The Business of Being a Woman eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 129 pages of information about The Business of Being a Woman.

Already there are signs that the woman’s labor organizations are willing to recognize the inherent dignity of household service.  And this is as it should be.  The woman who labors should be the one to recognize that all labor is per se equally honorable—­that there is no stigma in any honestly performed, useful service.  If she is to bring to the labor world the regeneration she dreams, she must begin not by saying that the shop girl, the clerk, the teacher, are in a higher class than the cook, the waitress, the maid, but that we are all laborers alike, sisters by virtue of the service we are rendering society.  That is, labor should be the last to recognize the canker of caste.[4]


  [2] Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage Earners in the
  United States, Vol.  XV.  Relation between Occupation and
  Criminality of Women. 1911.

[3] The number of people in 1910 in what is called “gainful occupations” has not as yet been compiled by the Census Bureau.  This figure of 7,000,000 is arrived at by the following method, suggested to the writer by Director Durand.  It is known that there are about 44,500,000 females in the present population.  Now in 1900 there were about 141/2 per cent of all the girls and women in the country over ten years of age at work a part or all of the time.  Apply to the new figure this proportion, and you have between six and seven millions, which is called 7,000,000 here, on the supposition that the proportion may have increased.  The percentage of women in each of the various occupations in 1900 is assumed still to exist.
[4] The National Women’s Trades Union League has domestic workers among its members, though not as yet, I believe, in any large numbers.  Its officials are strong believers in a Domestic Workers’ Union.  There are several such unions in New Zealand, and they have done much to regulate hours, conditions, and wages.



One of the severest strains society makes on human life is that of adapting itself to ever changing conditions:  yesterday it dragged us in a stagecoach; to-day it hurls us across country in limited expresses; to-morrow we shall fly!  Once twilight and darkness were without, shadows and dim recesses within; now, wherever men gather there is one continuous blazing day.  He who would keep his task abreast with the day must accept speed and light; for the law is, think, feel, do in the terms of your day, if you would keep your hold on your day.

It is a law often resented as if it were an immorality, but those who refuse the new way on principle, confuse form with principle.  It is the form which changes, not the essence.  The few great underlying elements from which character and happiness are evolved are permanent—­their mutations are endless.  Dull-minded, we take the mutations to mean shifting of principle.  That is, we do not square up by truth, but by the forms of truth.

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The Business of Being a Woman from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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