WITHIN the dignified covers of Harper's Magazine, John Macy has several times attempted to put the female of the species in her true place. "About Women" continues to chase the question throughout three hundred intelligently written pages, and eventually finds the elusive place a pleasant one after all. The man who ventures into the turbulent waters of the Woman Question is liable to be termed a misanthropic epigrammarian disappointed in love and oryptically left to sink or swim by at least one of the New Women. John Macy chose to swim and in so doing has written a book which may leave a mark under a few permanent waves.
"This book," declares the author in the first paragraph, "is a deliberately restricted and selective treatment of an inexhaustible subject." It is addressed to the aggressive feminist who in the upward swing of woman's reaction from the past attempts to find a place in man's field of activities to the detriment of her own.
Although the pseudo-modern reader may shudder to find again in print the picture of the mother of the Gracchi surrounded by her natural jewels, may be amused by the idea that the younger generation is any longer a practical object for the world's concern, Mr. Macy will find few male enemies by his treatment of woman as trouble and mischief-maker. Quoting, and later characterizing as "smart-aleck," Max Beerbohm's description of the militant suffragettes as the "army of the unenjoyed," he finds behind the W. C. T. U. and similar organizations the unconscious desire to ruin man's pleasure be it good or bad. The godliness of trouble-making women he finds already attacked from the pen of Mark Twain: "These women make me darned tired who try to take in God as a silent partner without his consent." There is nothing new here, save where the new psychology feeds the flame of masculine resentment.