“The Evolution of Women in Society”
Throughout United States history oppression of people has always been prominent, whether through African American’s and segregation or Asian American’s during the Vietnam War. What is often ignored is our history of the oppression of women. No matter what time in history, there is always a case to be found of the discrimination over gender. Many people know of how African American’s came into freedom and the long perilous road it took, but few know the struggles, changes and hardships that women have perceived to get where they are today. As the civil war halted and industrialization and urbanization came into play, the role of women changed dramatically and their status in the society in the aspects of employment, equal-rights, and in the home.
Women entered the work force suddenly and abruptly. With the advent of typewriters, clerical work, and assembly lines, women were looked for more and more to fill labor positions. Although the typewriter was not responsible for the employment of women as clerical workers its existence probably facilitated or eased the entrance of women into offices (Binder 68). Also expansions in industrial and retail sectors saw women employment in clerical jobs skyrocket. In 1920, the amount of women in clerical work was over 12 times that in 1880 (Norton 341). Some women were getting supervising jobs but they posed no threat to male managers (Norton 341). Problems with factory jobs occurred because of the influx of cheap women and child labor. Employers began to hire more and more people, overcrowding factories. One such occurrence that showed the hazardous work conditions that they were put through was at the Triangle Waist Company. Workers were leaving a days work when a fire broke out, and they found themselves trapped inside with windows and fire escapes rusted shut. As the fire spread some began to jump from the nine-story building. By the time it was over, 146 workers had dies, most of them young Jewish women (Binder 84).
Through reconstruction women began to receive rights they truly deserved. Conventions broadened women’s rights in property holding and divorce (Norton 309). The women would end up keeping land through a divorce. The goal was not to make men and women equal though, it was to free the debtor, usually the male, from obligations. On the other hand discrimination was still prominent as shown in 1872 when Myra Bradwell,...