Media Portrayal of Gender and Cultural Stereotypes During World War II and Current Times

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When you think of American history, do you think of war, slavery, or segregation? Something that these have in common is gender equality. Gender equality is something that has been an issue in America since the first day it was inhabited. This is a problem in America. A more particular time period would be, World War II. During this time, women were being used to do men’s jobs and duties but, they still had to have a feminine aspect to them. While most men were at war, the women picked up jobs playing baseball, and working in factories to build the necessary items for war and daily living. During World War II, it was necessary for women to work. The government statistics prove this: In December 1941, the government conscripted single women aged 20-30 as auxiliaries to the Armed Forces, Civil Defense, or war industries… Government figures show that women’s employment increased during the Second World War from about 5.1 million in 1939 (26%) to just over 7.25 million in 1943 (36% of all women of working age). Forty six percent of all women aged between 14 and 59, and 90% of all able-bodied single women between the ages of 18 and 40 were engaged in some form of work or National Service by September 1943. (Anitha) A woman in the workplace was common but they did not receive the pay they deserved. Often, a woman’s job was the same as the previous male, but they did these jobs for 53% of the male’s pay. (Tolman) Eventually many woman and men went on strike demanding equal pay. Miss Representation is a documentary based on women in the media and how the media has affected women today. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” This quote is from Alice Walker, a female, who realized that they e... ... middle of paper ... ...a: Vandamere Press, 1998. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. Kesler, Jennifer. "A League of Their Own." The Hathor Legacy. N.p., 26 Sept. 2008. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. A League of Their Own. Dir. Penny Marshall. Perf. Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, Lori Petty. Columbia Pictures, 1992. DVD. Miss Representation. Dir. Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Perf. Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow. Girls Club Entertainment, 2011. DVD. Smith, Jeff, and Chloe Beighley. "Normalizing Male Dominance: Gender Representation in 2012 Films." Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy. N.p., 12 Feb. 2013. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. Tolman, Steven A. "1941 Women Take Over Factory Work during World War II." Massachusetts AFL-CIO. Prometheus Labor Communications, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. "Women in WWII at a Glance." The National WWII Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2014.

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