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;