Montreal Daily Star 20 October 1911, page 3


The Women Who Work


Very very slowly the notion that work is a disgrace to women as [illegible] asCanada.  Time was no so long ago when to mention that a girl of good birth, education, and breeding was employed in an office was to bring forth a storm of protests.  It was unwomanly and it was unladylike, it was altogether to be deplored. If it were a shop instead of an office the woman worker was socially ostrasized. But as the [illegible] pass by ideas change, “the old order passeth giving way to the new.” But the old order passes very slowly and the new lags somewhat behind in this particular corner of the world. InEnglandthings are much farther advanced. There women of the highest forth going openly into any sort of business that appeals to them.  Daughters of officers and clergy start hat shops, titled ladies boldly enter the field of dressmaking. The one thought is to choose the line that is particularly adapted to the individual.  One titled young lady recently opened a florist shop as she was especially fond of the flowers and knew much about growing them.  I could if it were necessary  give a long list of aristocratic women inEnglandwho are now in business.  But, as was said before, here inCanadawe lag behind  the wheels of progress. Many a girl is eating her heart out in her home in poverty and dullness, while a genuine taste for trimming hats should open the way to a career. Many a woman who scrapes along on next to nothing could make a good income by utilizing her taste for concocting dainty, hand made underwear.  Such girls, such women are afraid to enter the field of business for fear of what others will say.  It isEdinburgh, is it not? which has the stirring motto.  They say, what they say, let them say.  But few women have the moral courage to live up to such a standard.  The only way about it is somewhat slow.  It is to educate the public so that in time it will be considered more disgraceful for a woman to sit idle at home than engage in any honest undertaking .  The parasite woman as Olive Schreiner calls her in her splendid book “Women and Labor,” will become a thing of the past and to work will be honored and to be respected.  AC