Hist1302Paper.docx - The Working Woman The woman has always...

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The Working Woman The woman has always been the soul of the family. She is the one who keeps the household functioning. Whether it is cooking meals, cleaning or taking care of her husband and children, the woman makes it happen day in and day out. During the war the woman’s duties shifted from solely being in home to now being at home and in the workforce. For some this would be a small change while their husband was away but for others this would be the biggest and best change they could imagine. Before the war started, a woman’s role in society was to take care of home and their family while the man was meant to be the provider. These gender roles were very strict and meant to comply with society’s expectations (Women 1950s 1). It was not the least bit expected for women to work outside the home as this was meant only for the men and young women without husbands. The sole job of a woman before the war was to cook three meals a day to feed her children and husband, to make sure the house was clean, and to do her duties as a woman including sexual pleasures for her husband and the bearing of children. The war would change this standard and women would now be exposed to a new side of life. There were some women who jumped right into the workforce life, but some were not able to make this transition as easily as the others. As portrayed in the T.V. sitcom “I Love Lucy” some women met disaster as they attempted to enter the workforce (Women 1950s 1). All these women knew was what they had seen or been taught in life, which was to be a wife and uphold their wifely duties. Unfortunately, World War II would require these women to step out of their comfort zone and take care of the economy just as their husbands had done. With the draft of World War II, about 15 million men were sent to fight for the United States and this left many industrial and government jobs open for women to take over (Foner 879).
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Women now held the positions of housewives as well as the head of household. In 1957 70% of women held clerical and assembly line jobs while 6% of women held management positions (Stoneham 1). Married women now outnumbered the young and single women in the workforce (Foner 879). The soul of the family was now the soul of the economy.
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