By Don Marquis
THE PARASITE WOMAN MUST GO!
THE Parasite Woman must go!
Our Little Group of Serious Thinkers
took up the Parasite Woman last night in
quite a thorough way. One of the most interesting
women you ever listened to gave us a little talk
about the Parasite Woman, you know.
And we decided that the Parasite Woman has
NOTHING to Contribute to the Next Generation.
Oh, these Parasite Women! It just simply makes
my blood boil to her about them! I don't know
when I have been so indignant!
With the world so full of work to be done for
the Cause -- for ALL the Causes, you know -- they
just sit around selfishly at home all wrapped up
in their own families, or children, if they're married,
and do nothing at all for the Evolution of
the Ego and the Development of the Race, and the
Conscious Guidance of the Next Generation, or
anything like that.
Thank goodness I could never be a Parasite Woman!
And, yet, I PITY them, too.
I'm thinking quite seriously of starting a little
Mission of my own for the purpose of appealing
to and reforming the Parasite Women among my
Of course it will take organization, and that
means I will have money to start it and
keep it going.
But Papa will give me the money all right. That
is one thing about poor, dear Papa -- he doesn't
understand the new movements at all, but he WILL
give me money. And he never asks what I do
Now and then, of course, he scolds me a little -- he
told me the other day that I cost him nearly as much
as a war. But I can always jolly him, you know,
when he gets that way. Men are so easily managed
I suppose my Mission will take quite a LOT of
money, too. But it is my DUTY, and I am willing to
make ANY sacrifice -- we modern thinkers are used
to making sacrifices for our Cause!
And it is worth a lot of sacrifice to make the
Parasite Woman over into an Awakened and
Enlightened Member of Society, independent of the
Man-Made System that has shackled her for so long.
What is nobler than Emancipation?
Of course, I'll have to have a Secretary, And
to get one especially training in organizing the
Mission will cost quite a bit, probably.
But Papa will never miss it.
And I think I'll have a MAN for a Secretary.
One that is quite presentable socially, you
know. For the Secretary will have to attend to a
lot of the details. I will give some teas and
entertainments and things, just to get the Parasite
Women I know interested.
And there's nothing like the right sort of a man
to get women to cooperate in some Cause that aims
for Woman's Liberty.
And I suppose, really, TWO Secretaries would be
better. And they will have to be men who can
dance the new dances well, too. That counts a
lot nowadays in getting girls to come to places.
I feel that I have Found my Work! One's work
lies at one's hand, if one could but see it, always.
And mine is to Save the Parasite Women I know
from Themselves and their Frivolity.
I will coax the first cheque out of Papa this very
evening! It may take some management and
jollying, but--well, Papa is EASY!
I'M thinking of taking up politics in a practical
I've never been an active suffragist, you
know, on account of that horrid yellow color on the
banners and things.
But one must sacrifice Ideals of Beauty to Ideals
of Usefulness, mustn't one?
And politics is fascinating; simply FASCINATING!
Going about and organizing working girls, you
know, and seeing Corrupt Bosses and enlisting them
for Moral Causes, and making one's self felt as a
Force -- could one make one's self more Utile?
More spiritually Utile?
Utility! That is what our Leaders of Thought
need to develop!
Nearly every night before I go to bed I say to
myself: "Have I been Utile today? Or have I
Politics, practical politics, will be such an outlet
for my personality, too.
And when I reopen my Salon I can make it count
for the Cause, too.
We are going to give an evening soon -- our
Group of Advanced Thinkers, you know -- to a serious
and thorough study of political economy. They
say it's simply wonderful.
The loveliest woman talked to us the other evening.
She's a poet. When women have charge of
affairs, she said, Humanitarianism, Idealism and the
Poetic Spirit will rule in public life.
Won't that be lovely?
But we must be practical, and get the Bosses on
our side. They are simply horrid people socially
and ethically, you know. But there's something
frightfully fascinating about the idea of bearding
them in their dens with petitions and things.
Though how the idea of abolishing men altogether
will work out I don't know.
Some of the leaders of the Cause seem to want it.
I have no doubt that it could be done. Some plants and
insects have only the female sex, you know. And
maybe the human race will be that way one day.
Although, for my part, if they could only be
reformed I'd favor retaining men.
There's something about them so -- so -- well, so
MASCULINE somehow, if you know what I mean.
But I must hurry -- I have to do some shopping.
Clothes are a bore, aren't they?
Her Foot is on the Brass Rail, 1935.