FEBRUARY 23, 1945
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Yesterday afternoon about thirty men from the naval hospital in Bethesda, Md., came to visit the White House. Afterwards I had some people interested in veterans' education, and a gentleman who is shortly going back to Paris, in for tea.
Early this morning I left for New York City where I am going to speak at the children's unity festival at the Horace Mann School.
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Last night and tonight I have been free—that is to say, I have been able to do my mail and catch up on personal letters and even do a little reading, so that I hope, in the course of the next few days, to be able to tell you about two books which I have enjoyed in my leisure time.
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Every now and then I am reminded that even though the need for being a feminist is gradually disappearing in this country, we haven't quite reached the millenium.
A woman who went down to testify before one of the Congressional committees, the other day, wrote me an interesting fact on the manpower situation. It appears that the Civil Service Commission has a number of women who could be filling higher positions in the government if the requisitions from government agencies did not usually specify "men only." Perhaps this is another hurdle which we must jump in this period when women are really needed to replace men. We must accept qualified women for positions which in the past have been offered to men, even through civil service.
It looks to me also as though some special consideration should be given to women with husbands in military service, particularly to those whose husbands are missing. It is, of course, not necessary to give them any special preference—they should be capable of doing the jobs which they hold. But they need the jobs very badly, and where they could be appointed without lowering the standards of the Civil Service for those jobs, it seems they might be given some extra consideration.
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It is interesting to find so often the little ways in which women are discriminated against, but with the passage of the years one does find a great improvement. One must not let this improvement, however, lull one to complete oblivion, for when the war is over there will be new situations to meet and they must be met with open minds and with fairness to both men and women.
Even the children will have to come in for consideration, so we will have to keep a broad and tolerant attitude and be willing to discuss new situations and reach conclusions which will be beneficial to all those involved.