Midterm #2 Answers

Midterm #2 Answers - 1. What happened to the feminist...

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1. What happened to the feminist movement between 1920 (woman suffrage achieved) and 1950? When the first wave of the women’s movement in the United States went into decline, after woman suffrage was won in 1921, feminism went into decline with it. By the 1950s, feminism had almost entirely disappeared, not only as an organized movement, but also as an ideology and a political and social sensibility. It wasn’t easy to form coalitions of women in the 1920s. Many former suffragists were exhausted. The League of Women Voters complained of a dearth of able women willing to become leaders of local chapters; only a small number of the members of the suffrage organizations that had successfully fought for the women’s suffrage amendment joined the League. The new Women’s Bureau in the Department of Labor was poorly funded, and it became primarily a fact-finding service, concerned with women’s employment. Its long-term head, Mary Anderson, came from the Women’s Trade Union League. She swung the important support of the Women’s Bureau behind the campaign for special legislation for women. 2. Describe the sexual revolution of the 1920s. The “Sexual Revolution” of the 1920s expanded women’s options and increased their freedom, but there were costs. Given the emphasis of the new sexuality on heterosexuality, limits were put on romantic behavior between women, and the Victorian approval of romantic friendships among women largely disappeared. Women still lived together in long-term arrangements, but the term “Boston marriage” to describe these relationships became quaint and out-of-date. Indeed, some historians contend that the sexual revolution of the 1920s enforced a “compulsory heterosexuality.” Moreover, the new sexuality for women challenged the beliefs of women’s rights advocates of the pre-World War I period about women’s moral superiority and their call for men to give up the sexual “double standard” for women’s “single standard.” Now it seemed that women were joining the sexual world of men. Freud’s ideas about sexuality were as constraining for women as they were liberating. For Freud believed that women were inevitably dissatisfied because of their desire for the male sex organ— Freud called this supposed desire “penis envy.” According to Freud, women could ultimately satisfy this longing only through motherhood—particularly through having a male child. Aside from undergarment ads, advertisers didn’t use nudity in advertisements. Skirts had been raised and sexual emancipation proclaimed, but to show the back of a woman’s leg was still considered risqué. Romance, not sex, was the magic promised by the fantasy world of advertising, while in the world of Hollywood films the word “it” became the euphemism for “sex” or “sexy.” 3. Compare the impact of World War I on women with the impact of World War II. During WWI women served the nation.
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This note was uploaded on 06/26/2009 for the course HIST 245gm taught by Professor Banner during the Spring '07 term at USC.

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Midterm #2 Answers - 1. What happened to the feminist...

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