Women's Issues

This Teacher’s Contract From 1923 Will Make You Really Glad The Feminist Movement Happened

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There is an old teacher’s contract circulating wildly around Facebook this week. It’s a contract from 1923, and it outlines all of the guidelines a female teacher must follow to keep her job. All the guidelines pertain to her physical appearance and how she spends her personal time. Well, almost all of them — there’s also something about keeping the classroom clean. It may be the most absurdly sexist thing you’ve ever seen.

The contract was posted on Ohio Education Association’s Facebook page:

This Teacher s Contract From 1923 Will Make You Really Glad The Feminist Movement Happened 11018963 918585211505601 783863009669037017 n 1425406648 142 196 167 223 jpg

 

Not to keep the company of men, not to drink beer, wine or whiskey, not to dye hair, not to dress in bright colors, not to smoke cigarettes — the entire contract covers what the teacher should look like and how she should behave. Not one mention of anything pertaining to her actual job — except that she has to be sure to clean and scrub the classroom floor and blackboard. I’m pretty sure the phrase, You’ve come a long way, baby was uttered for the first time after someone unearthed this contract.

So we can see that our amazing ability to overlook a woman’s skills and focus on the way she looks has deep roots in this country. Great.

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