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Founding of the Association for the Encouragement of Employment Qualification among Members of the Female Sex (Retrospective, 1890)

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Except that critics overlooked that the plight that is to be remedied existed precisely in these classes, since the wives and daughters of the classes excluded from consideration by the statute did, in fact, possess what one was seeking to provide the others:

freedom of labor.

From another side came the charge – or shall we rather say: criticism – that the matter was being treated merely as an economic question, while the at least equally important side of the matter, education, was being dealt with in a rather secondary fashion and was given a place merely for the purpose of providing the preparation for an industrial and commercial vocation.

I could answer this with a quote and with a saying translated from the English: 'True mastery lies in restraint,' and, 'He who tries to grab too much will exceed his grasp.' Moreover, it should also be noted that our German school system for girls, notwithstanding the shortcomings that have been identified by competent observers, and notwithstanding the transformations it has experienced in the past twenty-five years and will and must yet experience, should be described as a well-ordered one compared to other countries, and that the newly-forming association could not initially see its task as influencing it, let alone establishing institutions for the higher education and training of daughters who have finished school."

Source: Margrit Twellmann, Die Deutsche Frauenbewegung. Ihre Anfänge und erste Entwicklung im Spiegel repräsentativer Frauenzeitschriften. Quellen, 1843-1889. Meisenheim am Glan: A. Hain, 1972, pp. 142-45.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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