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T. W. Higginson croaks about “the indulgence of American women!” I once made a vest for him for which neither he nor my employer took care that I was decently paid. What he says may be true of the leisurely “cultured” class, he is retained by, and who live on others’ earnings; but those who are slaving their lives away for a mere subsistence, the great majority of American girls and women, this “Cautious Colonel” seems never to have made the acquaintance of, beyond a desperate desire to hug and kiss them.—A. T. H.
Angela T. Heywood, [“T. W. Higginson croaks…”], The Word 2 no. 3 (July, 1873): 2.
—Until the church, the clergy and pious people generally can give better evidence of the governing capacity of the being they worship than the present condition of human Society. I advise their God to take a back seat in the school house of Heaven.—Angela T. Heywood.
Angela T. Heywood, [“Until the church…”],The Word 2 no. 3 (July, 1873): 2.
—This putting God into the Constitution reminds me that he has himself been a prodigal son, just now returned home forlorn and forsaken, and to assure him of our continued love, we hasten with all possible hurry to wrap him (God) in the swaddling clothes of the church, placing him, baby grown, in our great national cradle; and in tender mercy for his wonderful majesty (ill at east), seat ourselves, like so many Mother Gooses, singing:
Upon the tree (Government) top,
When the wind (agitation) blows
The cradle shall rock,
When the bough (Constitution) breaks
The cradle shall fall,
Down come baby (God), cradle and all.
A. T. H.
A. T. H., [“This putting God into the Constitution…”],The Word 2 no. 4 (August, 1873): 2.
—A. T. H. “—— —— has the culture shrug in his shoulders.”
S. H. M. “Oh, no, you see that in business men.”
A. T. H. “No we do not; business men have no time to be fixing up their shoulders. Emerson’s manners are spontaneous and so well enough for him; but imitative manners are sillifying to people’s intellects.”
A. T. H., [Dialogue with Sidney H. Morse], The Word 2 no. 8 (December, 1873): 2.
Angela T. Heywood, Princeton, Mass.: “The Editor of Hull’s Crucible of Jan 15th, in article on ‘The General Judgment’ says: ‘It would be better for that woman if her husband could be prevailed upon to go to a regular prostitute for gratification rather than to so frequently require of her what her soul and body loathe.’ A more infernal type of thought never fell from human lips! If the wife’s ‘soul and body loathe’ him what inspires Moses Hull to stigmatize any other woman as ‘a regular prostitute’ whom the laws of libertines compel to serve the vile purposes of this ‘husband’? Is Mr. Hull’s sister, mother, wife or daughter the regular prostitute to whom he refers, or is it some other less fortunate woman whom he so coolly damns to the lecherous uses of his brother man? A glorious state of things, indeed, Moses Hull must have in his mind’s eye wherein his over hardened nature is to be provided for! What he seems to call love is simply revolging to women ‘kept’ to wait on the ‘necessities’ of men.
I beg him to remember that ‘prostitution’ is a matter of business; that need of money, not love exposes women to the ravages of the walking pestilences which he calls ‘husbands.’ And if men had not robbed these women of opportunity and earnings, as well as of personality, they could not now be insulted with the murderous word ‘prostitute’! To understand fully how this scientific expander of sociology has ‘things fixed’ in his mind it should be remembered that he proposes to have the State provide for the children! ‘Regular prostitutes’ to satiate his lust at their cost, and the State, (that is you and me,) to be taxed to defray the third personal expenses of his ‘freedom’! He may call this ‘Free Love,’ but to me it looks like free lewdness lurking in the midst of girl life. A ‘General Judgment’ surely impends; but Mr. Moses Hull in the criminal’s box has to answer for his sins against ‘prostitutes’ will be an unpleasant spectacle on that interesting occasion.
‘Prostitute’! The word is man-coined and man-preserved to fit the victims of a man-ordained and man-upheld industrial servitude which Mr. Hall has yet found no place in his ‘Crucible’ to condemn. Does he adore martyrs? If women must be ‘kept’ to answer the asserted demands of men’s natures they should be honored as benefactors not slurred as ‘prostitutes.’ A strange spectacle this of a supposed Free Lover rude enough to practically side with the high-toned prudery of Mother Livermore, Madame Howe and others of the Women’s Journal set whose ‘cultured’ interest in their ‘fallen’ sisters is so deeply insulting to enlightened womanhood. Happily the social question has a feminine as well as a masculine side, and when women once stand clear of class conditions now thought ‘natural’ and ‘necessary’ things will have to be looked at as they exist in actuality; and husbands who [ ] to voice the ‘loathing’ of wives must cease to count on ‘abandoned’ women [giving] ‘gratification.’ We want not social [ illegible ], whims, oppressions, but social [ illegible ]. Women not less than man must be held to be sacred and naturally innocent until proved guilty. Free Love is what the world needs, but it will not tolerate free lust in Prudes or Libertines.”
Angela T. Heywood, “Correspondence,” The Word 2 no. 10 (February, 1874): 3.
Angela T. Heywood, “Book Canvassing,” The Word 4 no. 1 (May, 1875): 2; 4 no. 2 (June, 1875): 2. [transcription in progress]
—Women want justice, but men ask for mercy. * * * * St. Paul was a wily man.
A. T. H.
Angela T. Heywood, “Editorial Notes,” The Word 4 no. 4 (August, 1875): 2.
—In fighting evil, we create and enlarge it. Evil must be dissolved, not assailed.
A. T. H.
Angela T. Heywood, “Editorial Notes,” The Word 4 no. 9 (January, 1876): 2.
—Winslow wept, bled at the eyes profusely, when caught in London. “It was sheer robbery,” he said, to take things from his wife and her sister and leave them “penniless in a strange land;” “I ask Massachusetts to remember my services in the army and navy;” “my friends will not see me suffer wrong.” The tie of sanguinity pleads powerfully for rectitude, we admit, Winslow, but “our” wives, “our” sisters, and “our” daughters are no dearer in the light of truth than are those girls and women not of “our family” or “our relations.” Why do Winslow and Pond refer to prominent men as their “friends,” if not to allow Fate to show up “business integrity” as a sanctified conspiracy to plunder work-thieves that are caught so much worse than those still at large and rulers in church and state? Religious vagaries “business integrity” serve well to falsify life and retard the evolution of right. What are the doings of Winslow and Pond but the back-door methods of banks and “merchant princes” to get money regardless of equity? Winslow, Pond, Beecher; Boston, Worcester, Brooklyn! How life throws up its rottenness, on its own ground and for its own good! A rank stench in the midst of civil and classic life is the “business integrity” and “eminent piety” whose lights are being colonized in jails! Your elegant, marble bank-buildings are whited sepulches filled dead men’s bones (and women’s, though not of “our families”). No woman there but as victims, and the Bible speaks of none in heaven. How hath heism prevailed save for my wife, my sisters, and our daughters! O Winslow, Winslow! how well you exemplify “pure religion,” “business integrity,” and consanguinity virtue!
A. T. H.
Angela T. Heywood, “Editorial Notes,” The Word 4 no. 11 (March, 1876): 3.
WOMAN’S LOVE: Its Relations to Man and Society.
By Angela T. Heywood.
The most genial and natural garden is woman’s womb; men realize its existence, but do not appreciate its value. It is the planting-ground of all human society, wherein Nature readjusts herself, in her most subtle deficiencies, unless coerced by the physical-force plan of men. Earth is abnormal to us; society begins with a he and she, with individual approach, with “How do you do?” That is, how do you behave? What is your power for excellence? Whom do you associate with, and how do they like you? By deifying gravity—worshipping a form of it in the physical force of man—the law of levity, as in woman, has been overlooked; hence woman is thrust aside, awaiting her day of action when she has been sufficiently taught from the side of stillness and small things, as though much lightness against much heaviness, the yardstick against the steelyards. The order is, (1) food, raiment, and shelter; (2) attraction, love, and cohesion; (3) education, civilization, and society. We hear of “the man of the house,” as though the woman was one of the children, the daughter of her husband. Men’s philosophy has speculatively reckoned money a greater matter than human identity; made it the groundwork of foul play towards each other, of stealthy exchange greatly to the detriment of their soul and sense. How can men think straight, when they take things as they have arranged them to be the real facts of Nature?
The natural product of man’s and woman’s work is a child, the third factor in socialism. Baby’s first lesson is to be social, have good manner, not bite mamma’s breast. Can we talk intelligently of art, science, and culture, unless we are first introduced to ourselves and know who, what, and whence we are? Man has suppressed woman because she has different genitive organs from him; though she is an innate natural personage on earth, he has dwindled her to asking him for a cent, to a breeder, a prostitute—leaving her nothing but her person to trade in. Difference in pay turns on difference in sexuality, on difference in reproductive organs: you hire a boy and a girl to fill a wood-box; each brings in the same quantity of wood; yet you pay the boy twenty cents, the girl ten cents, and ask her to take sexual intercourse for the balance due. Paying a girl less than a boy, keeping her wages so low that she must “marry for a home” or for a night to secure food and clothing, is the monster dragon of to-day, a devouring usurpation of man over woman. This makes it possible for a man to consider himself irresponsible for sexual intercourse for which he is responsible, and should be held to be so in the estimate of his mother and sisters; for as they are willing that men should deal unto others, so shall men deal unto them. Honesty is the only levee which can breast out the ocean of wrong. Men have been learning from opportunity, and women from inopportunity; their lessons are therefore different. What will be the final result? Revelries in sin, however, demand a more active and regenerative capacity, and it is to you, boys and girls of the present and rising generations, that we look for the sequel of better life.
We are all at least nine months in our mother’s womb, and no distinctions of sex prevail before birth. Why, after birth, should a girl’s person be pawned “for a home” more than a boy’s? A good woman is a person who has ability to discern what is right, and lives it as against opposing influences. But virtue is below par, and money is plus; there is no value to well-doing as against successful ill-doing; to be poor and virtuous has no weight of excellence as against being handsome and rich, as things are accepted to-day. How shall I portray to you the ingrained deference to wealth, to the fact of wealth irrespective of how it is acquired? Why are not virtue and labor recognized on their own merits? Why are shop-girls, mill-girls, and house-girls regarded below par in social life simply because they word and have not means accumulated from others’ earnings? This is a question of great importance, because the fact of inequitably-acquired wealth is a great barrier between girls and their rightful opportunities in forming associations, choosing their mates, and becoming mothers. These crippling customs destroy the genial travel of love from man to woman, make havoc of magnetisms, and render heart-sickening all filial affections and social friendships. It is the duty of every man, woman, boy, and girl, to thoughtfully study these matter-of-fact issues which we find intertwined in life and lurking about us for a true adjustment. Men of to-day cannot longer be held irresponsible for light and trivial treatment of the love question, and it is just at this point that we wish to induce them to make a rational study of their own love natures as related to woman. The power of poor pay to force girls into the physical embrace of men is a stupendous and appalling fact. Girls’ lives are not matters of choice, but of persuasion and compulsion. The girl question has come home to men’s thought as well as the girl to their personal embrace, and they must attend to it with the sincerity of true fathers and noble brothers. The tone of their demeanor towards her reflects their real character. Married men are desperately in love with unmarried women, deception being the railroad on which love passes to and fro. Man loves woman enough, but recklessly and selfishly; he should not only feel, but think,—consider responsibility, not gratification merely, drawing his heart up through his intellect as a bucket from a well. How can you take a woman’s best nature, drag it out, and leave it a nude skeleton before the world? It tries girls mortally to say “No, I thank you” to warm, attractive men. Often have I cried to think that, for self-preservation, I must fight men.
As Patrick Henry said to the Colonial insurgents, “We must fight,” but we will fight to redeem, not to destroy, each other. Men’s wars are grotesque and bloody; but wars between men’s and women’s eyes and ideas will become unique and renovating, and the unsheathed, two-edged sword will be the human tongue. Religion will repent of the subjection it has imposed on women; learning will confess its ignorance to us; books (simply become they are he books) will move forward from their alcove-shelves and come down ashamed longer to be books; and male science will dissolve itself to escape from the infamy of its rude and savage treatment of us. The impression that man can do as he likes without being responsible therefor is base folly, and arises largely from the great selfishness which grows out of his unnatural ascendency over woman through property usurpations and the subtle relations of physical force to her as his mate in primitive stages of growth, as from the animal to the human animal. Having arrived at a human identity, we wish to be recognized as a part of the collective identity, and, once escaping animalism, we do not wish to become the victims of manism. We want a social order which will bespeak the welfare of both, that we may, in candor, face each other eye to eye and ask “Who are you, what are you, and how do you earn your living?” These questions are all potent and significant of genuine or false character, and, in true society, must be of imperative importance. In the process of events the great institutions of the world will come under terse review, and woman will take her rightful place in religion, literature, art, and philosophy. After this play of masculine force down through the centuries, which has hitherto rule and depraved life, the social, religious, and moral world, by natural law and necessity, must change in its vital essence and aspects. Dealing by suggestion rather than by argument, going below evil to purify the source of life, with the dissecting knife of thought we will cleave through unnatural hindrances, take account of the ebb and flow of circumstances, and stir people with words of fire and power, in order to get a true analysis of life as we find it. and here comes in equality, the glad spectacle of men and women working together, impelled by love, not compulsion; for, to achieve renovating power, the feminine principle must be hereafter accepted as an imperative condition of growth.
Angela T. Heywood, “Woman’s Love: Its Relations to Man and Society,” The Word 5 no. 3 (July, 1876): 1.
MORALITY OF FREE LOVE.
Elsewhere we print extracts from a recent address by F. A. Hinckley, in which he takes grounds against liberty in love and sides with mobs against free love conventions. Other and better portions of the same address, which we would gladly print if space allowed, are referred to in the following letter, which we take from the catholic columns of the New Age:—
To the Editor of the New Age:—One of many seeking admission to your crowded columns, I come with a few thoughts suggested by F. A. Hinckley’s earnest and quickening address to the “Moral Education Association” on “The Relations of Sex,” printed in your issue of June 17th,—not to disturb the attentive attitude of his auditors, but to sit down with them in the handsome and hospitable columns of the New Age. I would not reply, except by silence, to his denunciatory referent to me and co-workers, did not his studied assertions demand direct answer. Already in the grasp of an idea which will rule and overrule him, Mr. Hinckley vainly endeavors to classify and distinguish himself as selectly “pure,” to make himself appear clean at the expense of other people, and to shade up and tone down his thought in deference to imitative culture. For, provokingly on both sides of the question, he first shocks all free lovers in saying that “the prevailing tone of their movement is thoroughly corrupt in principle and thoroughly abominable in practice;” tends “to call forth all that is low and vulgar in human nature;” demoralizes all that it touches;” “gives free rein to the passions;” “substitutes mob law for state law;” and that “none are so shocked by the grossness of their speech, so saddened by the immoral elements which they develop in their audiences, as the real friends of sexual purity.” And yet he forthwith gives utterance to such admirable free love sentiment as will shock all conservatives. So radical are these “views” that I wonder his conservative self, refusing to listen to the radical part of his address, did not take its hat and leave that “Moral Education” meeting in disgust. He says that marriage “is largely based on the lowest degradation to which a human being can be put;” that, unless reconstructed on “the principles of freedom,” “women of self-respect will one day decline to enter it;” that “the essential conditions of true marriage are freedom and love;” that unmatched couples should be “free to separate;” and that in asserting the right of his own daughter to sexual freedom, he “plants for her, not thorns, but the roses of liberty and love.” These sentiments suggest that Mr. Hinckley, the conservative, should be personally introduced to, and made acquainted with, Mr. Hinckley, the radical; for though, as a “real friend of sexual purity,” he draws a broad line of self-distinction, the only way he can be clear of free love is to flee from himself.
In the midst of painful and bewildering facts, Mr. Hinckley does not seem to fathom the import of his own words. On what ground does he say that my creed is “corrupt in principle” and “abominable in practice,” and his “pure,” when he himself asserts the gist of free love, which is that lovers have a natural right and duty to determine their own relations at their own cost? I challenge him to produce one point in our creed which does not tersely favor individual and social purity and good morals. To betray virgin life into sensual male bondage; to “seal” free souls into domestic anarchy, called “the sacred ties of marriage;” to forbid us to discriminate, to obey our better judgment, which is the Voice of God putting asunder whom male laws vainly try to force together (and bringing together whom male laws try to keep apart), does not promote purity, whatever dainty culturists may assume to the contrary. As to the language used by free lovers, was well-dressed, self-conceited ignorance never before shocked by the trenchant, flashing words of Truth? I have hear that, in Lowell and Boston, refined and cultured ladies tossed their handsome heads in derision of Mr. Hinckley’s own “indelicate” criticisms of what he calls the abuses of marriage; “an honored friend and noble woman” says he plants free love thorns in his own daughter’s pathway. I was in and of the Conventions on which he pours out the vials of his “pure” wrath, and which he says “newspapers disgraced their columns in reporting;” though I differ from much said there, the tone of the discussions was elevated, chaste, and religiously sincere. What there was of ill manners, disorder, or rudeness came from male marriagists; not one word or act of the free lovers was questionable on the score of purity or good morals. His assertion that the free love reform “calls forth all that is low and vulgar in human nature,” is a libel on reason and liberty. Is Truth responsible for the vice and crimes of Error? Did Garrison and Phillips incite the pro-slavery mobs? Is it my fault that Mr. Hinckley’s conservative friends, not having good manners or good sense enough to reply to my arguments, attempt to silence me by physical and mental rowdyism? It is a serious fact that, in ill-bred Boston, the well-dressed, “educated” rowdies of the “upper” ten, and the more hopeful “roughs” of the “lower” million, are combining to crush out discussion of social evils. Does Mr. Hinckley’s “Moral Education Association” propose to “stand up to be counted” with mobs against free discussion? He now stands as the apologist of mobs which invade reform conventions.
In his opening passage, he says, “In every age some man or set of men constitute the advance-guard” of progress; yet who but men make the laws, the customs, and the religions which hold women in subjection? Usurping manism has always and everywhere obstructed progress. Does Mr. Hinckley suppose that woman’s record and purpose fear comparison with man’s? must all humankind wait for what he, or some priest, says is “pure,” before they dare think or act for themselves in matters of love? The masculine type of liberty is balanced by the feminine type of love by the masculine type of honor. Mr. Hinckley is too good and gifted a man, his best sense is too much in revolt against the bad in life, to apologize for being in the ranks of truth, freedom, and love; in his best moods he is with us more than he is with himself. In his apparent desire to seem extra-“pure” and “holy,” he forgets that shades of difference and the conceived shortcomings of others are a poor foundation principle from which to render one’s own life. We want sexual self-government, the indispensable groundwork of all good behavior; our lives tell the story as to who and what we are. To this end we must have children well-conceived and well-born, discard secrecy, and tell them the simple and sacred truth about themselves, which should be learned, not in the by-paths of evil, but at their mother’s knee. Your own noble sentiment, Mr. Editor,—“Freedom and Fellowship in Human Life,”—bespeaks what is needed—a trinity of heads, hearts, and hands co-working out their own salvation.
Angela T. Heywood.
Angela T. Heywood, “Morality of Free Love,” The Word 5 no. 4 (August, 1876): 3.
MEN’S LAWS AND LOVE’S LAWS.
BY ANGELA T. HEYWOOD.
The ceremony of legal marriage by a third person—a clergyman or magistrate—who represents society, debars us from personal responsibility, invades personal liberty, and exhibits the weakness of accepting conventional force rather than essential right as the arbiter of love relations. The religious law of the Church conflicts with the civil law of the State; the Church marries, say, “What God has joined, let not man put asunder;” the State, divorcing any two for cause, “puts asunder” whom it pleases. Discarding the authority of both Church and State, lovers should feel themselves bound never to be less than just to each other and their offspring in making or dissolving their social contracts. In human relationship there is the law of consanguinity and the law of affinity; the centripetal force to go and to get. Under the consanguinity law I love my father, brothers, uncles, nephews, cousins, grandfather and great-grandfather; under the law of affinity my father kisses me “good-by,” and I go over to the world of affinity to love a stranger.
Accumulation and possession have a special right of way from the fact that we are born naked and need clothes; with a stomach and need food; with fatigue and need sleep and shelter; receptive and need love. This drives us into a most thorough and complete analysis of the proper right of accumulating, by work and gift-taking; and the consumption thereof, by spending and gift-giving. Especially should this analysis be searching and accurate, because it involves that decisive rule of right, justice, and equality which exists between the law of consanguinity and the law of affinity in the conflicting claims of property, which cause family feuds, high wrangling, and low dealing. In examining love and free love we have two great and general departments, each equally vital unto our life and happiness. How shall we behave under blood ties, and how under attraction or ties of affinity? This is a question of art, of the physical adjustment and play of our senses through our individual bodies and deeds towards one another. I kiss my father and I kiss my lover. Is there a difference, and what is the ground of that difference? One walks closely with the tie of consanguinity, and the other with the tie of affinity; both are pure, good, and inspired as by Fate. My father kisses me under the jurisdiction of one law, and sends me forth to be caught and kissed by a stranger under the equally legitimate jurisdiction of another law. Again art asks, “How do you abide the law of touching one another, which still more deeply involves the aptitudes and play of all our senses?” There is something so kind and wonderfully inviting from the souls of good and noble persons! It quickens one to new expressions of love and inspiration, better thoughts, happier dreaming, and tinges life’s cool and shady road of experiences with delicate hues of sentiment, appreciation, and thoughtfulness towards one another as we breathe out the warm, genial love of mate and friendship! How truly inspiring the human identity through the body form! Shall we ever become gentle enough in this world to know and realize the value of physical and soul love? To this accumulation of eye glances, sweet breath, warm kisses, hand pressures, and deep, rapturous sense and desire of loving, art still addresses her question, “How are you to deal with your possessions and adjust the sombre claims of consanguinity love with the aesthetic claims and the persuasive invitations of affinity love?
To suppose that love can be regulated by statute marriage laws is an absurdity; all existing laws are but the registered opinions of men, one-half the people, the women never having been consulted in the enactment of these opinions, called “laws,” that we are commanded to “obey!” Your “public servant” is the most dangerous wolf in sheep’s clothing that now travels up and down the earth to devour submissive and unthinking women. We have crouched in subjection too long, and must now rise in behalf of reason and equality. In touching my person a man touches me, and must seriously study the right and duty, the use and responsibility, of that act. Jesus perceived that by a woman’s touching the hem of his garment “virtue had gone out of him.” Dr. Wm. F. Channing says that the law of touch is a world yet unknown. All know the power of magnetism; when lightning strikes one in a row of cattle, it kills a dozen as easily as one; a flash of electricity collects its own, and is gone! Some do not believe in magnetism, do not see good in it, think nothing but evil comes of it; yet it is an imperative power. How far can one meet a man and not be enslaved by his magnetic control? In seeking my chosen mate I asked, “Do I wish the blood of this man to flow in the veins of my children?” The broadcloth deference and arrogance, the compound of silks, insinuation, laces, and mincing called society, neither knows nor observers the deepest laws of its life.
How shall the sexes meet and help, but not harm, each other? We must learn the equitable method of affectional exchange, the cost principle in love as well as in grain and money. One of the essential modes of expression with lovers deeply attracted to each other is through the sense of touch; before marriage sense is not so imperative, because the opposite poles of magnetic attraction have met and love deepens thought and action. Attentive to agriculture and other pursuits in earth, sky, and sea, men have not run their trains of thought into the depot of internal life, being more interested in a kernel of corn than in the face of a babe. Either because they did not know, or had not courage, or were not destined to do it, men have left the realm of sexuality for women to explore; and, impelled by love (which is greater than justice and includes it), she will beckon mind down to renovate the basement stories of the body. It is generally supposed that free love mean reckless sexual intercourse, but it is the beginning of discretion and sobriety, the law of mine and thine applied to the subtlest relations of life. Seeing a silk dress in a shop window, I want it, but have no money to buy it, and cannot thrust my hand in and take it; if the handsome merchant says he will give it to me, his offer is the greatest barrier of the three to my having it, for he may expect such pay as will hurt and disgrace me. The question between me, the man, and the silk dress is not one to be settled by “religion,” a magistrate, society, or the State, but by me and the man, subject only to essential right. We must take no step and assume no relation to each other which we cannot be responsible for the results of. When people ask what is right as well as what is pleasing, sexuality will come under the jurisdiction of intelligence and good sense, love will be free, honor reign, and calamity cease.
Angela T. Heywood, “Men’s Laws and Love’s Laws,” The Word 5 no. 5 (September, 1876): 1.
LOVE AND LABOR.
BY ANGELA T. HEYWOOD.
My mother was compelled by poverty to send me and my sisters out into the world as a flock of chickens to pick our way. Starting with birth and naked requirements, which render it a prime necessity to labor, it should not only be highly respectable to work, but blameworthy not to work. As the result of work, people should have pay, money, which will bring them food, clothing, shelter, and culture—means and training for business and refinement. Work will then be a glory, not a shame; and those who labor not, instead of being the fashionable dolls of the day, will be condemned as useless idlers. People who are industrious and properly rewarded are those who will constitute civilized and befitting society. Having this education, women are fitted for varied service, not the least of which is companionship and maternity. What better guarantees of civilization than intelligence and capacity? Using, not swords, but incisive thought and clear speech, at home, on street corners, wherever two, three, or more meet together, we must talk over the social problem, turning the light of all we know or can learn upon its dark and entangling mysteries. The life of girls has much to do, for good or ill, with home and the national welfare; however lightly it has been considered hitherto, such depreciation cannot continue without serious impoverishment to the race. Hence it behooves us to make a study of this sad problem, and realize that the fact that girls are not berated through literature as prostitutes, your daughters or perhaps mine. Fast-living America has seemed to enjoy the sweets of prostrate girl forms; but we must stop and ask what it costs, when tends it, and whether its ravishing reflex will not finally blast the very home thought of civilized life? So fast have we lived that it becomes almost an evil to live. The existence of prostitutes is the most damaging fact, the most accusing evil, in human society. However much we may love him, the devastating power is man; whatever the task, however complex or disagreeable it may be, the force of woman’s tongue will erelong be considered an active means of calling men to more worthy and sincere dealing, as though every man was the father of every other man’s child; the phrase “our girls” will mean all girls and “brotherhood” signify at least social honesty. We must bless man by putting coals of fire on his head,—that is, our love will be inflamed by warm words calling him to order with himself and woman.
There are mental, moral, and social divisions of life. In the mental we find an immediate monopoly of scholarship, of the brain over skill in the hands, so classified, drilled and directed as to make labor ignoble and subject to false aristocracy. It is not innate good sense, but arrogant class usurpation, which cripples us; it is the tyranny of conning brain over the honest hand, of one part of the body over another,—members of the body at war with each other. Hence my mother Tilton cursed scholarship and wished colleges were tipped into the sea; but mother Heywood would have her pet boys educated and finished off for ministers. The moral division related to our bodies as they are related one to another and to their mutual dealings. The social relates to things as the result of mental and moral forces, of the relation not of one to another merely, but of each to all and all to each; this requires close consideration of what is true and choice, of equity and exchange. Thought must be active and penetrating, must walk through business as a needle plies through cloth, impelled by the sewing machine treadle. Regarding Pond and Winslow, the jest among bankers is, “Who shall go next?” Not who will sin, but who will first be found out? Why not consider the temptations of girls as well as those of men? When hungry, I have passed a baker’s shop, and made half a dinner on the sweet scent of bread which came up from the smoking loaves below. Did it cost me nothing to resist the warm, rich, employing baker, who would have taken me to his arms and given me of his abundance? Though she have the honesty of toil in her nerve and habit, yes, shut into the dark alcove of inopportunity, is it strange that a girl goes to the winning person of man, when his eye, with the blaze of a light-house lamp, is turned on her in her dismal chances? Born to labor and to love, capable of all that is serviceable and enjoyable in life, Solomon, speaking for “religion,” says, “Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold on hell;” “literature” crucifies her as a “prostitute;” “science” turns on her path the lecherous hounds of “supply and demand;” and the rotten respectability of society regards here with virtuous horror! Yet to her as the High Priestess of Love and Labor, the most potent divinities of civilization and progress, must the oracles of religion, literature, science, and art come to learn deeper lessons of life than they yet know. Moved by the cold, calculating impulses of business, many men now marry for money, and many women for a home, with inevitable disaster to both; but lovers, arriving into each other, not for money, but for themselves and truth, suggest unused forces which will redeem and adorn life, now desolated by marriage tyranny and property robbery. A chance to love wisely and serve honestly and prosperously is the inestimable boon which Labor Reformers and Free Lovers offer to those cursed by enforced poverty, and to the more pitiable idlers who are savage enough to be willing to live by usury or other speculative profits.
Angela T. Heywood, “Love and Labor,” The Word 5 no. 6 (October, 1876): 1.
—Whether or not there are souls which survive the body and live, personally, in another world, the present world of embodied mind, about six feet high around the globe, exists, and has many telegraphic lines of emotion and batteries of thought. How to accept the use of the law of evolution, the chariot of progress force which the development theory gives us, how to tend these animal-magnetic-electrical bodies, these personal-identity machines, collect and announce their inspirational dispatches so as to quicken internal and external society, with Impulses which cannot be resisted, is worth understanding. Girls often see, not with their eyes, but with a more central sense of sight; as Cobbett saw in the claim of the stomach the basis of civilization, so the spleen may be the battery of intuition through the clairvoyant nerve said to be located just back of the stomach, connecting it with the liver; and the natural girls become oracles of Truth, reading men as pages, in this book of life, called society, this dramatic play of unitude with multitude, wherein we render under the law of diffusion, and receive under the law of collection, filling life with work worthy of Being.
A. T. H.
A. T. H., “Editorial Notes,” The Word 6 no. 1 (May, 1877): 2.
A. T. H., “Editorial Notes,” The Word 6 no. 4 (August, 1877): 2. [partially illegible on microfilm]
Anything not true to itself has in itself the best argument against itself . . . Prostitutes are burned to death by too much of mans generative sexual heat; maiden ladies are frozen to death for need of it.—A. T. H.
A. T. H., “Editorial Notes,” The Word 6 no. 10 (February, 1878): 2.
Church and State, the collective exponents of soul-life and bodily order hurt us by their gross, personal intrusion. We have not a republican government in this country; the most that can be said is that the considerations of a very few men rule us to-day. A republican government is of necessity a government of the people; women are people as much and as many as men, yet we are ignored and until as persons, identities we are heard from, without “let or hindrance,” this is not a republican government. We now suffer under a purely heistic code of experiments and coincidences by this same heistic audacity called law, and tyrannically enforced as government, the underlying fact of which is the working girl, paid less than the boy for the same work done, done in the same length of time, as well done, and as necessary to be done,—the four pronunciative powers in equity deciding the meritorious answer to all labor performed, irrespective of sex or color, size or age. The registered considerations of a few men (who often lack clairvoyance to see the right and ability to state it) must no longer be accepted as laws; we will have the simple best because it is the best, and it is our impulse, duty and mission, to seek and be satisfied with nothing less. Since men’s opinions recorded in paper-books which they are pleased to call statute-books neither create or annul the right man has no authority to act as he does; ‘tis pure assumption, for though he may have done his best we need but to step into court-house pretensions of justice and see what is going on there to know and feel his tragic ill-doing. The needed extinction of these caste and class distinctions which now cross-grain industrial and social affairs calls for higher types of ability which will dissolve evil by mind-power instead of vainly attempting to crush it by physical force; think poverty and misery aside rather than try to fight it away by fist endeavor. In this, the discriminating element characteristic of woman will work with the judgmentative ability prominent in man; and on this road we shall better be able to discover where we are unto ourselves and things,—mothers regarding their sons with greater firmness, fathers holding their daughters in greater tenderness. Until equality through merit be mentally accepted we stand defeated as a nation of men and women, as a race of boys and girls, vascillating in all that pertains to ignitive life (sexual generation) and social discipline; and we are the subjects of matter hanging clumsily about us, unpenetrated by mind, fretting, chafing, hurting each other; in weakness doing our worst, in faith hoping for the best.
To infuse morals into religion and politics, to realize Equity in genius and labor, to enact Love as the basis of church and state, shall be our work and play. Though assailed as “obscenists” we are moral scientists, personating the natural sobriety and strength of things. In making Comstock their exponent of morals Protestants become invasively vicious; in saying “Our children shall not be compelled to read a Bible not of our choice” Catholics serve liberty. Heywood in Dedham Jail, Bennett in Albany Penitentiary, Smith in old Dr. Jonathan Edward’s Northampton Hell, the great “tramp” army of unused men, uncounted women and girls dying in dungeons of inopportunity,—these are the fruits of impolitic, lonely heism, which repressed sheism significantly portrays the other half of social disaster. Blaine and Ingersoll now permit Protestant Comstockism to use the United States Government as its “cat’s paw” to pull out of the first its ecclesiastic chestnuts—censorship of the press and mails, Bible in schools, God-in-the-Constitution. The Irish World newspaper disturbs the “upper ten” by lessons in equity to the under million. Irish voters en masse go for Butler who should sand for what is catholic in Catholicism, for Protestantiasm without its lascivious intolerance, for woman against invasive maleism. At this dramatic juncture the spirit of private life penetrates public demeanor; and the public answers back into the home calling for honesty, veracity, fidelity of character and good breeding,—thus joining in dense use the powerful functions of the State, church, school and home, making us feel deeply busy through diligent work and care to accomplish our trust. When men less incline to political arrogance, and girls and women understand that stupidity is no compliment to them; when in our affairs justice supersedes charity and is itself transcended by live, then collectiveism—impartial as air and sunlight, personally inspirational, mutually insurative—will radiate universal worth in general health, the law will be intelligent and Intelligence will be Law.—Angela T. Heywood.
Angela T. Heywood, “Church and State,” The Word 8 no. 7 (November, 1879): 1.
The Obscenity Raid, the latest outbreak of unclean Ignorance on chaste Intelligence, poisonous blue-night-shade invading fragrant flower-gardens, rudely disrespects the blossom of all form, that sweetest exhalation of life—the Human Body. The use and beauty of personal posture and heats; the fact that we are Hes and Shes, the gender question; taste, manners, conception, growth; the impulse to discover, to proclaim, to improve; the sacred privileges of privacy—every cherished right and instinct roughly assailed by Christian purists who have attempted to “regulate” ideas of delicacy, and dictate persona action by invasive violence,—thrusting anew in social life the old total-depravity doctrine of human inertia. A balanced use of all things in proper time and place renders the highest good of everything; this is temperance in toto, neither drunkenness or suppression, (prohibition) overmuch or undermuch, but temperance in life as we individually or collectively find it. That we are attracted to each other in all degrees from an eye-glance to reproductive intercourse is a potentially beneficial fact; but the potential beneficence continues with us only as we realize Exchange on the Cost Principle. Girls and women are not altogether ignorant of the immense pressure of power with which men approach us, desire, even demand of us acceptance of their best gifts either for personal exhilaration or reproductive Art. Man is built projective, woman recessive; the sexual organs are as necessary, useful and beautiful as the eye or hand. Our magnetic selves, our electric, spiritual entities, the delicious aroma of human bodies,—those feelers tell how it is between mind and matter, principle and particle, persons and things; and fill a felt responsible place as subtle reporters and historians of Being. Hearing, seeing, smelling, taste, touch—the five doors of sense admitting us to knowledge and use of each other—are five cardinal points in the creed of living faith. That one knows the art of sacred approach, waits with gifts of touching salutation, his eye lighting the way to where I am—who is rude enough to say this is unworthy? The human body is the product of fine art buildment in flesh and blood, a personification of mind adjustment and matter placement; carried nine months under a throbbing heart; grown in that most genial planting ground—woman’s womb; born from between the active members of a mother’s body—this is Nature’s own best work. Those who think of it as obscene are standing proofs of obscenity within themselves.
The obscenity exists in the mean thought and cheap feeling prevalent, relative to the feminine sexual nature; lower orders of life are courteous towards their normal mates; as we rise from the animal to the human it is manly to cast shame on her who borns a face to look up to and call one of you father? No woman lightly regards a man impelled to render her the gift of his own nature; and we wonder why he laughs at us, with jeering mock, because we believe in his just bestowal, faithful demeanor, and our own needful, willing acceptance of this sacred mutuality. That from inmost view and use of ourselves come anything unclean or unfit no sane mind concedes. Testing these attributes in use by mathematical and mechanical analysis the Race, in rigid self-discipline, must heed the demands of the subtle laws of Proportion and Cost, as the voice of Equity in morals. In other words pay for what you absorb in use, not abuse, in self or others; and use only what you pay for, thereby precluding all possibility of dissolute, unworthy, irresponsible living, better known as dying. “The habit of heat,” passion is indispensable in eloquence says Emerson; and “wrath makes good verses” observes Horace; so social fervor propelled by animal heat invokes friendships wherein we learn that evil itself is but the cold end of good, the fifth sense, touch, invites personal salutation, and lifts the race into the realm of intelligent deference. As we may not fall of this round globe so we cannot escape from ourselves by ill noticement of the character and bent of bodily needs. the passage in Cupid’s Yokes most assailed is this:—
It will ere long be seen that a lady and gentleman can as innocently and properly occupy one room at night as they can now dine together.
Judge Clark secured the author’s conviction by special, passionate appeal to the jury that the above is “obscene” and “immoral.” Yet while injudicious “heat” was apparent in the Judge, giving too much reason to distrust his power of self-control in the “trying” case presented, what better example of good behavior could Mr. Heywood have portrayed than that of two Identities of opposite sex, so well-versed in the laws of touch, and self-poised in feeling, that they can associate intimately without hurt? In dining together we meet in the court of Taste the fourth sense relative to the stomach, religiously teaching our children that good table manners are among the choicest of grave. In rooming together we come within the jurisdiction of Touch, the fifth sense, where Liberty, the ethical name of motion consecrates vibration as well as articulation, tending to make associates gentle, their best self-hoods greeting. Sexual fervor filtered through the spleen generates electric magnetism to run the loom work of the brain; enabling us to mentalize animal heat, feel less by thinking more; toning us in generative vibration and quickening articulation to make each well spoken word a telegraphic dispatch from the human understanding.
You can neither buy, hire, borrow, beg, steal or find obscenity; it is a disease in the realm of sentiment; like the headache, none having it only those who have it, to the mental nature it is what syphilis is to the blood. That Comstock, Colgate, Clarke, Clifford, Benedict, Abbot, Cook and Bundy are fearfully ill with this disease is apparent. Though not “catching” or transmissible it is a disease with a fierce, repressive purpose; any information “article or thing designed or intended to prevent conception” is proscribed by the statute, which thereby affirms the present subjection of woman to man, denying us all discrimination as to when, where, how and by whom we may bear children, or with whom we may exchange magnetisms. This so called “government” now hold woman’s person for man’s use or abuse as he pleases; and that her claim to own even her womb is criminally “obscene!” Well did John Stuart Mill foresee that, the race question being settled, the next issue in the world’s thought is Gᴇɴᴅᴇʀ, the Sex Question. When Darwin, Tyndall and Huxley as Physical Scientists become famous by their efforts to find the animal basis of life in protoplasm, shall Moral Scientists be ostracized for revealing the ethical basis of action in sexuality? Is the study of the penis and womb of human beings less interesting than a chase of thought through the generative function of fishes? In view of the large appropriation which Agassiz asked of government for ichthyological research, a citizen exclaimed: “Millions of money for a fish, but not a penny for the study of man!” Combe in his “Constitution of Man” says that Seed, reproduction is the omnipresent and irrepressible intent of nature; semen is the most potent of all seed. This heistic usurpation administered by Comstock has indeed undertaken formidable tasks; it aims to suppress woman and “regulate” conception by male statutes! Two fluids rule the world, one black, one white,—ink and semen; by pen and printers ink with that two-edged sword, woman’s tongue, we will claim and conquer our natural right to use or refuse, intelligently, the life element offered us by men. And what manly man will not be with us in this conflict? Since when men impregnates woman he freely gives her elemental life who but diseased obscenists dare say that we shall have no say about it afterwards? Since Comstock and his unclean coadjutors, walking lepers in human form, Exclude Woman from Public Meetings where they conspire to capture for torture our lovers, brothers and sons; since they impose rude Ignorance as the best guardian of social purity, we have proof enough that their purpose is basely unworthy. Their method is to overcome good with evil; to invade, plunder and torture teachers and students of Social Science. Our method is liberation through knowledge and growth; stirpiculture electing Intelligence to preside at the sources of Being; good sense, the warm regenerating quality, the well-informed physical underlying the spiritual; good manners, Beauty and Use in accord with the wants and wills of life in the pathway of self-help; health personal self-hood, neither drunkards or prohibitionists, the heaven-ward looking face and wonder-working hand transcending the paw-element and cur-like countenance,—Evolutionary in pulse, word and deed, rendering also, our just dues to old Revolution whose office is ever to carry out our dead.—Angela T. Heywood.
Angela T. Heywood, “The Obscenity Raid,” The Word 8 no. 9 (January, 1880): 1.
Angela T. Heywood, 18 Edinboro’ Street, Boston, Mass.:—“Imitative culture is the latest version of ecclesiastic despotism. Presented and pressed forward, at the hazard of genuine Culture and typical Thought; held in present sway through a grotesque semblance of personal fine art achievement, of faithful demeanor, as good behavior! An insipid display of incompetent and inefficient mannerisms! Verily, how many suffer from this wanton and laxitory disease now so destructively lurking through the mind-chambers of our social structure! Shall we inspect still further and find a remedy, as faithful mental carpenters and architects? Personally we invade no one, but universally may we not be gaily diligent as workers, while we are serene as helpers; accepting the situation, indicative of a grander attitude in store for the Race? ‘Come ye weary and heavy laden,’ come ye strong and tender with feeling; yield thy mite, and thy mighty power, in faithful act; and be tireless, in sweet contemplative research for the Good, Better, Best, as strength of ability doth allow, in power of degree to pursue; never forgetting to search thy Logic, Bible, Dictionary, Thesaurus and Commentary to ascertain with Certainty whether the opposite to the Bondage of Hate be aught but the Freedom of Love! Are you not ashamed O ye people! (of Massachusetts especially, ‘a mother State’) for below-par-ness of your Thought and Faith concerning the Body Relations of the Sexes, even in a state of nudity? Ah, me! how lack we a new mental day! when the Young shall (be privileged to!) say their say, while the Old cease their impertinent mental tactics of coercion, seat themselves back with trembling delay, and, imposing less bondage on discovery, witness in duty bound, as in gala array the New Born, bounding forth as a graceful daughter, mindful and spry. Evolution, e’er leans, with gentle and happy air, the long protecting and faithful Law: as in due demeanor she nestles to meditate amid the folds drooping round about her Mother Revolution’s aged lap. Rouse, ye! oh daughters of America! Hath not the Race and Nation its destiny in they hands? Crave and gather strength from Nature’s counsel, for thy task is little known unto thy people, a People, the People of this veritable old brown earth.”
Angela T. Heywood, “Correspondence,” The Word 8 no. 11 (March, 1880): 3.
Angela T. Heywood, Princeton, Mass.:—“Since want of physical strength does not allow me to attend the Convention and still attend to what I am now detained to accomplish here, I trust none are deeply disappointed by my absence; but, if so, my atoning power must be rendered at a later day, when perhaps I shall be better able, bodily, and have somewhat more of knowledge to speak from. I am never tired of being at these Conventions for the consideration of Equity, Labor and Love. The questions of Skilled Labor, Freedom and Love do so enwrap me with energy and enthusiasm I deeply sense how much I lose by remaining away from these pleasant and wonderful People and Persons! Much as I love the People Enmasse and, in particular, the ‘Rowdy Boys’ as they are so irreverently called by the Rev. Joseph Cook and the ‘Cultured’ Nicies, I must still hold to the internal side of my life service; my Home, Children and House Work; my regrets are many but my power to act at either turn of this busy life route of Effort and Evolution gives me intense pleasure; meanwhile I know your season of timely thought and impress, does aid in a new Creation, and the dissolution of misery by mind power.”
Angela T. Heywood, “Correspondence,” The Word 9 no. 3 (July, 1880): 4.
THE ETHICS OF SEXUALITY.
The mind and matter of us; our distinct personalities yet, confluent desires and needs; the affections, actions, destinies apparent in differing bodily structures, disclose the rights, duties and laws of Sexed Being. If Persons are not invisibly related to each other seldom can there be an external, visible union of durable strength; spiritual precedes material association; Mind proposes to Matter. But Mind must appear in worthy salutation or remain outside waiting to be housed; for Matter yields only when its equality of merit and dignity of position are recognized. Man and woman, you and I meet, embrace, melt away in each other, only to reappear as Persons with new vigor, again and again in everlasting frolic, if the meeting is well-done in clear knowledge of the way to, from and with each other. When Love inspires Association the meeting is so complete, ecstatic that comparison is sacrilege; “Competition in Love” is as impossible as the rude idea is unnatural; real Association does not flourish on such wiley, irresponsible grounds. Love, biding its time, by its own inherent life, transcends rivalry in companionship; the very self-essence of power, it does not come or go, because some one wishes to appropriate it, but it is there self-existent, indestructible, irresistible. One is not a Free Lover because she cohabits with one or more men, or with none at all, but rather by the import and tone of Association; mutual impulse and mating tendencies crave expression, relish grave in its bestowal, Rest in its acceptance. Sexuality is a divine ordinance, elegantly natural from an eye-glance to the vital action of penis and womb, in personal exhilaration or for reproductive uses. Free Love calls for sincere thought and true action; it is the advent of Health and Order amid disease and chaos; centrally entrenched in and fully imbued with royal attention, jealous care and discreet regard for others welfare in their separate, united, active and passive accounts, we are joyfully held to mutual choice and duty in the ceaseless round of Change. May I have a child and by whom? Voiced in Nature, rising from the depths of the heart of Being this question admits of no equivocal answer; desire for offspring, Integrity of parents and Rights of the Child forbid insincerity. Arrived in this earth-realm of animated action our child has to recognize its own existence without blush or shame; Existence recognizes the child, calling for a father, a mother,—who are there without calling, unless inhuman habits forbid. Love outwits intrusion; Lady Nature can put Madame Intellect behind the door, further than you can think while she revels with a man to her heart’s content; but Tᴇᴍᴘᴇʀᴀɴᴄᴇ is the imperative Law; Mr. A. is drunk with soberness; Mr. C. is sober in drunkenness; neither knows the equitable, balanced use of persons. The Cost Principle is vividly apparent in coition; when a man uses only what he can pay for there will be no prostitutes. Until woman has equal pay for equal work with man she cannot prove her natural independence; without Liberty and Sex-Equity Love is impossible. Whether it is God smoking a cigar in heaven, Grantism here or stealthy usurpations in commercial and domestic life, invasive Heism stifles us; but Ethics assure equality, free and intelligent Mutualism.
The “marriage institution,” the fruit of irrational and heistic folly, is but a fly-speck on the great fact of Social Destiny. It is the auction-block of primitive sale and slavery of woman to man, as unreliable and illbinding as such forsaken-fidelity to personal Integrity could permit; its legitimate fruits are prostitution, abortions, infanticide and thousands of skulking fathers. The Ethics of Sex do not admit of any regime of action, whereby Human Beings can possibly be abused into “prostitutes,” be they male or female. “Houses of Ill-fame” which “statistics” declare “are mainly supported by married men,” and young unmarried men too, are simply relics of heistic usurpation and sheistic-slave disease. We, man and woman, boy and girl are here with desires, needs, uses, hopes,—with all our capacities for Wᴏʀᴋ to transcend tragic evil in ecstatic good.
The spirit of Culture does not exist.
Where the though of Service does not persist.
Standing with her hands upon his arm, with steady look into his eyes as he meets her gaze intoned with a thought of profound nearness to him; in tremulous vibrations thrilling her being he knows how densely she understands his electric sway, invoicing her every sense to participate in a united, welcome use and enjoyment of their birthright Powers for ingenuious blendment and judicious Creation. When a man gives his Passion to a woman she feels he must love her, else he could not yield it to her; for his passion, to her, is the divine in human semblance: as she adores it she deems that he equally holds it in honor unto himself. Hence she feels safe, for he has given her rest and trust through his bestowal of Lᴏᴠᴇ. He blesses her through his retained Passion. Has she not already counted the cost, and does he not compute its exactness unto her, as well as unto himself, and bless her with Love from his centre-self, while yet he retains a fruitful expression of his Passion? Can he be otherwise than dear to her? Does she not know her own and feel secure that as Nature yields its own through Gravity giving, it also yields its own through Levity’s acceptance thereof? If she, as woman, duly gives to man who cometh in unto her, as freely, as equally, as well as he give her, how shall she be abused or ashamed of the innermost? This meeting is not abortive but fruitful, the Over Soul, Reason transcending Force in realized Society! Both are glad; satisfaction accomplished, yet is ever deeply in store for them; as free and equal Persons they experience good; still, as Artists they may create better, best in forms, activities and destinies of new Human Beings. Art illustrated in flesh and blood; Mind, (mathematics), and Matter, (mechanics), conspiring to produce quick souls in sound bodies,—this is Life! To grow a handsome, capable child under our heart, and born that child from between our limbs is finder work than aesthetic words from the mouth, or hand-wit with brush or chisel. Sedate in airy, yearning, jaunty, throbbing Faith woman waits; in royal form with firm step man comes; the Outer and Inner of the two are one to welcome chosen Trinity.
The tendency of Sexual Freedom to personal health and social strength no intelligent, honest observer of the Free Love movement questions. False modesty born of timid ignorance has had its day; let Truth now speak; we like men because they are men; you like us because we are not men; being women we born babes not from our eyes or lips but from our wombs. Man as a physical ruler of the household, like the imperialism of bulls in the barnyard, is not a Lover but a beast, seeing in woman a breeder, or food for insatiable appetites; any alliance with him that limits Choice I detest; but the word wife never, in the three or four hundred years I have lived, seemed irrational to me; it expressed a relationship of the most candid order, twixt a woman and a man; as husband words the masculine side, wife words the feminine side of plural unity. I had no idea that the word wife in its true meaning implied servitude; I accepted it and the relationship as announcing equality with man in the realm of Service; never did I feel demeaned by so accepting the term wife, or the fact wifehood. Still, I hear the word means something awful; a serfdom, at first forced on woman, but by long endurance and custom agreed to, overlooked, forgotten, yet ever still expressed in the woman slave held by man as king of brutes, he “generous” lord and “protector” of course! To some wifehood may seem slavish, not self-adjusted service; but such bondage is foreign to my girl and woman ideas; while Sᴇʀᴠɪɴɢ I always felt to be royally worthy. I used to think Passion was something bad, and was taught, by those who did not know, that Lust is the opposite of Love; I was mistaken, for the antithesis of Love is hate; while Lust means full, glowing, healthy animal heat. Passion is a fruitful source of beneficent power. A man may love me yet have no passion for me; so one may have a passion for me, but not love men. Man does not “fall in love” with woman, for love is Essential; he may have a rise of heat, a magnetic, fervent attraction for her. Yet, whatever their views and feelings, the sexes can never escape Moral Responsibility for their actions to and with each other; the whole person, from crown to foot must obey Reason. Women have no respect for men who excuse “indiscretions” on the ground of mental or physical weakness; who say a man is “innocent” because he is “insane,” “overpersuaded,” or, worst of all, “virtuous” because he is impotent, attempting to hide behind the inability of his penis to have an erection! Woman may pretend “she does not want anything of man,” but her lady-nature knows it is the very great everything she want to do with man; it is useless to deny Nature’s functionary powers because, as yet, we know not how to appropriate them in Use, that Beauty may follow and Misery be dissolved. Intrusive power can never answer to the validity of Integrity, vested in, and called for, from the personal-resident I Aᴍ of each other. Personal Responsibility has been illregarded, set back, put to blush, by third-party, arrogant intermeddlement, of the physical force code of domestic, commercial, educational, church-and-state heisms. Evasion, intrigue thwart spiritual concord; repression is as great a physical and mental crime as aggression; mothers who attempt to act for their daughters; over-officious “friends,” finesse, however bland in purpose or robed in the imitations of culture—all vicarious intrusion between Souls violates Nature. We are related sexually; let us face the glad fact with all its ineffable joys, its fruitful Power, its invigorating Science and consequent responsibilities. Thought-exchange, mental Articulation has its twin-mate in magnetic mutuality, physical Vibration. The Penis and the Womb, the Outer and Inner are sublimely worthy peers in body faculty; their attentions, purposes, capacities, demands, supplies,—moved by Brain and Heart are the pith and glory of Being. As “the corruption of the best is the worst” so abuse or neglect of sexuality makes Society impossible; but knowledge of ourselves and mutual discretion in unity light the vestal fire of Soul-Worship on every hearth-stone. As Sex is the profoundest relation of Life, generation is its ceaseless business; Generation so well-done as to require no regeneration. Thought moved by impulse discovers and incarnates Spiritual Forces, weds Use to Beauty, creates attractive Persons who find in Reason Religion and in Love Law.
Angela T. Heywood.
Angela T. Heywood, “The Ethics of Sexuality,” The Word 9 no. 12 (April, 1881): 3.