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The Lack of Women's role in society in the 1950s Essay

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Due to the idealization of domesticity in media, there was a significantly stagnant period of time for women’s rights between 1945 and 1959. Women took over the roles for men in the workplace who were fighting abroad during the early 1940s, and a strong, feminist movement rose in the 1960s. However, in between these time periods, there was a time in which women returned to the home, focusing their attention to taking care of the children and waiting on their husband’s every need. This was perpetuated due to the increasing popularity of media’s involvement in the lives of housewives, such as the increasing sales of televisions and the increase in the number of sexist toys.
During America’s involvement in World War Two, which spanned from 1941 until 1945, many men went off to fight overseas. This left a gap in the defense plants that built wartime materials, such as tanks and other machines for battle. As a result, women began to enter the workforce at astonishing rates, filling the roles left behind by the men. As stated by Cynthia Harrison, “By March of [1944], almost one-third of all women over the age of fourteen were in the labor force, and the numbers of women in industry had increased almost 500 percent. For the first time in history, women were in the exact same place as their male counterparts had been, even working the same jobs. The women were not dependent upon men, as the men were overseas and far from influence upon their wives.
However, when the war was over, and the men returned to their lives, society reverted back to as it had been not before the 1940s, but well before the 1900s. Women were expected to do nothing but please their husband. Women were not meant to have jobs or worry about anything that was occurrin...


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...it was useful to see what information women were being given at the time.
YouTube, "Top Ten I Love Lucy Episodes," YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QEh5vZj0rs (accessed May 23, 2014).
This video allowed for large themes of I Love Lucy, which was the top TV show on at the time, to be recognized, and it gave a view of television programs at the time.
YouTube, "Ward Cleaver Teaches Walley About A Woman's Place," YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpoVsRanrcc (accessed May 25, 2014).
This film, which is from a television episode of Leave It To Beaver, directly states that “A woman’s place is in the home”, which was a belief held by many men and some women at the time. This was an influential show at the time, and this scene was informational in showing what not only women, but men and children, were being shown about gender roles in society at the time.



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