Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, August 09, 1914, SOCIETY EDITORIAL, Image 18
The Omaha Sunday Bee Magazine Pag r iht-Lovin& Women a Menace' to the Roe? Psychology's Lessons from the Cruel Joy with Which Hun dreds of Fashionable Women Witnessed the Last Three Brutal Pugilistic Encounters. Abroad By Dr. Hans Huldriksen, The Distinguished Swedish-American Psychologist. SPOILED daughters of society, whose tortured and Jaded nerves are stimulated by the sight of two human brutes beating one another black and bloody, you r a menace to our race! Spoiled daughters of society, who combine the .cruelty-loving instincts of the savage'with an Inordinate love of the costliest luxuries and display, rou are a peril to our womankind! Three recent prize fights in Europe have been made remarkable by the attendance of a large number of women of the aristocracy, many of them young and attractive, wearing jewels and modish evening dreBs. They made a coarse and brutal con test the excuse for a brilliant social gathering. The prize fights thus distinguished were those between thennegro; 'jack Johnson, and Frank Moran, in Paris ; between "Freddie' Welsh and "Willie" RItchey, in London, and be tween "Gunboat". Smith and Georges Carpentier, also in London. In this unblushing patronage of a brutal spectacle by those who should be the most gentle and refined ele ment of society,, we see not merely a display of bad taste, but an unmis takable Indication of social corrup- tion, a warning that an upheaval Is coming in the communities where such degraded taste prevails. When ever In history the women of the up per classes have succumbed to the fascination of cruel and bloodthirsty spectacles, the downfall of a civiliza tion has been surely decreed. Thus It was in ancient Rome, la Babylon, In Carthage, inEgypt, in Greece, in Spain. The psychologist who studies the news about the recent prizefights is forced to conclude that France and England are doomed to pass through an upheaval like those which befell the earlier civilizations. We In America are closely affected by these occurrences, for a consider able number of American women were among those who witnessed the prizefights. Moreover, the tendency of our socially conspicuous class to imitate the society of England and France Is bo strong that there is nec essarily grave danger that the con tagion of such social customs will spread here. Listen to a newspaper report of the Bght between the negro Jack Johnson and Frank Moran in Paris: "The singular spectacle was pre sented of several hundred women in, beautiful gowns applauding the two pugilists as they struggled up and down the ring, feinting and dodging and punching each other. "Among the women were those that bore such great names in society as Baroness Henri de Rothschild, the younger Duchess d'Uzes, the Duchess de Rohan, Countess Mathleu de No allles, the poetess Princess Morou left, and Countess de Proumiers. "Johnson's white wife occupied a prominent position, wearing many diamonds." Before the fight, we are told, the loveliest women of the French aris tocracy bearing names that have been famous since the crusades felt the rippling muecles of the colored gladiator Johnson and thrilled with a brutal Joy In the contemplation of his colossal development. In a misplaced enthusiasm for the triumph of the white race, the at tractive Mrs. !'.-.: V. "j?r i,ot New York, richly gowned, planted a kiss full on the Hps of the Pittsburgh pugilist Frank Moran. During the encounter the women became fran tically excited and applauded wildly whenever the fighting seemed vicious. Similar scenes occurred at the fight between Welsh and Ritchey in Lon ten. The Earl of LonsdJe, a lead ing English sporting nobleman, was there, and with him was bis wife, one of the handsomest women in so ciety, and many other women of the English aristocracy. Tall, fair-haired maids and matrons, who should have been attending to their duties in the statelj homes of England, sat by the ringside and cheered the fighters. Among them, too.l regret to say. was a prominent Anglican clergyman, tha Rev. Michael Vernon Baudier, led there by the fallacious Idea that the love of fighting would develop man liness In his parishioners. Similar scenes were repeated at the contest in London between the French pugilist Georges Carpentier and the American "Gunboat" Smith. It was a mitigating circumstance of this affair that reason triumphed over brute force. Carpentier's course in wresting a victory from his stronger and more brutal opponent, "Gunboat" Smith, by taking a tech nical advantage of the rules, was in a degree a triumph for the mind of man. We can best appreciate the ulti mate tendency of these demoralizing pugilistic carnivals by referring to the gladiatorial contests of ancient Rome." That j6wer bore a close re semblance to modern England since Rome was merely the metropolis of a vast empire lnhabtted largely by savage and dependent races. In the later days of the Roman empire, when It was tottering to its fall, the women of the leading Roman families thronged the Colosseum to witness the great gladiatorial festivals held - I V 'in:-: .X--! . j- -. .", ' J : t J 1 ; " - v - i hi I ! ' ' I f I s i ' ! - "5 , ' , t ' ' V t ' .- is I V '. f ! , i !:J -ill.:.lU 4 -rfL1- : ' . : , ' i; I,' i f - 1 ' 1 t 9 i '''' " " 1)1 ' ' 't ''' ' ' WW 1 . 11 t i . 1 - ' J . . Ni V 'I " of- ill I UbsssriS , A , y ( v ' ' - ' 1 .N, 4 ill I I ' - ' i ' ' - A - f ''(? y - . - f 4 i . . ' .' . i . Y aoman vomen Petting the Murderous Victor of a Gladiatorial Contest. A Scene Which Psychologists Find lias Its Parallel in the Caresses Women of Fashion Showered Upon the Actors in the Recent ' Prize Fights Whose Meaning Is Asserted to Be Degeneration. there. There men fought with mett and with wild beasts. Hundreds of men were killed In a day, while the Roman beauties applauded with frenzy. When one gladiator had another helpless at his feet, he appealed to '.he Roman women in the front seats to settle the fate of the fallen one. If the loser had not fought with suf ficient savageness, the women turned their thumbs viciously down and the victor cut the throat of his fallen op ponent. Just as the French women exam ined the muscles of the prizefighters the other day in Paris, the Roman women inspected the leading gladi ators before they went to the slaugh ter and examined their physical con dition closely. An ancient Roman writer tells us that however brutal and ugly gladiators were, there were always women ready to adore them and to consider them as beautiful as Adonla. At Pompeii, which was a Summer resort of the Romans, there is a scribbling cn the wall preserved to day which speaks of one of the glad- lators as "the sigh of tne girls" (bus pirla puellarum). Evidently an Inor dinate and unwholesome interest of the Roman women in gladiators. . , brutes recruitde. from. . the criminal classes and from the savages of every known country, was an Im portant factor In the downfall of Rome. The Roman matron, who was absorbed by the demoralizing Joys of the Colosseum, would not take up the arduous duties of raising a fam ily to fight the battles of Rome and to preserve Its Intellectual suprem acy. Why does the love of brutal spec tacles by women foreshadow the downfall of a society? It is a re version to savagery without the courage and the Impulses that led the original savage to struggle up wards. Savages love exhibitions of brute strength and ferocity, war dances and barbarous display of all kinds. Unlike the over-civlltzed men and women who go to prizefights, they re all eager to risk their own lives and bodies in contests of feroc ity and endurance. Civilization Is imply a process of replacing the savage rule of brute force by the rule of reason. Everj prizefight Is a display of savagery worne than any war dance or scalp hunt of the real savages. It is an undoing of the good that has been done. In nearly every human being there is a lingering love of cruelty, or, at least, cruelty exercises a certain fas cination for him. The suppression of this primal Instinct la the great work of civilized morality. Many a man of refinement feels a curiosity to witness a scene of cruelty which he would be ashamed to acknowledge. Copyright, 1114, br That he feels such shame proves the force of civilization and morality. The instinct of cruelty Is derived from the stage of evolution when man killed and hunted his food with his own hands. When -woman be comes dominated by the instinct of cruelty, it shows a far more com plete moral degeneration and rever sal of the processes of civilization than when man exhibits that trait. Havelock Ellis, the foremost Eng lish authority on sex characteristics, tells us that while women are lest often criminals, their crimes are more often marked by cruelty than those of men. "It must be said," re marks Ellis, "that besides this ele ment of cruelty in women, we have the element of compassion, which Is founded on the maternal instinct" In other words, woman first devel oped her compassion while diHCbarg Ing ber most elementary duty of caring for ber young and while con templating its appealing helpless nejs. The sentiment of. compassion In women must, therefore, be as primitive as the instinct of cruelty in man. Woman also has cruelty, for men and women were not so greatly differentiated in the first stage of human ex:stence, and she shared his fierce brutal struggles for food, but in the best type of womaa the cruelty Instinct Is more com pletely suppressed than In man. Thus we see that the English or French duchess who apilauds a prizefight displays the instincts of the lowest form of savage life. But for her descendants there will be no struggling upwards towards the heights of humanity and civilization. Biology proves that when a species tb EUr Company. Great Britain KIghts P.eserv . reverts to an earlier an lower form It will become extinct. A degenerate Is worthless. The danger of the race from the fight-loving duchesses Is that many women will follow their example. Our hope is that their kind will dis appear and that the compassionate refined, broad-minded women will be the mothers of the future. w w - ' The Beautiful Duchess de Ro han Who Ap plauded the Fight Between Jack Johnson and FrarV Moran. t -7 W7 V Exclusive Society of Traitors9 Descendants T HTO only known society In the world of descendants of traitors is In process of for mation in Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty. Prominent people of Colonial lineage, whose ancestors were Tories or sympathisers with King George during the Revolution ary War, are being urged to Join an organization, as yet unnamed, which will have for its object the glorifica tion of so-rallied loyalists who were found guilty of high treason against the infunt American Republic. The fact that their ancestors mixed ground gloss In flour sold to Wash ington's army at Oermsntown or re fused to send provisions to bis starv ing and freezing army at Valley Forge does not detract from the en thusiasm evinced by the organisers. The Idea of the formation of the society originated with the recent discovery of an ancient document known sstbt Tory Black list, publish ed by the At torney General of Pennsylvania after the war. This list contains the names of many prominent men In the affairs of Penn sylvania In those days men who frowned up on the Continental Con gress, who entertained the British during their occupation of Philadelphia, ana wno osenly scoffed at the Declaration of IndeDen- dence. A movement was start ed after the war to prosecute them for treason, but it never re sulted lu action. ' v -' ' . ? I I "Both Memberf o9 Thii Club" The Fa mous raintlof by George Bellowi Be viaed in the Light of the Increasing At tendance of French and English Women at Prise Fights. Although the seat of the patriot Government and the Cradle of Lib erty, Philadelphia In Revolutionary times wis still the hotbed of loyal ism. The Quaker element, opposed to war and violence, passively sup ported the British crows and refused Id to the struggling Continental The fashionable element of what wu then the loading city In the Colonies, likewise was Tory. No eeason wu ever so brilliant ca that ef the Win ter of 1777-78, when the British army occupied the city, while Wash ington's tattered forces froze and tarred at Valley Forge, a few tallee way. ' The families whose descend ants are still among the leader of fashion In the city, royally entet tat nod the redcoat Invaders. It- la among these social leaders that th society is being formed, They are taking it seriously, too. They see so Joke in the fact that their organisation will be based on list of men who were once threatened with prosecution for a grave crime. Eligibility to membership in the so ciety, in fact, will be determined by the blacklist issued by the Attorney General. A self-appointed committee of these descendants is now engaged in a canvaHS for other members, and In the near future a meeting will be held for the purpose of effecting a permanent organization. This will doubtless be accomplished la one of the Quaker meeting bouses, the con gregations of which contain many descendants of men who are admitted to have hindered the cause of in dependence by their loyalty to the English King. Their object, they declare. Is t preserve records of these men, their ancestors, who were maligned by the Continentals, and whom many per sons despise to this day, and to per petuate the Interests in common formed by their ancestors under try ing conditions when they believed they were doing their duty by God and man in supporting their sovereign, King George of England, and opposing wsr snd bloodshed with all Its horrors. The present genera tion of Americans in this age of pro gresslveness, they declare, are more apt to recognise the Justice of this. The committee Is now delving Into genealogical lore to ascertain. If poe slble, Just who the descendants of these loyalists are. They also will advertise through historical societies and magazines for persons eligible for membership. There will be no attempt, however, to secure a great number of members, as the society will retain a certain excluslvenesa in order to afford proper prestige and standing among other hereditary or ganizations. Not much is expected to be accomplished luring the Sum mer months, but wAn the advent of Fall the plans of the organization wUl take definite shape.