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23 - to revive a feeling of warmth and security at home The...

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Rachel Waguespack, October 23, 2009 U.S. History after 1865, MW 9-10 In what ways did the Great Depression promote independent womanhood as well as traditional gender roles? How could these ideas be held at the same time? The role of women in the household was greatly influenced by the Great Depression period. Vice President Richard Nixon had a large hand in promoting the image of the female homemaker, particularly after his famed “kitchen debate” with Soviet Nikita Khrushchev. The exhibition of the American “model” home exemplified the American ideals of free enterprise, and included the introduction of electronic appliances to ease the life of homemakers. Nixon and Khrushchev argued between the “capitalist attitude toward women” and the Soviet attitude of subservience. Mainly, this brought to light the centrality of female sexuality in the dream lifestyle. The Cold War caused difficulties with the economy and overall morale, but embracing domesticity helped
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Unformatted text preview: to revive a feeling of warmth and security at home. The image of homemaker and the institution of marriage instilled a sense of responsibility in women, who embraced their new role. The depression did, however, create a need for some women to take an additional job as well to supplement the family income. Somehow, the Great Depression managed to promote two completely different ideals of womanhood simultaneously: that of female independence and that of the traditional female gender role. I believe this was made possible because the idea of domesticity was treasured as a security blanket during this economically trying time, so the woman’s role in the home lent them a sense of importance and responsibility they did not have otherwise. There were also some new opportunities for women to branch out in industry but this was less popular unless needed for family support. Overall, the significance of women in daily life was hugely emphasized during this period....
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23 - to revive a feeling of warmth and security at home The...

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