Monday, December 30, 2013

Why women don't belong in college ...

... Their fragile compositions just can't handle the pressure.

From the Dec. 30, 1913 edition (100 years ago today) edition of the Logan Republican:

A screenshot of a 1913 story outlining a young woman's suicide.
From page 1 of the Dec. 30, 1913, edition of the Logan Republican.

One of the interesting things you notice in old newspapers is the way they reported things that are no longer covered in the current media -- in this case, a suicide. (For example, I once mentioned on this blog how the New York Times covered the suicide of someone named John Baker.)

But why would a newspaper in Logan, Utah, cover the self-inflicted death of a young woman more than 750 miles away in Long Beach, Calif.? Was there a local angle? Apparently not, as the victim was from Illinois, had gone to Northwestern University and now lived in California.

I think the comment that Ms. Pritchard "suffered a mental and physical breakdown as a result of her hard study" leads to the real answer. Utah, of course, is a stronghold of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and Mormon Doctrine, at least as late as 1966, indicated that a "woman's primary place is in the home, where she is to rear children and abide by the righteous counsel of her husband." Certainly the tone of this article serves that doctrine -- and a woman going to college does not.

You've come a long way, baby.

No comments: