Letters urging ban on jobs for women if husbands work (1941)

The Pittsburgh Press (January 4, 1941)

Urges law barring women from jobs if husband works

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

Believe you me, Mr. Editor, if I had my way I could end this job problem immediately. Know how? By making it illegal for both husbands and wives to hold jobs at the same time!

I’d say to those couples where both the man and the wife work:

One of you must quit your job. Both of you can’t work.

Part of the mess our country is in today is traceable to families where both the husband and the wife works.

Let’s take, for example, 1,000 couples where the man and woman work. That’s 2,000 jobs. All right, if 1,000 had to quit because their “other half” had a job, there would immediately be 1,000 jobs open to someone now unemployed.

I say that if married women, where their husbands had jobs, were barred from working, we’d go a long way in curing the job problem in this U.S.A. of ours.

No family needs two breadwinners. Sure, it’s nice to have extra money coming in. But I say it’s unjust, unfair, unequitable and unreasonable, because every married woman who works, while her husband is working also, is keeping some deserving person out of a job.

There’s another law I’d like to see enacted. It would bar anyone from holding down two paying jobs. School teachers, for instance. I know many who are guilty of this. They teach all day, then do other work on Saturday or after school. Some of them are preachers – teach all week, preach on Sunday. They can’t do justice to either job. Nobody can. Let them master one and stop this jack-of-all-trades system.


Housecleaning urged for United States

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

We need more people who think like Wilfred D. Stotle and Mrs. M. C. Klein.

The fundamental evil of the past and present is money. This country is money mad. Wars and crimes are caused over money. Even the echo of church bells is money, money, money.

This country should concentrate more on good principals and less on money. To obtain money we should earn the same through no pretense of hurting others. If we use our hands to obtain life’s necessities and happiness, we don’t need so much money.

This country has no business sending war materials, soldiers, food or any other aid to England or any other country. The good patriotic women knitters should take measurements of husbands and relatives and store them in mothballs.

We should manufacture war materials but spend them “over there”? Never! When we are well prepared for a good fight, let Mr. Fist Shaker pay us a personal visit. Until then, let him, Mr. Chest Beater, Mr. Johnny Bull or Mr. Hot Dog Slinger fight their own battles in their own individual way.

What happens when two in a family have a family row and the third party antagonizes? It seldom settles matters. That applies to wars, too.

Charity begins at home and this country is our home. We have unsatisfactory conditions to solve and adjust right here in the home of the free and the land of the brave.

First, conditions should exist so married women with children and husbands would not be compelled or permitted to hold jobs or positions outside of their homes. A woman’s place is in the home to make it cheerful, pleasant and not only a house to live in. Many children are love-starved and many husbands are neglected because women’s attention and attitude is equally divided. I don’t mean they should not enjoy outside or social activities but they should concentrate more on the home. You can’t serve two masters and do justice to either. The above also applies to women who can afford servants.

In the southern states from Virginia to Florida are tumbledown shacks for hundreds of miles where thousands of Negroes are still slaving in cotton fields for low wages, whereby the whole family must help in order to store up enough to eat. Something should be done to improve their housing and earning conditions.

If conditions were such that every individual would earn fair wages, we would do away with crooked schemers and each individual in their own community would help those who through sickness or death are unable to provide for the necessities of life.

Wake up America, we need a thorough house cleaning right here before we interfere with other countries.

R. D. No. 7
Butler, PA

The Pittsburgh Press (January 10, 1941)

Praises letters opposing married women working

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

In your Jan. 4 issue, Justin Allison and Mrs. C. W. St. Clair have written good common sense letters regarding married women being employed at the same time their husbands are drawing good salaries or in businesses of their own, thus keeping needy people on relief.

I will say this is not the only way people are being kept out of much needed jobs. What about the ones who are in pension grabbing jobs and keeping some old fellow out of a living? Some men, who worked all their lives when there was no pension fund and saved a little, probably have modest homes. Others who are too old to work longer at their jobs are sitting around having to live with married sons or daughters who are struggling to keep roofs over their own heads.

How much better the old people would feel if they were able to get a part-time job probably in a hotel where they could eat a meal and have a few dollars at the end of the week. But no, some retired postal employee or policeman who had a chance while working to round up a nice job to get just as soon as he retires, is given this easy work.

I don’t put the blame entirely on the ones who take the jobs but why don’t the employers look into this problem?

1325 Orangewood Ave.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 15, 1941)

Favors ban on jobs for wives if husbands work

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

I heartily agree with and wish to praise the letter of Justin Allison urging a law barring women from jobs if their husbands are working. Being an unemployed elevator operator through no fault of my own as the firm I worked for retired from business, I have found nearly in every store and building I have gone to in search of employment that many of the operators are married and their husbands are working and earning an adequate amount to support both of them.

I am self-supporting and single and have hunted a position for quite some time and I might add also that I have the very best of recommendations but all of that is to no advantage so long as nearly all of the positions are being held by married women that have no intentions of quitting and giving their single sisters a chance.

I feel too, as Justin Allison says, that we would go a long way in curing the job problem in the U.S.A. if the married women whose husbands are working would be barred from positions. I feel I would then be able to secure a position and enjoy real living the same as some of those working wives have been.

It is unfair to we single girls who are trying to earn our own way in this world.

803 Marshall Ave.