will say to those thousands of girls: “It shall be as honorable to you, no matter where you earn your bread, as it is to your brother.
We trample mistaken Judaism under one foot, and our absurdly ideal Saint Paul
under the other; nothing to us is the old, false, so-called delicacy, which was the Moloch to which religious bigotry and mistaken opinion offered up the virtue of two thirds of the sisterhood.
In spite of all, go out; earn your living in some two hundred or five hundred vocations.”
Then, at his door, the tailor will find fifty women when he wants a hundred, and they will dictate terms from the outside, instead of he from within.
cannot help you. Political economy cannot help you. Help never will come while shrinking woman tries to save respectability by clinging to the needle, and labors only in the secrecy of home.
Gild her pathway with your approbation, no matter where she walks in honest business.
[Applause.] Greet her with the most honorable recognition, no matter what she does, provided it be what her brother might do,--an honorable man under the same circumstances.
That immedicable wound of a great city, that social vice before which modern civilization stands aghast, unable even to suggest a remedy, will lie helpless and conquered in the hands of a correct public opinion, that shall allow woman to make her way upward to ease, to honor, to wealth, to all that the human soul craves, unchecked by morbid fashion; and it is you that make public opinion.
The tempter to vice in the streets of New York is not the rout
; it is the absurdly fastidious, the bigotedly religious sister that lives in a warm mansion within half a mile.
[Applause.] She is the one that binds the limbs that God made alert, and the powers that God made strong, and hands the victim over to the utmost control of the tempter.
Go home and reform