Monday, November 12, 2007

Girls and Their Influence

By The Pleasant Times Resident Etiquette Expert


Note: For this article, the "girls" I refer to are ages 10-30.


Do girls know that they have an influence on the society around them? Either they do, and they are trying to make the world a worse place, or they do not know how powerful their influence is and are throwing away many opportunities of making their lives more comfortable (and safe), as well as the general population. Consider the following items which have come to my attention recently:

I was listening to a man relate what he heard on a bus the other day. The young woman (he said she was very young) sitting ahead of him was clearly flirting with a fellow whose only claim to fame was that he had been on parole since he was ten. This girl said was happy to have recently rid herself of a job because she was taking drugs while working. She mentioned that she had a hangover.

I heard a fellow complaining about the girls in his school. He said they made themselves very annoying, acting very immaturely, and seemed determined to distract anyone they could from the work at hand. Even some of the older (and supposed to be wiser) students, he said, will get pulled down to the level of these girls by their constant silliness.

The girls talk about things that they ought not to, including their drunken revelries, and there is constant swearing. They giggle and laugh at things that are meant to be serious teaching, they flirt with everybody, and dress skimpily in the middle of winter. They interrupt classes with their goings on, and most of the ignorant comments in class were made by them.


It was so bad, that this fellow said he wished the girls were not there.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is sad. In this day and age, when every girl has right to be out in society and go to schools and colleges and places of employment, that because of their conduct a fellow student should wish them elsewhere, and consider them the thorn in the side of his education, this is indeed a pitiable state for girls.

Even at our liberal colleges, where everyone is supposed to be accepted and tolerated, you will find annoyance with foolish girls who do not seem to be there for serious reasons, but only to have a good time and waste their parent's money, or the government's.

And don't you think that I am going to let girls in Christian private schools and colleges off the hook. I have heard stories of the same behaviour (and worse) coming from girls in these places. They may sit still in a pew at church but in other places their conduct is not befitting those who claim to be following a Christian walk. In my own experience, girls are flirtatious and immodest and distracting even in children's Bible classes.

I have heard (worldly and church girls) girls talk about things that are quite private in front of boys, degrade femininity in front of boys, and seen them try to be one of the boys themselves. I have listened to the most idle, useless foolish talking coming from girls who are trying to impress or attract a young man.

Girls, let me tell you something: the meek and quiet spirit, the shamefaced girl, will always attract the proper amount of attention, and she needn't resort to these aforementioned antics for it.


My Next-Door Neighbour, 1894
My Next-Door Neighbour, 1894
Giclee Print

Leighton, Edmund...
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If only girls knew the power of their influence, and used it to regulate the conduct of others around them. If only they would think about what it does to the boys they are trying to impress (and most of the antics of a loud and silly girl are to show off to men). Boys will pull themselves up in conduct to impress the right sort of girl. If he knows she does not like swearing or slothful dress, or bad habits like smoking or chewing tobacco, he will do his best to quit, just to win that girl's favor.

Young Man's Fancy
Young Man's Fancy
Art Print

Rockwell, Norman
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A little girl early on realizes that she has some power- over Daddy. Yes, Daddies are easy to manipulate around those little fingers. But most Daddies have their limits, which are somewhat like brick walls, and so girls learn that Daddy loves them and would give them the moon if he could, but he will not let them get carried away in other areas of life (and wise is the father that will check his daughter's behaviour from babyhood until she is married!).

The dress-maker's account by Henry Stacey Marks

Girls have an influence over their brothers (and boys over their sisters- but that is a subject for another time) which they may not realize. If a sister refuses to do something that she knows is wrong with her brothers, be it play, companions, movies, disobedience to parents, etc., her stand will make an impression with her brothers. They may still go on and do the dreaded thing, without their sister, but taking a stand will create in them a respect for her. If a sister is careful in her life, someday her brother will look to her as someone with good advice, and value her opinions.

A sister's influence can work the other way, too, and cause much trouble and pain.

A Nibble, 1914
A Nibble, 1914
Giclee Print

Leighton, Edmund...
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A girl has great influence over her society. It may be hard for girls to influence other girls who are determined to be wild and flirtatious (one might want to re-evaluate who they spend their time with in this case), but girls really do have quite an influence over boys. Girls may not feel this power of influence if they are not used to self-control, ruling their spirit, reigning in their feelings or guarding their speech. But if they do know how to do these things, they will find that they can be the rudder in conversations and activities with the boys.

A Wet Sunday Morning, 1896
A Wet Sunday Morning, 1896
Giclee Print

Leighton, Edmund...
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A boy or man worth being friends with will be vexed by a loud and obnoxious or flirtatious and giddy girl. He will be embarrassed for the immodest girl, and grieved for the immoral conduct of a girl. However, boys are taught to be polite to all, and some boys are so beaten down by the world that they think they are supposed to be accepting, sociable and friendly with anybody no matter what they do or say. Therefore, they may be easily pulled down to the level of whatever foolishness is going on.

There are boys that are not worth being near, and a girl who uses her influence will be able to tell what kind of boy she is dealing with. If she is "hanging around" with a boy who is not changed by her moral influence, then she had better get away from the parasite (that may seem a harsh phrase, but wait until I write about manners for boys).


If a boy is swearing, and a girl will gasp in shock and horror at it, she may be made fun of initially, but watch and see whether or not the swearing tones down and ceases (if it doesn't, that girl better not play with him anymore). Of course, if the girl is used to swearing herself, it will be harder for her to regulate her companions.

If a boy is fond of joking and jesting foolishly, and the girl does not partake in it, but rather looks disapproving and disturbed, or tries to curb the talk into something more to her taste, he will take note of it. Later on, you will notice a difference in the way he will converse with this girl, and the way he talks to other girls.

Would You Do Us the Honor?
Would You Do Us the Honor?
Art Print

Outin, Pierre
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If a boy is flirtatious with a girl, and she is rather cold towards him, he will be more careful around her.

If a girl objects to the loud obnoxious music a boy is playing, if he has any politeness in him he will turn it down or off. Only if he is used to the girl's sweetness and innocence in conduct towards him, will he have the respect towards her to change his behaviour.

If a girl dresses decently and modestly, a boy will have different conduct towards her than with other girls. Even if he is not acquainted with her, he may speak differently to her, use a more serious tone with her, be more sincere in conversation with her, than he would with immodest girls. Immodestly dressed girls are assumed to be immodest in conduct as well, so a boy will be inclined to take more liberties with his words and mannerisms and foolishness with her. He thinks she will like this kind of thing, whereas the girl who is modest and serious would not approve of any conduct less than a gentleman's.

In Love, 1907
In Love, 1907
Giclee Print

Stone, Marcus
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Girls should start out all new friendships in a serious and modest way, and their influence with others will be easy and pleasant. A girl who is used to unchecked merriment and foolishness will have a hard time convincing her friends that she has changed and why, and will have the sorrow (but hopefully it would rather come as relief) of losing some friends. She will have to endure their sickening and stupid ridicule for every change in her behaviour, and will have to have great control and be steadfast in her purpose so she does not weaken and fall into their silliness again. If she can do this, if she can stick to her goals of being a better influence, she will see that she has accomplished it eventually, and her friends will look up to her and not down on her.


A girl who is friendly and cheerful, modest and sweet, chaste and dedicated to living a Christian life, will always have friends, good and bad. Good friends who value her like mind, and other friends who have no idea of changing themselves but like being with someone who isn't going to hurt them or be unpredictable or wild in their behaviour. Of the latter friends, a girl must be careful.


The girl who is perceived to be more serious in life and is a modest, quiet sort of girl, will find that her influence will make her life better. If she is distressed by the place her friends want to go for fun (a bar, a bad movie, or any other place that a girl SHOULD feel uncomfortable), her objecting to it and providing a smarter alternative may win the day. If it doesn't, then just remember "it is better to be alone than in bad company."

A Source of Admiration, 1904
A Source of Admiration, 1904
Giclee Print

Leighton, Edmund...
Buy at AllPosters.com


The girl I am describing will have a better time in life than the wild and unchecked girl. Boys will be more cautious not to offend her, and are more inclined to treat her right. Folks old and young will curb their swearing or idle talk when she is around. People will come to her for advice, or know she can be relied upon for certain responsibilities. She will secure men's good opinion wherever she goes. She will find doors opened for her in life, both literally and figuratively. She will find many friends to value, and who value her, and would not want to drag her down in the mire.

The girl who scoffs and scorns at all this and who most likely has the tendency to scoff and scorn anything of true value, will always be surrounded by those who want to do that sort of thing, and who will not be above scoffing and scorning her too. After all, her influence is great even if she is not a good girl, and as people have tended to look up to girls and women for centuries (thinking they will find something pure and good to respect), they will be guided by her example. Therefore, if a girl scoffs, swears, drinks, smokes, is immodest and immoral, etc. She will convince others that those are neat and cool things to do, and she will always be surrounded by those who want to do these things. Or, she will find that she will attract those who already have such scurrilous habits, and see that since she allows such things in her life, they will feel free to come to her circle of friends to practice them and use her until she is all used up.


Girls, wake up and seriously analyze your conduct and look ahead and see its consequences. Please use your influence for good, and see what great changes in society may come from it!

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