U.S.—As part of her campaign, Elizabeth Warren has begun sharing stories illustrating the hardship and discrimination she’s faced. Recently, she revealed a particularly tough time back in the early '70s when she lost a teaching job because her fake mustache had fallen off, revealing she was, in fact, a woman. Warren declared it a pivotal incident that shaped much of her life.
“It was tough for a woman back then,” Warren said at a campaign stop. “You had to wear fake facial hair and talk in a deep voice, or people would fire you.” Warren then detailed an incident from back when she was 22 years old and holding a teaching position. Somehow the spirit gum wore off, and her mustache fell off in the middle of a meeting. She was met with cries of “That’s a woman!” before being chased out of the building followed by shouts of “Jobs are for men!”
Some right-wing news outlets have disputed the story, citing a 2007 interview in which Warren talked about losing the job. In it, she mentions problems with a teaching certificate but nothing about fake facial hair. Still, others have backed up Warren, saying it was very common for women to lose jobs in the '70s when a fake mustache or beard or other disguise failed, revealing the employee’s actual gender.
Warren says things have improved for women since, but they could still be better. To help the situation, she announced a plan to fund R&D for an adhesive that will easily keep mustaches in place all day.