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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

16 May 1931 “Women in the Workforce and Austria’s Largest Bank Collapses”

After WWI, the idea of women working was more the norm. Prior to that, of course, the working and servant class always had working women. Domestics were often female, male servants being rather expensive and usually only afforded to the upper classes.

Women in Factories had been happening since prior to the WWI, even in Victorian times, in the working class. Many young girls chose the hard labor over becoming a domestic and thus left the remaining domestics receiving higher wages.

By the end of WWI, women of all class working began to be seen as normal and progress. Though, prior to the 1950’s, most women usually worked until marriage, then giving it up to remain home and raise children. Though many poorer families would still have seen a mother working out of the home when she could, as a domestic or in laundry services and the like. Often the close knit and close quarter living of the time afforded free child care amongst the lower class working mothers. That disappeared after the Suburban exodus of the 1950’s. Women in the workforce was not as focuses upon until the later 60’s and by the 1980’s there was more of the need of economy than any real women’s liberation behind the two working income families.

“According to the 1930 census almost eleven million women, or 24.3 percent of all women in the country, were gainfully employed. Three out of every ten of these working women were in domestic or personal service. Of professional women three-quarters were schoolteachers or nurses.”

Here is an interesting from from the 1930’s showing women in the workforce in New York city. I like this quote from the narrator:

“Unless you have enough money to support yourself the full year, Stay Home,” is the guide for these “Coal town Cinderellas”.

This silent film from 1931 was shown to girls in High Schools at the time. Again, the idea of women working becoming more the norm and even having rather high numbers prior to WWII.

I want to start looking more at working women to compare with today’s mothers and homemakers who are usually forced to work due to the high costs of living we modern people must face.

On May 11 of this year, 1931, The Creditanstalt (Austria's largest bank) goes bankrupt, beginning the banking collapse in Central Europe that causes a worldwide financial meltdown.

This bank was based in Vienna and founded in 1855 by the Rothschild Family, a banking family that is still very strong and powerful today. And though it was very successful it declared bankruptcy on May 11 1931 which resulted in a Global financial crisis. This lead to the bank failures of the Great Depression and was, in fact, a major player in the speculation and misuse in Wall St. in the USA.

Following this bankruptcy the bank was saved both by the Rothschild's (who originally owned it and filed for the bankruptcy) and the The Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) which became the central bank of Austria today, an integral part of both the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the Eurozone. Today the banks capital is 12 million Euros. Previously half this money was held by employer and employee organizations and also other banks and insurance corporations. But, since May 2010, all this capital is currently held by the State of Austria.

The more I hop about the past decades the more I see of the little thin almost invisible string that binds the past financial woes with today's. They say as much as some things change so do they stay the same. It seems with the financial troubles and subtle under play of what is really going on behind the scenes, little has changed over the past 100 years. Parties and presidents come and go and arguments and hatred by dividing camps of the masses seem to be the distraction to the reality behind it all, unchanging except by growing in strength and power.

The current ‘dilemma’ or ‘hot topic media story’ happily distracting one from real problems. And reality tv also does the job nicely. I hope we can all begin to look more closely and turn off the media and read a bit of history. The more we divide the more we are conquered. Perhaps we should think of our towns, states, and countries as larger homes we must care for. And in so doing, be the homemakers of the world. And every homemaker knows that we don’t like mud tracked through our clean homes or dirty smoke spoiling the furniture. And we especially don’t like secrets and whispering, for it is very rude, nor do we condone name calling and childish behavior. We need to be the grownups for the new generations, as I feel they haven’t any to look to for guidance.

I hope all have a lovely day and Happy Homemaking.

7 comments:

  1. Wow...I love that, "Homemakers to the world."

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  2. Thank you. sarah

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  3. Amazing that your look back at the world financial/banking conditions in 1931 could be so relavent today. Almost eerie . . .
    Thank you for the very interesting, enlightening post, Sarah!

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  4. I really don't see any reason why whole countries can't be run on the same principles as we run our families. As families we balance our budgets, and if we have a shortfall, we cut our spending. We don't allow one member of our family to prosper at the expense of others. We look after old and sick family members. We are nice to our neighbours. And all of this isn't socialism, capitalism or communism, it's just common sense..

    My grandmothers both worked as young women in the early 40's - one at a shoe shop, the other as a pay clerk, but they were both required by their workplaces to resign when they got married, both, as it happened, to soldiers who had to leave them after their short honeymoons for the duration of the war, so they went back home to live with their parents until they could set up home after the war. Even then, one set of grandparents lived with my grandfather's parents in a flat subdivided from the main family house for years, and had their two children there, because there were just no new houses available for so long.

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  5. Just to let you know - we have a spam problem at the forum.
    Have a lovely weekend. :)

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  6. Beyond the working class women who worked as domestics or in a factory, there were also those women, having varying degrees of education, who were nurses, teachers, librarians, and office workers. Often these women were "spinsters" and had to work to support themselves, and perhaps parents or other relatives.

    Older female relatives of mine recount that if a woman graduated from high school, having completed the "business course," she stood a very good chance of getting a decent job right out of high school. My own mother, who graduated from high school in the early 1960s, took this route. Her father was long dead, her mother died a year after she graduated from high school. My mother was the youngest of many siblings, and went to live with a close cousin and her husband, working all the while at the same office job she started the day after her high school graduation. She kept up working for several years after she married my father, but did stop working once she had me, and then my brother.

    My paternal grandmother worked throughout the first 25 years of her marriage. She was a music teacher (organ, piano, accordian) and would go to her students' homes once my father and his several siblings were older. When her children were younger, students would come into her home and she would teach them in the family living room.

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