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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 1, 1931)

Our Women's Section

page 59

Our Women's Section

Woman's Place In The Home.

When will the answer to this much disputed question be found? When will long paragraphs in the newspapers cease to appear—paragraphs boldly signed “A Mere Male,” or “I remain, dear sir, A Husband,” or “Father of Family”—in which the position of women is discussed from every possible and impossible point of view? Is the day at hand when she will be accepted once and for all for what she is, and not derided cruelly and tolerantly for what she aspires to be? Perhaps all this discussion is a healthy sign; a sign of new importance and an altogether new sphere of activity. At least, it is an indication that she has emerged finally from the dark obscurity in which she has had her being for many centuries—“the power behind the throne”—the gentle, unobtrusive, and unassuming head of the family, accepting no credit, claiming no recognition, content with her minute world of trivial decisions and daily responsibilities, her “raison d'ětre” simply that of providing a comfortable, serene environment for husband and sons, and an adequate domestic education for gentle, dutiful daughters. How often we read in history and in novels of this shadowy, charming creature with her smile of encouragement and her touch of healing and sympathy. Men have come to regard such a being as an ideal, and even now they cherish some vague aspiration towards a home founded on these traditions.

We have disillusioned them somewhat cruelly and rapidly. Our evolution has suddenly jumped forward with a bound, and we have left the masculine world gasping in astonishment—perplexed, incredulous, and even dismayed.

“The old order” has changed too swiftly; hastened by the outbreak of war with its demands on both sexes. Women were forced to step into men's positions, assume tremendous responsibilities, organise, command—emerge. Is it just to expect her to crawl contentedly back to her kennel now that she is no longer needed in the world of business and power? She has shewn her capabilities and surprised even herself. Given an opportunity she is equal to anything, and since the War she has been feverishly seeking that chance, sometimes at the expense of her home and family.

This is merely temporary, new adjustments are being made, and a new scale of values established. Man is a singularly adaptable animal, and will ultimately find his level in an altered environ- page 60 ment, where he will be met by a thinking, capable, and sympathetic companion, capable of tremendous effort and creative thought. Gone for ever is the plaintive echo of the masculine voice—the mirror in which he sees himself idealized. Instead, is someone possessing a distinct individuality and a positive self—possessing still a subtle charm and an eternal capability of keeping always something of her changeless soul in reserve; at the same time giving much more widely, and receiving eagerly what the world has to offer from its store of experiences.

Your Skin in Winter

We read in novels that “the young girl rushes in from a brisk walk in the icy blast, her cheeks glowing, the very spirit of freshness and beauty.” And there is no reason why winter should detract at all from her charms if she prepares sensibly for the rough kisses of the southerly, just as she does for fierce Lord Sun in the summer. Yet many girls simply dread the winter as a time of sore lips, most unattractive red noses rather than flushed cheeks, and a skin which cracks and peels for three miserable months. It is impossible for a woman with perfect features to appear in any way to advantage if she allows a delicate, sensitive skin to be exposed to a ruthless climate. The damage may be permanent, whereas with a little care and thought she need fear nothing. Spend a little less time on your clothes and a little more on a scientific understanding of the skin, and you will be amply rewarded.

It is a woman's birthright to have a lovely, clear, radiant complexion, yet so many of us abuse our privilege and overestimate its durability. Fresh air is essential to beauty, whether it be winter or summer, but a few simple precautions must be taken.

In the first place, never dream of going out into the cold air immediately after washing your face in warm water. The pores of the skin are open, and its texture is immediately coarsened. This applies also to the use of cream and powder—always bathe the face with cold water, which is a tonic for the muscles as well. By the way, use as little soap as possible in winter, it dries up the natural oils of the skin; also, increase your application of cold cream when returning from outdoors and before retiring. Never go out without some protection—face cream carefully rubbed in and rather more powder than in summer. A protective “armour” against the wind is thus formed; but always remove it before applying more. A skin lotion for the very delicate skin is advisable.