Church document advises women against public reform

Under the Refuge of Oppression column there is a communication from The General Association of Massachusetts to churches under their care:  The lengthy letter cautions against lectures which  ” threaten the female character, with wide spread and permanent injury….when she assumes the place and tone of man as a public reformer, our care and protection of her seems unnecessary; we put ourselves in self-defence ; she yields the power which God has given her for protection, and her character becomes unnatural….We cannot, therefore, but regret the mistaken conduct of those who encourage females to bear an obtrusive and ostentatious part in measures of reform, and countenance any of that sex who so far forget themselves as to itinerate in the character of public lecturers and teachers…..”   The letter commends women to the task of privately forming individual minds, especially among the young.