Editorial: Women awaking (4-28-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (April 28, 1941)


By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Here are a few paragraphs from a letter to this column by a group of women in El Paso, Texas:

Undoubtedly, thousands of mothers in this country realize by this time that men alone cannot solve the social, industrial, political and war problems we face with ever increasing regularity.

It is true, as you said recently, if women who have the time and energy to make bridge a consistent pastime would turn their activity toward social problems, using the same degree of confidence and persistence, they could become a mighty force. We wonder whether a well-organized program along these lines could be introduced into women’s clubs and the PTA.

These women are all vitally concerned with the adult life of their sons. There is an ever-growing feeling that when a woman has devoted 20 years of her life to rearing a boy who will become the target for one well-aimed shot, or a skilled killer himself, her work is futile.

But we no longer have yellow fever and other plagues because we did something to destroy them; surely we are not incapable of undertaking the task of getting rid of this greatest of social scourges. Surely some antitoxin, some serum, can be found for it. If not, we are scarcely worthy of our position in society.

Can we not begin to formulate plans for a program of education headed by the women of the nation, making it a woman’s crusade? We believe that a great many men are hoping for such a development and would lend active support.

Such sentiments offer proof that women are beginning to be profoundly stirred by a sense of responsibility. They are asking themselves:

What must I do about all this? If I am a citizen of the country, in what way can I serve it? How can I best fulfill my domestic and maternal obligations?

Now they may work hard during periods of emergency for war aims, but their hearts are not in it. For women know, by some deep, intuitive sense, that war gains no objectives and brings no peace. The more they suffer through the coming one, the more they will be moved to toil afterward for something nobler.

The point to remember is that their intellects are waking. Historians may someday record this period as the Great Feminine Renaissance.

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