Cylchgronau Cymru

Chwiliwch trwy dros 450 o deitlau a 1.2 miliwn o dudalennau

,348 THE PROBLEM OF THE NINETEENTH CENTUR Y Zhe problem of tbe TOneteentb Genturg, '" Woman is the problem of the nineteenth century as man was the problem of the eighteenth century," says a famous French author, and the dawn of the twentieth century may see its solution now that women themselves are determined to throw a new strong iight upon it. When men awoke from the long night of the Middle Ages, they learned to question all men and all things that might explain and justify their existence, and out of the intellectual revolts and physical revolutions of the eighteenth century, they brought forth at least one answer to their questioning. They discovered that -man's useful existence depended on work and liberty, and they .placed the words " Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," upon the ban¬ ners of Humanity—banners destined to be often trampled under foot; words, the lustre of which was tarnished for a time by the terrors of a French Revolution, but which burnt their bright mean¬ ing into the heart of mankind and illumined an era of reform with a light that is extending in ever widening waves down to our own day and to every class in our community. Women have not as yet answered the first question in the examination of their destinies, essential to the right solution of the problem. It is still being asked by many, " Ought women to work at all ? " and it is still thought by many that the appearance of women in public life is due to the action of a few erratic individuals, -and not to the effect of a deep and radical social change. The awakening of women in this century is due to the same causes that roused men in the last, to the wider extension of education and the increased diffusion of knowledge. " The history of civilisation," says Buckle, " is the history of the change, from the arts of war to the arts of peace," and the •opposition offered to the advancement of women is chiefly due to the ■deep-rooted fallacy that society reposes on force, and ignorance of