Romney's foremost agenda in life is as a social reformer. As such he has to deal with real life problems in the face. However, according to Romney, poets are idealistic and fail to deal with reality. He calls them "lovers of the beautiful" (line 1226), to portray them as oblivious to the pain and suffering in the world. They must be oblivious because no one could witness such anguish and despair without actively curing the problem.
Romney believes it is impossible for one to know of the great suffering and not immediately want to fix it. Art by itself cannot cure these social ills, pursuing only "sleek fringes" (138) rather than actual ends and means. Therefore, Romney does not take poetry as an Art seriously and considers it a juvenile way of addressing the world, since poets are content "to play at art, as children play at swords" (229). Ultimately, poets have little effect on the world and Romney judges poetry a weak profession, particular when employed by a woman.
Equally women have little experience in the world and know even less about it, making them unlikely to be able to have a social impact without a man's help. First of all, they have no proper worldview.
Women can sympathize on a personal level but not en masse, causing Romney to comment, "You (women) weep for what you know" (213). Therefore, women should little influence a world they don't understand.
As Romney points out above, women do well as wives, and he is perfectly willing, desirous even, to make Aurora his wife, though she rejects his offer. With him to guide her, she would perform well as his partner in the fight against social wrongs. When Aurora states that she prefers to be a free thinker, even if such a choice would force her to endure headaches, Romney responds:
Romney acknowledges that Aurora has the ability to do social work and wants her to work with him. He believes a woman needs the guidance of a husband to be a productive member of society.