Editorial: Overall jobs (5-27-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (May 27, 1941)


By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Women are used to being blamed for bad conditions, and so will not be surprised to hear that a research big shot finds that young men shy away from overall jobs because their girlfriends prefer them in white collars.

That sounds like the girls, all right. But we can think of another reason why there is a lack of skilled labor in the country. The fact that men also prefer white-collar positions has something to do with it.

And if the girls don’t like their boyfriends in overalls, the men are crackpots, too, for statistics show they won’t date girls who are in domestic service.

As a matter of fact, we’ve all gone Park Avenue. Mahogany offices are the masculine rage, and everybody knows that dishwashing is hard on red fingernails.

It’s interesting to figure out just what men and women will do in order to keep from working. The brain turnover that goes into schemes to get money without producing anything, on gambling devices, on slicing profits, on petty graft, would, if rightly used, solve half the problems of society.

It is now clear that we are face-to-face with our greatest misconception – the notion that work with one’s hands is dishonorable and humiliating.

But before the gentlemen press the point of overalls versus white collars, let them complete a study and find how the overall boys themselves gravitate to the scented, highly-manicured dolls who pride themselves on knowing nothing about kitchen work.

Let them listen to the walls of the domestic helpers who can’t get dates, and who, as a consequence, are in a constant stew about finding some other and more fashionable employment.

The whole thing is crazy. While we’re buying our new hats and auto tires, how about getting ourselves a new set of ideals on the working question?