The feminine fix-it Auto Handbook cover page

Car Repair for the Ladies

Feminine Fix-it Auto Handbook
Ward
1974

I’m actually kind of a fan of this book. Aside from the dated advice, it is actually a pretty good book. It’s written without any cutesy condescending language.The advice is competent and not overly technical. It would be a good car book regardless of gender. The rather girly title isn’t my favorite, but for 1974 it probably worked pretty well.

I really do think the landscape for women having to talk to mechanics and car sales people is different. Granted, I have a built in shield with a automotive engineer husband. Back in the day (the 1980s) when we were car shopping, I was ignored, except when talking about colors. Same with mechanics. I was sure I would be taken to the cleaners with up-selling and unnecessary repairs.

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.

sexual harassment book cover

Sexual Harassment for the 1990s

The 9-5 Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment
Bravo and Cassedy
1992

In 1991, Anita Hill testified that she was sexually harassed by Clarence Thomas at his confirmation hearing. In my opinion, this was when sexual harassment became a mainstream discussion topic. I also remember watching the hearings on television. Fast forward to the mid 1990s, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal during the Clinton administration. Keep fast forwarding and you can add Robert Packwood, Mark Foley, Newt Gingrich, Gary Condit, Anthony Weiner, Mario Batali, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Roger Ailes, etc. You get the picture.

Practical Home Repair for Women cover

Practical Home Repair for Women

Practical Home Repair for Women: Your Questions Answered
Cassiday
1966

Submitter: I found this on the shelf at an academic library and got a good laugh out of it…

1. Paint – I’m so glad Bruce told me what paint was.
2. Emergency – And that “needle and thread and cloth are [my] province”.
3. Preface – And the “man of the house” is busy busy “commuting, working and traveling” so he’s “never around when he is needed for that important chore”.

Best Way in the World for a Woman to make money

Women’s Work

The Best Way in the World for a Woman to Make Money
King
1979

This is one of those relics from the 1970s giving women some career advice. This time it is for a sales career. The book’s general premise is that a sales career can give women a serious leg up financially,  and that women do better than their male counterparts. He asserts that women are more talented and intelligent that then men competing for the same jobs. Basically, the author believes that women are an untapped and overlooked resource. Women are supposedly more sociable, nurturing, and better suited to a people oriented career.

There is advice about presenting a more masculine resume. Supposedly, if you have a hobby like woodworking, it shows that you can comfortably deal with a man’s world. Typical of career books for women, there is advice about office decorum, dress, business lunch, etc.