Sexual harassment on the job cover

Lady Problems at the Office

Sexual Harassment on the Job
How to avoid the working woman’s nightmare
Backhouse and Cohen
1980 (originally published in Canada in 1978)

This was still in active circulation as of this writing.

When this was published, there wasn’t much talk on sexual harassment. It was mostly treated as a joke. I remember several dudes back in the 1980s constantly saying “we need more sexual harassment around here”. (Hilarious) There weren’t a lot of protections or policies in place. It’s still a decade before Anita Hill’s testimony.

The advice is lukewarm. Since there is no mechanism to report or enforce policies, anyone that complains is probably fired or harassed until they quit. This book does talk about the range of behaviors, but without the legal definitions, laws or policies, women didn’t have a lot of options. The general advice amounts to saying you have a boyfriend/husband, avoid being alone, and ignoring the overtures.

Workbook for Womans Guide to Business cover

Women Do Business

Workbook for a Woman’s Guide to Business and Social Success: A Personal Analysis Record
1983

Submitter: We found this workbook still sitting on the shelf, long after the actual textbook was weeded, 15 years ago! The work book is filled with the classic tropes of the era. Ladies need to be thin, pretty and submissive to make it in the working world. An ‘interesting’ glimpse into the past.

Holly: This. Is. Awful. Sections like “My Cosmetics and How I Will Apply Them,” “My Hair Care and Coiffure Arrangement Analysis,” and “Developing and Attractive Voice” make me want to vomit.

well pregnancy book

A Pregnant Pause

Well Pregnancy Book
Samuels and Samuels
1986

Insider gossip from ALB: I am going to be a grandma this summer. I keep thinking that I am not old enough, but my family assures me, I am. Because of this I started looking at pregnancy books. (Side note: as tempting as it was to create a annotated bibliography on pregnancy and childcare, and discuss it with my son and daughter-in-law, I refrained, because I don’t want to be THAT person.)

That said, pregnancy books should be treated like medical information and updated regularly. This example was found in a smallish public library. Also it looked to be in great shape.

Boating and Cooking cover

Misogyny Ahoy!

The Woman’s Guide to Boating & Cooking
Morgan
1974

Submitter: Ahoy ye landlubbers! This book floated across my desk this week and I thought to submit it to you.  The condition is what landed it on my little island of a desk. There are some very practical items in the book, like knot tying and sailing information. However, it’s buoyed by its dated ideology. Enjoy the scans before this one is cast off to the recycling bin.

Holly: Fashion, interior design, cooking, “boatkeeping,” and potato wine. Women can have it all…on a boat, no less!

Unleash the Lioness

Unleash the Lioness

Unleash the lioness: A Women’s Guide to Fighting Off Violent Attack
Houseman
1993

Submitter: I am submitting this 90’s scare style book for women. The book lets the reader know that because you’re a woman you WILL be a victim of crime. So buy this book and take down an attacker with an umbrella. Oddly, this is a UK book that was found on a shelf here in this American library. I am sure those numbers at the back are no good.

Holly: Our girl on the cover has an umbrella and she’s not afraid to use it! I mean, that’s pretty good resourcefulness.

Womans Guide to Handguns cover

Women’s Guide to Handguns

The Women’s Guide to Handguns: A Primer for Safe Self-Defense
Carmichel
1982

Submitter: First, this book is from 1982 and gun laws have changed in many states, especially our state of Massachusetts. That alone makes this an easy weed with a replacement. Second, I love how the opening starts out with scary statistics, a promise not to use fear in this book and continues on with more scare tactics. Not to mention condescending…

Holly: Handgun ownership by women is wayyyy more popular now than it was 40 years ago. This definitely needs to be updated!

what to do with the rest of your life cover

Figure Out Your Life

What to Do With the Rest of Your Life
Catalyst
1981

We have had a couple of books authored by the organization Catalyst. This non-profit advocated for women in business. They published career advice for women in the 1970s and 1980s. If you have been a long time reader of this blog, you might remember this particular book.

It felt like this book was more about introspection and finding your “perfect” career path. It was definitely published with nice, privileged, ladies in mind. See the bottom paragraph on the introduction page.

Like I have commented before, this very much is for that 1% of working women that have resources and a nice safety net. I doubt that the single mother trying to make ends meet has time to have an introspective meditation on career satisfaction.

Really, just get in there and weed those career advice books.

Women and Taxes book cover

Women and Taxes

Women and Taxes
Leynse and Kamensky
1984

According to the back of this book, women can improve their life by understanding taxes. I wonder if men have the same life improvement experience.

I am a huge advocate of financial literacy for everyone. I am a fan of a book that helps explain all the financial ins and outs of being a working person. Too bad the advice in this book is behind about 3 or 4 major overhauls to the tax code. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 made almost every item about tax shelters, expenses, etc. an instant candidate for weeding.

Almost every year, Holly and I run into tax advice books sitting on library shelves from the 1980s and 1990s. Unless you committed fraud, you won’t be on the hook for anything after 7 years. Keeping consumer tax information around is a waste of space. Personally, I would weed tax info after 3 years.