusion from the military profession would be an exception more apparent than real; because, like the majority of the male sex, they are physically disqualified for it. Now, the profession of arms is the very one for which Plato proposes to destine the daughters of his aristocratic caste, without the least intention of consulting their wishes on the subject. He is perfectly aware that his own principle of differentiation will be quoted against him, but he turns the difficulty in a very dexterous manner. He contends that the difference of the sexes, so far as strength and intelligence are concerned, is one not of kind but of degree; for women are not distinguished from men by the possession of any special aptitude, none of them being able to do anything that some men cannot do better. Granting the truth of this rather unflattering assumption, the inference drawn from it will still remain economically unsound. The division of labour requires that each task should be performed, not by those who are absolutely, but by those who are relatively, best fitted for it. In many cases we must be content with work falling short of the highest attainable standard, that the time and abilities of the best workmen may be exclusively devoted to functions for which they alone are competent. Even if women could be trained to fight, it does not follow that their energies might not be more advantageously258 expended in another direction. Here, again, Plato improperly reasons from low to high forms of association. He appeals to the doubtful example of nomadic tribes, whose women took part in the defence of the camps, and to the fighting power possessed by the females of predatory animals. In truth, the elimination of home life left his women without any employment peculiar to themselves; and so, not to leave them completely idle, they were drafted into the army, more with the hope of imposing on the enemy by an increase of its apparent strength than for the sake of any real service which they were expected to perform.151 When Plato proposes that women of proved ability should be admitted to the highest political offices, he is far more in sympathy with modern reformers; and his freedom from prejudice is all the more remarkable when we consider that no Greek lady (except, perhaps, Artemisia) is known to have ever displayed a talent for government, although feminine interference in politics was common enough at Sparta; and that personally his feeling towards women was unsympathetic if not contemptuous.152 Still we must not exaggerate the importance of his concession. The Platonic polity was, after all, a family rather than a true State; and that women should be allowed a share in the regulation of marriage and in the nurture of children, was only giving them back with one hand what had been taken away with the other. Already, among ourselves, women have a voice in educational matters; and were marriage brought under State control, few would doubt the propriety of making them eligible to the new Boards which would be charged with its supervision.Easily connect your ad data to down funnel metrics to optimize for conversions.
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Mme. de Genlis made a great display of disinterestedness, she refused the 20,000 francs a year offered her by the Duke as governess to his children, declaring that she would educate them for nothing; she refused also the diamonds sent by the Duke and Duchess as a wedding present to her daughter, neither of which refusals there was the slightest occasion to make, but theatrical, unnecessary things were always what she preferred to do. And at the same time she and her family were becoming very rich. Of course her books, bought by all her friends at court, in society, and everywhere, brought her a good deal, but she always had money for everything she wanted. She was promised for her eldest daughter on her marriage, her own former place at the Palais Royal, and a regiment for her son-in-law, her relations were placed and provided for, and she, of course, lived in state and luxury with the Orlans children, amongst whom her own were educated.Instantly pull marketing data and ship it to the tools in your software ecosystem.
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The King was very fond of his daughters, but had no idea of bringing them up properly. The four younger ones were sent to the convent of Fontevrault, in Anjou, to be educated, and as they never came home and were never visited by their parents, they were strangers to each other when, after twelve years, the two youngest came back. As to the others, Madame Victoire returned when she was fourteen, and Madame Thrse, who was called Madame Sixime, because she was the sixth daughter of the King, died when she was eight years old at Fontevrault.
"It must be done, surely, it must be done! That is her only chance of escape, and if she stops here she will be killed with the rest of us. Oh!... oh!...""What do you want herewhat are you here for?"
All houses were on fire, and every now and then walls fell down with a roar of thunder, shrouding the greater part of the street in a thick cloud of suffocating smoke and dust. Sometimes I had to run to escape from the filthy mass. On several walls an order was written in chalk directing the men to come to the market-place to assist in extinguishing the fire, and the women to stay indoors. As soon as the order had been obeyed the Germans drove the men from the market to the station, where they were packed in trucks like cattle.