August 6 1936
Opinion Letter Paul Gallico
Free Press Files
Of some 25 sports in which ladies of today indulge publicly with vehemence and passion there are only eight in which they do not manage to look utterly silly.
Definitely interdicted, and never again to be performed before my eyes, is any sport in which women stick out places when they play, wear funny clothes, get out of breath, or perspire.
It is a lady’s business to look beautiful and there are hardly any sports in which she seems able to do it.
Ladies have no business playing squash or any of its derivatives. They can’t take it, or rather they can’t take it gracefully.
I am reminded particularly of an international match in which two gals played themselves into a state of absolute popeyed exhaustion, so that between games they sat panting on the floor of the court, their legs spread out, backs to the wall, tongues hanging out, faces beet-red, hair damp and scraggly, shorts and blouses wet and clinging. Come, come, girls. We simply cannot be having that sort of thing.
Females who don track shirts and jerseys and run and jump in track meets are just wasting their time, and ours, because they can’t run fast enough or throw things far enough to matter, and besides they weren’t built for that sort of costume.
Golf was never meant for women. If you don’t believe it just think back, if you’re a gentleman reader, to some of the instructions given to you by your professional as to what to do with your whatsit and whosit when you swing. A girl just can’t do these things and still be a lady.
I am now happy to arrive at the sports that have my approval for public performance, beginning with angling. Somehow it is pleasant and stimulating to see a girl hooked into a fish and playing him well and except when she puts on waders to go into trout streams, she can get herself up in some pretty cute costumes. Look out for sunburn, darlings.
Nor is there anything prettier than to watch a good girl flier – they’re all good or they don’t live long – circle her bright-coloured bird down on the field neatly and smoothly, roll to a stop, and reach for her handbag and powder her nose and touch up her lips before she scrambles out of the cockpit all aglow with the fun and excitement of it. Flying costumes are most becoming, too.
Skiing is on the doubtful list, not because the gals don’t look simply magnificent in ski clothes and graceful as wheeling gulls when they do it well, but they are always running into trees or getting water on the knee or twisting their ankles, which makes them practically useless as dancing partners, and they hobble around looning woeful and I am too tender-hearted for that sort of thing.
And they do get themselves into the most ridiculous positions when they fall.
It is to be hoped that this is all clear. It’s my last warning on the matter.
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