Editorial: War and girls (6-6-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (June 6, 1941)


By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

The war emergency falls heavily upon our girls. They face a dateless world unless they live near a training camp. And this sacrifice is one against which they rebel a little.

The boys look swell in uniform; there is a vast excitement in the humming activity of these national-defense preparations. Maybe, it has been said, the girls will be drafted too, and can also put on uniforms.

They like the idea. Young as they are, they want to feel important and to enjoy the swelling of the ego that goes with being necessary to the public welfare in days such as these.

But we may as well be frank and ruthless with them. They are a little too young to understand all the implications behind the fine words they hear. When we talk about sacrifice, we ought to define exactly what the word means. For girls, it means a great deal more than giving up youthful pleasure, a careless life, leisure, education anh perhaps security. It means being without dates most of the time.

Perhaps this, then, is what Uncle Sam has in mind when he calls upon you, Mary, and upon Susan and Frieda and Lou, for courage and help. He asks you to be cheerful and patient, even though no boyfriends are there to call upon the telephone, even though there’s no one to go out with save a bunch of other girls as lonely as yourself.

Indeed, it may possibly mean that you must give up the thought of ever having a permanent boyfriend at all. This is what a nation asks of women when it talks of war.

Giving up means limitless sacrifice, extraordinary effort, persistent patience, every ounce of courage and strength the individual possesses, and for us it signifies something more. In the deepest sense, it mean giving up men.

So the cheerful facing of dateless evenings in a boyless community is the real “sacrifice for national defense” your country asks of you, girls. Can you take it like heroines?

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