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'A Woman's Place...'


A few years ago this newspaper remarked, "And so it came to pass that the Radcliffe Girl turned into a member of the human race." A long way had been come since 1884 when an editorial dealing with the same subject suggested that the members of the "Harvard Annex" might consider themselves as "...collegiate guardians of good morals and good order." This "doormat to Heaven" conception of a woman's place in the world was the condescending side of the masculine philosophy embodied in the Chinese proverb that "the three virtues of women are to obey the father, to obey the husband, to obey the son."

But though the great-granddaughters of the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women may now number themselves among the human race, they can also still feel some of the anger Virginia Woolf knew when upon entering a man's college library "...instantly there issued, like a guardian angel barring the way...a deprecating, silvery, kindly gentleman, who regretted in a low voice as he waved me back that ladies are only admitted to the library if accompanied by a Fellow of the College or furnished with a letter of introduction."

It must be faced that men are yet reluctant to grant that their position of natural superiority through the ages has only been a satisfying myth. A girl is left upon her wiles. Remembering the admonition of "that loveable old cynic" Dorothy Parker about "girls who wear glasses," many a Cliffedweller foregoes the wisdom of Portia to remain an unlearned, loveable Juliet. Happily, the star of Rosalind, who succeeded in combining both wit and grace, seems to be in its ascendancy over Garden Street.

Even some of the men are coming to prefer the Rosalinds to the Juliets. This is surely all for the best. Every woman knows that as the Mad Woman of Chaillot said, "There's nothing so wrong in this world that a sensible woman can't set it right in the course of an afternoon."

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