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5 things about this Woman A Crazy Mom Hippie Sunflower 3D Hoodie
Humor and hope: My dad directed ‘M*A*S*H’ — his optimism is what America needs right now 5 things about this Woman A Crazy Mom Hippie Sunflower 3D Hoodie
More context: In 1950, less than one-fifth of American homes even contained a TV. Full-scale commercial TV broadcasting had taken flight only a few years before my mom took the job of top dog on a set populated mostly by men, and a few seasons before that she had been powering through fragile ingenue roles as an aspiring actress in summer stock.
Furthermore, overall, the share of women in the workforce in 1950 was only 34% (compared with 60% in 2000). Women mostly worked — at low wages — as teachers, secretaries and domestic helpers — and popular culture prized an M.R.S. Degree, not an upper-management position telling men what to do and how to do it.
“I think it’s pretty safe to say that men aren’t crazy about taking orders from women,” Mom told CUE, who referred to her as “a girl,” in 1952, “and I knew that was a hurdle I’d have to leap.” She spoke of being “scared silly” before her first meeting with “Treasury Men in Action’s” male technical director, a veteran craftsman: “I was frightened about what he might think of an upstart like me coming into the picture. For days I wondered how to conduct myself. … Should I be gay, charming, wistful, humble? I just didn’t know. I finally decided to be as businesslike as I knew how. It worked out fine.” Daphne Elliott, third from left, on set in the 1950s. (Photo: Family handout)
My mother likewise facilely overcame sexist perceptions on “Treasury Men.” The crime show’s advertisers feared that, under her hand, it might “take on a feminine flavor.” While no fan of gratuitous violence, Mom recalled that in her first script, “one character shot himself and another got beat up three times on camera. When it was over, the agency’s only complaint was that my treatment was too brutal.”