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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 28, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 3

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-04-28/ed-1/seq-3/

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ELSIE CLEWS PARSONS OF NEW YORK GIVES
CHICAGO SASSIETY A JOLT
Doggone the luck, anyhow, some
body's come along again and kicked
the slats out of one of our pet illu
sions. And that somebody is a New
Yorker, and a woman to boot
Her name is Elsie Clews Parsons,
and she is a daughter of Henry
Clews, the Wall street banker, and
wife of Herbert Parsons, New York
congressman and Republican stand
pat leader.
She breezed into Chicago this
week probably on the Century
and was immediately entertained by
some of our leading sassiety women.
And then she went to the City club
and tilted the lid and let some folks
take a peep at the sassiety stew in
pide. And from what Elsie said it is
some stew, believe Elsie.
Here we've all been reading the
newspaper sassiety columns for
years, and somehow or other had
got the notion that the high sassiety
dudes and dames of Chicago wer
some folks a bit above the rest of
us because their names and pictures
get into the newspapers. We have
been reading about their luncheons,
dinners, dawnces, receptions, enter
tainments, clothes and precious
stones for so long that we classed
them with the princes and princesses
of the fairy tales.
Now comes Elsie Clews Parsons
and tells us that most of them are
just plain and fancy loafers. Yes,
and they're darned vulgar besides,
and all this time we had been led to
believe they had class, while they
merely had dough.
Now Elsie Clews Parsons tells us
that "dinner party attendance, leav
ing calling cards, getting pictures in
the papers are as vulgar and out of
date as sitting up all night with a
corpse."
She also says the debutante en
tertainments and fashionable wed
dings are unusual if not vulgar.
"The society group of any Ameri
can community," said Mrs. Parsons,
"is composed of persons sufficiently
desirous to be in the group to pay
the entrance fee."
She described sassiety as a woman-bossed
conclave on whose bepow
dered petticoats clung a few unin
teresting men fortune hunters, and
an even less ambitious male contin
gent who cultivate society for the
bare sake of the meals involved in
being asked out to dinner.
And sassiety was dying out be
cause people with brain no longer
have time for it, and it is losing lead
ers. Here are a few more indictments:
It is a female organism and can't
hang together because what little
talent it has finds vent in woman
suffrage, club life, business or socio
logical work.
The younger girls are demanding
the right to select their own mates
and won't frequent sassiety because
its men are uninteresting.
Prudent lovers withdraw as far as
possible from sassiety.
Many smart sassiety women es
chew love altogether. They are like
the saloonkeeper who does not
drink. But they will flirt, for flirta
tion means retainers and retainers
means prestige.
Elsie's talk is a sad blow to our
own select Chicago sassiety. It puts
us common folks wise to the game,
for now we can pick out the vulgar,
stupid and uninteresting folks by
reading the newspaper sassiety col
umns. Not only that, but it is apt to dis
turb bysiness. What in thunder is
the use in a man sweating himself
into millions butchering cattle, sheep
and hogs at the stockyards if he
can't show off his goods on wife,
sons and daughters in high sassiety?
And what's the use of giving
swell luncheons and course dinners
jfltiii' it -'- ---- - .

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