Women


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WOMEN, persons. In its most enlarged sense, this word signifies all the females of the human species; but in a more restricted sense, it means all such females who have arrived at the age of puberty. Mulieris appellatione etiam virgo viri potens continetur. Dig. 50, 16, 13.
     2. Women are either single or married. 1. Single or unmarried women have all the civil rights of men; they may therefore enter into contracts or engagements; sue and be sued; be trustees or guardians, they may be witnesses, and may for that purpose attest all papers; but they are generally, not possessed of any political power; hence they cannot be elected representatives of the people, nor be appointed to the offices of judge, attorney at law, sheriff, constable, or any other office, unless expressly authorized by law; instances occur of their being appointed postmistresses nor can they vote at any election. Woodes. Lect. 31; 4 Inst. 5; but see Callis, Sew. 252; 2 Inst 34; 4 Inst. 311, marg.
     3.-2. The existence of a married woman being merged, by a fiction of law, in the being of her husband, she is rendered incapable, during the coverture, of entering into any contract, or of suing or being sued, except she be joined with her husband; and she labors under all the incapacities above mentioned, to which single women are subject. Vide Abortion; Contract; Divorce; Feminine; Foetus; Gender; Incapacity; Man; Marriage; Masculine; Mother; Necessaries; Parties to Actions Parties to Contracts; Pregnancy; Wife.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
The dangers to which we are exposed from our Women must now be manifest to the meanest capacity in Spaceland.
Many are the enactments made at different times in the different States of Flatland, in order to minimize this peril; and in the Southern and less temperate climates where the force of gravitation is greater, and human beings more liable to casual and involuntary motions, the Laws concerning Women are naturally much more stringent.
Old women, such as I, starve and shiver, or accept the pauper's dole and the pauper's shroud.
For men born and educated like our citizens, the only way, in my opinion, of arriving at a right conclusion about the possession and use of women and children is to follow the path on which we originally started, when we said that the men were to be the guardians and watchdogs of the herd.
She was bouncing away, when a cry from the two women, who had turned towards the bed, caused her to look round.
Women were all very well, in themselves good to look upon and likable; but along came this thing called love, and they were seared to the bone by it, made so irrational that one could never guess what they would do next.
Did you know that women are forbidden to go to political meetings here?"
'Let them be told, madam,' said I, 'that you had been well informed that he was not the man that you expected, and that you thought it was not safe to meddle with him; that you heard he was of an ill temper, and that he boasted how he had used the women ill upon many occasions, and that particularly he was debauched in his morals', etc.
Without a blush, men made their way in the world by the means of women blushing.
"Just as though I should seek the right to be a wet-nurse and feel injured because women are paid for the work, while no one will take me," said the old prince.
"My wife," continued Prince Andrew, "is an excellent woman, one of those rare women with whom a man's honor is safe; but, O God, what would I not give now to be unmarried!
And though no voice but his was heard to speak aloud, still there were revilings and anathemas, whispered but distinct, from women and from men, breathed against the daughter who had wrung the aged hearts of her parents,--the wife who had betrayed the trusting fondness of her husband,--the mother who had sinned against natural affection, and left her child to die.