Ferguson: Post-war jobs (1-8-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (January 8, 1943)


Ferguson: Post-war jobs

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

If women are really people, we can be sure that housewives who have been coaxed into industry will not give up their jobs gracefully after the war. All such talk is wishful thinking on everybody’s part.

Those who are studying the question of womanpower mobilization admit their worry over the problem, which is a tough one any way you look at it.

At the moment, of course, women say they’ll gladly duck back home when the soldiers return; they won’t mind giving up fat pay envelopes and getting at the dishes, to hear them tell it. You’d think they love actually having to wangle a few extra nickels out of the week’s grocery allowance for chewing gum.

But people who understand that the female is as human as the male already see the beginning of another horrible economic struggle between the sexes – unless we educate and plan to prevent it now.

Women always have lost these struggles. And, if we can’t build a social system which assures every adult a paying job, we’ll lose the coming one. For when wars are finished, it’s the women who make the greatest sacrifices and the greatest adjustments for peace.

Whereas the veteran gets his pension and the young soldier his position, the feminine worker, who may have answered her country’s call as gallantly as either, is left to look after herself.

These are plain facts without trimmings. Therefore, it is both shortsighted and cruel to leave young girls with the impression that they will be as welcome in the business world after the war as they are now.

There’s a lot of post-war planning to be done, in the domestic as well as the international field. Certainly, the creation of better understanding between men and women at home and in business should top the list.

She predicted the future very accurately.

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