Just how dedicated are you to your job ... on a scale of 1 to 100? This was how one post-WWII era working woman was rated -- in a very public forum. And apparently her penchant for the occasional love story docked her a whole lot of dedication points.
"Today in the press and on the radio, the American career girl, married or single, is a favorite subject for discussion," intones the host of the late 1940's radio program, "What Makes You Tick," first posted on The Jane Dough. This isn't much of a surprise as World War II forced a vast number of women into workforce to fill in for the men who were fighting overseas. Although some women left their jobs after the war ended, many did not, and their entrance in droves into the ranks of office life gave rise to the "career girl" archetype -- the woman bound to her desk ... until she finds a husband, that is.
While the radio moderator grills young professional Ms. Bates "to find out how determined a career girl" she is, two (male) psychologists take notes and judge her. (Great ...)
Our young Ms. Bates answers the questions thoughtfully and with broadcast-worthy aplomb. She considers herself an efficient executive, feels confident when interacting with her superiors, wouldn't leave her job for marriage (even for "Prince Charming") and believes that more women should leave the home and enter the workforce:
Many talented girls deserve a better life than [being in the home]. They need that feeling of independence, of competition that they don't get at home. And, they deserve the luxuries that they can buy with the money they earn.
Although she seems to have impressed the judges with her determination, her tragic downfall comes at the end of the interview when the host pulls out a question devised to reveal her true colors. She (gasp!) sometimes reads romance novels. And (double gasp!) sometimes pictures herself in the role of a wife -- though "in a detached sort of way," she says. Her answer sinks her score.
A personal life and a career? Sorry. Ladies, that's just more than you can handle. Ms. Bates should probably pick up a copy of this 1950s novel, "Office Tramp: Confessions of an Executive Sweet" and learn how a real career woman should act.
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