Page images
PDF
EPUB

in which the ladies see practice daily under have not yet received such contributions to supervision of the female professors. the medical world as we desire from the in

The Philadelphian institution was estab- stitutions we have named. This may be to lished about two years later than that of a considerable extent due to outward oppoBoston, having received its charter in 1850. sition, and to internal divisions between Dr. Joseph Langshore' was its projector. “schools” of medicine; but we cannot afThe opposition to this college has been ex- fect a doubt that it is in a yet larger meastremely bitter, the Pennsylvanian Medical ure due to the separation of women from Society having passed a resolution declaring the colleges and studies of men. The pubtheir hostility to medical women, and their lic will naturally apprehend that this septdetermination not to consult with them un- ration implies some expurgation of the der any circumstances, or retain as mem- usual studies; and where life and death are bers those who should do so. Since this, involved, while appreciating the modesty however, the American Medical Association of the women, it will continue to employ has passed resolutions recognising "well- the men. The condition of medical knowleducated female physicians by the same edge is not so satisfactory that any of it can laws that govern its own members ;” and be spared; and even if it were possible to it is very doubtful if the State Society will build up a new set of schools, equal in arbe able to maintain its resolution in the face rangements for study to those already exof that of the National Association.* The isting, it must be a slow work, and it must Philadelphian college has educated many be a long time before such institutions or women, and, although not quite so flourish- their graduates can receive the same amount ing as some others, is steadily growing in of confidence as the old ones. the public confidence.

Nor can we regard the feeling which reAn energetic woman, Dr. Lozin, under- quires these separate medical colleges as took to promote a Female Medical College otherwise than mistaken. Truth knows no in New York, and in 1861 the Legislature sex. There may for some time be in the granted the charter for a Medical College, medical as in other professions, persons unHospital, and Dispensary for Women and worthy of them, who can annoy women in Children. This college has been much in their efforts to obtain the knowledge and jured by a struggle between Allopathy and training, necessary to combat disease and Homeopathy for its control, and has not death; but among all whose opinion is of yet perhaps fulfilled the expectations of importance, the solemn importance of the its friends ; but its students have great ad- work will be enough to suppress all petty vantages in the New York hospitals, and conventionalities. What would have been its ultimate success is unquestionable. thought of one who had suggested any im

Drs. Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell are, propriety in the labours of Florence Nightinhowever, not satisfied with the standard of gale, or of the women who devoted themeducation in these colleges, and have pro- selves to the American hospitals during the cured a charter for another college, in which late civil war? But the physician, male or four years of preparation and actual resi- female, is similarly devoted to the work of dence in a hospital will be required. From saving and healing sufferers in the perpekthe three institutions we have mentioned ual conflict of man with disease and death; more than three hundred graduates have and they who in the presence of pain and issued, and nearly as many women practi- anxiety can obtrude such considerations 25 tioners perhaps have been graduated from those to which we have adverted, are not the colleges that admit both men and likely to be of a class whom women need women. Of the colleges which do this the consider in adjusting their standards of edgreat majority are those representing the ucation or duty. various Reformed and Eclectic Schools of For similar reasons we must condemn the Medicine in America.

principle which has led the female colleges Among the graduates and instructors of to impose limitation upon their range of the regular medical schools for women, a study, and that of the practice of their few — as the sisters Blackwell, Drs. Dens- graduates. With the utmost respect for more, Zakrewska, Lozin, Langshore, Scar- the able physicians connected with those in lett, Preston, Cooke, Sewall, Morton stitutions both here and in America, and have gained some practice and more repu- wbile rejoicing in their merited degree of tation as instructors, even among the scep- success, we cannot believe that the want tical; and yet it must be admitted that we which has created those schools is to be sat The American Institute of Homeopathy has de

isfied by narrowing women to one class of cided to admit well-educated medical women to its studies, however important, or by confinmembership

ling their practice to patients of their own

sex, and to children. If a woman has gifts in this country since the recent action of which justly lead her to study medicine, Apothecaries' Hall. The principle," it there is no sex or age that should have the justly maintains,“ which we conceive no exclusive benefit of those gifts. The pa- arguments either of benevolence or conventient has a right to the best treatment that ience should induce the leaders of the party can be obtained. We must even more to abandon, is that of professional equality strongly condemn the grounds on which -a common standing-ground, be it high some of these institutions have sought to or low, for men and women." We must, bring to their aid some of the lowest con- however, join issue with the practical methventional prejudices. Whatever may be od suggested in the same article, that wothe temporary advantages of disseminating men desiring to become physicians should the idea that there is indelicacy in the be content to go to the universities in employment of male physicians by women, America or to that of Zurich, where women its general acceptance would more than are admitted. The only advantage offered counterbalance any good that the female by this course, that of obtaining registration colleges can hope to achieve. Women in England, is not, in our judgment, of have peculiar need of every aid that sufficient importance to compensate for the science or intelligence can furnish, and inconvenience and expense which must in though the time may come when many fe- many cases attend such exile into foreign male physicians may be as able to serve lands, or the suspicions that would be them as men, it can never be expected that urged, however unjustly, as to the thoroughevery community will have its finest medi- ness of the studies and examinations in uncal skill represented by a woman. Is the known institutions. Registration is in itfemale sufferer, then, to be encouraged to self but a relic of that State interference think that modesty requires her to forego with the natural development of medical the help she requires ? The suggestion is science, the evil effects of which have been not only intrinsically base, but it is unwar- fully exposed in this Review.* If because ranted by anything in the long history of of the non-registration of a diploma, the the relation of the physician to his female certificate or evidence of a physician may patient. It is, we believe, far more likely, be objected to in a court of justice, it may in an advanced state of social enlighten- be so much the worse for the State ; but if ment, to be proved that each sex is peculi- the diploma itself were signed by duly qualarly adapted to heal the other, than that ified and eminent examiners, the profeseach is to attend its own; but however sional competency of the person holding it that may be, no permanent interest such as could not be thereby lessened. Moreover, that which the female physicians have at it is not in the rear but in the van of the heart can be served by appeals to false sen- medical profession that women who desire timent, nor can genuine progress worthily to enter it as equals must look for their alenlist prejudices which true refinement and lies. The medical reform in which women culture must continually remove further in- are now interesting themselves is, in princito the past. It is well known that the sis-ple, essentially the same as that for which ters Blackwell in New York, and Miss nearly five thousand English medical men Garrett in London, owe much of their ac- laboured together under the name of “ The knowledged advantages over their sisters National Institute of Medicine, Surgery, of the same profession to the fact that their and Midwifery,” more than twenty years studies were not confined to any one branch, ago. They wanted to abolish the baneful and that they were educated by the regu- monopolies and exclusive privileges of the lar instructors of men. The fact is signifi- London College of Surgeons, and to obtain cant, and plainly means that women who for each of its members a voice in its govwould successfully claim the right they feel ernment. But regarding the reform of that to any profession hitherto monopolised by college as hopeless, they entertained the men, must fulfil the conditions which men idea of organizing a board of Examiners have fulfilled, and not ask to have the for themselves, and sought legal power to standard lowered in order that they may confer diplomas on candidates for memberreach it.

ship of their body. The judgment which, A temperate and timely article in Mac- ten years ago, we pronounced on their atmillan's Magazine for September, in deal- tempt and failure is, mutatis mutandis, ing with the practical difficulties in the way strictly applicable to the aims and efforts of women in England who desire to become of the different parties who are now enphysicians, wisely animadverts on the partial course of study and practice which 1856; Medical Reform," April, 1858 ; '' Medical

See Articles ---"Medical Despotism," April, alone are attainable through any institutions | Education," July, 1868.

deavouring to obtain for women facilities | necessary to qualify candidates for such a for medical education, and legal recognition diploma, we maintain that women have alas physicians — either in the form of a char- ready within their reach in this country adeter for a new medical college where they quate means of acquiring the theoretical may study, and from which they may ob- knowledge of medicine, and that it is quite tain diplomas, or in the form of admission within their power to create, if they cannot for examination by the several medical bod- find, the necessary opportunities for both ies now established. We therefore quote practical anatomy" and "hospital prachere the words we made use of in 1858: tice.” Miss Garrett may have exhausted

the resources of Apothecaries' Hall so far “ The problem of medical reform would have as her sex is concerned, but women have been completely solved in 1845 by the large asso- not exhausted the independence and the ciation of general practitioners afterwards called ability of those physicians who are already the National Institute of Medicine, Surgery, willing to come forward to instruct them. and Midwifery,' if it had but freed itself of the It is, on the contrary, well known that algeneral superstition regarding the necessity of most in proportion to the advance of modern securing the aid of the State in the form of a scientific research has been the disposition charter or Act of Parliament This Institute proposed that such of its members as should

of its leaders to encourage the studies of pursue their studies after its incorporation, women and their efforts to fulfil nobler should be admitted only after giving evidence to

tasks. They may certainly claim several examiners of their fitness to practise as physi- eminent physicians in this country as friends cians, surgeons, or accoucheurs, and thus woult in their new undertaking. The efforts that have abolished the old and absurd system which have been made to open the hospitals of involves the necessity that a candidate should be London to the observation of female stuexamined by two or three different bodies before dents have indeed failed, but not without he is competent to act as ' general practitioner.' revealing an amount of liberality on the It proposed to give its members a voice in its part of the physicians connected with them constitution and government, and to take care which may prove of much value in the futhat its standard of professional education should ture. And though after an attendance for be as high as possible, consistently with provid- some time on the practice of Drs. Chapman ing a suficient number of medical men to supply and Drysdale in the Farringdon Dispensary, the wants of the community. The one thing ladies were excluded from it, several of the wanting to give efficiency and permanency to the • National Institute' was a belief in its own

members, including, if we understand rightself-sufficingness. Had it had this, it would also ly, the chairman of the committee, declared have had the courage to ignore the State, to ex- that they were personally in favour of the ercise its own inherent power of judging of the admission of women to the dispensary, and fitness of candidates for admission into its body, that they only voted for their exclusion beto admit them accordingly, to give them a cer cause their presence might, by being an tificate of their admission, which in the estimate offence to many subscribers, lessen the funds of the public, would be an adequate testimonial of the institation. But there is ample room of professional qualifications, and to honour in London for new hospitals and dispensathem by the title learned, or teacher, in the ries, where men and women shall be adshape of the Latin word doctor. The State is mitted on equal terms. We therefore subpowerless to determine whether a man be learned, mit that it were well for English women unless by a commission of learned men; what desiring to become physicians, to try thoneed, then, is there, when a body of learned roughly the resources near at hand before men bas pronounced a favourable judgment concerning the qualifications of any given person,

they conclude to cross the ocean, or even that they should abstain from styling that per

the Channel. son learned until the State has authorized them

The possibility that women, if adequately to do so? It can neither supervise their exami- educated, may develop powers adapted to nation nor correct their judgment, and it is employments monopolised by men, has led equally powerless to add or to take from the es- to a jealousy for female delicacy and elevasential qualifications of the person in question.” tion above work which is a little suspicious :

men have never made an outcry against Our advice to women desirous of a relia- women's entering upon any occupation howble testimonial of their competency to prac- ever hard or “ degrading," unless that octise medicine is to co-operate in establishing cupation were one in which they would coma Board of trustworthy Examiners, whose pete with men ! certificate of medical efficiency might con However, mingled with some selfishness, stitute as good a diploma as any now con- there is no doubt more of honest prejudice ferred by authority of Parliament or the in the opposition to all that tends to widen Crown. "And with respect to the studies the sphere of woman's interest and useful

ness. Every system tends to produce men Having referred again to the fact that the in its own image, who will defend it to the social degradation of woman is traceable to last; and the living ideas or needs, however her physical weakness in ages of war, we urgent, must long be ruled by sceptres held take this place to affirm that she can be in the hands of skeletons. We may yet justly excluded from any other sphere of study with profit, as we did in 1832, the life only by a degree of natural incompehistory of the proud city of Old Sarum. tence similar to that which incapacitated her On that hill stood the grand old cathedral for war. A stone that is fit for the wall is and the castle from which Roman and Sax- not left in the way, says the proverb; and on and Dane and Norman had successively Nature is too cunning a builder to put into ruled south-western England. An age of the wall the stone that is unfit. If women incessant warfare, made by the struggles of are unable to help men in the court, the races, had decided that the city should be college, the government, there need be no built on that hill. But when the first days restrictive laws to keep them out of these. of comparative peace came, the people of But these things cannot be decided by prejOld Sarum looked upon the green and smil- udice. Women must be permitted to uning valley of the Avon near them, and said, fold their faculties freely, and their level

Why should we be perched upon this must be determined by their real abilities hills

The yearning for the valley in- and disabilities not those arbitrarily ascreased, until about six centuries ago the signed them by man. And thus far, we whole city went down into the valley, and claim, the only occupations for which she a single generation saw the first stone of has been shown unfit are those which are Salisbury laid and the last inhabitant leave doomed to pass away, and which intelligent Old Sarum. For several centuries now not and good men everywhere are seeking to even the outlines of the ancient city could abolish. Woman, it is granted, is unfit for be traced in the dust. And yet up to 1832, war; but who does not hope that war is Old Sarum continued to send two members passing away for ever! We are anxious to to parliament, as in the reign of Edward keep women out of the region of the mobIII. The two members were elected under violence, partizan rancours, and intrigues, an old tree, where in the presence of the attendant upon elections; but what good sheep and

grass the bailiff read the Bribery citizen does not wish to purge politics of Act, proclaimed the elections, and so on. these base accompaniments ? A French Thus did Old Sarum continue to make laws writer, Madame Sírault, has said, “ Every for England centuries after it had utterly career from which woman is steadily redisappeared from the earth, with the mili- pulsed by man is, by this fact alone, marked tary exigencies which had built it. Some- with the seal of death. The very repulse thing has been done toward abolishing the stigmatizes it. Man may not be conscious rotten boroughs of politics ; but how many of what he does; but the career which is moral and intellectual Old Sarums are there too vile for a woman to enter has already which have crumbled with the conditions outlived all chance of reform, and must that produced them, but still manage to perish with its abuses.” Her statement is wield power and make laws for the living ? true. And our trade, laws, politics, will Are not our universities really the rotten then alone be sufficiently ennobled in the boroughs of monkish ages ?

eyes of just and wise men, when a pure woAn English journal, in a late article on the man may mingle with them without danger enfranchisement of woman, claimed that her or shame. It is significant that reformers inability to be a soldier was the seal of Na- are glad to accept the aid of woman in their ture to her present inferiority of position. organizations; she is not out of place in The able editor was perhaps unconscious of their ideal societies. Her equality refers to the extreme antiquity of his opinion, which happier and purer eras, as her oppressions was the echo of that of the first savage who refer to ages of bloodshed, tainted trade, ever knocked his child on the head because and corrupt politics. it was a female, and therefore unfit for the God said, “It is not good that man should one object of life — warfare. An age in be alone: I will make him an help meet which war was the one interest produced that for him. Then made be a woman, and editor's idea as it built Sarum on a hill; but brought her unto the man." So spoke the what meaning has it for an age that has human instinct in ancient times. But presabandoned the fortified crags for the green ently man concluded that he knew better; valleys of peaceful life? Government is and said, in the market, in the college, in not now a War Council. It concerns the public affairs, man shall be alone. And every-day relations and the homes of men, even in the home he determined that wowomen, and children; of education, art and man should enter at first only as a slave, religion.

I and to the last only as an inferior. Never

theless, through her own ability and his he would very soon find a propriety in feneeds, woman gradually obtained in fact, male physicians. And the most respectable though never in law, a preponderant power merchant would be found citing Portia, if in the homes of civilized society. "Now with a law-case involving 10,0001. he fully compare this one ephere in which her equal. believed that a certain female_barrister ity is practically recognized, and her intlu- could infallibly gain his cause. Therefore, ence most felt, with any of those in which the thorough education of women, — their man has resolved that it is good for him to admission to every advantage for training be alone. Compare a refined English home possessed by man, — seems to us the parent with English politics, diplomacy, litigation, of all other reforms. Let there be the colleges, international relations; and who river, it will not fail to find its channel, and does not feel that the latter are some centu- the right path to the sea. Let women be ries behind the former in civility and beau- known to bave faculties available for definite ty? There is a taint of grossness or bar- work, and the sentimental will have to sigh barism upon every department of the world over her deserted “sphere” in vain. It from which woman is excluded; and every was long before female physicians were home in England writes upon our public heard of — about 1745 — that a woman in affairs, “ It is not good for man to be good society in New York, a Mrs. Lester, alone.”

was known to have great surgical skill and For ourselves we are not, in this matter, medical knowledge, and in the course of so much concerned for “woman's rights" as thirty-four years she was called to attend for the rights of mankind. We believe that 1300 important cases. A woman became the enfranchisement of woman would be chief calculator of lunar tables at Washingthe greatest contribution toward carrying ton, because when Congress made an apthe civilization of the home into the rank propriation for a Nautical Almanac she ofwilderness of Statecraft; that the laws fered the most accurate work. Neither of would be more just, wars more rare, and these women failed to receive due applause the relations of nation with nation less from society. Mrs. Dall's excellent work is snarling and selfish, if they were not so un- a cyclopædia of facts which show that womitigatedly male. We believe that those man's sphere will always be widened enough who come after us will regard us as having to include anything she can actually contribeen very stupid in going on from age to age bute to society. But her credentials must with our repulsive social routine, our hard be verified, to use Margaret Fuller's phrase, selfish politics, with their venality and gen- by good work. We believe, therefore, that eral ugliness, while all around us lay unuti- the first thing of all to claim for her is the lized the vast resources of moral feeling right of education, the right, that is, to and refining power in the heart and brain be put in possession of the implements for of woman. We believe that man is only her work. And experience has shown that half living in so much of this world as wo- this will not be fairly done until women are man is excluded from; that he is only half admitted to the same studies, in the same seeing truth, only half discovering the laws universities, with men. In every female and the beauty 'surrounding him, because college in the world studies are expurgated, one of his eyes with a subtle light of its qualified, selected, accommodated, to suit own is closed in the ignorance of woman. some preconceived nonsensical theory about

But whether this creed be true or not, it woman's mind or woman's sphere. Thus will never be recognized in the organization she is shackled to begin with, and then held of society until women have shown their up to illustrate her inability to keep step ability to help the world materially in all with man. If a thing be true, a woman these directions. As it is the rule of the has, in her ability to learn it, the right to British Constitution to admit classes to learn it; and in depriving her of a particupower only when there is more danger in lar study, man may be withholding the parkeeping them out than in admitting them, ticular ray of heat or light under which her so it will for a long time be the rule with special ability would uofold. It is a deep our commercial Anglo-Saxon man to make wrong that ages which held that women had changes ly when they improve the col- no souls, or made them slaves, - or fashumn of profits and diminish that of loss. ionable toys, - or consecrated them to We have not the least faith that our solid nunneries, — should still be represented in men will suffer a sentiment to come between our laws, institutions, and colleges ; and it them and a solid advantage. If the most is adding insult to the injury, when the maconservative man in England had consump- chinery into which we place her turns out tion or epilepsy, and really believed that a " the girl of the period," to hold her up to certain woman could completely cure him, the scorn of the world as the best thing that

« EelmineJätka »