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Philip Dru: Administrator

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<SPAN name="XLVII"></SPAN> <h1 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">Chapter XLVII</h1> <h2 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">The Wise Disposition of a Fortune, Continued</h2> <p>&#8220;If your fortune were mine, Senator Selwyn,&#8221; said Philip Dru, &#8220;I would devote it to the uplift of women. Their full rights will be accorded them in time, but their cause could be accelerated by you, and meanwhile untold misery and unhappiness averted. Man, who is so dependent upon woman, has largely failed in his duty to her, not alone as an individual but as a sex. Laws are enacted, unions formed, and what not done for man&#8217;s protection, but the working woman is generally ignored. With your money, and even more with your ability, you could change for the better the condition of girlhood and womanhood in every city and in every factory throughout the land. Largely because they are unorganized, women are overworked and underpaid to such an extent that other evils, which we deplore, follow as a natural sequence. By proper organization, by exciting public interest and enlisting the sympathy and active support of the humane element, which is to be found in every community you will be able to bring about better conditions.</p> <p>&#8220;If I were you, I would start my crusade in New York and work out a model organization there, so that you could educate your coadjutors as to the best methods, and then send them elsewhere to inaugurate the movement. Moreover, I would not confine my energies entirely to America, but Europe and other parts of the world should share its benefits, for human misery knows no sheltering land.</p> <p>&#8220;In conjunction with this plan, I would carry along still another. Workingmen have their clubs, their societies and many places for social gathering, but the women in most cities have none. As you know, the great majority of working girls live in tenements, crowded with their families in a room or two, or they live in cheap and lonely boarding houses. They have no chance for recreation after working hours or on holidays, unless they go to places it would be better to keep away from. If men wish to visit them, it must needs be in their bedrooms, on the street, or in some questionable resort.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;How am I to change this condition?&#8221; said Selwyn.</p> <p>&#8220;In many ways,&#8221; said Dru. &#8220;Have clubs for them, where they may sing, dance, read, exercise and have their friends visit them. Have good women in charge so that the influence will be of the best. Have occasional plays and entertainments for them, to which they may each invite a friend, and make such places pleasanter than others where they might go. And all the time protect them, and preferably in a way they are not conscious of. By careful attention to the reading matter, interesting stories should be selected each of which would bear its own moral. Quiet and informal talks by the matron and others at opportune times, would give them an insight into the pitfalls around them, and make it more difficult for the human vultures to accomplish their undoing. There is no greater stain upon our vaunted civilization,&#8221; continued Dru, &#8220;than our failure to protect the weak, the unhappy and the abjectly poor of womankind.</p> <p>&#8220;Philosophers still treat of it in the abstract, moralists speak of it now and then in an academic way, but it is a subject generally shunned and thought hopelessly impossible.</p> <p>&#8220;It is only here and there that a big noble-hearted woman can be found to approach it, and then a Hull House is started, and under its sheltering roof unreckoned numbers of innocent hearted girls are saved to bless, at a later day, its patron saint.</p> <p>&#8220;Start Hull Houses, Senator Selwyn, along with your other plan, for it is all of a kind, and works to the betterment of woman. The vicious, the evil minded and the mature sensualist, we will always have with us, but stretch out your mighty arm, buttressed as it is by fabulous wealth, and save from the lair of the libertines, the innocent, whose only crime is poverty and a hopeless despair.</p> <p>&#8220;In your propaganda for good,&#8221; continued Dru, &#8220;do not overlook the education of mothers to the importance of sex hygiene, so that they may impart to their daughters the truth, and not let them gather their knowledge from the streets.</p> <p>&#8220;You may go into this great work, Senator Selwyn, with the consciousness that you are reaching a condition fraught with more consequence to society than any other that confronts it, for its ramifications for evil are beyond belief of any but the sociologist who has gone to its foundations.&#8221;</p>
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