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Newspaper Page Text
BOW LONG IS BIG BUSINESS TO CONTINUE
INSULTING MOTHERS OF WORKING GIRLS?
BY JANE WHITAKER
And now Philadelphia, which has 'just had a nice secret vice investiga
tion, puts its seal of approval on the Chicago millionaire employers' state
ment that low wages have nothing to do with vice.
And Philadelphia throws up its hands, reddened with the same stain
of the blood of starved employes, and echoes Rosenwald's sentiment: "It
casts unwarranted aspersion on thousands of young working girls even
to suggest their virtue is dependent upon their pay. The direct source of
sin is lack of self-restraint, due largely to improper home surroundings and .
Thus, every girl who does go wrong goes because her mother didn't
care a rap. .
And that isn't all. Philadelphia again follows the foolish babblers of
Chicago, and makes the statement general enough to cover us all by saying,
m Professor Laughhn rhetoric, that
the conditions in the home of every
poor family must naturally be such
as to cause them to' deteriorate phy
sically and socially which is another
way of saying "morally."
Frankly, I am tired of that "en
vironment" gag. I don't mind an in
sult to myself any girl who works
gets so many that she grows a trifle
indifferent and usually considers the
source but I do strenuously object
to having my mother and the mother
of every working girl insulted by
these addle-brained creatures.
I let it pass, at first, because I be
lieved they would eventually cease
their braying and get down to chew
ing hay. But, unchecked, they have
I appeal to you, girls! What were
your home conditions ? Doyouthink
your mother could have been im-.
proved upon?, Frankly, I don't think
God ever gaye a girl a better mother
than mine was. and is.
We had a home of abject poverty
while we were children, and yet
each of us and there were four
received the strictest discipline.
I was seventeen before mother
would let me have a man call, and
then she always sat in the next room,
no matter how weary she was, and
she always told the man when it was
ten o'clock and stood there until he
Perhaps it reduced my popularity
a little among the wrong sort of men,
but the right sort approved ofTny
And mother told me in such a gen
tle, kindly way what happens to the
girl who cheapens herself by per
mitting men to kiss her, and she told
me of all the little lures she knew of,
and sometimes I, who had been
working four years, had to smile be
cause her real knowledge of wicked
ness was limited, but she did say:
"Temptation comes from within,
Jane, and notfrom without, and if
you do not let any foolish thoughts
grow up inside of your brain, the
foolish thoughts of others cannot
Mother gave me of her strength
and of her wisdom, and because- she
thought life wasn't good to me, she
brooded over it and tried so hard to
make me happy.
Sh,e often went without luncheon
so that she could buy me some oys
ters 'for a stew, that being my fa
vorite dish, and then she wouldn't
give the other children any, telling
them that I worked and must have
the best things.
And s"o often that it brings tears
to my eyes to remember, she would
say, when there wasn't very much
to go round 'at the dinner table: "I
am not hungry tonight, finish it up."