Marriage has only in recent years become a more back burner idea to education. During our research in the archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society I came across a note that was written in the 1930s and a part of the collection of the Gladys Splinter notes from her days at school. When reading this note it talks about a man named Elmer Zilch for president. That if he is elected, he promises them husbands. It then goes on to say that the girls should not all rush to the polls. When reading this note it reminded me of a book we read earlier this semester called Mountain Wolf Woman: A Ho-Chunk Girlhood. The book was written by Diane Young Holliday. When comparing the note from the Gladys Splinter collection to the book Mountain Wolf Woman: A Ho-Chunk Girlhood I saw major similarities in the fact that girls were expected to marry young and have no argument about it.
Marrying young was a custom in the olden days but it did not mean it was well liked or enjoyed. In Mountain Wolf Woman’s story she was expected to leave school and get married because that is what her brother instructed her to do. It was custom for the Ho-Chunk that the brothers pick their sisters husbands. In the book, Mountain Wolf Woman, expresses her greatest sadness at the fact that she had to leave school and get married while still being a teenager. She also got no say in the matter. She had not even finished sixth grade but it was not the norm in this time for school to come first or even really be a priority. Education as quoted from the keywords test, “The formation of individuals for the benefit of society” (Nel and Paul 70). Education was a way of training girls for the bettering of society and not for the uses of knowledge itself. School was only instructed to train girls for what comes next which in this case is marriage. The note even though it was written in the 1930s it was still custom for girls to get married at a young age. In this note, one can assume, that she is being sarcastic and pointing out the dislike she has for this candidate. She is portraying her feelings toward a person who would guarantee husbands to her and her friends when that might not be what they had envisioned or wanted. Their girlhood had been cut short all because marriage was seen as a priority not a choice.
The reason that marriage is seen as something expected for girls and something they are suppose to embrace is seen as a shared dislike from the note in the Gladys Splinter collection and the book Mountain Wolf Woman: A Ho-Chunk Girlhood. Both girls are voicing their opinion that marriage is not what they have in mind at that point of their lives. They have other aspirations and dreams or things they want accomplish. Marriage is last on their list of expectations.