By Barb Hauge
Whether at home or abroad, all women work. The wages women get for being domestic engineers and nurturing mothers is a bit like agriculture income these days; pitifully poor. When its time for social security, women pay a big price for having cared for their home and family.
For most of my lifetime women who worked abroad received roughly half the salary of men who did the exact same work. During World War II, I remember teaching a man the books and his starting salary was twice what I was getting.
Before he went into the Service, my fiance worked for Boeing Aircraft and then Seattle Shipyards. He told about Rosie the Riveter and all the women working in defense plants. He said, They are skilled. They are damn good, but they get only about half the wages paid to men. These women have a lot to contend with, with men, especially their bosses hitting on them. The scene in the parking lots really sad. They leave babies and little kids locked in cars or harnessed so they can play and still be attached to a car. Every time they have a break during their shift, the women check on their kids. They have no time to use a rest room.
In those days it was considered socialistic for industry to provide day care centers for the children of their workers. Its no wonder the Baby Boom Generation grew up unwilling to trust anyone over 30. Another reason we had such a Baby Boom was because women in childbirth were drugged until they felt no pain and so we had lots of children. Unfortunately, our poor little babies were born drugged. It was a real chore just waking them to nurse. The drugged generation of Baby Boomers became the Rebel Generation of the 1960s who demonstrated against the War in Vietnam chanting, Hell no; we wont go! Some did learn to think for themselves.
While in Hawaii we learned that men do the cooking to deprive women of certain foods. If women eat these foods, they will take power away from men.
In my day women who did office work were expected to dress up; to wear proper suits and dresses and heels. High heel shoes, like bound feet in China, make us wiggle when we walk.
Women today seem to find fulfillment plus economic independence by working outside the home. Prices are so exorbitant that families need two incomes. After marriage and children I felt the children I had brought to life were the most important work that I could do. Farming or ranching is a full time job for every member of the family.