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James, Ada Lois, 1876-1952 / Ada James papers, correspondence, 1912, Dec. 24-31, [1912]
Wis Mss OP, Box 17, Folder 4 ([unpublished])

[The womanly woman],   pp. [unnumbered]-5 PDF (1.9 MB)


TYE WCYA1TLY W"CVAN.
The womanly woman abd the manly man are traditional. They belong
to every age and they also differ with every age. The anti-suffragists
have pictured the womanly woman as a woman who perennially sits by the
fire andtiembroiders, she is prone to get what she wants by shedding
tears or I-harmi njgt .
The womanly woran is a legitipate ideal,. It is not enough for
us to ridicule the anti-suffragistV  ideal, unless we are ready to
suistitute a more wholesome one. Why not make the womanly woman a 5tu-
dy, and construct an idea~l wotthy of emulation?
The Drimeval duties of women remain the same, but the methods of
carrying on these duties vary continually. In order of importance
these duties are maternal, domestic and marital, and the woman who
attains the highest degree of excellence in these three lines can well
be rated the most womanly.
Motherhood being the most important function of women, girls
should be tught to qualify ior maternity. Too long the subject of
maternity h' s heen submerged in a veritable sluice of meaningless gush
To be honest, motherhood is either beautiful and honorable, or sordid
and disgraceful; we often fail to make the distinction. The professio
of motherhood ought to held up as a r-ward for girls who are willing
to fit t1-mselves for it physically, rfentlly and spiritually. Some
of our normal schools, colleges and universities are providing lec-
tures for giirb  dealing with motherhood, but these  talks reach only
the favored few who can go to college, whereas the preparation for
motherhood ought4 to be as common as motherhood itself. If a girl,
aftrr being instructed bon tc live/ so as to fit herself for the high-
est profession in life, were considered unwomanly if she.
such instruction, the women of the future would be less trifling and.
more ~rious. ~Let us te cni our girls t'ht the divinest instincts
riveri   ki   are the -mat rnol and paternal, but let uZJieach them t
that these instincts art not 'Ite~deint , necessarily, on  'hysical
motherhood and fath -rhood for expression. Jane Addams and Judge
Lindsey have done more for society through bettering the conditions
of thousands of little children than have the most devoted fathers
and mothers who have spent their lives merely catereing to the
wants of pam.pered darlings.
There was a time when we thoug' t that instin4 was enough
to guide a motler, a house-keeper or a farmer. But now we know
that these instincts must be supplemented by all the knowledge
it is possible to acquire.
A home for children is as necessary as a nest for birds. So
home-making is woman's next important function. The present home
bears little resem/lance to the home of fifty years age, the
house-keepers of then and now have little in common. Our grand-
,others made almost everything that was consumed in the hcrme
from the candles to the carpets. It was their duty to know that the f
food was nourishing and the house clean, if they did not do all
the work theiselvespit was dine under their supervision. Our


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