The Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School - The "good old days".

The ERA and Not Shaving Your Armpits Team dropped this 1949 issue of the Saturday Evening Post on my desk this morning, opened to this article on the Katharine Gibbs School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Secretarial School in New York. The ERA and Not Shaving Your Armpits Team stood there, tapping their toes with their arms folded. The obvious message was that we need to run this article, stat. Aah, the good old days of blind sexism. No they weren't.

"The Katherine Gibbs school has become nationally famous for teaching girls how to dress, make up, take notes - and even spell." reads the opening line of the article. It's hard to tell if the author - "R. Magruder Dobie???" - meant that to sound ironic, or if it actually was a breakthrough that "mere women" were being taught how to spell, just like real humans. In any case, the tone of the article is something to behold. Marvel at the sexism. The article is, yes, a product of it's time. But wow, man. I don't think any school could get away with teaching women about "expectations" while simultaneously teaching women how to put on makeup today. Nor should they. Frikkin stone age. Yes, you could argue that these women wanted to be there, but it's not like you could find a "Katherine Gibbs School of Being a Fireman or Senator and Free Thinker" in 1949.

Hey, check it out! The Katherine Gibbs School is still kicking it, albeit in a less "it's either this or being a housewife" kind of way. They even let guys attend now. See? This lucky fellow is obviously learning the Rick Wakeman style of tech support.

Routers comes out of the sky and they STAAAANNND THEEEERE! Sparkly gold cape awarded upon graduation.

Anyway, we now present to you the full article, including a little part of some article on Peoria at the end, just because it was stuck in there with the tail end of the text.

 Click each for bigger. Please enjoy, somehow.


PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

"But the disadvantages of government work are obvious: Low pay slow promotions and bosses too poor to make good marital timber."

WTF? Was it assumed that a secretary would try to develop a relationship with the boss?

Anonymous said...

The system was bought out and is no more. I considered applying in Washington DC back in the early 80's. (when "underemployed" females with Econ degrees wore John Molloy "Dress for Success" bow ties with wool skirt suits). They were too damn snooty.

Anonymous said...

They really doubled down on the awfulness in the last four paragraphs.

"This next one is for me."

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