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Women's Changing Roles: 1950 1960 Essay

3001 words - 12 pages

The Transition of Women from Housewife to Feminists

Table of Contents
Introduction -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 3
Women of 1950s -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 3
Women Strike for Peace -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 4
The Feminine Mystique------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 5
Conclusion -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Page 9
Biliography -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 10


Introduction
The depression in the 1930s and United States’ entry into World War II brought the new wave of nationalism. As the American women began to participate in the industries by taking jobs in factories and offices, new ideas of liberty and independence began to emerge. Women started to question what they should and could do. As the sense of dissatisfaction among women grew rapidly, feminists became active in fighting against the sex discrimination in all areas of society. Ultimately, the release of The Feminine Mystique in the early 1960, Betty Friedan’s work revealing women’s grievance toward their “perfect family life” caught attention of women across the country. The ideology of perfect housewife began to shift as the American women began to seek for the meaning of their marriages and their position in society, which led to the cultural shift towards feminism in the 1960s.
Women in 1950s
The American society in the 1950s was mainly based on family that the roles of male and female were stereotyped. During this period, women were expected to stay home and run their households, while men were expected to work and to support the family financially. However, World War II disrupted this ideology of gender roles in American society. Women were encouraged to work in industries because workers were greatly needed during WWII as the men went to war. Women discovered that they were able to work as well as men and could be self-efficient without the help of men. In other words, WWII infused women with the idea of independence that they had never known before.
After World War II, with the men returning home and taking their jobs back, women’s roles were changed again. After the long fight, men wanted their women to return to the ideal women, whom they were familiar before they had gone to war. Thus, women were forced to return to their housewife veneer even though they became involved in the work force and had proven that they were capable to accomplish “men’s work”. The American society did not acknowledged the ability and potential of women, so the WWII did not create a real evolution in women roles. However, it contributed to the dissatisfaction of women during that time. Many of the women refused to return...

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