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- Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation and unusual spelling in the original document have been preserved. Bold text is marked with ='s, italicized text with _'s Obvious typographical errors have been corrected in this text. For a complete list, please see the end of this document. -
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FAMILY LIFE SERIES
EDITED BY BENJAMIN R. ANDREWS, PH.D.
TEACHERS COLLEGE. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
THE FAMILY AND ITS MEMBERS By ANNA GARLIN SPENCER
LIPPINCOTT'S HOME MANUALS
Edited by BENJAMIN R. ANDREWS, PH.D. Teachers College, Columbia University
CLOTHING FOR WOMEN
By LAURA I. BALDT, A.M., Teachers College, Columbia University. 454 Pages, 7 Colored Plates, 202 Illustrations in Text.
SUCCESSFUL CANNING AND PRESERVING
By OLA POWELL, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 425 Pages, 5 Colored Plates, 174 Illustrations in Text. Third Edition.
HOME AND COMMUNITY HYGIENE
By JEAN BROADHURST, Ph.D. 428 Pages, 1 Colored Plate, 118 Illustrations in Text.
THE BUSINESS OF THE HOUSEHOLD
By C.W. TABER, Author of Taker's Dietetic Charts, Nurses' Medical Dictionary, etc. 438 Pages. Illustrated. Second Edition, Revised.
By L. RAY BALDERSTON, A.M., Teachers College, Columbia University. 351 Pages. Colored Frontispiece and 175 Illustrations in Text.
By LYDIA RAY BALDERSTON, A.M., Instructor in Housewifery and Laundering, Teachers College, Columbia University. 152 Illustrations.
HOUSE AND HOME
By GRETA GREY, B.S., Director of Home Economics Department, University of Wyoming. Illustrated.
MILLINERY (In Preparation)
By EVELYN SMITH TOBEY, B.S., Teachers College, Columbia University
LIPPINCOTT'S FAMILY LIFE SERIES
Edited by BENJAMIN R. ANDREWS, PH.D. Teachers College, Columbia University
CLOTHING—CHOICE, CARE, COST
By MARY SCHENCK WOOLMAN, B.S. 290 Pages. Illustrated. Second Edition.
SUCCESSFUL FAMILY LIFE, ON THE MODERATE INCOME
By MARY HINMAN ABEL. 263 Pages.
THE FAMILY AND ITS MEMBERS
By ANNA GARLIN SPENCER, Special Lecturer in Social Science, Teachers College, Columbia University.
LIPPINCOTT'S FAMILY LIFE SERIES EDITED BY BENJAMIN R. ANDREWS, PH.D., TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
THE FAMILY AND ITS MEMBERS
ANNA GARLIN SPENCER
SPECIAL LECTURER IN SOCIAL SCIENCE, TEACHERS COLLEGE OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, FORMERLY ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF THE NEW YORK SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL WORK, SPECIAL LECTURER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN AND HACKLEY PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY AND ETHICS AT MEADVILLE THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL; AUTHOR OF WOMAN'S SHARE IN SOCIAL CULTURE
PHILADELPHIA AND LONDON J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
COPYRIGHT, 1923, BY J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
PRINTED AT THE WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS BY J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY PHILADELPHIA, U.S.A.
TO THE MOTHERS AND FATHERS, IN NUMBER BEYOND COUNT, WHOSE COURAGE, LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS CARRY ONWARD THE GENERATIONS AND KEEP THE MAIN CURRENTS OF LIFE STRONG AND WHOLESOME.
A Threefold Aim.—This book is based upon three theses—namely, first, that the monogamic, private, family is a priceless inheritance from the past and should be preserved; second, that in order to preserve it many of its inherited customs and mechanisms must be modified to suit new social demands; and third, that present day experimentation and idealistic effort already indicate certain tendencies of change in the family order which promise needed adjustment to ends of highest social value.
Many learned books have been written concerning the evolution of sex, the history of matrimonial institutions and the development of the family. This volume is not an attempted rival of any of these. The work of Havelock Ellis, of Le Tourneau, of Otis T. Mason, of Geddes and Thompson, and others building upon the foundations laid by the great pioneers in the study of the family, constitute a sufficient mine of historical information and scientific analysis and evaluation. The studies and suggestions of Olive Schreiner, Mrs. Clews Parsons, Mrs. Helen Bosanquet, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ellen Key and others indicate the tendency of modern inquiry into the just basis of the family order. The work of Professors Howard, Giddings, Thomas, Boss, Goodsell, Calhoun, Patten, Dealey, Cooley, Ellwood, Todd and others in college fields, shows the importance of the family and the necessity of giving all that concerns it the most serious attention.
This book aims to begin where many of these students leave off and to turn specific attention to the problems of personal and ethical decision which now face men and women who would make their own married life and parenthood successful. The past experience of the race is drawn upon only in so far as it seems to explain present conditions and point the way to future social and personal achievements.
Basic Principles Underlying All Socially Useful Changes.—A fundamental principle in democracy is the right and duty of every human being to develop a strong, noble and distinctive individuality. For such development it is necessary that a person be self-supporting, free of despotic control by others, and able and willing to bear equal part with every other human being in the social order to which he or she belongs.
This implies that no human being should be wholly sacrificed in personal development to the service or welfare of any other human being, or group of human beings, either inside or outside the family circle. On the other hand, after temporary excursions into an extreme individualism that ordained a free-for-all competition in every walk of life, society is now keenly alive to the need for control of personal desire and individual activity within channels of social usefulness. It is beginning to be clearly seen that society has a right to demand from any person or class of persons that form of community service which definitely inheres in the social function which is assumed by, or which devolves upon, such person or class of persons. In the old days of "status," when each and every person found himself in a place set for him and from which he could not depart, there was only the duty of being content and useful in the "sphere of life to which he was called." In the new condition of "contract," in which each and every person in a democratic community finds himself at liberty to use all common opportunities in the interest of his own achievement, there is the duty of choice along every avenue of purpose and of activity. This gives the new double call to the intelligence and conscience; the call to become the best personality one can make of oneself and the call to serve the common life to ends of social well-being.
The Sense of Kind and the Sense of Difference.—Doctor Giddings declares in fine summary "we may conceive of society as any plural number of sentient creatures more or less continuously subjected to common stimuli, to differing stimuli and to inter-stimulation, and responding thereto in like behaviour, concerted activity or cooeperation, as well as in unlike or competitive activity; and becoming, therefore, with developing intelligence, coherent through a dominating consciousness of kind while always sufficiently conscious of difference to insure a measure of individual liberty." Democracy tends to enlarge the area of those who, while conscious of kind that unites, are also keen in desire to develop in liberty any natural difference which can make their personality felt as distinctive or powerful. The individual differences among women were wholly ignored in the past. They were never in reality all alike, as they were commonly thought to be. The usual designation of a subject class lumps all together as if all were the same. It is the mark of emergence from the mass to the class, and from the class to the individual, that more and more defines differences between persons. Women have now, for the first time in the civilization called Christian, arrived at a point in which differences between members of their sex can claim social recognition. They are, therefore, now called upon as never before to balance by conscious effort the personal desire and the social claim. The family, more than any other inherited institution, feels the oscillations between the individual demand for personal achievement and the response to the social need for large service within group relationships which now, for the first time, stir in the consciousness of average women.
The Family as We Know It Is the Central Nursery of Character.—The inevitable outcome of the new freedom, education and economic opportunity of women gives us the problem of the modern family. The ideal of the democracy we are trying to achieve is higher personality in all the mass of the people. The method of democracy so far as we can see is education, perfected and universalized, by which all the children of each generation may be developed physically, mentally, morally, and vocationally to their utmost excellence and power. The family, as we have inherited it, is so far the central nursery and school in this development. So far in the history of the race or in its present social manifestation no rival institution, even the formal school, offers an adequate substitute for the family in this beginning of the educative process. The intimate and vital care and nurture of the individual life still depends for the mass of the people upon the private, monogamic, family. This intimate and vital care of the children of each generation has so far in human experience cost women large expenditure of time and strength; so large expenditure that personal achievement has been wholly and is even now largely subordinated to the social service implied in home-making. The deepest problems of the modern family inhere in the effort to adjust the new freedom of women, and its new demands for individual development in customary lines of vocational work, to the ancient family claim. New adjustments are called for not only in the family itself but in all the educational, political, economic, and social arrangements of life to accommodate this new demand of women to be achieving persons whether married or single. Women have entered, as newly emerging from status to contract, into a man-made social organization, a man-made school, a man-made industrial order, and a man-made state. Achievement, individual and successful, means to most of them, as to any newly enfranchised class, the type of distinctive activity and accomplishment which their elder brothers have outlined. The antithesis, therefore, which now works toward acute problems in the minds of both men and women is between the sort of achievement which men have sought after and attained, and the sort of social service which the past conditions required of women. Slowly it is being perceived that in the actual family service, as it is now aided by social mechanisms surrounding the household, is place and economic opportunity for high personal achievement by competent women. Still more slowly is it being apprehended that in the new adjustments of economic and professional life there is or may be opportunity for married women and mothers to serve the family in high measure and also attain outside some distinctive vocational pride and satisfaction of craftsmanship. Most slowly of all is it being understood that the future calls for such modification of specialization in outside work that men and women alike may serve the generations in family devotion to the sort of work fathers and mothers have to do and yet cherish some personal and ideal vocational effort which may sweeten and enrich their lives.
Vital Changes in All the Basic Institutions of Society.—There are five basic institutions in modern social organization. They may be named the family, the school, the church, the industrial order, and the state. They have all come to us as parts of our social inheritance from time too remote to reckon. They have mingled and intermingled their tendencies of control and influence in varieties of social functioning too numerous to mention. They are now emerging to distinctness only to be engaged in new forms of interaction that make the highest ideals of each and all seem fundamentally akin.
The main tendency of development in all these institutions is, however, identical and one clearly perceived. It is the tendency from status to contract, from fixed order to flexible adjustment, from static to dynamic condition, already noted in regard to the family.
In the school we have moved and are now moving from an aristocracy of command, by which ancient life was reproduced, to a democracy of comradeship in which it is aimed to make each generation improve upon its predecessor. In the church, as it has moved from the family ritual at the domestic fireside to the self-chosen altar of each worshipper in the world's cathedrals, the reactionaries have held on to "the faith once delivered to the saints" and the progressive minds have moved to some new prophecy of the truth and right; until to-day, as Professor Coe well says, "the aim of the modern church is to give education in the art of brotherhood," and to evoke "faith in a fatherly God and in a human destiny that outreaches all the accidents of our frailty." In the industrial order, still in the trial stage of conflict between the fixed status of the "hand" and the "master" and the contract of equal partners in a cooeperative enterprise, the movement is steadily toward the social requirement of equality, justice, and good-will. In the state we have achieved mechanical expression of complete democracy. We still lack, and in our own country woefully lack, the "spirit within the wheels" that can move with power toward an actual government by the people, for the people, and truly of the people. Yet by fire and sword and through blood and suffering the handwriting of equality, justice, and fraternity has been set in our Constitutions and Bills of Right. What remains to be done is the socializing of the political mechanisms. That means simply that we shall learn to live our democracy and be no longer content to merely write it in law. The difficulty now is not so much to get a good statement of democratic right as to make it work effectively in common action. This fact makes it of doubtful wisdom that men and women so often concentrate effort on the eighteenth-century doctrinaire position of appeal for Constitutional Amendments and blanket state legislation as if of themselves these could secure actual personal liberty and social welfare. The objection that some forward-looking persons have to the demand of the "National Woman's Party," so called, for a Federal Amendment that shall "abolish all sex discriminations in law" is not that its principle is too radical, but that its method is too antiquated.
The business of the present and the immediate future is to so adjust the family life to "two heads" as to keep love and to balance duties. The next job is to adjust the family order itself to a contract system of industry that gives each member of the family a free and often a separating access to daily work and to its return in wages or salary, in such manner as to retain family unity and mutual aid while giving freedom and opportunity for each of its members. The pressing political duty is to use the new voters, the women recently enfranchised, for needed emancipation from partisan and selfish political despotism in the interest of effective choices for the public good. The ever-growing demand of the school is for some translation of freedom of self-development in terms of respect for social order and in the spirit of social service. The family life, in the United States, at least, stands not so much in need of manifestoes of equality of rights between men and women as of delicate and discriminating adjustments of that equality to the social demands upon husbands and wives and upon fathers and mothers. This book aims to suggest some of the changes in external customs and inherited ways of living which may lead toward a firmer hold upon social idealism within the family, as well as within all other inherited institutions, while new bases of democratic freedom are being firmly installed.
Coveted Uses of the Book.—This volume is intended to meet the needs of college and teacher-training school students; of university extension classes; of study groups in Women's Clubs, Consumers' Leagues, Leagues of Women Voters and Church Classes. It is also hoped that it may form the basis for private study by groups within the home.
The book is written with a poignant sense of the breaking up of old social foundations in the agony and terror of the Great War. It is sent forth with a keen understanding of the spirit of youth that to-day challenges every inherited institution and ideal, even to the bone and marrow of the church, the state, the industrial order, the educative process, and even the family itself. It issues from an abiding faith that "above all things Truth beareth away the victory" and hence that no fearless inquiry can harm the essential values of life. It confesses a clear trust in "the Spirit that led us hither and is leading us onward." It would sound a call to hold all that has dowered the race at the sources of life sacred and of worth. It would echo all that bids us move onward to higher and better things.
The greatest ambition herein recorded is to serve as one who opens doors of insight into the House of the Interpreter.
A Threefold Aim. Basic Principles Underlying All Socially Useful Changes. The Sense of Kind and the Sense of Difference. Vital Changes in All the Basic Institutions of Society. Coveted Uses of This Book.
I. THE FAMILY 19
The Experience of the Past. New Ideals Affecting the Family. The Headship of the Father. Is It Possible to Democratize the Family? What Is the Modern Ideal in Child-care? Modern Ideals of Sex-relationship. Ellen Key and Her Gospel. What is Meant by the Demand that Illegitimacy be Abolished? The Legitimation of Children Born Out of Wedlock. Philanthropic Tendencies Respect Legal Marriage. Illicit Unions of Men and Women in Divergent Social Position. Shall We Return to Polygamy? All Children Entitled to Best Development Possible. The Work of the Children's Bureau. The Suggested Uniform Laws. Have Unmarried Women a Social Right to Motherhood? Ellen Key's Estimate of Motherhood. Monogamic Marriage Does Not Work Inerrantly. New Demand that Motherhood Have Social Support. The Increasing Tendency of Women Toward Celibate Life. Women Cannot be Forced Back to Compulsory Marriage. A Few Believe in a Third Sex. Most Social Students Believe in Marriage. Dangers of Extreme Specialization. Industrial Exploitation of Children and Youth. Social Measures Needed to Prevent These Evils. The Attack upon the Family by Reactionaries. The Prevalence of Divorce. Old Institutions Need New Sanctions. The Monogamic Family Justifies Itself by Social Usefulness. The Inherited Family Order Demands New Social Adjustments. The Family as an Aid to Spiritual Democracy. The Family the Nursery of Personality. Life, Not Theory About Life, Teaches Us. The Moral Elite in the Modern Family. Questions.
II. THE MOTHER 46
Antiquity of the Mother-instinct. Recognized Essentials in Child-care. The Protective Function. Social Elements in Modern Protection of Children. Women's Leadership in Social Protection. The Provision of Food, Clothing and Shelter. The Woman in Rural Life. Modern Demand for Standardization. The Apartment House and the Family. New Uses of Electric Power. Certain Duties the Mother Cannot Delegate. The Mother's Compensation for Personal Service. Early Drill in Personal Habits. Early Practice in Talking, Walking, Obedience, and Imitation. Special Responsibility of the Average Mother. Women's Relation to More Formal Education. Women's Relation to Educational Agencies. The Social Value of Parental Affection. What Women Need Most. Questions.
III. THE FATHER 69
Historic Background of Fatherhood. Purchase and Capture of Wives. The Patriarchal Family. The Three Chief Sources of Influence. Ancient Military Training of Youth. Ancestor-worship. The Double Standard of Morals. Basic Needs for Equality of Human Rights. Special Protection of Women Needed in Ancient Times. The Social Value of the Patriarchal Family. The Responsibilities of the Ancient Father Commensurate with His Power. Moral Qualities in Women Developed by Masculine Selection. The Highest Ideal of Fatherhood. Incomplete Adjustment to Equality of Rights in the Family. The Marriage Question To-day the "Husband-problem." Women Cannot Have All the New Freedom and Also All the Old Privileges. New Social Advantages for Fathers. Questions.
IV. THE GRANDPARENTS 90
Relative Increase of the Aged in Modern Life. Savage Treatment of the Aged. The Relation of Ancestor-worship to Respect for Aged Men. The Position of Chief-mother in the Ancient Family. Memory of the Aged Valued in Primitive Life. Old Women and the Witchcraft Delusion. Older Women in Religious Vocations Honored in Middle Ages. To-day Comparatively Few Really Old at Seventy. Is Any House Large Enough for Two Families? Reasons Why Husbands Desert Their Families. The Financial Provision for Old Age. Needed Ways of Preparing for Old Age. Pension Laws. Old age Home Insurance. To Prevent Premature Old Age. Check Extreme Requirements for Youth in Labor. Need of Experience in Many Fields of Work. Prepare Vocationally for Old-age Needs. The Attitude of Mind Toward Old Age. The Special Gifts of the Old to the Home and the World. Questions.
V. BROTHERS, SISTERS AND NEXT OF KIN 116
The Ancient Kinship Bond. Present Demands of Kinship. Special Burden of Women in Family Obligation. Disadvantages of the Only Child. Permanent Value of the Family Bond. Questions.
VI. FRIENDS AND THE CHOSEN ONE 124
The Power of Friendship. The Newly-wed and Old Friends. Some Advantages in Choices of Marriage by the Elders. New Demands for Social Control of Marriage Choices. The Young Should be Helped to Make Wise Choices. The Revolt of Youth. The Wisdom of the Ages Must be the Guide of Youth. Personal Choice in Marriage Has Now Widest Range. The Value of the Church in Social Life. Easy Divorce Does Not Lessen Marriage Responsibility. New and Finer Marriage Unions. Questions.
VII. HUSBANDS AND WIVES 141
Not Fancied but Genuine Happiness in Marriage Now Demanded. Social Restraints on Marriage Choices. Shall the Wife Take the Husband's Name? Shall the Wife Take the Husband's Nationality? Who Shall Choose the Domicile? Shall the Married Woman Earn Outside the Home? Economic Considerations Involved. Is It Bad Form to Earn After Marriage? Shall Parenthood be Chosen? Some People Have a Right to Marry and Remain Childless. What is the Just Financial Basis of the Household? What Shall be the Accepted Standard of Living? The Need for Full and Mutual Understanding Before Marriage. The Supreme Satisfactions of Successful Marriage. Questions.
VIII. THE CHILDREN OF THE FAMILY 164
Conditions to be Secured for Every Child. The Need for Two Parents. Equal Guardianship of Both Parents. Every Child Should Have a Competent Mother. Every Child Should Have a Competent Father. Economic Aspects of the Father's Competency. The French Plan of Extra-wage. The Endowment of Mothers. Does this Plan Make Too Little of Fathers? Just Limits to Number of Children in Subsidized Families. The Right of a Child to be Officially Counted. Every Child Should Have Social Protection. Child-labor. Children Must be Protected in Recreation. Standards of and Aids to Health. Health Boards Should Help All Alike. Items of Work in Child Hygiene. The Educational Rights of Children. The Use of Married Women as Teachers. Individual Sharing in the Social Inheritance. Questions.
IX. THE FLOWER OF THE FAMILY 189
The Proportions of Genius to the Mediocre. Eugenics. Euthenics and Eudemics. Only Men in Lists of Geniuses. Social Need to Learn What Children Are. "Charting Parents." New "Observation Records" for Children. What to Do with the Specially Gifted Child. Genius Universal in Nature. Genius Its Own School-master. Varieties of the Gifted. Questions.
X. THE CHILDREN THAT NEVER GROW UP 205
The Defective Children. Custodial Care of the Defective. Heredity. Difficulties in Care of Morons. The Colony Plan. Mental Hygiene. Special Rooms in Public Schools. Training the Nervous System. Responsibility of Women in Marriage. The Call for Preventive Work. Questions.
XI. PRODIGAL SONS AND DAUGHTERS 219
Who Should Hear Sermons on the Prodigal Son? Distinction Between the Mentally Competent and the Defective in Criminal Classes. Moral Invalids. Rehabilitation of the Competent. The Right Use of Leisure Time. The Moving Picture. The Automobile and Its Influence. Parents Need Social Help in Moral Training of Children. Parental Love for the Black Sheep. Children's Courts. Domestic Relations Courts. Dangerous Rebound from Ancient Family Discipline. Do Modern Youth Need New Community Disciplines? Questions.
XII. THE BROKEN FAMILY 233
The Problems of Divorce. Frequency of Divorce in the United States. Cannot Now Make Family an Autocracy. New Standards of Marriage Success. Dangers of Extreme Individualism in Marriage. Free Love Not Admissible. Must Work Toward Desired Permanency in Marriage. Needed Changes in Legal and Social Approach to Divorce. Prohibition of Paid Attorneys in Divorce. Divorce Proceedings Should be Heard in Secret. Earlier and Better Use of the Domestic Relations Court. The Children to be Affected Society's Chief Care. A Uniform or Federal Divorce Law. Education Our Chief Reliance. Helps Toward Family Stability. Shall Society Favor the Remarriage of Divorced Persons? Turning from Compulsory to Attractive Methods of Reform. Questions.
XIII. THE FAMILY AND THE WORKERS 246
Changes from Ancient to Modern Forms of Labor. The Old Household a Work-place. Welfare Managers in Modern Times. Child-labor. Increase in Women Wage-earners. Social Pressure on the Individual Worker. Demands of Family Life Should be Considered in Industry and in Labor Legislation. The Code for Women in Industry. Should Adult Women and Children be Listed Together in Labor Laws? Women in War Work. Minimum Wage for Fathers of Families the Vital Need. The Attitude of Women Toward Labor Problems. Necessary Protection of Children and Youth in Labor. Women and the Cost of Living. The Family Demand upon Unmarried Women. Farming and the Farmer's Wife. Domestic Help and Family Life. The Application of Democratic Principles to Life. Women Must be More Democratic. The Social Effect of Trade Unions. Women in Trade Unions. The New Solidarity of Women. Questions.
XIV. THE FAMILY AND THE SCHOOL 269
New Forms of Education Demanded by Modern Industry. Education a Social Process. The Three Learned Professions. New Calls for Trained Leadership. The Special Education of Girls. Formal School Training of Women New. Modern Training for Social Service. Departments of Household Economics in Colleges. Society Now Based upon Man's Economic Leadership. Women Socially Drafted for Motherhood. Father-office and Mother-office Still Differ. Should the Education of Girls Include Special Attention to Family Claims? Adjustment of Family Service and Vocational Work. Dangers of Specialization in Professional Work. The New Training in Sex-education. Heroes Held Up for Admiration. Moral Training at the Heart of Education. Drill to Avert Economic Tragedies. A Graduated Scale of Virtues. Dr. Lester Ward's Types of Education. Questions.
XV. THE FATHER AND THE MOTHER STATE 290
The Socialization of the Modern State. The Interest and Work of Women in This Process of Political Change. Health a Social Enterprise. General and Vocational Training for All. Women's Work in Philanthropy. Culture Aids to the Common Life. Many Languages in One Country. The Children's Bureau. A Women's Lobby at the National Capitol. Women's Interest in Public Life a Social Asset. Social Service in Peace. Problems Voters Must Solve. Confusion Between National and Local Effort. Preferential Voting. Proportional Representation. What Shall Public and What Shall Private Social Service Attempt? Difficulty in Being a Good American Citizen. Our Country a Member of the Family of Nations. Vows of Civic Consecration. Questions.
THE FAMILY AND ITS MEMBERS
"The family is the heart's fatherland; the fatherland is the cradle of humanity."—MAZZINI.
"The family has two functions; as a smaller group it affords opportunity for eliciting qualities of affection and character which cannot be displayed in a larger group; and in the second place it is a training for future members of the larger group in the qualities of disposition and character which are essential to citizenship. Marriage converts an attachment between man and woman into a deliberate, permanent, responsible, intimate union for a common end of mutual good. Modern society requires that the husband and wife contemplate lifelong companionship, and the affection between husband and wife is enriched by the relation of parents to the children which are their care. The end of the family is not economic profit but mutual aid and the continuance and progress of the race."—PROFESSOR TUFTS, in Ethics, by Dewey and Tufts.
Social Work and Family Conservation.—"By whatever name they may be called, the most essential elements of social work are those which seek to conserve the family life; to strengthen or supplement the home; to give children in foster homes or elsewhere the care of which tragic misfortune has deprived them in their natural homes; to provide income necessary in the proper care of their children; to restore broken homes; to discover and, if possible, remove destructive influences which interfere with normal home life and the reasonable discharge of conjugal and parental obligations. The institutions which exist for the benefit of those individuals who have no home or who need care of a kind that cannot well be supplied in the home, only emphasize the importance of conserving family life when its essential elements are present."—EDWARD T. DEVINE.
"Human nature has achieved the consciousness that existence has an aim. Human life, therefore, is a mission; the mission of reaching that aim, by incessant activity upon the path toward it and perpetual warfare against the obstacles opposed to it."—MAZZINI.
"For something that abode endued With temple-like repose; an air Of life's kind purposes pursued With ordered freedom, sweet and fair; A tent, pitched in a world not right, It seemed, whose inmates, every one, On tranquil faces bore the light Of duties beautifully done." —COVENTRY PATMORE.
The Experience of the Past.—By many experiments, over many differing "folk-ways," the modern family has arrived. We name it now "monogamic," and mean by the name the union of one man and one woman, in aim at least for life, and their children. Whereas once it was the rule of a tribe or clan which determined every detail of sex-relationship, a rule represented either by the mother or the father, it is now an individualistic choice of two adult persons only, socially legalized by a required certificate and ceremony. Whereas once it was the basis of all social order and mutual aid, it is now one of several institutions inherited from the past, and is itself subject to the state, which is the chief heir to our social inheritance. The family, however, is now, as it has always been, the interior, vital, and so far indispensable social relationship, beginning, as it does, at first hand the training of each individual toward membership in society-at-large. In the past, under the mother-rule, the social elements of the family were emphasized, since her power was one delegated by the group of which she and her children were a part and closely related to peaceful ways and to primitive industrial arts. Under the father-rule, the political and legal elements of the family were emphasized, since his was an autocratic and personal control of wife and children, even of adult sons, and in many cases of his own mother, and marked the beginning and worked toward the power of the modern state. In all cases, however, it was as a representative of the group-ideal and the group-control that the parents held sway over the family; and if the family is to persist in the future as an institution it will hold its authority over individual lives as trustee of society-at-large. Name, line of inheritance, rights and duties of one member toward other members and to the family group as a whole, must all be determined in the last analysis by the "mores" of the people and the time concerned.
New Ideals Affecting the Family.—To-day the ideal of equality of rights for men and women, and the ideal of ministration to childhood's needs, are stronger than the ideal of family control. The social demand is, therefore, for standardization of family life and of child-care on a high plane of physical, mental, and moral development of each individual life rather than for an autocratic representation of the power of what Professor James called "the collectivity that owns us." Hence certain problems which have never before been clear in social consciousness are now arising to enter all debates on family stability and family success.
The Headship of the Father.—During the middle ages of our civilization and for centuries of our later past the headship of the family rested securely in the father. Now the ideal of "Two heads in council; Two beside the hearth; Two in the tangled business of the world" is working toward democratization of the family. This leads toward a legal status and an economic adjustment in which the relation of husband and wife may be equalized toward each other and toward their children. In this new process, which is a part of the general movement we call democracy, there are special difficulties of modification peculiar to the family relation. The monogamic ideal and practice demands permanency, solidarity of interest and unity of control both within and without the family circle, at least until all the children of a marriage have reached maturity. The ideal of the rightful individuation of women, and even of minor children, works against that legal solidarity and obvious unity. The old way of obtaining these elements of family stability, a method still in vogue in many places and still defended by some persons, was to place all power of control in the hands of the husband and father, and thus make the wife a perpetual minor and leave the children wholly under patriarchal bondage. The modern ideal of women as entitled to self-ownership and self-control even when married, and the social need, just beginning to be understood, for women as for men to fully develop their powers and capacities militates against the legal headship of the father. To-day there is a demand, growing in insistency, that we accept the right of each member of the family circle to individual development and work toward its realization. There is also the demand that we retain inviolate the social means for successful family life. Some do not hesitate to say that to fulfil both these demands is not within human power.
Is It Possible to Democratize the Family?—The witty writer who declares that "the democratization of the family is impossible, since the family is by nature an autocracy and ruled by the worst disposition in it," is not without endorsers. There are also those, more serious in intent, who claim that the family as an inherited institution is by virtue of its inmost quality inimical to the personal freedom of its members, and hence that the state, which is now standardizing child-care, must undertake the practical duties involved and leave both parents free to change marital relationship at will before or after the birth of children and maintain their separate bachelor or spinster freedom.
Mating and Parenthood.—This latter view is stated definitely by one writer who believes that a new morality will "separate entirely, mating from parenthood" in the interest of a more effective social arrangement—"mating," or the free union of a man and a woman in sex-relationship, to be in that case "solely a private matter with which no one but the parties involved have any concern." "Parenthood," on the other hand, having relation, as it must, to society, requires, so this writer declares, from either the father or the mother, as inclination and capacity indicate, or from both parents if such should be the wish of both, a "contract with the state" binding to an upbringing of the child in accordance with accepted standards of physical, mental, moral, and vocational demands. Such a contract with the state in respect to child-care and the training of youth might give far better results, be it confessed, than follow the utterly ignorant and careless breeding of the young of the human race by those on lowest levels of thought and action. Few, however, think such a contract would meet all essentials of child-development.
What Is the Modern Ideal in Child-care?—What is the ideal of those most advanced in knowledge of childhood's needs and most sincere in devotion to the welfare and happiness of the young? It is certainly not one which ignores or minimizes the influence of the private home or one which includes the belief that one parent, however wise or good, can do as much for a child as two parents working in harmony over a long period of years can accomplish.
Nor can the influence of such a proposed separation of mating and parenthood upon the sex-relationship itself be ignored in any proposed new ways of living together. Some of the critics of the family, as we know it, may put "duty" in quotation marks when dealing with sex-relationship in the effort to put "love" on the throne, but experience shows that in all the intimate relationships of life some stay from without the individual desire is needed to restrain from impulsive change and lessen frictional expression of temperamental weakness. On reason and a sense of obligation are based all successful human arrangements, and these need social support.
Modern Ideals in Sex-relationship.—To so separate mating and parenthood as to make it the business of no one but the two chiefly concerned when or how often such mating became a personal experience, and to make it a matter of social indifference whether one or two parents contracted with society for the right upbringing of the child or children involved (with no troublesome questions asked about either parent not in evidence in the contract), would certainly blur the social outline of the family, as we know it, to the point of legal nullification. There might, indeed, grow up in such an imagined condition a form of contract between two persons mating, as well as one between parents and state, in respect to parenthood's social responsibilities, and where such personal contract was broken redress from the courts might be sought and obtained. The effect, however, of such a plan as that proposed would inevitably be to leave the nobler, the more loving and less selfish of the men and women involved, more surely even than is now the case, the victims of the weaker, the more grasping, and the more selfish of the twain.
Ellen Key and Her Gospel.—Indeed, the high priestess of the gospel of freedom from legal bondage in sex-relation, Ellen Key, declares that "a higher culture in love can be attained only by correlating self-control with love and parental responsibility," a correlation she believes would "follow as a consequence when love and parental responsibility were made the sole conditions of sex-relations." She also says that "in all cases where there is an affinity of souls and the sympathy of friendship, love is what it always was and always will be, the cooeperation of the father with the mother in the education of the children as well as the cooeperation of the mother with the father in all great social works." She thus links her ideal of true freedom for the choices of love with social obligations and hence again with what is best in inherited family life.
In addition, however, to the claim that love should be freed from legal restraints in the interest of self-expression and self-development (whether or not from Ellen Key's high standpoint of parental responsibility) we have another attack upon the legal autonomy of the family, as we know it, in the demand of some radical feminists that "illegitimacy should be abolished."
What is Meant by This Demand?—A crusade against all sex-association that may result in children born out of wedlock is understandable but is surely not the counsel of perfection in sex-control intended by those making this demand. What is meant seems rather that we should take ground against any legal distinction between the status of children born within and those born outside of legal marriage. What would that be likely to mean in respect to the monogamic family? The hard conditions attaching to both unmarried motherhood and unfathered childhood, often in the past wholly cruel and unsocial, have been much ameliorated during the last fifty years and largely through the efforts of those who held firmly to the value of legal marriage and the accepted family system in general. Laws have been passed and firmly executed to find the shirking father and bring him to marriage with the woman involved; or if such marriage is not possible or feasible to compel him to make financial contribution toward the support and education of the child.
The Legitimation of Children Born Out of Wedlock.—If marriage occurs, then the child otherwise illegitimate may come within the legal family through appropriate laws which the most conservative now advocate. In such cases the belated acceptance within the family bond does not count seriously against the child. If marriage does not occur, and there are many cases of irregular sex-relationship where that is not the right solution of the problems involved in illegitimacy, then the unmarried mother is helped to establish herself with her child where cruel stigma and useless curiosity may be best avoided. To aid in her protection she is encouraged by many agencies and persons to take the title of "Mrs.," since that is a conventional term at best and may be given according to age (as in the older custom) or come to attach itself to motherhood as justly as to wifehood. More and more society is reaching out through law and wise philanthropy to fasten mutual responsibility for child-care and nurture upon both parents even where they are not legally married. This movement must go on until the handicap of the child born out of wedlock is reduced to its lowest possible terms.
Philanthropic Tendencies Respect Legal Marriage.—These tendencies, however, are not in the direction, intentionally at least, of making legal condition and status in respect to name, inheritance of family property from a father whose parental relationship is not legally established, and public recognition of parenthood, identical in the case of children born within and without the legal family circle. Is such an identical status and condition desirable? If so, in what way could this goal be accomplished?
If men and women become fathers and mothers without benefit of clergy or state license and later marry, then the children born before and those born after the wedding ceremony may, usually do, and always should, become one flock. In many countries where legal marriage is difficult because of expense involved or distance from officials, such cases often occur and with no apparent social harm where there is real affection and true loyalty between the men and women involved. Many illegitimate conceptions are similarly taken care of by the enforced or assisted marriage of the parties concerned just before the birth of the child. In many cases, however, in our own country doubtless the great majority, the father concerned has an illicit connection with some girl quite outside his own social circle and later, as in the famous "Kallikak" case, marries a woman of his own class and has a family of recognized children. What would be advised in such a case by those advocating the legal abolition of illegitimacy? Should a searching investigation of the whole previous life of every prospective bridegroom be made, and wherever a previous relationship can be found which involves parenthood a legal prohibition work automatically to prevent a second relationship? This seems to be the plan proposed by Mrs. Edith Houghton Hooker in her recent book, The Laws of Sex, as in her program of "measures designed to minimize extra-marital sex relationships and to check the commercialization of vice," she lays down the principle "the common parentage of an illegitimate child to constitute marriage or if either of the parents was previously married, bigamy." This would, of course, carry out her next item of the social program, namely, "place the illegitimate child on the same plane as the legitimate," but that plane would be a very low one in the cases that would legally become those of bigamy. In the case of very unequal partners in an illicit sex-relationship, a legal union that was based on the fact of equal responsibility for a child born out of wedlock, and made a legal necessity only because of that mutual relationship, could surely be good neither for the men and women involved nor for any child or children thus legitimatized by force of arms, as it were.
Illicit Unions of Men and Women in Divergent Social Position.—On the other hand, in cases where the illegitimate parenthood is the fruit of a union between a man of a high and a woman or girl of a very low grade of intelligence and of social position a legal prohibition which would work automatically to prevent any later and legal marriage with a woman of higher grade (because of the existence of a child by the extra-marital relation) would not be wholly satisfactory. Although such a regulation would prevent any legitimate children being born of that father, it would not necessarily legitimatize the child or children of the first relation. The social value of either of these plans is extremely doubtful.
Shall We Return to Polygamy?—Again, in such cases as have been indicated, should the first mother be ignored and the child or children of the irregular union be adopted into the legal home of the father and added to the registered children of the second mother? Some such plan has been adopted in some countries and at certain periods of family development. Such a course undertaken now, however, in modern conditions would, in addition to the possible suffering of the adopted children, be most unjust to the unmarried mother. Or, again, would it be advised that the first mother with her child or children be accepted as a legal part of the home in which the second mother is legally installed? That would be a frank return to polygamy in cases where there have been irregular pre-marital relations outside of the monogamic bond. Or do all those who advocate the abolition of illegitimacy take the ground, which some of them definitely do, that the monogamic family is obsolete and that the state in its corporate capacity should take full charge of all children? Or, when the demand is sifted to its ultimate elements, is it merely that the unjust conditions attending the lives of children born out of wedlock must be ameliorated by a larger charity of feeling, a better understanding of human weakness and the effect of bad social conditions, and the constant effort to give all children as nearly equal chance at the best things of life as can be made possible by social feeling and wise social care?
All Children Entitled to Best Development Possible.—If the latter is all that is meant, the phrase the "abolition of illegitimacy" is unfortunate and the real agreement among philanthropists, educators and all right-thinking people on the just claim of all children (however they may chance to arrive on this troubled planet) to the best development possible, should be emphasized in the slogan. It is well to remember that only a minority of children in any country, and in many countries a very small minority, are involved directly in this problem of the right treatment of children born outside the legal family. It would seem the part of social wisdom, therefore, in this, as in all other matters of social control, to ask ourselves the question, What rule on the whole gives the best condition for the largest number of persons?—and on the answer to that question base our law and custom, then add considerate treatment for the minority who must in the nature of things have some handicap if the rule is obeyed by the majority.
The Work of the Children's Bureau.—To lessen this handicap, the Federal Children's Bureau in Washington, D.C., began in 1915 an inquiry into illegitimacy as a child welfare problem, causing studies to be made of laws in different States of the Union. The results of this study were published in 1919 in Bureau Publication No. 42. In 1920 conferences were held under the auspices of the Bureau to consider standards of protection which might be embodied in laws. A Committee appointed to draft suggestions arrived at and to recommend the same made a Report, which is published in Bureau Publication No. 77.
The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws on request formed a Committee on Status and Protection of Illegitimate Children which reported at length to the Thirty-first Annual Meeting of that body in August, 1921. This report formed the basis of discussion by legal experts, and in the meeting at San Francisco of recent date a revised program for "Uniform State Legislation for Children Born Out of Wedlock" was accepted and recommended. The title used is itself an advance upon old ideas.
The Suggested Uniform Law.—It is less harsh to speak of "those born out of wedlock" than of the "illegitimate." Moreover, the recommendations include a suggestion that in future in all reference in legal papers or official notices to a child born out of wedlock it "shall be sufficient for all purposes to refer to the mother as the parent having the sole custody of the child or to the child as being in the sole custody of the mother, no explicit reference being made to illegitimacy except in birth certificates or records of judicial proceedings in which the question of birth out of wedlock is at issue." The general law in the States of our Union legitimatizes a child born out of wedlock by the subsequent inter-marriage of the parents. This makes it easy for men and women to repair an injury if they can marry after the birth of their child. In any case the recommendations for uniform State laws make it clear that the tendency is strong to bring legal pressure to bear upon the father of a child by an unwedded mother to pay the expenses of her confinement, to support the child under the laws requiring "support of poor relatives" or under statutes specifically obligating recognition of parental responsibility outside the marriage bond; and this obligation, it is held, should continue in recognition and enforcement until the child is sixteen years of age.
Although there is strong demand on the part of many to give the child born out of wedlock the "right to inherit from the father's estate even though not legitimated," the Committee of the Commissioners on Uniform State Laws do not so recommend. Their statement concerning Liability of the Father's Estate is as follows: "The obligation of the father where his paternity has been judicially established in his lifetime or has been acknowledged by him in writing or by the part performance of his obligations is enforceable against his estate in such an amount as the court may determine, having regard to the age of the child, the ability of the mother to support it, the amount of property left by the father, the number, age, and financial condition of the lawful issue, if any, and the rights of the widow, if any."
To this writer this covers the just obligation if rightly administered and by leaving still a distinction in law between the rights of children born within and those born outside the marriage bond helps to preserve the interests of the majority of children.
In any case the preservation of such distinctions as are left in the milder and more humane laws advocated should help in making men and women anxious to give all the children for which they may be responsible a legal right to both parents by due process of marriage.
Have Unmarried Women a Social Right to Motherhood?—It is not alone philanthropic interest in the welfare of a class of children now handicapped by birth outside of legal family bonds, that has issued the call to "abolish illegitimacy." The slogan is also an expression of a new demand that women fit to bear and rear children and deeply desiring that personal experience and the social obligation which it implies, should be given a social right to become mothers whether or not the fitting permanent mate be found for a life-union under the law. This demand is reaching a critical poignancy in those countries in which the Great War has added to a long-increasing "surplus of women" an astounding total of millions of women fit to marry whose rightful mates are buried on the fields of conflict. Shall these women, it is asked, be denied motherhood as well as wifehood? Shall the state lose the children these women, child-loving and noble and wise, might bear to help make good the horrible losses that war has entailed?
Moreover, women everywhere are discerning the shallow inconsistency between the ideal so long preached of motherhood as woman's chief if not her only contribution to normal life and genuine social usefulness and the abnormal economic conditions and double ethical standards which doom so many women to single life. Still deeper in the hearts of women, now for the first time free to give voice to inner questionings of the inherited organization of society which has bound them to conventions written solely by men in statute and custom, rises the query, Is the present fashion of courtship and wedding favorable for installing fit women as mothers or keeping to single life those least capable of that social function?
Ellen Key's Estimate of Motherhood.—Ellen Key expresses this feeling that fitness for a task so tremendous as parenthood is more important than any mechanism by which parenthood is secured when she says, "It is solely from one moral point of view that motherhood without marriage, as well as the right of free divorce, must be judged. Irresponsible motherhood is always sin with or without marriage; responsible motherhood is always sacred with or without marriage." And again she says, "The one necessary thing is to make ever greater demands upon the men and women who take to themselves the right to give humanity new beings." Ellen Key has also much to say about the superior value of what women can do in and through their race-service as mothers to anything they can do outside of that office, except perhaps as teachers helping mothers. Her feeling on this matter is echoed by not a few women who ask for the social right to motherhood even when denied or not desiring ordinary family life. She declares that "It is an indisputable fact that if the majority of women no longer had the calm and repose to abide at the source of life but wanted to navigate all the seas with men, the sex contrasts would resolve themselves not into harmony but into monotony. Until women come to realize this it must still be insisted that the gain to society is nothing if millions of women do the work that men could do better and evade or fulfil poorly the greater tasks of life and happiness, the creation of men and the creation of souls." To fulfil these tasks properly she insists that women require the same human rights as men but they should use their new power of choice "in the field of life, in those provinces in which imponderable values are created, values that cannot be reduced to figures and yet are the sole values capable of transforming humanity; for it is not utilities but complete human beings that elevate life." The same feeling that she expresses animates many women who desire fit women to be mothers, even if unmarried, at whatever cost to old forms of family autonomy.
Monogamic Marriage Does Not Work Inerrantly.—Certainly no one can contend that monogamic marriage has worked inerrantly to give women who are "born mothers" a chance for their natural career, or to keep from physical motherhood within legal marriage all the women unfit for the spiritual tasks of parenthood. It is certain that in present conditions many women most needed for the transmission of both physical and social inheritance in finest form are side-tracked from the central roadway of life, and the race suffers thereby.
Any custom, however, which should make it a negligible matter whether or not a permanent "houseband" were enlisted with a "housewife" in building a home in which to place a child desired must tend toward a reversion, not an advance, in social organization. Or so it seems to many students of the evolution of the family.
The mother and child made the first social grouping in which love and trust could work. The father, as we know him, is a later asset of social progress. He has taken into the home many things we want now to get rid of, as, for example, a social tendency toward masculine monopolies. His genius for organization in political and economic fields has in many ways worked against the right alignment of men and women in family relations. But can we do without the father altogether, save for a brief hour of service as a "biologic necessity"? Still more, can we have for mothers that "calm and repose" which Ellen Key bespeaks for them unless they have fathers of efficiency and character to help them in their peculiar task of life-creation? Is not the alternative to the father's partnership in family life the creation of a class of "state mothers" or the social endowment of all mothers by public grant?
New Demand that Motherhood Have Social Support.—In point of fact, all the demands for new freedom in respect to motherhood rest primarily upon the recognition by society-at-large of a claim upon it, financial as well as spiritual, for the benefit of all who are allowed to be mothers, in right of their own fitness for the function. And this recognition of the social value of mothers is emphasized by many who hold firmly to the monogamic family. It is not clear that any sweeping changes away from the private family should be made to meet a condition that may be changed by less drastic means.
Local Discrepancies in Numbers of Men and of Women.—Fit men and women are not always together in the same place. To have more men in a given locality than can possibly have wives or more women than can possibly marry under the monogamic system is to derange its workings. Is it conceivable that we shall always be so stupid and clumsy in economic adjustment that such conditions shall continue, now that we are able to be more easily mobile and flexible every decade? The mere mechanical maladjustment caused by serious discrepancies in numbers of the two sexes; in cities and in older countries more women, in manufacture and pioneer agriculture more men; certainly creates serious conditions. Social engineering is needed for remedy. We may not, as so long ago was done in Virginia, transport hundreds of "attractive damsels" from crowded towns, where women most do congregate, to a new country, to be eagerly accepted wives on landing from the ships. We are told, however, that many girls are being assisted to emigrate from England to places where their service is needed and where there are so many surplus men that they do marry in short order. We shall find that nature and economic adjustments will unite to more and more even up the two sides of life. It is a sinister condition of modern life that forbids early marriage to so many men and all chance of suitable marriage to so many women who really desire that relationship with all their hearts. We must go about its remedy with open eyes, and from frankly accepted reasons, for the sake of better family conditions.
The Increasing Tendency of Women Toward Celibate Life.—There is, however, another condition, many-sided and complex, often operating upon the persons most involved unconsciously and seldom treated with clarity or frankness, which works against the family as an institution. This condition is the increasing tendency of many of the ablest women to marry very late or to refuse to marry at all. These are not the women who feel defrauded that they are not mothers in their own person, still less that life has cheated them in not furnishing a husband. They are usually those who in youth began some specialized form of vocational service which holds their interest and leads toward pecuniary profit and social recognition.
They are the modern spinsters, happy and busy, who often feed their motherly instincts by caring for other people's children and feel a sense of relief that it is a voluntary service, which they may rightly indulge in vacations, and not a bond that never releases from duty. They are the maiden aunts who spend affection and money upon the families of their relatives; who help their younger brothers and sisters through college; who take care of the aged and invalid in the family connection, and act often as stay and prop to all the weaker and more burdened of their kin. What many families would do without this type of unmarried woman is hard to tell. They are often grateful for their release from wearing domestic cares and enjoy their sense of power in general serviceableness to those they love while at the same time appreciating with keen satisfaction their own joy of craftsmanship in some chosen profession. Except for a brief hour now and then, when sister has a new baby or brother takes a new wife, they feel anything but troubled over their condition of single blessedness until, perhaps, a premonition of lonely old age stirs regret.
The Demand of Eugenists.—From the point of view of the eugenists, who demand more fecundity on the higher and less on the lower levels of life, one of the most sinister of all influences inimical to family life is this large and increasing band of superior and happy single women who are not even discontented and make no demand for any closer touch with life than is now given them. If it is bad for the family for a large number of women unable to find suitable permanent mates to be so eager for motherhood that they claim social permission for that public service whatever their marital position, it may be still worse for the family for a large number of highly superior women to cease to care greatly for intimate comradeship with men or for the actual experience of motherhood. Many women working and living in solitary fashion until too old to risk the chances of marriage, and able to find highest comradeship and largest comfort in other women's companionship, have been so held by family burdens in youth that this result has been inevitable. Society has, therefore, a task to prevent the weight of past generations, falling now so heavily upon some young men and upon far more young women, from operating against the well-being of the generations to come. We should make it our social business to share more justly the burdens due to old age and chronic invalidism.
Women Can Not be Forced Back to Compulsory Marriage.—It is too late in the day to pass laws forbidding women from gaining economic freedom and social power in professional careers so that all the best of them shall again be obliged to marry as a "means of support." Few persons would do this if they could. But we can and should make haste to bring together, as the State Universities of our country do so helpfully, those who should be the fathers and mothers of the future, in that period of life when love will take chances for the future. "Propinquity," the old adage declares, is the "best incentive to courtship," and it should be made to work more effectively.
In our own country, eugenists may be comforted to learn, it is still fashionable to marry, even in the best families. We are told by our census that more people marry in the thousand and marry young in the United States than in other countries. And although it may be claimed that the older Americans and the finest types do not reproduce so freely as social well-being requires, there is much hope that movements of population, so much freer here than elsewhere among the educated and competent, will lead to better sex-adjustments and to the absorbing of more first-class women in family life.
A Few Believe in a "Third Sex."—There are those, however, although but a few, who do not view with alarm the modern increase of unmarried women of types most needed for motherhood. These believe that in the present time, and perhaps in a long future, our complex social needs cannot be met by holding the best blood and breeding within the family bond, but that there must be a reserve of celibates, a few men and many women, to carry on the school and to work for social amelioration and social progress. This point of view, which has been sometimes characterized as "defense of a third sex," is based on two premises: namely, first, that all of a married woman's time and strength throughout her whole adult life must go into strictly family service in order for the family to be maintained; and, second, that those men and women who specialize in some vocation in such extreme degree that they cannot marry and have children are thereby, by reason of that celibate concentration, better able to function socially in their chosen work. It is the object of this book to disprove both these assumptions.
Most Social Students Advocate Marriage.—Celibate concentration upon a specific task, however valuable that task may be, is open, we contend, to serious social dangers, as history amply proves. And family life has now such varied and efficient aids from commerce, manufacture, educational provisions in school and recreation centres, in summer camps and special organizations of youthful energy toward social serviceableness, that men and women can marry and rear families, if they really desire so to do, more easily than ever before, provided they are willing to pay the price of simplicity in the home and in individual mastery of the technic of new ways of living. What is needed for the best development of the family under modern conditions is not more celibates, men and women of high ability and noble consecration to undertake wholesale service in its behalf, but rather that more of the best and the best-balanced men and women be absorbed, to necessary degree, and at the right period of life, in the task of actual transmission of their quality and tendency through the living tissues of the social organism in the vital process of parenthood. What is needed to secure that result is not only a new ideal of social obligation but also, and definitely, such skill in economic and domestic adjustments as will more and more leave a margin of strength and energy for a chosen vocation not wholly mortgaged to family uses, in the case of women as of men. It is quite time that some of the rightly honored "maiden aunts of society," as our leading spinsters have been called, used some of their wisest thought and their most self-sacrificing service toward securing such economic and domestic adjustments as will work toward the diminution of their own kind!
Again it must be insisted that what society-at-large now needs most is not celibates, however wise and good, working along one line, without close touch with the main experiences of birth and death and common social relationship, but rather the deepening and broadening of common human relations through the reaction of the wise and good upon all the fundamental ties that bind the race and the generations together. The loss to society of those who might have been fathers and mothers and chose to be so devoted to religious orders as to stand apart from their race-life is an admitted calamity in the view of most people who study mediaeval history.
Dangers of Extreme Specialization.—Moreover, the tendency now in all departments of industry and professional service is toward a specialization which often defeats its own end and lessens rather than increases the usefulness of its own department. "We want not workers," says Emerson, "but men working." We want not specialists in the extreme sense but all-round students devoting themselves to one sphere of research or activity with a constant sense of its relation to all other spheres of thought and action. Particularly in social service we want not so much those who in early life specialize in one or another form of social pathology or social therapeutics but rather those mature and rounded in personal experience who elect some particular service with full realization of its place in the network of common human relationship. Especially is this true of all social work which deals directly with individuals.
The higher development of the family and the wider range of social service, therefore, alike, demand that a much greater proportion of the moral and intellectual elite of the race pay their debt to the generations through the family.
Industrial Exploitation of Childhood and Youth.—There is another condition of modern life which must be noted as inimical to the stability and the efficiency of the family, a condition which works from the bottom upward through the lower levels of society as others which have been noted work from the top down through the higher levels. It is the condition which leads toward the misuse of young girls in wage-earning tasks. There is a difference of opinion among the wisest in regard to the social usefulness of forms of protective labor legislation for adult women which are not shared by men. There can be none in respect to the social harm of using the vitality, the charm, the strength, the happiness of minors, especially of potential mothers, to carry on the processes of machine-dominated systems of manufacture and business. It takes so little physical strength or mental power to become a cog in these rapidly revolving wheels. It means such a waste to thus use the years of youth, meant for education and development and meant to attract toward successful family life rather than away from it.
The wrong and injustice of child-labor is equal for both sexes and no law can be too stringent or too severely enforced against it. The social waste of using youth exclusively in wage-earning pursuits can easily be proved, in the case of girls, to extend to years older than in the case of boys. The family cannot be maintained in stable condition, and certainly can not progress in social value, unless the majority of young girls are given the right attitude toward it and time to prepare for its opportunities and responsibilities. If, as is generally now believed, the legal majority and voting age for boys and girls should be the same, namely, twenty-one years, then the girls, as potential mothers, must have a distinct and specialized protection up to that legal majority from all that harms health, prevents safeguarded recreation, or turns life-currents away from the home to the factory. The death-rate of babies when mothers work in factories or shops with no provision for special rest is one testimony to the social improvidence of our present industrial use of older women. The life-long invalidism of many women, the childlessness of multitudes, the statistics of home conditions revealed by Children's Courts furnish testimony of like character. The unknown toll of loss of personal aptitude for family life leading to broken homes, or to hopeless struggles against invasions by poverty of the right of common men and women to a home, are proof positive that a change in economic conditions is demanded in the interest of family life.
Social Measures Needed to Prevent These Evils.—These social evils connected with child-labor and the neglect in the industrial world of youth and its needs are not to be mended by helps to individuals alone. More radical measures are required for the protection of society's most precious asset, the health, happiness and leisure of all its children.
"Education," says the ancient sage, "is the ladder that every child must climb in order to become all that he is meant to become; and therefore children are made unfit for other employments in order that they may have leisure to learn." To this may be added, the type of education that fits the average girl for high usefulness as a housemother is an absolute need if the average home life is to be made a centre of freedom and of happiness. Those, therefore, who are working against child-labor and against the unrestricted use of mothers of young children and of potential mothers, in wage-earning industry, are working directly, and with great power, for the preservation and stability of the family. Those also who are working through the formal education of the schools for the insertion of study and practice along lines of home-making are making a complementary and valuable contribution toward the inner unity and the outer success of the family.
The Attack upon the Family by Reactionaries.—One more and most important attack upon the family as it exists to-day must be noted in this list of elements in modern society which work against this inherited institution. It is an attack which, however mistaken, is ostensibly, and often honestly in intent, a movement for the protection and improvement of the family order. It is the effort to turn the history of that institution back upon itself and make the family again, as in the past, a legal unity with one representative, the husband and father, through whom alone the wife and children have distinct relationship to society-at-large. It is an effort to return to mediaeval thought and practice and to reaffirm in legal outline the headship of the husband and father, the permanent minority of the wife and mother, and the complete subordination of the children. It is even an effort to rescind such laws as have given married women independent contract-power and property rights, the equal guardianship of their children, the full use of educational provisions, and individual relationship to the state through the franchise. Voices are not wanting to insist that only through a return to this old domestic order of kingship of the man can the family be preserved.
A recent book claiming intellectual authority and endorsed by many men in high positions states this opinion clearly, and seeks to strengthen it by the use of scientific half-truths used not scientifically but as a support for a metaphysical theory of masculine and feminine quality. Every step that has been taken from the male despotism within marriage and parenthood has met such appeals to stay the progress of democracy toward the hearth-stone lest the family order be wholly destroyed. Most people, however, believe that the steps which have been taken away from that family despotism are too many to be retraced. Women will not be put back into perpetual legal minority when once they have become adults under the law. They will not consent to lose property rights and the power of guardianship over their own children. They will not consent to their own disfranchisement or to the loss of opportunities of education and of economic independence. It is as futile as it is stupid to expect that in this matter history will go backward. To oppose measures already accomplished which are in the direction of democratic adjustment of social relations, even by those who think certain measures "a reform against nature," is not only idle in effect but shows that the opposer is out of touch with "whatsoever forces draw the ages on."
There are many elements in the restlessness of a period too rapidly changing to be always sure of its ground that needlessly confuse the issues of family obligation and personal loyalty to accepted tasks. There are many tendencies toward extreme individualism which need balancing by clearer ideals of social serviceableness. Especially is this true in the case of women somewhat intoxicated by the belated freedom and power which came to them after too prolonged a struggle against inherited bonds. There are many economic and educational requirements yet to be met in order to protect and maintain the accepted ideal of monogamic marriage. But of all the ideas inimical to the family in our modern life, the demand for its return to aristocratic and outgrown forms is the most absurd and the most harmful. All history shows that those who try to put a law, a political system, an economic method, a rule of morality, or a religious ideal back into a form discarded by the majority of those who constitute the ethical and intellectual elite directly work toward the chaos of revolution. To try to force the family ideal or its legal bond or social outline back into the patriarchal form is to do the utmost possible to bring on a catastrophic struggle between the new and the old. The evil wrought by such reactionary teaching is in the exact ratio of its power of influence. Whatever we may try to do, as balance, through evolutionary methods at points where changes in form have not been as yet made safe and sane by required adjustments of the individual life to the new order, we should make haste to attempt. No person, however, who is in actual touch with the movement of social progress can hope to turn any great democratic tendency back upon itself and "make that which hath been as if it were not." No truly just person will wish to do so.
The Prevalence of Divorce.—Many urge reactionary attitudes toward present family ideals and practice because of the divorce problem. The omission of this from the list of causes for the modern instability of the family and for its too frequent lack of success may have been already noted and condemned by the reader of these pages. The fact of divorces, however, whether they be many or few, is to the writer a symptom, not a cause, the legal expression of a social disease, not the disease itself. Bad diagnosis, or inadequate treatment on the basis of a symptom, may increase the disease; and the facts concerning divorce are of so serious a nature that a separate chapter has been assigned to them under the heading: The Broken Family. The prevalence of divorce, however, it must here be said, demonstrably proves two things—one that men and women now feel themselves at moral and social liberty to seek divorce when longer living together seems to them intolerable, and that women are using their new freedom and economic independence to make marriage conditions more to their liking. They are setting a standard respecting desirable husbands, not always wisely, often selfishly, but in the long run and large way to ends of greater equality of demand in the marriage relation. The tendency on the whole is toward a higher conception of what marriage should be and what it should do for both parties in the bond. The statistics of illegitimacy, of commercialized prostitution, of venereal disease, of infant mortality, of early death or life-long invalidism of wives and mothers, of marital unhappiness and parental neglect which are found by honest investigation in states and nations in which no divorce is allowed do not lead to the belief that legal permanence of the marriage bond secures socially helpful family life. On the contrary, such facts already show that divorce in the civilization we have inherited comes as a result of bad conditions which worked infinite harm before divorces could be obtained.
Old Institutions Need New Sanctions.—We must now ask of any laws concerning any institution not what did ancient "folk-ways" ordain but what do modern conditions require? No form of human association, however old and whatever its contribution to the social inheritance, but is on trial to-day before all free minds. That trial must be openly conducted. No "secret diplomacy" to reinstate old ideals or laws against the common belief; no "boring from within" to propagate new schemes the object of which is to gratify personal wish without regard to public good; but "open covenants" with the future "openly arrived at" in an ethically consecrated present. What shall be our guide in such a free and frank consideration of the present and the future of the family?
The Monogamic Family Justifies Itself by Social Usefulness.—In the first place, one must accept the fact that it is presumptive evidence of the continued worth and value of any inherited institution if it can be proved that it has served vital social needs which still operate and that no other existing institution is able or ready to take its place for the special social service which it was designed to render. To the present writer it seems clear that the monogamic family holds its title clear to social preservation on both these points. The family preceded individualistic marriage as we know it and was developed for the purpose of giving to oncoming generations a share in the race-life, whatever the ideals concerning that race-life may have been at any period of social order. Even in its present undeveloped form, with its cramping limitations of past autocracy and with its crude attempts at an as yet half-understood democracy, we may well count the private monogamic family as a priceless inheritance and work toward its better organization and larger service to social life. No other institution yet developed has shown in history or now shows in present life a worthy substitute for its functioning in child-care and child-development. Many also believe that no form of sex-association secures such possibilities of moral discipline and personal satisfaction as does the guarded relationship of monogamic marriage.
The Inherited Family Order Demands New Social Adjustments.—There are, therefore, no reasons for welcoming the decline of the private family. There are many that demand imperatively some adjustments in inner comradeship and in mechanical arrangements surrounding the household, in order to hold firm its spiritual values during changes in social conditions. How far these changes of detail may go or what will be the end of some present clearly outlined tendencies no one can prophesy. The duty of the hour is, however, to set this treasure of social inheritance in a clear light; to show its actual and potential social value as at present perceived; and to try by all simple measures open to our intelligence to aid in its evolution toward a more perfect expression of the love of man and woman each for the other and of the protection and care of both for the children of that love. The basic test of all proposed changes in any inherited institution is from henceforward, we must believe, that which inheres in the spiritual essence of democracy. What is that essence of democracy which must be applied as test within the family, as within the state and within the industrial order? It is the fundamental belief in the worth and dignity of every human being and the equal right of each and all to personality. No man, as in the older days, must be obliged to be husband and father, but may choose, if he deems it essential to his own being, to remain in a solitary path outside the current of the generations. No woman must be obliged to live solely to serve a family. She, too, has right to self-development in some chosen way. No married couple must be forced to add to the children already here; they may justly be protected in living and working together in some comradeship that has no family limitations save those of mutual loyalty and mutual service. No child is to be justly held so much under family control as to have his nature stifled or warped, and no child shall be made a pecuniary asset to the family regardless of his own needs. No family autonomy is henceforth to be secured by fiat of law enthroning one "head" as the legal despot or economic ruler. The family must be democratized in that sense in which each individual within its bond shall be sustained in seeking and in maintaining the conditions of personality. No one human being to live solely for others' service or to have his or her value estimated in terms of contribution to other lives, but all to seek the utmost perfection of individual life as a contribution to the common life; this is the democratic ideal.