February 7, 1899
Women Ought to Take the Good with the Badfrom the files of New Zealand Herald, February 8, 1899
Another injustice to women. A Sydney magistrate has come to the conclusion that women ought not to be allowed to sit on the box-seats of coaches, as their presence there has oft been the cause of numerous accidents, if not loss of life. What will Mrs Rickerby say to that, after all her talk about women's brains and fighting capabilities?
It is an awful come-down to be told that women on box-seats cause danger either by flirting with the driver, and taking his attention from his horses, or by losing their heads and grabbing at the reins when things become a little exciting, and thus precipitating a disaster.
Formerly (the magistrate said) women were on no account allowed to sit on the box-seats. But lately the practice had become common.
However much we may sympathise with the Sydney magistrate, we are sadly forced to remember almost daily that former customs have passed away, and all things, including women, have become new.
Personally, I don't mind women monopolising the box-seats, if they would only stick to them and treat the men fairly. But in Auckland a most inequitable practice is spreading only too rapidly.
On a nice bright summer day the ladies occupy the outside seats of the buses, leaving the poor males half-suffocated inside; but when the wet and muddy days come round the women crowd cosily inside, while the men sit shivering on the front seats. This is not fair play.
The ladies ought to take the good with the bad; but they prefer, like the schoolboy, to eat all the cheese and throw the bread to the sparrows.