She will appropriate the ballot as a domestic necessity, just as she appropriates the mechanical devices which lighten her work and render her physical efforts more effective. She will utilize governmental organization as she will resort to private organization, according as one or the other serves the interests intrusted to her care. She will scan the records of public servants because of the domestic interests involved in their selection, and gradually she will apply to the selection of her private helpers professional rather than personal standards which will dignify their labor and her relationship to them. Her position will then become one of increasing dignity and interest, and from her trained intelligence will come many suggestions for better collective action in behalf of the children, the aged, the sick, for whose care the community must be responsible. All of this will grow out of her realization that a woman's presence is demanded throughout the range of interests which constitute her home.
The question arises as to the best method of preparation for such a profession as has been described. Obviously many are being allowed to undertake these responsibilities without adequate equipment, indeed without any equipment at all. Clearly no training which enlarges the sympathy and widens the sense of kinship with all mankind will be amiss. All the helps to be got from literature and history in making the past live, in making the ways of others interesting for her own group, will be useful, if the home is to compete in attractiveness with the excitement of the moving picture show or the allurements of the street. Bacteriology, chemistry, and physics should be her handmaids in the performance of household tasks. Economics and the theory of government she should command. With the technique of simple cooking, of simple sewing, of simple cleansing both of house and of garments she should be familiar. The theory of modern advertising and of modern methods of selling should be made known to her, so that she may not be victimized by them. Perhaps the most important preparation of all is the attainment of a fine democracy of spirit which dignifies work, judges by objective standards, and leaves to others, children, maid-servants, any who cooperate either in public or private undertakings, a large measure of freedom from interference and petty criticism, creating an atmosphere of kindness and of genuine equality. In such an atmosphere children will thrive, maid-servants will respond, tasks will be smoothly done, and life will move serene in the sphere over which she has undertaken to rule and in which she has been glad to serve.
1. In what respects, if any, do you think that the administration of the household offers "a career" to women?
2. What kinds of training and knowledge do you think the head of a household needs?
3. On what public agencies is your household now dependent for its well-being?
4. With what voluntary associations can you ally yourself to secure better housekeeping for your neighborhood?
5. Summarize the different ways by which a housekeeper can combine her household duties with the education of her children. How can she make use of one to accomplish the other?
6. Can you justify from your own experience the statement that it is possible to be victimized by advertisements?
7. What do you think are the most pressing reforms needed today in the administration of the household?
8. What agencies can be devised and used to bring them about?
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New York: The Macmillan Co. Some Ethical Gains through Legislation. Florence Kelley.
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