JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 988
In the history of archaic thought it doesn’t take very much at all to reach the uncomfortable bits in the sulfurously tangled history of the subjugation of women. But it is most interesting when you find the points at which the “backward-looking” archaic parts are actually somewhat forward-looking for their time.
Such is the case with this odd and interesting little pamphlet, Women in Men’s Clothing, published by
the Vultee Aircraft Corporation, and published in 1943—it can be simultaneously
awkward as a broken product of its time and oddly, slightly, futuristic (with a grudging and clawing recognition of women as possible equals as members of the work force). Overall the publication looks pretty painful from today's perch, but when you look a little past the winces you can see a little bit of recognition for women in general; at least this is far forward from anything that might've been published slightly before the war.
The pamphlet was intended as a human resources tool for managers and supervisors in an aircraft production facility where women had been sought and recruited to fill the very many vacancies brought on by the war. (Millions of women entered the workforce for the first time between 1942-1945; millions of them exited too once the servicemen returned from active duty to reclaim their jobs.) For most industrial supervisors, the prospect of women in the workforce was not a welcomed one, and many had never before needed to think of such a diversified workplace. This slight publication translated the idea of “women/"wimmin” for these men.
The "translation" of the understanding of women from home to the workforce doesn't go very far to advancing the understanding of women at work--they're pretty much the same (dogmatic, condescending, sexist, domineering).
All of that is pretty well summed up by the first picture in this series--the asterisked "equality" between men and women. I must admit that I don't think I've ever seen this "equals, but" label before, or at least so deep into the century.
And of course "women are Human, too" needs very little comment...as is the case for most of the images in the pamphlet.