Monday, 16 February 2009

The Real American Girl

"The truest, best, and sweetest type of the American girl of to-day does not come from the home of wealth; she steps out from a home where exist comforts rather than luxuries," writes Edward W. Bok, the editor of the Ladies' Home Journal. "She belongs to the great middle class - that class which has given us the best American wifehood; which has given helpmates to the foremost American men of our time; which teaches its daughters the true meaning of love; which teaches the manners of the drawing-room, but the practical life of the kitchen as well; which teaches its girls the responsibilities of wifehood and the greatness of motherhood.

These girls may not ride in their carriages, they may not wear the most expensive gowns, they may even help a little to enlarge the family income, but these self-same girls are to-day the great bulwark of American society, not only present, but of the future. They represent the American home and what is best and truest in sweet domestic life, and they make the best wives for our American men. I have no patience with the theories that would seek to place the average American girl in any other position than that which she occupies, ornaments, and rightfully holds: the foremost place in our respect, our admiration, and our love. She is not the society girl of the day, and she is better for it. She believes no woman to be so sweet as her mother; no man so good as her father. She believes that there are good women and true men abroad in the world, and thank God, her belief is right. And that man will ever be happiest who takes such a girl for his wife."
The Young Woman, 1893.

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