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Page 97 text:
If it is necessary for her to earn her own living she never worries others about her troubles, but she immediately measures the worth of her services, realizes her capacity for doing things, exchanges self-conceit—if she has any—for self-respect, learns to estimate others by. a true estimate of herself and thus quickly learns the real needs cf the world and how to meet them.
She is too sensible to suppose that a “Prince Charming" is coming for her in a golden chariot: besides, the golden chariots arc mostly in pawn. When the prince does come he will be at work himself and his American bride will be no drone. In the words of the poet—
The world today is ringing with her fame,
Old Glory floats supreme o'er land and sea,
Our chiefs receive great honor and acclaim And everything is right as right can be.
But let us not forget the stanch ally Who helped us in the fight so nobly won:
A sweet and modest actor, but a most important factor. The girl behind the man behind the gun.
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world—
What is it that that little hand can’t do?
On bloody fields when shot and shell arc hurled,
She bears the flag and pulls the lanyards too.
'Tis pointed forward in the press of war.
'Tis clasped in mercy when the fight is done.
And by her truth and beauty she incites us to our duty. The girl behind the man behind the gun.
She is reposeful, self-reliant, self-contained: vigorous, vivacious, ambitious: intelligent, high-bred, yet jolly—is the occasional American girl of the Twentieth century. She is as much at home in a green willow chair on the side porch as in a box at the opera: as easy in one of the three last scats in a car as in an automobile. But above all things she is always her own, sweet.wholesome, irresistible self. “Conscience makes cowards of us all." Social conventions prevent the most of us from telling the truth after the fashion of George Washington heroes, but the ideal American girl never thinks or cares about the rules that society has laid down. She always says just what she thinks, regardless of conventions and gossipy people. Her ideas are healthy and energetic and she can accustom herself to fit into any kind of a position or place without waiting for man to give her a ticket—and this is just the striking characteristic of the American girl. If it
Page 96 text:
The American Girl
The American girl of today lias been toasted and sung ad infinitum. She has been presented to us under many different types and poses and yet there is much to be said regarding the American girl.
There are as many different phases as there arc different points of view— indeed, as many phases as there are girls, perhaps. From the artist’s point of view we ha' e the “Gibson girl.” and the “Wiley girl,” the “sweet girl graduate,” and also the humorist’s type portrayed by Lulu and Leander.
Then from the writer’s point of view we have the “Juliet Wilbur Thomp-kins” type so often presented in magazines and on post-cards as “Mildreds” and “Gertrudes” and “Josephines” who study art and plan careers which inevitably end in matrimony. The types generally given in modern novels are the “society" type, “journalist” type, “business woman" type—and many others.
But after all, the American girl is a class distinct and unique, bro’t up under a different code from any of her forbearers. She is in fact an evolved product by right of truth, training, laws and development. We. ourselves, unconsciously typify the American girl literally as the Northern, Southern. Eastern and Western types, and there is indeed much to be said regarding environment as a factor in her character building.
But the ideal American girl that appeals to us is the “occasional" American girl of the present century. By occasional I do not mean the ordinary use of the word, but I mean the girl that is “up” to any occasion whatever it may be and whenever it may present itself.
Mentally she has a higher degree of intellectuality than the girl of any other nation because she lias a whole head full of good common sense which can’t help but make the best kind of an intellectual mixture when stirred up with a little grey brain matter.
Spiritually she stands for the highest ideals and good morals and does more to scatter good influence over the world than any other living creature or thing.
Page 98 text:
were her lot to be the head of the family for a week or a month or a year, while mother is away for a rest, she successfully holds the family together by entering into the spirit of it and taking all the thought and doing all the work—nursing, teaching, cooking, washing, sewing, scrubbing, saving, choring outside, in fact anything in the catalog is not beyond her. Perhaps she will scold a little now and then, but that doesn't count as long as she keeps the children clean and the “boss" good-tempered. You will even notice the soothing and smoothing influence she has over the whole neighborhood.
You see the occasional American girl is not a Lydia Languish type nor an unsophisticated Bertha M. Clay heroine who does such unconventional, trustingly things because someone asks her to and tells her they are all right, but a strong, high-minded girl with a well balanced character and good moral qualities such as courage, good temper, thotfulness for others, perseverance and trustworthiness—a girl who knows what’s what and why, enjoys a good book, is acquainted with good pictures and can even warble a love song without imagining every young man who hears it is in love with her. She may never be President, this occasional American girl, neither will she die of fatty degeneration of the heart for lack of ambition to exercise her energy.
Then here’s to the Stars and Stripes,
To the land of our birth,
To the American girl,
The best thing on earth.
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