It Began With Settlement Houses

The corruption and feminization of the West began with the Settlement House movement in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Settlement houses were an effort to relieve poverty and living conditions created by the Industrial Revolution. We begin with excerpts from :

Between the late 1880s and the end of World War I, the settlement house movement was an influential Progressive-era response to the massive urban social problems of the day, The United States was in a period of rapid growth, economic distress, labor unrest, unemployment, low wages, unfair labor practices, and squalid living conditions. Large numbers of immigrants arrived daily to work in this newly established industrialized society. Ethnic enclaves sheltered immigrants who were experiencing isolation, new customs, and a strange language.

Established in large cities, settlement houses were privately supported institutions that focused on helping the poor and disadvantaged by addressing the environ-mental factors involved in poverty. The basic settlement-house ideal was to have wealthy people move into poor neighborhoods so that both groups could learn from one another. Canon Samuel Barnett, pastor of the poorest parish in London’s notorious East End, established the first settlement house in 1884. In the midst of this neighborhood (settlement), Toynbee Hall housed educated and wealthy people who served as examples, teachers, and providers of basic human services to the poor residents of the settlement. Toynbee Hall was based on the social gospel movement and attracted young theologians and other middle-class people to emulate Jesus in living among the poor. … 

Although settlement houses have often been characterized as largely secular in nature, many of them grew from religious roots. Some settlement house workers who came from a faith perspective included moral teachings, at a minimum, in their work with community residents. Probably the best-known example is Chicago Commons, founded in 1894 by the Reverend Graham Taylor, who was the first professor of Christian sociology at the Chicago Theological Seminary. He founded Chicago Commons partially as a social laboratory for his students. As Allen F. Davis has pointed out, of the more than 400 settlements established by 1910, 167 (more than 40 percent) were identified as religious… In 1930, there were approximately 460 settlement houses, and most of these were church supported. 

Settlement houses were run in part by client groups. They emphasized social reform rather than relief or assistance. (Residence, research, and reform were the three Rs of the movement.) Early sources of funding were wealthy individuals or clubs such as the Junior League. Settlement house workers were educated poor persons, both children and adults, who often engaged in social action on behalf of the community. In attaining their goals, the settlement house reformers had an enviable record. They had a realistic understanding of the social forces and the political structures of the city and nation. They battled in legislative halls as well as in urban slums, and they became successful initiators and organizers of reform.

Settlement workers tried to improve housing conditions, organized protests, offered job-training and labor searches, supported organized labor, worked against child labor, and fought against corrupt politicians. They provided classes in art and music and offered lectures on topics of interest. They established playgrounds, day care, kindergartens, and classes in English literacy. Settlement workers were also heavily involved in research to identify the factors causing need and in activities intended to eliminate the factors that caused the need.

Settlement houses assumed as their operational base the adequate functioning of the families they served, many of whom were migrants and immigrants whose problems were associated with making the transition from rural to urban living and from a known to an unknown culture. Whatever their problems, clients of settlement houses were viewed as able, normal, working-class families with whom the wealthier classes were joined in mutual dependence. When such families could not cope, settlement leaders assumed that society itself was at fault, and this assumption led quite naturally to a drive for societal reform.

Indeed, hardline Leftists still use the title “community organizer” as they employ identity politics, intimidation and plain human laziness to exploit today’s poor and/or ethnics for political gain.

We can see the good intentions in the originator of the settlement house movement, Samuel Barnett, an Anglican cleric and social reformer who founded Toynbee Hall in London’s notorious East End. From :

The East End area was notorious for its squalor and overcrowded housing conditions, as well as prostitution and other criminal activities. The Barnetts worked hard for the poor of their parish—opening evening schools for adults, providing them with music and entertainment, and serving on the local board of guardians and on the managing committees of schools. Barnett discouraged outdoor relief, because it fostered the pauperisation of the neighbourhood. At the same time, the Barnetts helped improve conditions of indoor relief, and co-ordinate the various charities by co-operation with the Charity Organization Society and the parish board of guardians.

Per infogalactic, outdoor relief was the kind of poor relief where assistance was in the form of money, food, clothing or goods, given to alleviate poverty without the requirement that the recipient enter an institution. In contrast, recipients of indoor relief were required to enter a workhouse or poorhouse. Outdoor relief was also a feature of the Scottish and Irish Poor Law systems. (Ref. Elizabethan Poor Law, 1601)

And then, we can see the evil intentions in the entryist than changed the course of Settlement Houses from relief to “social reform”… Jane Addams, founder of Hull House in Chicago. You, the reader absolutely must read infogalactic’s entire article on her, , to realize she was the personification of female rebellion. But here are a few choice excerpts.

Addams’s father [GQ: a political crony of Abraham Lincoln] encouraged her to pursue higher education but close to home. She was eager to attend the new college for women, Smith College in Massachusetts; but her father required her to attend nearby Rockford Female Seminary (now Rockford University), in Rockford, Illinois. …

A woman pushed into a career instead of a family. We Manospherians know how that turns out. And a seminary, no less?

Visiting Toynbee Hall, Addams was enchanted. She described it as “a community of University men who live there, have their recreation clubs and society all among the poor people, yet, in the same style in which they would live in their own circle. It is so free of ‘professional doing good,’ so unaffectedly sincere and so productive of good results in its classes and libraries seems perfectly ideal.” Addams’s dream of the classes mingling socially to mutual benefit, as they had in early Christian circles seemed embodied in the new type of institution.

Invading male spaces, female territory marking.

One aspect of the Hull House that was very important to Jane Addams was the Art Program. The art program at Hull house allowed Addams to challenge the system of industrialized education, which “fitted” the individual to a specific job or position. She wanted the house to provide a space, time and tools to encourage people to think independently. She saw art as the key to unlocking the diversity of the city through collective interaction, mutual self-discovery, recreation and the imagination. Art was integral to her vision of community, disrupting fixed ideas and stimulating the diversity and interaction on which a healthy society depends, based on a continual rewriting of cultural identities through variation and interculturalism.

Given the choice, women prefer ponies to math.

The Hull House neighborhood was a mix of European ethnic groups that had immigrated to Chicago around the start of the 20th century. That mix was the ground where Hull House’s inner social and philanthropic elitists tested their theories and challenged the establishment.

If you’re practicing social theories on the poor then you aren’t helping the poor… and you’re probably a Communist organizing proletariats for the uprising.

Addams called on women—especially middle class women with leisure and energy, as well as rich philanthropists—to exercise their civic duty to become involved in municipal affairs as a matter of “civic housekeeping.” Addams thereby enlarged the concept of civic duty to include roles for women beyond motherhood (which involved child rearing). Women’s lives revolved around “responsibility, care, and obligation,” and this area represented the source of women’s power. This notion provided the foundation for the municipal or civil housekeeping role that Addams defined, and gave added weight to the women’s suffrage movement that Addams supported. Addams argued that women, as opposed to men, were trained in the delicate matters of human welfare and needed to build upon their traditional roles of housekeeping to be civic housekeepers.

A perfect picture of a woman who would have made an excellent wife, trying instead to turn government into society’s mother. The purpose of government is not to mother its little boys.

Addams and Starr were the first two occupants of the house, which would later become the residence of about 25 women. …

Throughout her life Addams had significant romantic relationships with women, including Mary Rozet Smith and Ellen Starr. Her relationships with women offered her the time and energy to pursue her social work, while being supported emotionally and romantically. While she was close to many women and was very good at eliciting the involvement of women from different classes in Hull House’s programs, she fell in love with only a few women. From her exclusively romantic relationships with women, she would most likely be described as a lesbian in contemporary terms, similar to most of the leadership of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, as historical evidence shows.

Hull House, the most famous settlement house in the United States, was originally formed as a group home for childless lesbians.

According to Christie and Gauvreau (2001), while the Christian settlement houses sought to Christianize, Jane Addams “had come to epitomize the force of secular humanism.” Her image was, however, “reinvented” by the Christian churches.

According to Joslin (2004), “The new humanism, as [Addams] interprets it comes from a secular, and not a religious, pattern of belief”.

In fact, the co-founders of Toynbee Hall, Samuel and Henrietta Barnett, shared Addams’s desire to bring Christianity back to its roots. Part of what was called the “social Christian” movement, the Barnetts held a great interest in converting others to Christianity, but they believed that Christians should be more engaged with the world, and, in the words of one of the leaders of the movement in England, W.H. Fremantle, “imbue all human relations with the spirit of Christ’s self-renouncing love.” Addams learned about social Christianity from them, soon considered herself one, and soon made friends among the leaders of the “social Christian” movement in the United States. …

While she remained a member of a Presbyterian church, Addams regularly attended a Unitarian Church and Ethical Society in Chicago. At one point, she was appointed “interim lecturer” at the Ethical Society.

Was Samuel Barnett a “social Christian” or a Christian? Given his rejection of outdoor relief, probably Christian. But his willingness to accept a female peer gave legitimacy to a lesbian dyke perverting Christianity into first Communism and later on, modern Churchianity. He should have been much more critical of Addams but probably heard what he wanted to hear and didn’t ask pointed questions about how a woman can be a Christian leader. In fairness to him, Barnett lived on the far side on the Atlantic Ocean before the Internet Age and had limited opportunity to ask.

The Christians of the late 19th Century began settlement houses to improve the lives of those suffering under industrialization. The feminists of the late 19th Century began settlement houses to foment class hatred, educate/liberate women and use the poor as excuses to radicalize government… covering themselves with a thin fig leaf of religious justification.

The former helped the poor in order to worship Christ. The latter worshiped Christ in order to help the poor. These statements are similar yet mutually exclusive.

Side note, do you readers prefer the colored quotations to my previous italicization?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s