women’s work | Women’s History Month

by Elouise

Teacher's Contract, Term 1923

women’s work
is never done
sign here

* * *

Even though this is called a Teacher’s Contract, you’ll see it’s for women only. If you read all the way through, you’ll also see it’s about much more than teaching duties. Is it real? I can’t prove one way or the other.

I did, however, check it out. I found a mixed bag. The most damaging was here. The most supportive and well-documented was here.

What I found gave me confidence that I could post it today and not have to apologize tomorrow for passing along a totally fictitious document. I was concerned because the document didn’t look official. No date, no state or county identification, no pre-printed slots for officials to sign, no stated beginning and end date. You get the picture.

At the same time, I find everything in it believable given my own experience ever since I left home to go to Bible college. It contains a clear thread of truth: Women, especially in academia, have been and still are expected to meet different, usually higher expectations than are men.

Sometimes these higher expectations are written into documents, as in my Bible college handbooks for women. In the workplace, however, they are too often ‘written’ consciously and unconsciously into hearts, minds, attitudes and time-honored ‘traditional’ ways of treating women and men.

Some may read the contract above and celebrate how far we’ve come. I read it and weep for how well we’ve learned to cover it all over in nuanced niceness. Political correctness. Jokes behind the scenes.

Please study the contract’s language. You or a woman you love may find yourself in a similar position someday. But without a contract that spells everything out as bluntly and honestly as this document does.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 March 2015
 Google Image from http://www.mommyish.com
Thanks to one of my followers for sending me this document.