There is a spirit of antagonism, however, apparent between the sexes today—not universal, but sufficiently so to attract passing attention—which is as unnatural as it is unaccountable. A portion of it may be traced to women's wholesale entrance into masculine employments; another portion, possibly, to sexual resentment on her part for the indifference, or objection to matrimony displayed by the opposite sex; viewing the latter as one of volition on the part of men, rather than stern necessity, bom of the industrial competition of which men are the unwilling victims; but there remains yet a great portion of the prejudice to be reasonably accounted for.
As women commonly despise physical beauty in a man, bo men in turn are jealous of nothing so much as any invasion of their sexual prerogatives by women; and in view of the following statements, collected from various newspaper sources during the past year, and given, of course, as such, without any pretense to scientific value, we may be led to inquire if the sexual supremacy of the future may not be based as much on physical strength as on intellectual or moral force.
A lady at Monongahela, Pennsylvania, was so rejoiced, when her husband returned from his hunting trip, that she embraced him with such vigor as to explode the cartridge in his gun. A gentleman in Buffalo had his rifts fractured by a hug from his "best girl;" and a cabman suffered fracture of the jaw from the blow of a Boston woman's fist, as an argument in a dispute as to fare. At Porta Maggiore, in Italy, a band of women socialists attacked a considerable number of priests, tore their robes to rags, beat them unmercifully, and ended the day by chasing a troop of cavalry sent to suppress them. Barring one week of the year 1904, the newspapers reported the capture of no fewer than five burglars, each by a single woman; and in all instances it was the superior muscular strength of the lady which won the victory. Recently a Mr. Callaghan applied to a Chicago magistrate for protection against his wife, whose daily amusement, according to the evidence, seemed to be to pick him up bodily and catapult him against the wall; and in the same lively city Henry Williams complained that his daughter had taken his job from him at the stock-yards, the said "job" being lifting and handling keavy barrels of pork.
In many of the manual training-schools girls rank first in respect of physical strength; and in Providence, R. I., during a contest to determine which pupil could drive a nail home with the fewest blows, and greatest accuracy, a girl won the first prize. Some months ago1 the President's daughter wrote a letter of congratulation to Miss " Bassie " Mulhall on the latter's defeat of all male competitors in roping and tying two of three steers, in forty-three seconds each, and the third in seventy-one seconds, thereby winning a prize of a thousand dollars; and many other similar instances might be recorded to show that if, as has been frequently charged, man is rapidly "womanizing," woman seems about as rapidly to be "manizing."
What the ultimate result will be—whether the development of a new race of Amazons, or the stimulation of men to more heroic efforts to maintain their physical prestige—is a dark problem for the future to solve; but the final influence of such a state of affairs on society in general, and the marriage relation in particular, requires little philosophy to predict.