“Where have all the young girls gone
Long time passing?
Where have all the young girls gone
Long time ago?”
Girls used to dress for school. Of course they did.
I mean – they used to dress for school as though it was someplace special. If you saw a group of girls from 1965 on their way to High School, you would probably think they were going to church.
Things and people change over time. All of the girls in the picture here would be in their sixties now.
But back then they were teens, dressing as though they were on their way to someplace special, or perhaps because they felt they were special.
If there wasn’t a wall between the sexes in those days, there was at least a curb that you had to consciously step over to deal one with the other. There was a world of the feminine and another of the masculine, and they did not blend into each other, but rather mixed, like oil and vinegar; you can shake it up and mix it long enough to pour on a salad, but as soon as you set it down it separates again, as is natural.
The masculine world was hard, rough and shaggy like a farm dog.
The world of the feminine was like a house cat; smooth and soft and graceful to all appearances, but capable of lightning action and possessed of very hard, very sharp claws.
Customs are like the clothes you wear; they can confine and limit, but they also cover and protect. You cannot move as freely when you are clothed, but the sun can’t burn you either, the cold can be held off, the thorns deflected.
The world of women in those days was understood to be under protection by the world of men. Curtesies were afforded women that men did not enjoy. You were expected to put yourself between a woman and danger or even unpleasantness. Discomfort or hazard was to be borne cheerfully if it keep those things from a woman. If danger arose from any direction the woman was expected to flee, the man to face it.
Like all the inventions of man, this society sometimes ran like a well designed ,well oiled clock. Sometimes it chugged down the road like an old junker, spitting and sputtering and belching smoke all the way. And sometimes it didn’t run at all.
There was a price to pay for this arrangement between the sexes; women could pay more than their share as could men. But by and large it worked pretty well. The problems that trouble us today were mostly held in check; they still existed but they didn’t overwhelm us and swamp the solutions we had in place to deal with them. Children were born mostly to women who had a husband and a home and a provision for their needs. Sons were taught by fathers how to use the strength in their arms to provide and protect, not to threaten and destroy. Daughters were taught by mothers to use the powers of their sex to nurture and guide and not be destroyed by it.
It was a golden age, but like all treasures, gold can be squandered, thrown away for trifles of no value.
“Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone to young men every one
When will they ever learn
When will they ever learn?”