The Bahá’í World
Volume 1 : 1925-1926
once supposed to be man’s exclusive work—and doing it well.”
Some specific examples of this class are:
Margaret Kelly, Assistant Director of the United States Mint.
Mrs. J. C. McRee, a business woman of Atlanta, Ga., who in 1918 bought the fixtures of a tea room going out of business for $200. Two years later she refused $150,000 for it.
Dr. Alice Hamilton, one of America’s most distinguished physicians, for six years traveled over the country for the United States Department of Labor, and later spent one half of each year at Harvard University where she was one of the faculty.
In reply to the opponents of woman’s new activity, Gertrude Atherton in the Yale Review says, “You forget that no woman can hold a man’s job if she is inefficient and that many men are cheerfully permitting their wives to support them.”
Women of a third class have been accused of being industrial usurpers. But this idea has been proved faulty by C. P. Neil, Commissioner of Labor, who listed four of the six great divisions of modern industry as woman’s industry, by right of her priority in them. Look at the range of the four:-
1. Textile industries (cotton, woolen, linen manufacturers.)
2. Cloth and serving trades (all garment manufacturers.)
3. Manufacturers of food and kindred products (including beverages, bakeries, pickle factories, candy kitchens, etc.)
4. Domestic service (supervision of hosteleries, apartment houses, restaurants.)
If “usurpation” is the word it is the men carders and weavers, men who come to the house with vacuum cleaners, hotel proprietors, men garment cutters and fitters, apartment house superintendents, men bakers, chefs, pickle makers and brewers, it is they who are the usurpers—not the women, who are but following their traditional pursuits from home to factory.
A fourth class is made up of women who are demonstrating the dynamic ability to have babies and careers both. Lady Astor, a member of the British parliament, and also a mother of five children is an interesting example. Lady Astor says, “The pearl of a great price that I am striving for is to take into public life what every man gets from his mother—unselfishness, vision, courage, cleanness—the real kind which helps them to live up to what is best in them. There is so much good in all men, but only good women can bring it out.”
Henry Norman in the Forum says, “Women are among the truly great artists of the world; some of them are great musicians, many of them great fiction writers.”
Every cause that is of lasting benefit to the race is usually watered with the blood of martyrs. The cause of the awakened woman is no exception. Kurratu’l-Ayn, a beautiful Persian poetess, was the first woman to give her life to help establish freedom for all women. In 1863, in a land where girls received no education, in a country where custom demanded thick protecting veils for all women at all times, among a people who considered it a disgrace to be tbe parents of a girl baby, Kurratu’l-Ayn arose and throwing aside her veil, fearlessly proclaimed the dawn of a New Age in which superstition, fanatical custom and ignorance would be done away with. For her action Kurratu’l-Ayn was killed, her body was thrown into a well, and stones were heaped upon her. Like a seed that human body was buried,
so that the spirit