What a tribute to the worth of woman are the names by which she is enshrined in common speech! What tender associations halo the names of wife, mother, sister and daughter! It must never be forgotten that the dearest, most sacred of these names, are, in origin, connected with the dignity of service. In early speech the wife, or wife-man (woman) was the ”weaver,” whose care it was to clothe the family, as it was the husband’s duty to ”feed” it, or to provide the materials of sustenance.
The mother or matron was named from the most tender and sacred of human functions. Modern science and invention, civic and economic progress, the growth of humanitarian ideas, and the approach to Christian unity, are all combining to give woman and woman’s work a central place in the social order. As dame, madame, madonna, in the old days of aristocracy, she bore equal rank with the lord and master, and carried down to our better democratic age the co-partnership of civic and family rights and duties.