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Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6
Sex in Relation to Society

written by "Ellis, Havelock, 1859-1939"
...pt women into its ranks,[300] and made inevitable the legal changes which, by 1882, insured to a married woman the possession of her own earnings. The same movement, with its same consequences, is going on elsewhere. In the United States, just as in England, there is a vast army of five million women, rapidly increasing, who earn their own living, and their position in relation to men workers is even better than in England. In France from twenty-five to seventy-five per cent. of the workers in most of the chief industries—the liberal professions, commerce, agriculture, factory industries—are women, and in some of the very largest, such as home industries and textile industries, more women are employed than men. In Japan, it is said, three-fifths of the factory workers are women, and all the textile industries are in the hands of women.[301] This movement is the outward expression of the modern conception of personal rights, personal moral worth, and personal responsibility, which, as Hobhouse has remarked, has compelled women to take their lives into their own hands, and has at the same time rendered the ancient marriage laws an anachronism, and the ancient ideals of feminine innocence shrouded from the world a mere piece of false sentiment.[302] There can be no doubt that the entrance of women into the field of industrial work, in rivalry with men and under somewhat the same conditions as men, raises serious questions of another order. The general tendency of civilization towards the economic independence and the moral responsibility of women is unquestionable. But it is by no means absolutely clear that it is best for women, and, therefore, for the community, that women should exercise all the ordinary avocations and professions of men on the same level as men. Not only have the conditions of the avocations and professions developed in accordance with the special aptitudes of men, b...

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