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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Women in Business

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

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Woman in Business is the fourth article of the series American Impressions by Miss Conan Doyle written by Mary Conan Doyle, the first daughter of Arthur Conan Doyle, in the Los Angeles Evening Express on 19 may 1920.

Woman in Business

Los Angeles Evening Express
(19 may 1920, p. 16)

[Miss Conan Doyle, daughter of the distinguished English novelist, has consented to write a number of articles for the Evening Express during her sojourn in Los Angeles. The fourth appears herewith.]

"You'll find this is a city of young married women in business" — This remark was made to me shortly after our arrival, and I have since investigated to find it is true — and uniquely true — for it is not the partnership business, on the French lines, but the independent concern.

Now the girl in business, striving for freedom, chances of marriage and pin money — is familiar everywhere now, the idea being once the end is achieved, and the young man safely netted, the means to that end can be gracefully relinquished. But this sturdy independence and brave disapproval of taking something for nothing — even from a husband — this is something entirely new and fine, provided it doesn't interfere with the welfare of the next generation.

The idea is at last starting to take root, that education is not primarily perfecting our strong points, but rather developing our weak ones, and 30 equalizing balance.

In the old days, when a woman was considered quite unsexed if she knew anything about money, or business, or practical affairs outside the domestic circle — what was the result? That men sincerely thought that mental vagueness was a misfortune inherent to woman-hood, as was also her proverbial inability to keep any appointment on time! But the saddest aspect of all this wrong development was woman's naturally fine emotions frittered down into slushy sentimentality and penny novelettes!

There are no quick changes, and a good deal of that is about the world still. But it does one's heart good to see these alert young women concentrated and joyous in their very efficiency. My hope is that the discipline of a business training may become universal among girls, for it's the greatest antidote to that poison of uncontrolled emotion — hysteria. And hysteria is the one really serious flaw in the feminine makeup. Eliminate it and man may safely repose his trust in that fund of wisdom — woman's common sense.