Letters on women serving in the Army (1941)

The Pittsburgh Press (April 9, 1941)

Says women should serve in Army same as men

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

I believe that women should be made to fight side by side with men in this present conflict. In the last war, men left their jobs to go to war. Slowly women took the places of these men, and never left the jobs when the war was over. From the time of the war, women have been steadily taking the place of men in industry.

The reason for this is that women will work for less, and under any conditions.

Women are slowly drifting away from the homes, and turning to careers. This will eventually have an effect on the general home life of the American people. Even today, the birth rate in the United States has dropped a great deal.

I believe that the place for the woman is in the house. What chance has a young man today? He can’t get a job because most of the jobs are being taken by women. I imagine that the percentage of marriages (ones that last) will drop in the future due to this grave problem.

Women want all the privileges that men have so let us give them the privilege to fight for their country in time of need. Maybe they don’t want this particular privilege. They could probably find a million excuses for opposing the granting of this privilege.

If we just send men to the Army, the job they leave behind will undoubtedly be filled by women. When the men return, I doubt very much if they will get those jobs back. To prevent the filling of jobs by women, women should be made to go to the Army as well as men.

141 William St.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 15, 1941)

Says present generation knows little about carrying on

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

Has John Peter Dmitrzak never read that in all wars women do their share, even fighting beside men? He isn’t going to war yet, merely for a year’s training. Perhaps if we really do to war, a woman had better go in his place. She might do a better job of it.

When human beings first began to think about the survival of the race, they realized that women must not be wasted in war or the race would perish. Men always have to do most of the fighting, if we are to continue to have wars. The thing to do is to educate people so there will be no more wars.

If Mr. Dmitrzak goes to war and can find no job when he returns, let him go on a farm and dig his living from the earth as our ancestors did for generations last. My maternal grandfather volunteered at the outbreak of the Civil War and left my grandmother on a farm with a two-year-old child and a two-month-old infant. She tended the farm as best she could, even butchered her own pigs. She planted a large garden, tended eight cows and three horses, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys. She picked what fruit she could from their trees.

When grandfather returned three years and three months later, his job was still there. That is, his farm.

And that has been the experience of thousands of women in past generations. My generation does not know much about that sort of “carrying on” and Mr. Dmitrzak’s generation knows less about it.

Women have as much courage as men. Only ours is a different brand. Nature arranged that difference.


Editor’s note:
Mr. Dmitrzak recently expressed an opinion in these columns that women should be made to fight side by side with men in the war.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 28, 1941)

More about women serving as soldiers

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

The Press on April 10 carried a letter by Mr. Dmitrzak proposing that women serve alongside men in the Army. The Press on April 15 carried a vindication of women in a sense not under discussion in Mr. Dmitrzak’s letter. The latter deplored the fact that women encroached in all other fields of endeavor, so why not professional soldiering? This encroachment is greatest during participation in armed conflict and fails to return to normal when the soldiers return to civilian life.

Of considerable importance is the fact that Mr. Dmitrzak’s generation inherited the greatest depression and war of modern times. And Mrs. Phillips seems to deplore the fact that the younger generation has no desire to “carry on” with the exploitation of war for the profit of a minority.

Mr. D. cast no reflections on the ability of the female to do battle. Therefore, why the reassuring statements by Mrs. P. about the part women have played in wartime? The latter desires women to preserve a race devoid of free thinking humans such as Mr. Dmitrzak. Mr. Dmitrzak dares to voice contrary opinions, more power to him, for he aids in educating and informing the masses. Times have changed and so have ways of thinking. How can a man be courteous and chivalrous to a person who will compete with him for employment and who would work for less than he?

Mrs. Phillips suggests that should Mr. Dmitrzak go to war and find no job he can go on a farm and dig his living from the earth, just as her maternal grandfather did. In the first place, said grandfather had a farm to return to, whereas the farm she refers Mr. D. to is non-existent unless it be the poor farm. In the second place, her idea of a just reward for a man who risks life and limb for country doesn’t show real appreciation for services rendered.

Let’s see more letters from the women of draft age on this subject. Perhaps we can uncover a good reason why women should not serve in the Army.

134 William St.