Compulsion Fails

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Compulsion Fails.

The following is taken from the "Mirror" (St. Louis) of Jan. 24th, being an editorial comment on an article on "The Wrong of Modern Marriage," to which Mr. Kuehn replies characteristically. The article was a calm, reasonable plea for greater freedom in the discussion of the sex question, and greater freedom in sex relations.

"Very logical; but take away the contract and destroy its enforcibility and weaken the sense of legal obligation, and the result will be only more woe to woman. Weaken the marriage bond to the extent of free love and men would flit from woman to woman even more than they do now, leaving deserted "wives" in every city, every block. Love may fail and change, but the sense of duty to the woman must be held fast. The law must protect the weaker party in the marriage contract, against this changing love which is mostly only lust after change."

Mr. Kuehn's reply:—Brer-Reedy has a good mind and writes good stuff. But no one mind is expansive enough to deal with every subject without bias, and in a calm, dispassionate and judicial temper. The fear that Brer Reedy entertains is unwarranted. When people are wise enough to live freely and love freely a man will have to court with might and main to catch and hold "just one goyl," to say nothing at all of multitudes. In our present state of hypocritical debauchery, masquerading under the cloak of morality and a pretence of enforced monogamy, the very condition that Reedy would avoid actually exists. Voluntary monogamy is possible only in freedom. And freedom alone will serve to make monogamy inevitable to the extent that it is natural and normal. Compulsion has failed to accomplish this. 'And always will.


  • Herman Kuehn, “Compulsion Fails,” To-Morrow 3, no. 3 (March 1907): 73.