They were aware of what his peers were saying about them — Never will a true gentleman allude to any conquests which he may have made with ladies, nor will he indulge in other gossip.
It Is a Mistaken Belief of Women That Men Are Their Best and Most Liberal Minded Friends, Until They Discover the Truth!
Men Tell Stories of Scandalous Import
Yet over a “Stag Dinner’’ or over the Club Table, the story ot these indiscretions are freely told. The names are possibly, or probably, withheld; but it is a simple matter for the listeners to locate the character in the story of the play as related by the proud Lothario. Under the influence of wine and "Good Fellowship,” men who have been trusted and believed in by weak women have more than once shown letters and boasted of their conquests.
Woman has been accused of being jealous in their treatment of their own sex. The arrival of a new woman in her circle is supposed to awaken her to a sense of rivalry, which leads her to do petty acts. But it was a young man who carried off the palm for petty actions at one of the summer resorts. Because an attractive young woman came to the place without bringing a detailed account of her past life, the young man set himself the noble task of studying the directory of the town from which she came, and investigating the history ot all families bearing her name.
Each day he made a new report upon the possible identity of the young woman. His listeners were amused, but no one was frank enough to tell him how despicable he seemed in all eyes. Meantime the very worthy and tired young woman, who had left an excellent position among the world’s educators, and who came away for rest and recreation, and chose to avoid any thought of her duties while resting, was all unconscious of this espionage. Liked and respected by her own sex, she was not prepared to find a would-be spy and gossip among men.
Women Growing More Liberal-Minded
It is a mistaken belief of most women that men are their best and most liberal-minded friends. Men demand more of women in the way of conventional behavior than other women demand. Men are much more critical than women. A man will not hesitate to be seen in public with a woman whose name rests under a shadow; but he will be very firm in forbidding his wife or sister or mother to be seen with her. That is not friendship nor defense. A woman has been known to declare her belief In the innocence of one who was the subject of gossip and at the same time to announce her Intention to stand by her. And she has been prevented by the men of her family. Yet these same men were regarded by the victim of gossip as loyal to her because they spoke to her in public places, while women held aloof.
Men believe themselves to be more liberal and just in their estimate of women than our sex, but they are not. They deceive themselves. Women are growing more liberal minded, more just and more sympathetic with each decade. They are growing less prone to gossip. But men are keeping up the average. When next you hear a bit of gossip, look up its source. Ten to one, you will find it started with a man. —Ella Wheeler Cox, 1914
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