SEPTEMBER 9, 1944
NEW YORK, Friday—At the Young Democrats' meeting the other night, I was asked a question which surprised and interested me. A young woman wanted to know whether it would be right for a woman who had taken a man's job during the war to be forced to give that job up if the man returned and wanted it.
Now I can imagine situations in which it would be very hard for a woman to give up a job in which she had made good. She might have become the breadwinner for her family, in which case she would need a job comparable to the one she must give up. Yet it seems to me to be clear that every serviceman has been promised that he will be restored to his former job. As I understand it, Selective Service has the responsibility, through the U.S. Employment Service, to see that this is done. Therefore, any woman, or any man for that matter, taking a job which was held by a man going into the services has known that this situation exists.
Ordinarily, I would not think that there would be any question about a woman relinquishing her job and going out to find another on her own. In the case of a woman who has become the family breadwinner, however, I think there is an obligation on the part of all concerned. If, for instance, a man who once supported the family had been in the armed services, and the woman had become the breadwinner, there would be an obligation, not directly to the woman, but to the man whose services were lost. This means, perhaps, that some special effort should be made in this particular situation, and the woman should not be left in a position where she might be forced to take an inferior job at less pay, thus pulling down the whole standard of living for the family.
Of course, the only way that we can be secure in the future is through having full employment, and sometimes I think the plans which will bring this about are emerging rather slowly from the various sources which are supposed to produce them.
This morning I visited for a few minutes the headquarters of the Independent Voters' Committee of the Arts and Sciences for Roosevelt, and then took the subway to visit my cousin Mrs. Henry Parish, who has been away for some time.
This little interlude in the city has made me realize more than ever how very lovely the early fall is in the country, and how little charm the city has at this time of the year. There is not the same snap in the air in the city streets that one gets in the country woods and fields, and though the autumn colors are not very bright as yet, the first tinges of red and yellow are beginning to show. The orchards with their heavy burdens of fruit are a really beautiful sight.