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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 22, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 12

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-12-22/ed-1/seq-12/

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WOMEN CAN'T BE FRIENDS, SAYS PROFESSOR
MAN IS TO BLAME, SAYS MRS. WILCOX
BY WINONA WILCOX
A great many -women, would like to
reason with Prof. Frank Graj- .Shaw
of the department of -philosophy at
New York university, all because the
other day Prof. Shaw said:
','1 have never seen a woman to
whom friendship is possible.
"I never hope to see such a phe
nomenon. A woman is a sweet
heart, which is better than a friend
but different. Two men can be
friends, but two women, cannot"
Some women have been as agitat
ed about this as if the professor had
said .something quite new. But he
hasn't. That women attract men
like the opposite poles of a. magnet
and that women repel women as 'do
the "like" poies is a very ancient
theory.
IF amuses and delights man as.
often as it is revived. It assures him,
somehow, of his place at the "Center
of things. But perhaps he wouldn't
feel quite so secure there were he to
analyze the cause of women's anti
pathies and attractions.
Woman has a small capacity for
friendship bejause man has" educat
ed her to cariV more about love. He
is much attached .to the idea that
"Man's love is of man's life a thing
apart, 'tis woman's whole existence."
Man, through his friendships with
other hien, builds up his honor, rep
utation and success. But woman ac
quires these glories only as a mirror
acquires a shadow she reflects her
husband's state, and she accepts1 her
husband's friend as impersonally as
she would the ghost of Hamlet Man
has educated her that way, also.
There is a fine theory that a wom
an makes out her own visiting list.
In practice it must be passed by her
domestic censor. He cuts out a
friend, old or new, male or female,
according to Ais own generosity or
jealousy. x
If he does not fancy his wife's girl
-chum, the sentiment of . a dozen
years vanishes over night; but-if his
own chum happensHo marry his
wife's 'worst enemy he ridicules the
feud as an example of woman's itf5-".
capacity for friendship which the;
wife immediately disproves by enter-1
ing into the conventional social re-'
iauuua ; .
Thus the married woman is robbed'
of the friends sbe craves and thrust
into company she does not desire. .
Unmarried women, as soon as
youth and beauty have passed, usu-.
.ally haven't enough men friends to.
worry about which reflects some--what
on men's valuations of womenT
So matrons and spinsters waste,
their time in the exchange of social'
ceremonies, or bore each other with
their rival philanthropies. And it's
no wonder at all that under such.
conditions women get very tired of
each other and give clever men a;
chance to say sharp things "about:
them.
He who would have a friend must1'
first be a friend. xMan has seldom..,
been that to a woman. "-fie has al-1.
ways preferred and insisted on that;
"different" . relation of sweetheart:
which Pref. Shaw admits is "better".;
than that of friend.
The feminists .think differently
and their creed is no dying one, al
though it occasionally misses a col-:
lege proiessqr. Lately the feminists
have been -setting up difficult new
standards of ideal human relation
ships. They preach that a man is value
less as a lover, that he is a, failure afc
a spouse, unless he is a friend before
he is a sweetheart and forever afjter
he is a husband. -
By this test they imperil man's
place at the center of things. From
any other point of view h will have'
to revise his obsolete yocabulary of
love and friendship.

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