The Pittsburgh Press (January 15, 1941)
FOR GIRLS, TOO
By Mrs. Walter Ferguson
Now that the boys are going to training camp, where they are supposed to toughen themselves by learning better living habits, how about getting the girls started in the same direction?
Thousands of spindle-shanks who smoke too many cigarettes, dine off lettuce and tomato salad, attend innumerable movies and drown their brain cells in whisky, could do with some kind of regimentation.
The nation’s mothers are just as important to the country’s welfare as its soldiers – a fact every dictator knows. Besides, women and girls are clamoring to be mobilized. They want to do something – something exciting, spectacular and patriotic.
Mobilization for defense on the part of either men or women must include body and character building routines. In spite of the many efforts to teach habits of physical and mental health, there is, especially in our cities, a deplorable laxity regarding their essentials.
Six months on some farm for city girls wouldn’t be bad for the girls or the country, although the farm might suffer at first. Results would correspond to those enjoyed by the rookie who has to stay in camp, be in bed at an early hour, fill his lungs with pure air and do a certain amount of hard labor daily.
By the same reasoning, work in dairies, vegetable gardens and kitchens, where she can acquire some knowledge of the toil which must be done outside the city if city people are to eat, would sweep cobwebs from many a gril’s brain.
The greatest danger to our way of life is the possible breakdown of transportation systems and of gadget and utility distribution. How many city girls possess enough ingenuity ton prepare food and care for children if deprived of the conveniences which industry gives them?
Common sense about common things is a dire need in women’s world.
The girl who knows only the use of the typewriter, the art of salesmanship, how to dress and how to conduct herself in a cafe society, is not adequately equipped to defend democracy on any front. Like her sweetheart and brother, she must get her feet off the pavement and on the ground.