Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Thanks for adding your perspective, Annie! I need to dig deeper and look at the studies showing how men treated the women who negotiated worse than the non-"pushy" women. I'd be interested to seeing what the men thought about it. Did they realize, when confronted, what they had done? Were they oblivious to their reaction, or did they justify it in some way?

I think much (certainly not all, but much) of the remaining racial and gender discrimination is along these lines, as you put it, "an invisible but potent homeopathic dilution in water." Addressing that type of discrimination requires, I think, much more finely calibrated tools than the blunt force needed back in the 50s and 60s. Times have changed, attitudes have changed, but we're still only left with the relatively blunt tools of the various civil rights acts. I'm not saying those tools need to go away (among other things, there still is some of the old-school discrimination and bigotry out there), but we need some new ones that will be more effective on the nature of today's problems.

amba (Annie Gottlieb)

And, it may be necessary just to wait. These things peel off in layers with successive generations. If young men are an indication, eventually a majority of men will agree with what I quoted near the end of this post.


The other problem with the theory that women get paid less because they don't negotiate is that there are lots of men who don't negotiate either. And still get paid very well. I know because I'm one of them.

In my previous job, I started at NO increase in pay over the job before. (Because I was intent on getting out.) I negotiated, or even talked about pay with my boss, only to the extent that once a year I would be told how big a raise I was getting. Over the course of 8 years, my pay went up by a total of 50%, and was well into 6 figure before I was half way thru. (Admittedly, this was a job in data processing during the doc com boom. So general pay levels in the industry, even for those of us who weren't in an internet company, were going up.)

I have no idea whether the women at the company who were in comparable positions were getting paid the same, or getting paid substantially less. But I sure wasn't getting ahead economically because of my negotiating skills or inclinations!


Annie, on the whole I think you are correct, but I also think we need to be doing something, as a society (not necessarily government, mind you) to steer us in that direction, culturally. If you look at many of the images presented to our young women and young men today (as I know you have), you see that there's a lot of young people growing up with relatively little exposure to that more modern mind-set.

I think that many of the people promoting the agenda of racial and gender equality are still stuck in the old days, relying on the same tools to fix a new and different problem. I want to see them redirect their energies. Rather than suing companies and denouncing folks as bigots and chauvinists, I'd like to see them putting more pressure on the entertainment industry and focusing much more on education about these subtle factors rather than bludgeoning the "evil-doers" into submission.

amba (Annie Gottlieb)

Good point.

On that score, I get crazy because (as usual) there are only two official points of view being promulgated, and neither seems true to me. "Men and women are the same except for a few bodily details and all significant differences are cultural conditioning." vs "Men and women are biologically completely different in mentality and purpose, etc."

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