G.I. Jane: Women in the Marine Corp

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G.I. Joe, the white and brave American male soldier, was firmly the symbol of American freedom and patriotism during WWII. Meanwhile, women were encouraged to be nurses, mothers, and some were paraded around as tokens of “equality” like Rosie the Riveter and “Marinettes.” Now, the second World War has been pointed to as a turning point in women's rights. However, few Americans recognized the achievements of women and most even discouraged them. Because the many contributions of women during WWII went unnoticed, even today, Americans need to learn the sacrifices many women made while still being treated as less than a man. Only from these mistakes can the United States learn to recognize the women that serve this country on a daily basis. Before WWII, women knew their place. Carol Harris of BBC News says, “In the 1930s, social roles were clearly defined. A woman's place was in the home, a man's place was out at work. With the onset of war, everything changed”(8). While there were women in the workplace before WWII, their options were limited. With the absence of a large percentage of the young men, these options opened considerably. Despite the expansion of opportunities for women, women were still seen as disobeying social norms by working in factories or joining the Armed Forces. Even these limited options that provided women with opportunities were not available for the right reasons. The State Library of Victoria adds that, “Only the rising need for labor and the diminishing supply of manpower has forced this revolutionary adjustment”(10). Up until when the labor force desperately needed women, they received few opportunities and unequal pay. Even after many factories were forced to hire women workers they begrudgingly did... ... middle of paper ... ...r: Women Working During World War II." National Park Service Exhibit. National Park Service, n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. "Roles for Women in WWII." State Library of Victoria. State Library of Victoria, n.d. Web. 8 May 2014. Stamberg, Susan. "Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls." NPR. National Public Radio, n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. Stremlow, Mary V. "Marine Corps Women's Reserve." Women in Military Service for America. Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. Harris, Carol. "Women Under Fire in World War Two." BBC History. BBC UK, n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. Gumbrecht, Jamie. "Rediscovering WWII's Female 'computers'" CNN Tech. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. "Women of Steel." LIFE. LIFE Magazine, n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. "Partners in Winning the War." NWHM. The National Women's History Museum, 2007. Web. 14 May 2014.
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