The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. THURSDAY, JUNE 29, 1882. Barmaids.
TOWN EDITION. [ fcsucd at 4.. 40 ;j. in. j
In the course of the debate in the House on Tuesday on tiic Licensing Act Amendment Bill, several members expressed themselves averse to the employment of barmaids. It is well that the matter has been thus publicly ventilated ; possibly it may result in something being done to knock upon the head a system which subjects young women and girls to what Mr Green justly characterised the “ degrading influences ” of the tap-room. The question whether barmaids should be allowed to remain at work until ten o’clock or eleven o’clock at night—which seems to have exercised certain members considerably on Tuesday evening—appears to us to be immaterial 3 we are of Mr Fish’s opinion, “ that had the framer of the restriction (relative to the hour at which women should cease to serve in bars) been honest, he would have prohibited the employment of females at all.” For many and obvious reasons women should be excluded from the bar-room. The frequent sight of drunken men, and the more frequent sound of bad language can hardly prove edifying, any more than the vapid inanities uttered by the young fellows who devote their leisure to the bar-room and the billiardroom. And yet the barmaid is brought more or less, according to circumstances, into contact with these people every day, almost every hour, of her life. What wonder, surrounded by such influences that she so frequently falls? They manage these things better in America. Throughout the Great Republic not a solitary barmaid will be found. The “ bar-tender,” to use the American term, is invariably of the sterner sex. The Americans, a nation, have a far more exalted notion of women, and the place they ought to occupy in society than obtains amongst English people. In the States young women and girls are employed by thousands in ware-rooms and factories, in shops, stores and offlees, but behind the bar counter, never. Possibly the day may dawn when we shall take a leaf from America’s book in this matter. We should be glad to think that day was not far distant.