Says Flapper Not So Bad As Painted

by Laurel | May 7th, 2010

Where there's smoke there's fire

Where there's smoke there's fire

May 7, 1924

Mary E. Woolley, President of Mt. Holyoke College Defends Modern Girl.

College flappers are not so bad as they are painted, according to Mary W. Woolley, president of Mount Holyoke College, who defended them against recent charges at the annual luncheon of the college at the Hotel Pennsylvania. Speaking on “College Assets and Liabilities,” President Woolley said in part:

“There’s been too much emphasis on the college flapper of late. They have been pictured in some quarters, as painted. jazz-up. smoking, bob-haired scofflaws. My experience is that college doesn’t appeal to young girls of that type. An even if some members of this class, which exists, to a great extend, in the imagination of certain people who are always ready to decry the womanhood of America, do come to college, they soon find that college is no place for them. Generally they are obliged to settle down and work hard in order to keep up with the standards of the institution to which they belong.”

President Woolley made the further point that the young women of America in the last generation have not been taught to go to church as their mothers and grandmothers were. She does not believe, however, that this is girls that Christianity really means something. In this matter the college authorities are on the defensive. We must interpret to youth the meaning of religion in the light of present day needs.

The speaker would not say that young women today are less moral than 20 years ago.

“It is the duty,” she went on, “of educational institutions to show young women the fault of the girls.”

“I hold,” she said, “That the women of this generation have asserted themselves intellectually, and therefore are more independent. Independence, however, is not a fault, though I would say it was a liability which needed careful watching.”

On the asset side of the college balance President Woolley puts the increasing popularity of colleges, saying that the average increase in attendance has almost doubled in the past 2 years.

On the debit sid she places the fact that there is too much tendency on the part of students to feel the drift of the outside social worl. Against that item, however, she has placed the fact that young girls to-day are assuming the responsibilities of the “sense of a community,” and have acquired greater poise.

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