The Pittsburgh Press (January 2, 1943)
By Mrs. Walter Ferguson
Introducing a forum guest from Fort Worth, Texas:
I am a businesswoman with several years of successful experience. I have studied intensively, have an understanding of human psychology and an awakened social conscience. I feel I understand the problems of my community.
Recently, I have called on a number of companies for a job and the first thing I am asked is:
Can you take dictation?
No, I do not take dictation, literally or otherwise (which does not mean I do not have a high regard for leadership and authority). But it is a fact that no woman in Texas has a job unless she “takes direction” of one sort or another.
The Dark-Ages idea of race prejudice still thrives here, but is overshadowed by the “woman in business” prejudice, of which, strange to say, the women themselves are the most ignorant.
Recently, a lecturer in our city talked on how Texas laws discriminate against women, but, since she was a federal employee, she could give only subtle suggestions; her words fell on deaf ears and died as quickly as seeds sown on rocky soil.
Yet it is not the statutes that are altogether to blame. Tyranny is exercised wherever women are concerned because so many little roosters in trousers make it their business to bully and dominate women who work for or with them.
There are scores of capable women in Texas, but they must aspire to nothing more important than taking dictation, if they want to stay in industry.
Our world in Texas has been kept safe for stupidity. Women are taught the wrong principles on social, political and business questions. Not only are they wrong principles, but they are directly opposed to what the men who teach them practice and believe.