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time twice a week for their farming sociable, like those of Bible times, as when Elisha was one of twelve ploughing side by side in one field. Fewer boys would leave farms if there was a little care taken by such devices to make farm work less lonesome. Mrs. Bagshaw fitted up a little room with organ and camp chairs where they could meet a few moments on each visit to thank God for making their plants grow. Children's gardens are in accord with the general principle that it is better to furnish children materials to make something than finished toys or other finished products.
Clubs for the Village Boy MR. Mason. I wish to read an extract from an article in The Continent of July 13, 1922, on “Clubs for The Village Boy”:
“The big boy is the real problem. The youngsters can be taken care of by schools, churches and homes. The boy of potential working age—meaning 14 and more is a conundrum. At 15 and 16 the boy is really danger
At 17 and 18 he is more difficult. And these are the very ages at which most communities and reformers drop the boy. They go seeking for a multitude of little chaps. The boy scouts hardly touch the mass of boys at the most critical time of their lives. The big boys, from 14 up to 18 and more, like to go some place almost every night of the week. It is not usually to prayer meeting. It cannot always be to the movies. A town I know believes it has “passed the impossible.” It has put up a building of portable construction for about $7,000. This provides a gymnasium 50 feet by 40, with a polished maple floor and a roof 16 feet high and all the comforts of a real boys' club. There is a little room for assemblage in the rear. There is a pool table just
as good as and rather better than the table in the pool room down the street. The light is rather brighter and the place is warmer. The atmosphere is much wholesomer. Adjoining is a shower bath room, the most popular corner of the building. It is in use much of the time. The favorite indoor amusement of these village boys is to weigh themselves without any clothes on and to take a hot shower bath thereupon. This being the climax of the liveliest sort of basketball in an electriclighted gymnasium which is always at their disposal. Nor are "politics and religion" barred. They are quite ready for religion when Sunday night comes. Here is a meetting for boys and young men that outstrips in enthusiasm and earnestness any miscellaneous young people's meeting to be found in the neighborhood. This runs fifty-two Sundays of the year. Its chief promoters are the crack basketball players, the prize runners, the experts on the parallel bars, the "end men" and soloists of the annual minstrel show.
"So much new manliness, so much sturdy. character, so much cleanness of lips and life have been infused into a hundred village boys and young men by this process that I almost feel like heading this story "The Village Boy Problem Solved.'”
WHAT WILL FATHERS DO TO CHECKMATE NEW PERILS OF THEIR DAUGHTERS?
A Lunch Conference in the Kiroknili Club,
To Follow Up Chapter V
I speak as a man to men who love their daughters better than their own lives, and would sacrifice life to safeguard their daughter's choicest gem of purity. Of late you have all seen, and perhaps felt, a spirit of "revolt" in the “younger set” of girls—a demand for a "new freedom”; and your wives have told you how the waves of this revolt have beaten up against the breakwaters that love and the experience of centuries have built to safeguard girlhood.
An increasing proportion of American girls of fourteen claim the "right" to go wherever and whenever and with whomever they please. They assume to be wiser, not only than their parents, teachers and pastors, but wiser than all who have developed in long centuries out of wrecked health and hopes and hearts, and wrecked cities and nations, certain civil laws for minors and certain rules of good form, all intended to protect immature girls against being defrauded of their property and of the supreme treasure of womanhood, by those of whom the poet says,
‘Men were deceivers ever.' Girls, whom the laws say can not marry for many years yet, go daily to school and to work dressed as for a party, with every article of attire, from unhealthy high heels, that imperil the organs of future motherhood, to their saucy hats, making the "sex appeal" all day long to every male in sight, married or unmarried. One would think they had been taught that the chief end, not of women
only, but of girls is to attract the attention of men and boys, and that success was measured by admiring glances won. The mentality that is sorely needed to do their job faithfully in school, in preparation for a useful life, or to earn their pay in shop or office, is half spent in frequent powdering, and adjusting of hair and dress and summer furs, and other flirtatious activities. The “flapper," immodestly dressed, seems to shout all day to every boy and man within range, “I am a woman and don't you forget it.” Every streamer screams, “Pick me up,” “Catch on."
It should be said in explanation, or extenuation for the "flappers” that have reached marriageable age, that this assault and battery in their costumes is no doubt partly due to the increasing disinclination of men to marry. Dr. Samuel Zane Batten said before the World War, to which time we turn for normal conditions, that there were seventeen millions of marriageable people between 22 and 40 years of age that were not mated, more than half of them men. There is nothing like it in all God's world of living creatures, practically all of which in other species are mated as soon as they mature.
The men are not only less inclined to marriage than women but
many of the men are not good enough to mate with the good women. Even good women might therefore be excused for being somewhat strenuous in their pursuit of marriage as a woman's God-appointed goal.
In the Outlook of August 3, 1922, Frederick M. Davenport said in a review of “The Revolt Against Civilization” by Lothrop Stoddard:
"A distinguished biologist of New England reckons that at the present rate of reproduction a thousand Harvard graduates of today will have only fifty thousand descendants two centuries hence, whereas a thousand Rumanians in Boston, at their present rate of breed
ing, will have one hundred thousand descendants in the same space of time. Biological regression, the scientists call it. Not complete, because there may be many individuals in the Rumanian stock capable of climbing the social ladder and becoming superior; but the best-tried stock, the stock we know about as fit to organize and apply sound social control to civilization, is passing in many important parts of America.”
The proportion of children to possible mothers in the United States was only three fourths as large in 1900 as in 1860, before the American Civil War. If "flapping" would change that we might bear it philosophically. But the present loud sex appeal seems to be failing of its purpose.
From a theatre gallery a man shouted to a speaker who was unaccustomed to such large auditoriums: "You are shouting so loud we can't hear you.” In several large American cities the press reported that the wedding month of June, both in 1921 and 1922, saw more divorces than marriages. I wonder if the "flappers" can not stand on the other side of the street long enough, in imagination, to see themselves go by, and admit that if they were men they would not go farther than flirtation with such combinations of physical weakness and mental inanity and moral indifferentism as they are.
Worse Than Immodest Dress But the perpetual sex appeal in the new fashions, which American women allow the most immoral of nations to frame for them, is manifestly far less harmful than the intermittent sex shocks of the new abdomen dances, now thrust on many boys and girls and men and women, not, as formerly, once a week, but often twice a day. We who are now men found it hard enough to get through