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Woman’s Wickedness
by [?]

The working girl soon learns that beyond a few stale platitudes–fired of much as a hungry man says grace–she gets no more credit for wearing honest rags than flaunting dishonest silks; that good name, however precious it may be to her, is really going out of fashion–that when the world pretends to prize it above rubies it is lying– is indulging in the luxury of hypocrisy. She likewise learns that the young men really worth marrying, knowing that a family means a continual striving to be fully as fashionable and artificial as those better able to play the fool, seek mistresses rather than wives. She becomes discouraged, desperate, and drifts into the vortex.

Much is said by self-constituted reformers of the lachrymose school anent trusting maids “betrayed” by base-hearted scoundrels and loving wives led astray by designing villains; but I could never work my sympathies up to the slopping over stage for these pathetic victims of man’s perfidy. It may be that my tear-glands lack a hair- trigger attachment, and my sob-machine is not of the most approved pattern. Perchance woman is fully as big a fool as these reformers paint her–that she has no better sense than a blind horse that has been taught to yield a ready obedience to any master–to submit itself without question to the guidance of any hand. Will the “progressive” woman–who is just now busy boycotting Col. Breckinridge and spilling her salt tears over his discarded drab–kindly take a day of and tell us what is to become of this glorious country when such incorrigible she-idiots get control of it? It is well enough to protect the honor of children with severe laws and a double-shotted gun; but the average young woman is amply able to guard her virtue if she really values it, while the married woman who becomes so intimate with a male friend that he dares assail her continence, deserves no sympathy. She is the tempter, not the victim. True it is that maids, and matrons too, as pure as the white rose that blooms above the green glacier, have been swept too far by the fierce whirlwind of love and passion; but of these the world doth seldom hear. The woman whose sin is sanctified by love–who staked her name and fame upon a cowardly lie masquerading in the garb of eternal truth– never yet rushed into court with her tale of woe or aired her grievance in the public prints. The world thenceforth can give but one thing she wants, and that’s an unmarked grave. May God in his mercy shield all such from the parrot criticisms and brutal insults of the fish-blooded, pharisaical female, whose heart never thrilled to love’s wild melody, yet who marries for money–puts her frozen charms up at auction for the highest bidder, and having obtained a fair price by false pretenses, imagines herself preeminently respectable! In the name of all the gods at once, which is the fouler crime, the greater “social evil”: For a woman to deliberately barter her person for gold and lands, for gew- gaws, social position and a preferred pew in a fashionable church–even though the sale be in accordance with law, have the benediction of a stupid priest and the sanction of a corrupt and canting world–or, in defiance of custom and forgetful of cold precept, to cast the priceless jewel of a woman’s honor upon the altar of illicit love?

Give the latter woman a chance, forget her fault, and she will become a blessing to society, an ornament to Heaven; the former is fit inhabitant only for a Hell of ice. She has deliberately dishonored herself, her sex and the man whose name she bears, and Custom can no more absolve her than the pope can pardon sin. She is the most dreadful product of the “Social Evil,” of unhallowed sexual commerce–is the child of Mammon and Medusa, the blue- ribbon abortion of this monster-bearing age.