Mrs. John A. Logan Criticises The Man Of The Period

From January 22, 1911

MRS. JOHN A. LOGAN CRITICISES THE MAN OF THE PERIOD

MRS. JOHN A. LOGAN CRITICISES THE MAN OF THE PERIOD: If Women Are Deteriorating, Men Are Doing So Still More Rapidly — Fatally Infected by Selfishness and Greed. (PDF)

About a month ago, the Sunday Magazine ran an article by Mrs. John A. Logan in which she criticized the women of the era for how they dressed, raised their kids, and generally behaved. There was such an overwhelming response that she’s back again to criticize the men.

For the most part, she sees men as too motivated by money and vanity in ways that earlier generations were not. I can see that as a valid criticism, I suppose. But then she brings this out:

“Another growing trait, and one which is not admirable, is evidenced continually here in Washington. I suppose Department clerks are normal samples of the young man of the period. Well, there is a practice common among Department clerks which seems significant of real degeneration to me. Plenty of them marry young co-clerks in secret, so that the girls may keep on working, retain their clerical positions, and continue to draw salary. If the marriages were public the girls would lose their clerical positions. Young men, it seems to me, are more and more willing to let their wives earn money, and to accept the half-home of a boarding-house, or the no-home of an ill-kept flat in consequence, for the sake of the salaries they draw. It is another and a striking symptom of chivalry’s decline in the United States. The boy in high-school takes it for granted that his girl sweetheart is to learn stenography, or something, by which to earn a living for herself. Yes, you men are rapidly forgetting all the chivalry of your grandfathers. The man who lets his wife earn money shows by doing so a definite deterioration peculiar to the time. He, himself, by doing so, has made a long step toward becoming a mere weakling, and such weaklings are getting to be as characteristic of American men, as the fine and chivalrous type was in the days one by. There was a time when the American man would have been horrified, as long as he was strong and well, at the mere thought of letting his wife go out to earn, but that time has, apparently gone by.

“This has had a most unfortunate effect on the male character and has increased the American woman’s desire for independence. The Creator intended women to be dependent; people should not marry if each does not expect to take a rightful share of the responsibility — the man’s to earn, the woman’s to keep up the home.”

Independent women in the workplace? That’s crazy! For more curmudgeonly views on the topic, see Andy Rooney and this 1944 training film from the U.S. Office of Education about working women.

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Written by David

January 20th, 2011 at 11:27 am

Posted in Debate,Life

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