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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Wis Mss OP, Box 17, Folder 4 ([unpublished])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)


Page 2

2.
traditi,..l duties are the snme, but they must be e:ecuted. entirely
differently. We too, are responsible for the eleanliness of the home,
the purity of the food, and the comfort of the family.
The cleanliness of the home today necessitates municipal co-
operation and a knowledge of electrical devices, sanitation and
chemistry. The mIunicipality, either directly or thru the letting of
franchises, furnishes the electricity for lighting our houses, and the
power for running our vacuum cleaners, wrin' -machines, etc. If
electricity is too high, we cannot have these sanitary and labor-
saving tools. If our city water is contaminated, or our garbage not
collected, if gas is unreasonsbly high or our health officers indiffer-
ent,it is the hrome that suffers, and as women are responsible for the
welfare of the home, the city and its officials should be responsible
to women. When women say they do not want this re ponsiblity, they
ar not wo:nanly. When our pure ood laws ar; inadequate or not en-
forced, the womanly woman feels the neee -e-we~kg-4e need of
working for the nece~sary legislation and the right to enforee it.
If our garments are woven and made under wrong conditions and
little children deprived of childhood, it simply means that women are
not onto their job, they are not womanly, for the maternal instinct
will always revolt when children are made to suffer.
We have considered the womanly woman in the light of mother and
home- maker. Now we shall consider her duties as wife. A wife is
either a partner or a parasite; if a parasite, she has no possible
claim to be classified as a womanly woman. We have come to believe
that every woman must be self-supporting, either in the home or out.
When women resign their positions and form partnerships with men, so
that homes may be built and children reared, they have all the rights
of a partner, including the right to know where every dollar somes
from and how it is spent.
When the chilten come, the mother inclines to the belief that the
are hers, while men have said thru their laws that they belbng to the
father. This zkgzag notion is bad for father, mother and children.
C'hildren belong to both father and mother long before they are born,
and it is the blessel privilege of both parents to share in the inti-
mate care of their babĀ§. There has been a tendency among men and
women to divide responsibilities rather than to share them. They have
said to each other,"You take cnre of the children and I wil take of
th;
bisia ess", or "You take care- of the p litics and I will take
care of
the relicion." They divide up the virtues and commandments in much
the sae way. They seem to agree mutually that men must be brave and
tell the truth, while women must be vittuous and temperate. This is
every bit as ridiculous as t4e  t.Ory Jf the Irishman who, upon being
told that it was six miles to Dublin, said to his companion,"Cheer
up, Pat, there bein' two of us, it be only two miles apace". ion and
women do most ideally whatsoever they do together.
We have roughly outlined the 4rt4~eNR1 womanly woman and her
traditional duties. Now let us see whether shl exists, and if she
does, whether she is the rule or the exception.
As mothers' duties have becoie largely comwiunal, the law begins
to tell them wh-t they must do from the day their babies are born.
The assura.nce of women that they are good mothers and womanly is often
born of their ignorance. For instance, at R meeting of a Woman's Club
one day, 1  member mentioned the law in reg-ard to putting nitrate of
silver into the eyes of ne-, born babies to prevent blindness. Every


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