Saturday, 11 February 2012

Girls these days

Something not especially relevant to the Pace case but which is certainly part of the broader context of press narratives about women in the 1920s, which is an important aspect of the book.

It's also just very interesting....

Devil-May-Care Girls 

“All the riskiest things are done by girls nowadays,” a traffic policeman told me the other day, as a girl motorist sailed through an apparently impassable block on two wheels without slackening speed. “And yet they have the fewest accidents. They have the nerve, that’s what it is.... All nerve, they are.”

It is no use inviting one of them to a quiet dinner to be followed by conversation. They will talk—also dangerously—only at lunch. There must be something with risks in it to be done afterwards. If there is nothing else, the motor-car must come out and be raced through a hundred miles or so in the darkness, with perhaps a river bathe, at the imminent risk of cramp, in the middle.

These girls find a private dance dull unless it is decked out with all kinds of extravagances. There is more “fun” to be found in a round of the night clubs with a chosen small party, particularly if any night club is forbidden ground.

The tragic part of it all—since the Empire needs risks to be taken—is that their dangerous living is of such an unproductive kind.

There is one consolation. These devil-may-care girls who must live dangerously, even if they have to manufacture the danger, will certainly be the mothers of no generation of mollycoddles. I think we may look forward with some confidence to great things to be accomplished by their sons. 
Daily Express, 13 August 1926, p. 8

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