“The Superfluous Woman” and more – from the Moruya Examiner 18 July, 1914


Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of this time in 1914, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:

SNOW visible on the mountains from here on Wednesday.   18/7/1914

"Superfluous Women' were often the feminists of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
“Superfluous Women’ were often the feminists of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. At one time a popular solution was that they should be exported to the colonies. Canada, it was pointed out, had an excess of male trappers and lumberjacks, and even Australia offered many “simple pleasures”.

“THE SUPERFLUOUS WOMAN.” – It looks as if, in the craze for educating teachers, typists and Government clerks, whilst we want mothers, wives and cooks lies the why and wherefore of the “superfluous woman,” against whom an outcry is continually being made. The 20th century girl wants too much luxury. Men find it impossible to marry her and give her what she craves. And unless women are prepared to make marriage economically possible for young men, they will be condemned in increasing numbers to old-maidism.   Wide acquaintance with the relative qualities of dress good isn’t an essential. Dozens of young men, comfortably enough off to launch their boats on matrimonial seas, hesitate because the girls of their acquaintance are such useless creatures that they could not be expected, even in an emergency, to cook a dinner or open their own front doors. They want more than the average man can give them, and it’s a poor home they will make of the places they spend their days in. If their life is quiet, they perpetually bemoan its lack of interest, and think themselves ill-used; they want motor cars, expensive frocks, and a never-ending succession of gaieties. It is the training of the girls that is at fault; and the blame is with their guardians more than with themselves. If the ignorance displayed by the query as to the geological hammer were not carried into domestic realms, there would be fewer matrimonial failures and a less fervid outcry against the “superfluous woman.”   18/7/1914

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YOUR PROSPEROUS YARRAGEE farmer Mr. John Behringer, was in town a few weeks back, and after taking stock of markets left for a round trip through the northern territory. “Jack” is one of the shrewd men of the world who does not “blab” about what he is going to do until he does it and is safe from the undermining process. Your scribe opines however, that the Yarragee prosperous farmer has gone north to spy out the land and add to his present rich acres. 18/7/1914

Photo tank from Yarragee Rd, Moruya.
Photo taken from Yarragee Rd, Moruya.

yonkermanPREVENTION OF CONSUMPTION. – The following interesting article has been compiled by the Advisory Board of Experts which recently went into the whole question: – Tubercular disease is the result of the lodgement in the body and multiplication of a parasitic germ – the tubercle bacillus. The germ may enter the body in many ways. It may be swallowed with food; it may be inhaled; or it may be inoculated under the skin…

Fortunately this germ may be very readily killed outside the body – by fresh air, by sunlight, and by thoroughly cooking any food that may be suspected of containing it. Fortunately, also, almost all persons are able to inhale germs occasionally with impunity, so long as they live healthy, regular lives with plenty of sunlight fresh air and good food. It is probably only the constant inhalation of quantities of germs, and living and working in insanitary surroundings, which are dangerous to adults. Intemperate habits of any kind much increase the risks…

The Municipal Councils have a most responsible duty in this respect. If they tolerate houses unfit for habitation, if they condone insanitary dairies, dirty habits amongst milk vendors, or those who supply food, and evade the sanitary provisions of the Local Government and Public Health Acts – from mistaken motives of kindness – they will be encouraging the ravages of tubercle; but if they carry out these provisions with scrupulous care, they may feel assured that they are carrying out a work of the greatest value to the community… 18/7/1914

La Miseria by Cristóbal Rojas (1886). The author, suffering from tuberculosis, depicts the social aspect of the disease, and its relation with living conditions
La Miseria by Cristóbal Rojas (1886). The author, suffering from tuberculosis, depicts the social aspect of the disease, and its relation with living conditions

Sixteen 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1913 are available ($5 ea) from the society’s rooms. Copies of local newspapers from the 1860s to date can be viewed at the society’s Family History Research Centre (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Pioneer Museum in Campbell St. Moruya (mdhs.org.au).

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