Not a member?     Existing members login below:

Herland

Chapter 7. Our Growing Modesty
Being at last considered sufficiently tamed and trained to be trusted with scissors, we
barbered ourselves as best we could. A close-trimmed beard is certainly more
comfortable than a full one. Razors, naturally, they could not supply.
"With so many old women you'd think there'd be some razors," sneered Terry.
Whereat Jeff pointed out that he never before had seen such complete absence of facial
hair on women.
"Looks to me as if the absence of men made them more feminine in that regard,
anyhow," he suggested.
"Well, it's the only one then," Terry reluctantly agreed. "A less feminine lot I never
saw. A child apiece doesn't seem to be enough to develop what I call motherliness."
Terry's idea of motherliness was the usual one, involving a baby in arms, or "a little
flock about her knees," and the complete absorption of the mother in said baby or flock.
A motherliness which dominated society, which influenced every art and industry, which
absolutely protected all childhood, and gave to it the most perfect care and training, did
not seem motherly--to Terry.
We had become well used to the clothes. They were quite as comfortable as our own--
in some ways more so--and undeniably better looking. As to pockets, they left nothing to
be desired. That second garment was fairly quilted with pockets. They were most
ingeniously arranged, so as to be convenient to the hand and not inconvenient to the
body, and were so placed as at once to strengthen the garment and add decorative lines of
stitching.
In this, as in so many other points we had now to observe, there was shown the action
of a practical intelligence, coupled with fine artistic feeling, and, apparently,
untrammeled by any injurious influences.
Our first step of comparative freedom was a personally conducted tour of the country.
No pentagonal bodyguard now! Only our special tutors, and we got on famously with
them. Jeff said he loved Zava like an aunt--"only jollier than any aunt I ever saw"; Somel
and I were as chummy as could be--the best of friends; but it was funny to watch Terry
and Moadine. She was patient with him, and courteous, but it was like the patience and
courtesy of some great man, say a skilled, experienced diplomat, with a schoolgirl. Her
grave acquiescence with his most preposterous expression of feeling; her genial laughter,
not only with, but, I often felt, at him--though impeccably polite; her innocent questions,
which almost invariably led him to say more than he intended--Jeff and I found it all
amusing to watch.
 
Remove