Workin’ Hard for a Livin’-Then & Now

Go figure!  It is still making headlines.  Hollering Woman is talking about the infernal and eternal woes of women in the workplace.  Whether it was her  twenty-something grandmother thumbing her way around South Texas dressed like a boy in order to get work on the old San Antonio market during the depression, her thirty year old mother forced to deny her three youngest kids to keep her job at a missile defense plant in the fifties, or her own infuriating experience applying for her first newspaper job when she demanded equal pay for equal work in the seventies.

Imagine her surprise to recently learn that female journalists and women everywhere are still experiencing the same enraging, ridiculous, and degrading treatment women have been forced to submit to forever.

Hollering Woman got her first taste of this at a small weekly newspaper.  She and her male counterpart worked the same hours and did the same job.  He got forty percent more a week than she did.  When she questioned this practice, her boss sweetly informed her that Bubba was the head of his family” and she, married woman with two kids and a husband in college, was working for the “fun and satisfaction” of getting out of the house.

Enraging?  You bet!  But HW could only laugh out loud when she later went to work for the old “Ma Bell” system as an information operator.  Her work station was in a huge room filled with other women sitting in tiny cubicles with headsets on in front of giant phone books chained to the desks. Split shifts, long periods of inactivity and “no talking allowed” other than to give phone numbers to the anonymous voices that came in through the earpieces.  If HW needed to go to the restroom, she was required to raise one finger or two fingers.  Really!  NO. . .Hollering Woman is just kidding . . .or is she??

Silly?  Absolutely!  But not as degrading as HW sitting in an interview at a big city daily newspaper and  having her potential boss quiz her on her method of birth control and if she planned to have any kids in the near future.  Yeah, he was a guy. . .in case you are wondering.

Of course, every woman has her own rolodex of workplace horror, inequity, and sexual harassment and Hollering Woman could write a book on the disrespect  she has personally received as a stay-at-home- mom.  But keep the following tips in mind: Never quit on yourself-no matter how old, how tired, or how bad it gets.  Keep you sense of humor and keep doing what you love.  It is never too late or too early to follow your dreams!


















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