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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/709

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TEACHING GIRLS THE VALUE OF MONEY.

well educated. It is amazing that such profound ignorance on ordinary business matters exists. In conversation with many other wealthy women I discovered that it was very much the exception to find a woman who possessed the slightest knowledge of money matters. Now, why should these things be? The time has passed for a young girl to be brought up a "perfect fool." Let her not waste the beautiful morning of her life in profitless and frivolous occupations. The reason often given as excuse for the ignorance of many women is, so few comparatively have any money to keep, therefore it is useless to teach them.

True, it is unusual to find a young girl with an independent fortune; but she may marry rich, and what a help she would be to a sensible man if she were capable of aiding him in his business affairs! Again, she might be left a widow, and have the entire direction of her husband's property. No knowledge is ever lost. The more one knows, the more one realizes how little one does know. I maintain that a woman's intellect is perfectly capable of coping with and understanding business affairs. In some matters she is far shrewder than the average man, and in many cases her quick insight sees at a glance that which man requires time to penetrate. Only give her half a chance. I do not wish for a moment to be understood as advocating women becoming stockbrokers or lawyers; nothing could be more unnatural or unsuitable. It seems to me only in accordance with the wishes of a reasonable woman to participate with her brothers in such rudimentary knowledge as will enable her to oversee or take the entire charge of her own property. Take, for example, a well-to-do New York business man. He has acquired through his own industry and shrewdness a large fortune. He maps out the education for his children. His sons are sent to the best schools, and afterward to college. He determines that no expense shall be spared to fit them for their future career.

For his daughters expensive foreign governesses are engaged, who teach them the languages, music, and other accomplishments. Or the daughters are sent to some high-priced fashionable school, where they are put through a course of training to enable them to "shine in society." Having reached the age of eighteen, the daughter returns to the parental roof.

What does she know in exchange for the large sum of money her education has cost? Usually her penmanship is bad and illegible. Her knowledge of arithmetic very slight. These two essentials of education are not her forte.

But she is a good dancer, and perhaps at the assembly or some such function the father's heart has swelled with pride as he noticed how eagerly she was sought as a partner. She can sing French songs,