Monday, April 21, 2014

An Imaginary Conversation with Ms. Mason

Some Preliminary Considerations

MS. MASON: Not the least sign of the higher status women have gained, is the growing desire for work that obtains amongst educated women. 

ME: Um, well, it's not that I desired to work so much as I thought that's just what one does.  I thought that I was supposed to go to college and get a job.  I thought that getting a job depended upon me being educated.  An educated woman. 

MS. MASON: The world wants the work of such women... Presently, as education becomes more general, we shall see all women with the capacity to work falling into the ranks of working women, with definite tasks, fixed hours, and for wages, the pleasure and honour of doing useful work if they are under no necessity to earn money.

ME: But some women are under the necessity to earn money.  I'm under that necessity, but that's a long story and you were saying...

MS. MASON: That work which is of most importance to society is the bringing up and instruction of the children - in the school, certainly, but far more in the home, because it is more than anything else the home influences brought to bear upon the child that determine the character and career of the future man or woman. 

ME: I hope you don't think I think having a career is more important than being a mother. Becoming a parent was the best decision I ever made.

MS. MASON: It is a great thing to be a parent - there is no promotion, no dignity, to compare with it. 

ME: But you never married, never had children of your own.

(She looks away, then changes the subject.)

MS. MASON: The parents of but one child may be cherishing what shall prove a blessing to the world. 

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