the 1943 guide to hiring women
Posted in humanist March 3rd, 2008 by piablog

Be warned, if you are eating breakfast or dinner right now it may come back up while you read this…


Beverly found this article and I am still in shock. Can you believe that this is during the time of our grandparents, that our parents were born from this era, and that there are still remnants (large remnants I must say) of this thought pattern between men and women today. If you can’t read all the points, it is re-written in this article, click here to read. Here is one bullet point that might just have you gasping for breath as it did me:

8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. 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.

Funny that Beverly found this article the morning that I am about to call my gorgeous Great Aunt in oz to wish her a happy birthday (she is in her ‘mid’ eighties), and I may just have to ask her a question or two about her experience of working during the war.

I’ll be back today with a few more posts, see you soon px

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  1. itsasne says

    Incredible. Actually, no. Sadly enough, it’s not.

    Here is a link to an article I came across in November last year (featuring old ads):

    And here is an interesting article on some of the realities of post-war for women in the UK.

    PS *** Happy b-day to your Great Aunt ***

    March 3rd, 2008 | #

  2. Pia says

    thanks itsasne, those additions are great – but not, as you say. Shocking is the only word I can use to describe it all. To think our grandmothers saw and were expected to adhere to the lifestyle expressed in these advertisements everyday. But then to realise what we are also seeing everyday (MTV comes to mind). It is no doubt our children and grandchildren will be as horrified at what we endure too.

    PS thank you! I spoke with her although I did not get to talk about the ad or post, it’s not so easy to have conversations like that when I am so far away. It was so long ago, and it often brings up bad memories of lost loves. Best left to when I am there again and can chat casually over a cuppa.

    March 3rd, 2008 | #

  3. Romain says

    Well I believe this sort of things existed until the sexual revolution in the late sixties! I do remember reading a “housewife guide” in French that was pretty scary.

    March 3rd, 2008 | #

  4. bexy says

    having read this aloud to my fellow flat inhabitants (2 x the male species) i regret that i didn’t pick my audience too well. i am now the target of much ridicule and hilarity as they shout encouragment when i visit the bathroom ie.) “don’t forget to apply more lipstick, youll be more efficient in making the tea!”

    March 4th, 2008 | #

  5. Pia says

    oh no bexy! hmm, yes what to do about this aftermath of ridicule from the modern day man…

    March 4th, 2008 | #

  6. josephine says

    ugh, how revolting! the article kind of reminds me of how some of the female characters are treated on the television show madmen (, though it takes place in 1960. it’s one of my favorite shows, but i feel a sting whenever a sexist remark is thrown out so casually.

    March 4th, 2008 | #

  7. ingrid says

    i’m sorry to say that ..despite the gains of the women’s movement over the past 30 years, things haven’t changes that much. a glance at the stats of women in decision making positions (ie: The Netherlands, Australia, USA..never mind developing contexts) suggests we’ve still got a long way to go in challenging stereotypes. sigh.

    March 5th, 2008 | #

  8. Pia says

    I agree ingrid. The realisation hits hard. I thought we would have come much farther by now.

    March 5th, 2008 | #

  9. Kevin says

    Extraordinary, isn’t it. The society of the time was clearly riddled with ignorance, rigidity & prejudice ….…..but just imagine the gasps and guffaws when people in 2075 read some of the stuff that’s currently on our news-stands. No doubt they’ll conclude that in 2008, society was riddled with ignorance, rigidity etc. Plus ca change….


    March 10th, 2008 | #

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