Should women work?

Dec. 2, 1957
Los Angeles

I am always perplexed when I come across one of these 1957 stories in The Times in which a working woman preaches against the evils of working women. It is almost beyond belief that nobody ever questioned this absurd contradiction. But if anyone did, I haven’t found any evidence yet.

In August, there were several stories about working women and the horrors of day care. Here’s an advice column, and I (almost) can’t believe the ridiculous response. The idea of telling a wife that she should pretend to be ill so her husband won’t nag her about working sounds like a plot for Lucy and Desi. 

I’m running the column exactly as it appeared, just so people can read it for themselves.



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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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5 Responses to Should women work?

  1. Whitey says:

    Personally I wish my wife never would’ve started working. She now competes with me, doesn’t do the things she use to do, like cook for my boy’s and I. No cleaning, no cooking, anything good, lke cookies, cakes, as a wife and should. I was brought up with a father who provided for the family, the wife/mother the home-maker and that’s way it should be today, families would be much happier together, and by the way wives stray and are just as unfaithful as a man, maybe worse, dressing up for other men at work. If they have artistic talents to contribute then that’s just great. Otherwise keep the women at home where they are needed. Bigger house, bigger bills!


  2. Mrs. Lawyer says:

    I simply cannot believe that in today’s day and age that anyone would write what you wrote. I am aghast. Moreover, I can’t believe that any woman could possibly stay married to a person with such wildly sexist and insecure views. Wives are not property to be “kept” at home like a slave. And, by the way, looking good at work is not a sin.


  3. addie says:

    it sounds pretty clear that what you miss is having a maid/drudge.
    Maybe your wife has grown as a person, you might support that and admire it instead of making it about you. Maybe you could learn to bake cookies, if it is needed, nothing in our genes says the woman is the designated cookie baker in the home, buy some cookies at a bakery, your wife will make cookies when she wants to, as a matter of fact America is built on that principal.


  4. manny says:

    i personally think that women should work, they have the same right as us and they should not be descriminated. i believe that a women that stays at home is a slave of the husband and the house.


  5. Jenni says:

    I believe all of you are over-simplifying the situation. While a young woman may love her career, her profession may come at a cost for her family. When a married woman works, close to 50% of her income goes to taxes, the cost of childcare is very high, and working moms spend more money on food because they do not have the time to cook everything from scratch everyday. A woman must earn a decent amount of money to come out ahead economically.
    As a young professional, I am certainly not saying that women should drop their careers to be a slave to their children and their husband. I am saying that it is more difficult for mothers to keep their careers that it appears to be at first glance. I grew up with a working mom and stay at home dad for for a few years–that’s another great option!


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