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"Women do not do any of the creative work." - Weird History [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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"Women do not do any of the creative work." [Jan. 24th, 2010|07:19 pm]
Weird History



Miss Mary T. Ford

Dear Miss Ford,

Your letter of recent date has been received in the Inking and Painting Department for reply.

Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men. For this reason girls are not considered for the training school.

The only work open to women consists of tracing the characters on clear celluloid sheets with India ink and filling in the tracings on the reverse side with paint according to the directions.

In order to apply for a position as “Inker” or “Painter” it is necessary that one appear at the Studio, bringing samples of pen and ink and water color work. It would not be advisable to come to Hollywood with the above specifically in view, as there are really very few openings in comparison with the number of girls who apply.

Yours very truly,


[User Picture]From: splendidgeek
2010-01-25 02:23 am (UTC)
How curious !
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[User Picture]From: madcowsexiness
2010-01-25 02:33 am (UTC)
I saw this on Jezebel today; very fucked up.
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[User Picture]From: dark_phoenix54
2010-01-25 03:17 am (UTC)
This might explain why it took so many years before there were any really strong female characters in Disney cartoons!
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From: yawns_widely
2010-01-25 03:46 am (UTC)
This is depressing. Thanks for sharing.
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[User Picture]From: aestas
2010-01-25 03:55 am (UTC)
Lol it's half-hilarious to read things like this from the past. "That work is performed entirely by the young men." Because women were lacking in what, exactly, fingers? Opposable thumbs?
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[User Picture]From: chthonia
2010-01-25 04:13 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting. The world I grew up in in the 60s was still very much like that. (I was nearly laughed out of my second grade class for saying I wanted to be an airline pilot when I grew up!) It's nice that we've made enough progress that things like that are a curiosity.
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[User Picture]From: redlighthouse
2010-01-25 04:33 am (UTC)
So sad. Poor Miss Mary Ford.
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[User Picture]From: midwinter
2010-01-25 05:05 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: sovereignann
2010-01-25 05:13 am (UTC)
When my grandmother got married, she was dismissed from her job with the county because her husband was supposed to take care of her. Then my grandfather went to war and she was told she could work there until he came back. He died so she was a single, working mother. One of many, I'm sure.

I always wax nostalgic about the past but then these types of things come up and I remember that we have it pretty good right now. It's not perfect, but it's better.
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[User Picture]From: nosyparker
2010-01-25 06:52 am (UTC)
Originally posted by her grandson here, where he invites people to contact him! I'd be interested to know whatever became of Mary following this rejection.
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[User Picture]From: kokeshikitten
2010-01-25 02:03 pm (UTC)
I talked about this to some family and a family friend who was in the room last night when I saw this post. I got ripped a new one for being offended at it. "Disney wasn't going to put money into someone who could just up and get pregnant and leave at any time. And back then, when you got pregnant, you were expected to stop working, blah blah blah..." I could kind of see their point that things were different back then, but then again, it doesn't mean we can't marvel about how different things are now.
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[User Picture]From: heycookie
2010-01-25 02:54 pm (UTC)
So basically they're saying that women were only capable of performing tasks that amounted to paint-by-number. Sheesh. It's hard for me to imagine a mindset that engenders such generalizations...thank goodness times have changed! :/
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[User Picture]From: ms_pooka
2010-01-25 05:03 pm (UTC)
i love the hilarity coming from that kind of letter being printed on that kind of paper.
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[User Picture]From: ltmurnau
2010-01-25 06:16 pm (UTC)
Even funnier, the rejection letter is signed by a woman. I guess they were equal to that kind of creative work.

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[User Picture]From: dearbrains
2010-01-25 10:52 pm (UTC)
My grandmother worked for Disney for almost 40 years. She started in the film room, splicing film and rolling reels and such. There were no women artists and she always thought that was awful. All the women worked in the film room, as secretaries(which is probably why this letter is signed by a woman), or other simple jobs. She really disliked some of the policies at Disney, but both her and my grandfather worked there and I think in her generation any job was a good job and you wanted to keep it, etc.

other related things:
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[User Picture]From: blueduende
2010-09-28 01:29 am (UTC)
D: This just disgusts me. Thank you for posting it.
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[User Picture]From: asperias
2010-11-20 11:51 am (UTC)
do you know what happened with that Mary Ford?
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