Friday, October 2, 2009
Grumbles for 'Guides on Hiring Girls'. Grrrr!
One of the first columns I ever wrote for The Irregular back in 2000 was titled The Good Wife. I’d come across a magazine article from 1955 called The Good Wife’s Guide and, well…I took umbrage with the tenets espoused in that commentary.
In other words, it ticked me off.
But I’ve learned to laugh at the negative, poke fun at the ludicrous, and disregard the outrageously absurd.
In other words, I write a column. Or in this case, a GAG posting.
Yesterday, I ran across a similar treatise from 1943. It was a Guide to Hiring Women. To those of you who have only recently begun shaving (and I’m talking to you fellows, too!) the year 1943 probably seems like something from the dark ages. Sixty-six years ago! Wow! It was eons in the past, whole eras removed from your lives!
You should be quiet now. One of my best friends is sixty-six, another is sixty-two, and another very good friend is in his eighties. (I’d ask him his exact age, but I’m afraid he’d return the compliment and I’m not telling, anymore!) My point is, there are millions of people on this planet who can remember the decade of the 1940’s, and long before. That being said, there are women still alive who could have–and probably WERE–hired by an employer who used this guide.
The first thing to catch my eye was the author’s observation that hiring ‘husky’ and ‘overweight’ girls was beneficial to a company because they are ‘more even-tempered’.
Let me state right now that that statement is a blatant lie! I’ve been called ‘husky’ in the past (in the most loving way possible, the idiotic twit…) so I know what I’m talking about! Husky girls aren’t more even-tempered! No way! We’re simply too lazy to exert the effort it takes to get mad, that’s all. We store our anger--save it up--so that when it finally comes to the surface, we set hell-fire to the denizens of three counties, all in one fell swoop! It’s liberating, cathartic…why, it’s almost as good as a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips. The sixteen-ounce size! With chocolate ice cream on the side… Ahhhh.
Another helpful tip for ‘supervising women in the workplace’ is this: administrators should hire newlyweds, because they are ‘less likely to be flirtatious and are more manageable and responsible than their unmarried sisters’.
‘Manageable’, hmm? ‘Less likely to be flirtatious’? How enlightening! How edifying it is to know that once a woman has received that all-important, life-altering conjugal reward bestowed upon her by her husband, she will finally become manageable. She will be tame and docile. Her naturally exuberant personality, which is so disruptive to the workplace, will at long last be squelched. Smothered. Stifled and squashed. Whew! It’s about time she got what she needed! And all it took was a man. Or, more aptly, a legal man and a marriage license. If only someone had figured that out sooner… Imagine how far this country would have progressed if the value of a married woman had been recognized previous to 1943. Why, we could have had hoards of women as major contributors to the workforce. Could have had them as vital elements of our economy and our civic pride. Why…I’ll bet a newlywed could have even built airplanes to support the war effort!
Oh, wait. Women were already doing that. Rosie the Riveter must have been getting some. Legally, of course.
Nah, I’m not ranting. Truly. The world was a different place back in the dark ages. And the article wasn’t prejudiced. Certainly not. For, not only did the piece offer hiring advice, there were also tips and instructions for the employers to help them keep their female workers happy. That was a smart move. For it’s a proven fact…if momma ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy!
Supervisors were encouraged to keep girls contented with regular breaks because ‘a girl has more confidence and is more EFFICIENT if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day’.
Oh, excuse me. Something got caught in my throat. I think it was that blasted lipstick I was trying to apply. That bit I put on for my sister’s wedding in 1998 wasn’t very fresh anymore…and I blame the boss for not allowing me my quota of ‘tidy up’ time. I ought to qualify for Worker’s Comp for that blatant oversight, shouldn’t I?
It's a good thing I'm serene and unflappable, that's all I can say.
Finally (and thank God and time clocks everywhere), the article says that women need to ‘keep busy without bothering the management’, while staff must ‘be tactful’ with the ‘oversensitive sex’.
Heh. I’ll bet it’s all that ‘newlywed’ sex that’s caused them to be oversensitive. But I won’t steam about it. Nope, I won’t let it get me riled. After all, I’m even-tempered. I’ll just sit back, comb my hair, wash my hands, and behave responsibly, as is fitting for us husky gals. For the moment, anyway, that’s what I’ll do.
You’ve come a long way, baby. Now get back out on that excavator and give ‘em hell!
The photo is of me with my Kubota 30HP farm tractor, 'Lena'. And...because I'm one of those primping, 'oversensitive' girls, can I just mention???? I've lost about 20 pounds since that pic was taken. (And I'll never speak to the photographer, again! Losing weight has wreaked havoc with my even-temperedness, and surprisingly, that conjugal bliss really hasn't done much to improve my disposition, either...)