Recreation for Girls In Cities, 1908



By Jane Addams.

The discovery of the labor power of young girls was to our age like the discovery of a new natural resource. In utilizing it thus ruthlessly we are not only in danger of quenching the divine fire of youth, but we are imperiling our civilization itself, if in the movement of its most pronounced materialism we dry up the very sources of beauty, of variety, of suggestion, which these charming creatures have always given to the world. To fail to provide for the recreation of young girls is not only to deprive all of them of their natural form of expression, and [page 2] to subject some of them to the overwhelming temptation of illicit and soul destroying pleasures, but it furthermore pushes society back into dreariness; into a [skepticism] of life's value -- that shadow which looks around the corner for most of us -- it deprives us of the warmth and reassurance which we so sorely need and to which we are justly entitled.

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