Women Who Work

Women Who Work

Women Who Work

Women Who Work

Excerpt

FREEDOM. What do the women of the middle and upper classes mean when they speak of freedom and equal opportunity with men? They mean freedom to enjoy the rights of property and the rights of citizenship on an equality with men. They mean "getting the opportunity to do the interesting and important work at any scale of pay." They mean freedom to pursue a career, to do creative work, to study for any one of the professions they may choose and to practice that profession without being hindered by sex discrimination. Much of this freedom has already been won by women of the privileged class. Legal disabilities and disqualifications have for the most part been removed in the United States. Most of the institutions of higher education are now open to women. The professions have yielded a grudging recognition of women's intelligence and ability and achievements. An Amelia Earhart flies alone across the Atlantic; a Madame Curie discovers radium; and their success is hailed as a remarkable achievement or as an outstanding contribution to the sum of human knowledge.

In the privileged groups mothers have been able to hire some one to help in the house work at home; they have had information on how to space and limit the number of their children; they have parked the smaller children in private nursery schools or employed a mother's helper or a nursery governess, and thus have been almost as free as single women to work outside the home without neglect of the house or children. In this special group of the middle and upper classes, married and single women alike have had the opportunity to do creative and interesting work, to write books and articles on every imaginable . . .

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