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Babysitters united: sofa solidarity.

On a quest for equal rights, many American babysitters informally unionized in the late 1940s. Some demanded extra pay for working late at night, according to Babysitter: An American History (New York University Press), by Miriam Forman-Brunell. Sitters in West Branch, Michigan, demanded an extra 15 cents for washing dishes. In Leonia, New Jersey, babysitters demanded "adequate heat."

But unionization couldn't solve all problems. "Little children are bothersome beings that have to be waited on hand and foot, who are generally around when not wanted, and who are, all in all, a nuisance," one girl later wrote of her inaugural experience as a babysitter. Her name was Sylvia Plath.

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Author:Bates, Stephen
Publication:The Wilson Quarterly
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2010
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