Nancy Drew comes up as well, in the long and interesting article plus interview with Miriam Forman-Brunell, the author of Babysitter: An American History, that is up on salondotcom today.
So much interesting history here, that I for one, didn't know:
[ "I was surprised that some girls even formed baby-sitting unions.
In the years right after the war ends, when the baby boom really begins to soar, parents are desperate for baby sitters. These baby sitters really have developed a sense of themselves as being workers. And they have a sense of what is acceptable to expect of a worker and what isn't.
In various parts of the country they begin to organize these informal unions. Girls get together to draw up a code in terms of what's the minimum wage, what can their employers expect of them. Basically identifying the do's and the don'ts.
The unions don't last. And one of the reasons is that that kind of worker solidarity, agency and empowerment is something squelched during the 1950s, in light of fears about communism, and replaced by notions of domesticity and femininity." ]
The comments by salondotcom readers reveal, as one of the letter writers observes, the same sort of gender bias that the book discusses.