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John, it is breath-takingly appalling to read such blantant copy from, for me as for you, a time during my vibrantly alive mother's life.

It is curious, though, to see the equation of 'personality' with manners and dress in the piece on the proper secretary. In other words, one is not allowed a personality except as exhibited in conformance via conservative dress and manners.

This caught my eye because my mother, an orphan, began pursuit of a secretarial career while still in high school. She spent years plying her trade (other than a significant break to birth and raise four children) until someone noticed, in the 1970's, that she was a person with wonderful organizational and management skills.

She ended up running a department which included over 150 employees. What a benefit to her employer that someone in the company finally noticed the talent hidden in the secretarial pool, and what a boost for my mom's own view of her worth.

Just some anecdotal evidence of the huge waste humankind has made of the talents of half (and, I might add, probably the more-enlightened half) of its own.

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