Disney's Sexist Rejection Letter: No Girls Need Apply

When women today blithely reject the word feminist and take for granted rights that were hard won by their foremothers, it's valuable to have a document like this to remind them, yes, the world really was a very different place for females, and not, in historical terms, all that long ago. It reads, "Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen as that is performed entirely by young men….The only work open to women consists of tracing the characters on clear celluloid sheets with Indian ink and filling in the tracings on the reverse side with point according to directions…." If that weren't discouraging enough, it ends, "It would not be advisable to come to Hollywood with the above specifically in view, as there are really very few openings in comparison with the number of girls who apply."

Kevin Burg: FlickrKevin Burg: Flickr



Designer Kevin Burg found this job rejection letter sent to his grandmother, Mary Ford, in 1938 after she died and posted it on Flickr. He says she never ended up pursuing her artistic dream (big surprise), but told the Huffington Post U.K. that she "had a lifelong appreciation for art which she passed along to me. We don't have any examples of her work but I remember she would create beautiful sketches or doodles in a very 1940's or 1950's fashion illustration style." It's really a shame that instead of this sad document we don't have an example of her animation for Disney instead.