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Marriage & Family Life: P4—Woman under the Developing Mores

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The Cosmic Citizen

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We continue our study of Paper 84, Marriage and Family Life with §5, Woman under the Developing Mores and, time allowing, may proceed to §6 The Partnership of Man and Woman.

In self-perpetuation woman is man’s equal, but in the partnership of self-maintenance she labors at a decided disadvantage, and this handicap of enforced maternity can only be compensated by the enlightened mores of advancing civilization and by man’s increasing sense of acquired fairness. (936.5) 84:5.1

The modern idea of sex equality is beautiful and worthy of an expanding civilization, but it is not found in nature. When might is right, man lords it over woman; when more justice, peace, and fairness prevail, she gradually emerges from slavery and obscurity. Woman’s social position has generally varied inversely with the degree of militarism in any nation or age.

But man did not consciously nor intentionally seize woman’s rights and then gradually and grudgingly give them back to her; all this was an unconscious and unplanned episode of social evolution. When the time really came for woman to enjoy added rights, she got them, and all quite regardless of man’s conscious attitude. Slowly but surely the mores change so as to provide for those social adjustments which are a part of the persistent evolution of civilization. The advancing mores slowly provided increasingly better treatment for females; those tribes which persisted in cruelty to them did not survive. (936.7–937.1) 84:5.3–4 

Science, not religion, really emancipated woman; it was the modern factory which largely set her free...    ...Thus has industry won its unconscious and unintended fight for woman’s social and economic emancipation. And again has evolution succeeded in doing what even revelation failed to accomplish. (937.4–5) 84:5.7–8

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