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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 14, 1915, NOON EDITION, Image 4',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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POOR LITTLE FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD REBELS AT
HAVING TO ASSUME ADULT BURDEN
BY JANE WHITAKER
She was just a little girl of not
more than 15 years and she -wore a
dress above her shoe'tops, not be
cause it is the fashion to wear skirts
short but evidently because her
mother didn't think she was old
enough to have them longer.
Her face was of the flower type.
Big blue eyes, sunshine hair, a pi
quant nose, a rounded mouth. Smil
ing she would havebeen very pretty,
but she was not smiling.
"I don't care what happens to me,"
she said angrily to the girl sitting be
side her. "I have tried to get work.
I don't want to loaf, but I can't get a
job and what do I hear every day?
"You should have held on to your
job until you got another? Ain't
you ever going to get anything to
do? I don't think you're trying."
"They pick on me all the time. I
wish I could get out of Chicago. Last
night ma says to me: "Why don't you
go to the movie and see your friend?'
She meant Charlie Chaplin, because
she knows I like him, but I said:
" 'I ain't got any friend anywhere,'
and I ain't I can't get work. I wish
I was out of it"
The angry tears stood in her eyes
and threatened to splash down her
cheeks, but she pushed them away
and glared as she caught me study
ing her in the elevated train.
"Poor little baby." I thought "She
thinks she is a very old woman with
all the troubles in the world on her
shoulders just because a woman's
cares are pulling her one way and a
baby's love of "idleness and pleasure
are pulling her another."
And if she doesn't run away if
she just stays until she learns the
thing that takes most of the youh
out of children's faces, that the eco
nomic situation is a force that takes
no cognizance of baby desires, but
demands that children toil as men
and wqmen her flpwer face will
soon change to discontent
And if -she rebels after all, as she
is already on the verge of doing, and
runs away well, the trail of the
bright lights leads always to the gut
ter, and there isn't any need to paint
a picture of what she will be then.
And I wondered would it make any
difference to the men who are down
in Springfield fighting and who have
been fighting the enactment of a child
labor law which will raise the age at
which girls and boys are to be placed
in factories and stores I wondered
if it would make any difference in
their attitude if their own little girls
of under 15 would have to face this
same problem would have the same
rebellion against it in their hearts and
the same desperate plan of "getting
away from it all.
If their girls were to be taken out
of high school, deprived of finishing
school or of college, permitted none
of the joys that now make up their
lives, brought to the stage of rebel
lion where even a movie actor they
adore brings the retort: "I ain't got
any friends," I wonder if it would
make any difference in their fight to
keep other rebellious little girls in fac
tories and stores.
KATE ADAMS' BILL MAY PASS
The Illinois house today is expect
ed to pass Miss Kate Adams' bill for
the commitment of erring girls and
women to a special home provided for
them, without a prison sentence or
Yesterday Representative Lyle of
Englewood failed in his attempt to
include proprietors and patrons of
disorderly resorts in the bill.
The measure is especially import
ant because of the $50,000 shelter
house which Chicago has voted for