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By Walter Lionel George

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Nor do I believe that the beautiful would win; by winning is meant winning men, but we know perfectly well that it is not body which wins men: it wins them only to lose them after a while. It is something else which wins men: individuality, wit, gaiety, cleverness, or cleverness clever enough to appear foolish. And we men who wear uniform, does not our individuality manage to attract? It does; and indeed I go further: I assert that fashions smother individuality because they are tyrannical and much more obtrusive than uniforms.

It is to this second group of causes, those I have called mental, that the inferiority of the woman painter is traceable. There is a lack of intellect in her work. It is true that the male painter is often just a painter, and that I can think of no case to-day which reproduces the engineering capacities of Leonardo da Vinci, but I refer rather to a general intellectual sweep than to a specialized capacity. Men do not hold themselves so far aloof from politics, business and philosophy as do women; too many of the latter read nothing whatever.

But of late years even that has begun to go; the great stores dominate the retail trade, and now, qualities being equal, there is hardly anything to pick between universal provider Number 1, at one end of the town, and Number 2, equally universal, at the other. Also the stores sell everything; they facilitate purchases; the housekeeper need not go to ten shops, for at a single one she can buy cheese, bicycles, and elephants. That is only an indication of the movement; the time will come, probably within our lifetime, when the great stores of the towns will have crushed the small traders and turned them into branch managers; when all the prices will be alike, all the goods alike; when food will be so graded that it will no longer be worth the housekeeper's while to try and discover a particularly good sirloin--instead she will telephone for seven pounds of quality AF, Number 14,692.

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