I am taking this opportunity late as it is, to thank you for the constructive work you just put in at the National Progressive Convention.
So many people who favor social reform by women are opposed opposed to political activity by women. In one breath they rant about "The physical, moral, and [page 2] intellectual" development of woman and her success in improving the general condition of all people, especially the child labor reform, the reform for sanitary [workshops], and reform in the interests of the so-called "fallen" women. And, in the next breath they cry out that "woman's place is in the home," and we [mustn't] "break up the family." They do not realize that political activity is but the concrete application of social reform and that a woman's work is but half-done if she fails to secure constructive political legislation. What a pitiable mental condition such people must be in!
I am not a woman but I can readily see how hard it must be for [page 3] her to enter the political field. Strong tradition and conventionality hold up their hands aghast! They say it is unladylike, it is unrefined; or "our mothers never did." But they forget to say that their their mothers never paid 30¢ a pound for meat or sang a lullaby in a tenement house or sewed buttons in a sweatshop in order that they might feed their babies. Such people forget that things have changed since mother was a girl.
Therefore I admire and sincerely respect the woman who steps forth politically in the cause of social uplift. I feel proud of the United States when such activity is practical.
If any individual can receive any credit for his leading forth of men and of women, it is you. How proud you must feel to think of any good deed you have [page 4] done at Hull House! And how proud you must feel to be given a political opportunity to apply Hull House remedies to national ills!
If I ever live long enough to have children and even to have grandchildren it shall be the delight of my soul to tell them that I cast my first vote in the <days of> Jane Addams -- a woman who stepped forward.
Yours very respectfully,
Emmanuel M. Fleischer