The Focus, Vol. 7

The Focus, Vol. 7

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Excerpt from The Focus, Vol. 7: February, 1917

It is rather a difficult thing to point out in history just where the serfdom of woman began to give way to freedom and education. For ages man seems to have forgotten the Creator's intention that woman should be man's help-mate and not his slave. We can scarcely comprehend in modern days the narrow-minded view held by man concerning the woman of ancient times. The first instances of a broader view seem to have been in individual cases rather than in general. My purpose is to take up these instances and show how they gradually widened to the entire sex, to trace this influence down to the present and at the same time keep before you the main things that should constitute the education of the average intelligent woman.

While the history of ancient Greece tells us that the system of Athenian education recognized intellectual culture as equally necessary with physical training it also shows that the female sex, with the exception of the abandoned portion, was not only excluded entirely from society but from any part in intellectual improvement as well. To the courtesan, however, opportunities of education and culture were granted and the learning and eloquence of some of these enabled them to rule the leaders of the state and gave them a reputation which has come down to our own day. To those who have studied Grecian literature and perceived its influence on the minds of men for centuries, it seems strange indeed that when Greece stood first among nations in intellectual culture and physical bravery, the mothers of these Grecian writers such as Plato, Aristotle and Socrates were more obscure and ignorant than the present servant class.

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