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The day book. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 15, 1913, FINAL EDITION, Image 7

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-03-15/ed-2/seq-7/

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ganize a chance to be able to say to
the big employers of Chicago:
"We are one; you cannot treat one
of .us badly -without treating all of us
badly; you cannot starve one girl
"without ""every other girl working for
you or your brother millionaires re
senting it; you cannot dig a grave be
fore the feet of one child among us
without all of us fighting you for it
"Working women have a right to
- life, have a right to sunshine, have
a right to a little play as well as to a
lot of work. And we're ready to go
as far as possible to get these rights,"
said Mary McDowell, the woman who
has become known as "The Mother
of the Stockyards:" .
"If a girl could live on $8 a week,
as some of these millionaires say,"
said Mrs. John T. Bowen, "it would
leave nothing for emergency, nothing
for amusement, nothing for right liv
ing. We must, demand more, andf we
must make pur demand so strong
we'll get more."
, "I don't believe in people getting
together and pitying themselves,"
said Mary McDowell. "We're not go
ing to do that. We're going to get
to work."
"Organization is the only hope of
the women," said Elizabeth Maloney,
the fighting little waitress who did
more than any other one person to
force a 'sluggish, employer-cowed
legislature to pass the ten-hour
law, "If there were a few more
strikes on State street, the girls of
the department stores would get
more decent treatment You girls
have a right to live and to enjoy life.
You've got to fight for that right . .
I think you're ready to do it "
"I found that the girls of the .de
partment stores looked on the work
of the O'Hara commission as a God
send," said Mary O'Reilly. "They're
all ready now to fight for the right
to help themselves upward. . . , ."
And all through the'meeting, the
women, the young girls with the
fresh complexions, and the old wom
ien"with weary, bowed backs, cheered.
And at the end they stood up and
sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee,":
with' a new spirit, a new hope and a
new meaning.
It's a-pity that none of the big'mil
lionaires, who leaned, back fatly in
their chairs before the O'Hara com
mission and talked about how easy it
would be for a girl to live on $4 or $5
a week, who smugly declared that
any really good girl would starve to
death, before she'd ever go wrong,
who, by the way they talked of their
women employes, eternally-disgraced
their own sex, were not at" that meet
ing. . . . i
Their eyes might, have been open
ed. -They might have awakened to
the fact that these women employes
of theirs of whom they talked in
terms of dollars and cents, actually
were human beings, made of jlesh
and blood, just like themselves if
some of these millionaires really are
flesh and blood. . ; . .
And they might have come to real
ize that the time is really past when
any employer, no matter how many
millions he has, can treat any em
ploye in terms of dollars and cents. .
It's a pity, too, that the members
of he O'Hara commission weren't at
that meeting. For if the day should
come when the courage of any mem
ber of that commission should begin
to fade, It would have been renewed
by the memory of these women of
last night, the women with the new
hope and the new courage in their
tired faces.
To the Editor: I have a kick "to
make, and I ask for goodness sake,
that you take and air this outrage in
your book. I. got in a crowded car,
and it gave me such a jar, when I
found two women seated, in a nook.,
In front of them I stood, as any sane
man would, but neither one of them
rose, to her feet Where is chivalry,
I say, whether has it flown away,
when a lady will not give, a man her
seat? A Mere Man. u

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