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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, June 02, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 7

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-06-02/ed-1/seq-7/

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WOMEN HAVE WAGED AND WON
BATTLES AGAINST
By Jane Whitaker.
The idea that women desire to un
derbid men in order to take their po
sitions from them exists in the minds
of many men, but it is not a fact, as
a study of the situation will show,
and it is based on snap judgment.
In the beginning of their industrial
slavery, women had no option regard
ing their wages. The necessity that
they work fordid them to accept the
standard fixed by greed-mad men em
ployers, who took advantage of that
necessity.
But if you will look back over the
past several years of trade unionism
among women you will find that
women have waged some of the most
bitter labor battles to raise their own
standard of wages, and that every
time they were successful in doing
this they naturally raised the stand
ard of men's wages in the same field.
The latest instance of this is the
battle the waitresses are waging
one of the most bitter battles, be
cause it would seem that every force
is arrayed against them. The courts
have ruled against them, the public
sides with the employer to the extent
' of making affidavits that turn the
same public from a disinterested
spectator into an advocate of the cap
italist. For the sake of raising this stand
ard of wages, these girls have sub
mitted to the indignity of arrest; they
have submitted to brutality; they are
now submitting to a thing from which
a girl shrinks the gaze of a" curious
and often hostile public.
The garment workers fought one
'of the biggest labor fights in New
York City, and their victory was a
victory for the men in the same line.
The legislative battles of the work
ers have been led by women, and a
proof of it lies in the fact that there
is a ten-hour law governing woman's
labor in the State of Illinois, while
there is no legislation regula'ting
men's hours.
SOME BITTERLY FOUGHT LABOR
EMPLOYERS' GREED
But men workers are almost as bit
ter foes of women workers as are the
employers, for men workers will not
admit the equality of a woman work
er, and display a constant jealousy.
That women have invaded politics
is largely due to the fact that with
the forces arrayed against them, with
the workingmen as well as the em
ployers fighting against their equal
ity, they must use every weapon if
they may ever hope to gain equality,
and the weapon of politics is a very
powerful one.
That they are taking positions on
the police force, as my critic said in
his letter of Monday, is not altogether
the fault of women. It is due to the
fact that they are better fitted to deal
with women than are men, and this
lack of fitness to handle tender girls
made necessary the employment of
women police.
There was a time before women
were forced into the industrial field
when men were considered better for
every position. But women have
demonstrated that is not so. They
have shown a greater tenderness and
a greater loyalty.
In the case of a woman secretary,
with whom I am acquainted, a man
equally qualified applied for her posi
tion and offered his services at ?5 less
a week.
The employer said to this man ap
plicant: "I have had several men sec
retaries and this was my first experi
ment with women. Miss doesn't
do any better work than my men sec
retaries did nor any quicker but
she is more loyal than any man who
ever worked for me, and I am paying
for her loyalty, not her superiority."'
It is barely possible that if men had
been able to stand together before
women entered the industrial field
if they had not underbid each other,
if they had not accepted the employ
ers' greed as the last word on their
worth the supposition might stiU
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