“A Mother’s Responsibility to Her Daughter”:
On 13 Dec 1922, Dr. Charles E. Barker, former health advisor to President William H. Taft and a traveling lecturer for Rotary International, came to Concord at the invitation of the local Rotary Club to deliver three lectures on the moral and physical health of young people. The morning lecture was for the students of Concord High School. Another lecture delivered at the Central School at 3:30 in the afternoon was sponsored by the Concord Women’s Club titled, “A Mother’s Responsibility to Her Daughter.” The evening lecture for men, held at the courthouse, was “A Father’s Responsibility to His Son.” The students of Mont Amoena traveled to Concord to attend the afternoon lecture.
Dr. Barker gained the trust of his audience with lively humor and a promise to not be “preachy,” but his message was straight forward, “Vice is a monster dancing his way into every part of the United States and it is up to the older people to correct the social and moral standards of civilization which have been hanging in the balance since the world war [WWI].” Of particular concern for young women were: automobile rides at night, dancing to modern jazz, impure motion pictures, and immodest clothing.
Below is a report on the lectures from The Concord Times (Concord, NC), 14 Dec 1922. Following that are images of a 1921 brochure containing the full lecture for women.
The Concord Times (Concord, NC) 14 Dec 1922, p.1. (Warning: some offensive language.)
SEX QUESTIONS ARE DISCUSSED IN CITY
Dr. Charles Barker, Noted Authority on Hygiene, Made Three Addresses in Concord Wednesday.
WAS HEARD WITH GREAT INTEREST
Lectures Prepared Especially for Girls, Mothers and Fathers – Brought Here by the Rotary Club.
Deploring the widespread existence of lawlessness in the United States, urging mothers to spend more time with their daughters and more effort in rearing them, pleading with young girls and young ladies to forbid familiarity on the part of their masculine friends, and advising fathers to teach their children to obey the law, Dr. Charles Barker addressed three large audiences in Concord Wednesday, and was heard with great interest at each of the three meetings.
Dr. Barker spoke in Concord under the auspices of the Concord Rotary Club. He spoke to the students of the High School at 9 o’clock, to a body of women at Central School at 3:30 o’clock, and to a large audience of men in the court house at 8 p. m. His subject at the evening meeting was “A Father’s Duty to His Son,” and though these talks were not limited to sex topics by any means, hey formed the bulk of the speaker’s addresses, and he minced no words in driving home his points.
In advising fathers to teach the youngster to obey the law, Dr. Barker advocated the use of the woodhouse and an old slipper, declaring these were fine implements in impressing this first principle upon the young American.
Decrying the ignorance of sex matters in this country as “criminal,” Dr. Barker declared that it is the duty of every father to explain the matter to his son as soon as the boy is able to understand. He advocated the use of analogies of flowers and birds in explaining reproduction to children. However, he made it clear that it is far better for the father to tell his son the whole truth on the subject rather than have him learn it from some vile-[unreadable].
Indiscriminate fondling and spooning among young people is undoubtedly responsible for a large proportion of the juvenile delinquency of the nation, said Dr. Barker. He said that the red-blooded manhood of the youth of the nation should be appealed to that they ‘play square” with the girls.
Dr. Barker was exceedingly firm and frank in his denunciation of those person who violate the prohibition laws of the country, and was even more severe in his criticism of the erstwhile respected citizen whose purchases make the bootlegger possible that towards the humble seller of the contraband.
“How can we expect boys to have respect for the law when they see their fathers sneaking down under the ground to buy liquor of a nigger?” he asked. “Everytime you break a law of that kind it is practically the same as tearing down an American flag and spitting upon it.”
Speaking before the women of the city, at a meeting sponsored by the Concord Women’s Club, in the afternoon, Dr. Barker declared that the type of moral and social characters of the coming generations depend wholly upon the women of our country. “The most splendid career, said Dr. Barker, “is that of a mother who ushers into the world a healthy human being, and then to train that human being into what it should be.”
Having as his subject “A Mother’s Responsibility to Her Daughter,” Dr. Barker did not bandy words in his efforts to show mothers the seriousness of allowing their daughters to take automobile rides at night alone with their escort, to dance the modern jazz, which he denounced as a sexual, hellish pastime, and to attend a picture show picturing a sex movie film. “It is up to every woman to stop the showing of the impure pictures by attending the really good pictures,” he continued. “Vice is a monster dancing his way into every part of the United States and it is up to the older people to correct the social and moral standards of civilization which have been hanging in the balance since the world war.”
Outlining the most important responsibilities of a mother, Dr. Barker declared that obedience of the child in the home comes first. As an example of this Dr. Barker related the first years of Helen Keller’s life, whom, he said, he regarded as the most wonderful personality from certain standpoints , in the world. Helen Keller never would have been the remarkable person she is, if she had not been taught to obey, even with her handicaps. A child should never be unpunished, and it is the mother’s duty to study the child and bear upon the child the discipline which will give the best results.
“What we need,” Dr. Barker declared, “is a dose of old-fashioned religious folks.” The modern mothers are getting away from their responsibility to God and their children. Every parent, if possible, should, with their children, attend Church every Sunday.
Another duty which parents should not shirk, maintained Dr. Barker, is that of explaining sex life to their children. No matter how young the child is, his questions in regard to sex life should be answered by the mother or father and in this way a child has a pure, clean vision of sex.
Dr. Barker also stressed the importance of exercise for the prospective mother, which aids the bringing of a healthy normal child into the world. The direct responsibility to unborn children is just as great as after children are born, Dr. Barker maintained.
He made an urgent appeal to the High School girls not to allow undue familiarity by boy escorts for the purpose of retaining their popularity. This, declared the speaker, is the beginning of far more serious results. “There is no reason in science or nature that the physical make-up of a man be not as white and clean as that of any woman.’ Dr. Barker said, adding that a man be just what a woman demands.
He was introduced at the meeting by Mrs. W. H. Gorman, president of the Women’s Club. A large and enthusiastic audience, including the students of Mont Amoena Seminary at Mt. Pleasant, greeted him. The students were brought to Concord for the meeting by the members of the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs.
Click on images to enlarge.