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Woman's Work

Despite woman's persistent effort to become man's equal, man himself still tries to keep her his superior.

Speaking to the graduating class at Radcliffe college, Dr. Alan Chester Valentine, master of Pierson college, Yale university, warned the young women against becoming Amazons and urged them to spiritualize the world which men have so largely mechanized, saying:

"Education....for women should not be to instruct them in doing men's work, but to fit them for creating a new and better world than the world of men.

"In their struggle to escape the domination of men, women have neglected their spiritual powers to become Amazons by using men's weapons. Here in America the influence of women as an ideal has declined, but to women have been given spiritual powers which our leaders of today are not using to advantage.

"Men's demands are too simple and narrow, while to women have been given clarity of vision, respect for intuition, a sense of the practical and the duty of educating the young. Spiritual powers must be developed, within the individual, which can turn the mechanical economies of man's world into a more human civilization."

Woman's work, it has been said, is never done. How many self-made men ever realize that they are not self-made at all, but simply the clay that some woman took and shaped? Dr. Valentine, however, was honest enough to admit before the young Radcliffe women that when they and their sisters shall have breathed a spirit into this material world and made it a better place to live in, men will come forward and "take the credit for it." And who will deny that they will deserve at least a 50-50 share?

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This editorial in the Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette highlights one reaction to the changing role of women caused by the Great Depression. During the depression many women took jobs to increase family incomes reduced by male unemployment, also, women's work in the home became more important as families struggled to make do with less. These changes may have improved the social status of women. The author of this editorial warns against women becoming more like men. Liberated women "have neglected their spiritual powers to become Amazons." The author suggests that these spiritual powers may make women superior to men by "turn[ing] the economies of man's world into a more humane civilization."


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"Woman's Work" editorial from Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette
date   Jul 6, 1935
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   6.75"
width   3.75"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
accession #   #L08.026

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See Also...

Dr. Mary P. Dole

"Local Council of Unemployed Has 230 Members" article from the Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette newspaper

"Red Electric" Washing and Wringing Machine pamphlet

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