INSTRUCTIONAL / WOMEN’S STUDIES / PHILOSOPHY
On the Various Duties of Life, Physical, Intellectual, and Moral Development; Self-Culture, Improvement, Dress, Beauty, Fashion, Employment, Education, the Home Relations, their Duties to Young Men, Marriage, Womanhood and Happiness.
My interest in woman and our common humanity is my only apology for writing this book. I see multitudes of young women about me, whose general training is so deficient in all that pertains to the best ideas of life, and whose aims and efforts are so unworthy of their powers of mind and heart, that I can not make peace with my own conscience without doing something to elevate their aims and quicken their aspirations for the good and pure in thought and life. Our female schools are but poor apologies for the purposes of mind-culture and soul development. The idea of life they inspire is but a skeleton of custom-service and fashion-worship. It is altogether subservient to what is, not what should be. Society does little else than to teach its girls to be dolls and drudges. The prevailing current of instruction and influence is deplorably low. I feel confident that the best part of society is longing for something better. To obtain it, each one has but to live out, and express to the world his idea of a true life.
In regard to the book I may say, whatever it lacks it has the merit of being in earnest. I hope those who see its deficiencies will make haste to supply them in some form of instruction or encouragement to the class the book addresses. Thinking fathers and mothers and teachers will not complain of this humble effort to serve their daughters and pupils, but will rather add more in a similar direction, and seek to complete what I have endeavored to begin. While life is spared, I hope to work in this field, that my own daughters, as well as those of others, may attain a worthy womanhood.
PUBLISHED: 1856 / PAGES: 167
Read Online Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women by George Sumner Weaver