A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Glory of Womanhood." by Madame Hanna K. Korany (1871-).
Publication: Eagle, Mary Kavanaugh Oldham, ed. The Congress of Women: Held in the Woman's Building, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, U. S. A., 1893. Chicago, Ill: Monarch Book Company, 1894. pp. 359-360.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 359] 



It is a fact that a seeker for truth will walk by its direction, guided by its rays and fight, if need be, for its victory; for truth is like a noonday sun, shedding his illuminating rays and clearing from the face of nature the veil of darkness, that it may appear to the naked eye in its wealth of beauty and majestic excellence. Knowledge is but a curse, devoid of truth, the staff with which wisdom guards her steps. Humanity could not be elevated, except by following the dictation of truth, which leads man to be patriotic, philanthropic; inventor and orator; making him a laborer in the fields of noblest action.

Rousseau, the famous French writer, when speaking of woman said, "Her glory is in being unknown." He betrayed his doubt of her capabilities and her large intelligence, exhibiting as well his great selfish ambition in confining power and glory to men alone. Fortunately for woman, the storm of mental progress blew away this theory; for many women stand before the world in triumphant glory, victorious over all obstacles; striving they write in large letters of light on the margin of truth, "There is glory for woman that no shadow can eclipse." The great-souled, noble woman has won and is crowned with laurel in spite of all the powers that have worked to keep her unknown. There is a glory in store for every woman, let her but labor for its possession.

But what is this glory? What are the ways and means to it, and how can she gain it? Is it by taking arms and waging war against her fellows, murdering as many as she is able, and returning from the tumult of war in a crimson suit colored with the blood of men, or by exploring unknown regions, searching for gold and treasures, returning with beasts laden with wealth? Oh, no! for such deeds and their glory belong to man.

What then? Does woman gain glory by sitting on the throne of royalty with the scepter of power, or by dwelling in palaces of luxury where all that money could buy is to be found? Never. Many who sat on thrones of dominion and power are only famous for cruelty, injustice, and even degradation; and many passed their lives in bondage to selfishness; departing, leaving none to sing their praises. Piety or purity is the garb of woman's glory. Without it, all her wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and patience amount to nothing; for piety alone purifies the heart and mind, elevates the morals and uplifts womanhood. A woman should be wise if she would be glorious. [Page 360]  Carrying with her the safeguard of knowledge, she avoids failure and is qualified to fight the battle of life and win the victory. Wisdom is the crown of glory and scepter of power for woman.

Most of the misery and wretchedness of humanity are the bitter fruits of ignorance and stupidity. It is impossible for any woman to fill her place as a mother, wife and mistress of home, unless she is possessed of sense and wisdom to meet the vicissitudes of life. To improve the race, we want healthy, cultivated women. Really, it does seem strange that an impression should have taken hold of the world, especially in the East, that woman's duties in life should require less education and preparation than man's. Yet it is so. I used frequently to hear our people say, "Oh it does not matter about the girl, but I am anxious about the boy." Man's duties in this world may be noble enough; I would be the last to ignore their grandeur. But woman's office is a very sacred one; for the world is what woman makes it. As the mother of men, she stamps indelibly upon them her own weakness or talent, health or disease. Hence, I believe that woman should have a liberal education to fit her for the responsibilities of wife, mother and general educator. Woman should be thankful and happy in her place in creation. It is noble and glorious. She is the ruling queen and may be the leader in progress.

It is her own fault if she does not labor to be dressed with purity, crowned with wisdom, and adorned with the jewels of patience and peseverance. I cannot understand why women should not be satisfied, why she seeks to push man to do his work. It would never do to have them labor in the same field of action. This is against the law of nature which provides a sphere for everything. Equality between the sexes is not in the equal portion of the same work, but the equality of their whole contribution to the welfare of the race. Woman should glory in womanhood, in being the mother of men, the doctor of moral and mental diseases, in offering to mankind the fruit of her labors and experience. So they might grow together strong in understanding, rounded in intellect, prepared for pure and glorious lives.

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Madame Hanna K. Korany is a native of Beyrout, Syria. She was born in a little village on Mt. Lebanon in the year 1871. Her parents were natives of Syria and belonged to good old families. She was educated in the American seminary for girls at Beyrout, where she studied science, art and the languages, and was graduated 1885. She has traveled in parts of her own country, in Malta, France, England and America. She married Amin Effendi Korany in l887. Her special work has been in the interest of her own country women. She was the first of them to appear as a public writer. Her principal literary works are a book on "Manners and Habits," several essays and four translations. Madame Korany came to the Columbian Exposition in the double capacity of an exhibitor and a delegate to the World's Congress. She thinks of spending some time here to lecture upon the Orient and its women. In religious faith she is a Christian, and a member of the Presbyterian Church. Her postoffice address is Beyrout, Syria.


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

This chapter has been put on-line as part of the BUILD-A-BOOK Initiative at the
Celebration of Women Writers.
Initial text entry and proof-reading of this chapter were the work of volunteer
Mary Hitchcock.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom