The 1950s Woman

analytical Essay
1170 words
1170 words

It is hard to believe that women only 60 years ago were still viewed and inferior to males and had little to no rights to protect themselves. When men returned from World War II some men resulted to domestically violate as a way of punishing his wife for something she did and to affirm dominance that he previously lost. Assaults that were inflicted on to women during the 1950s were seen being a part of male aggression and something that is normal. Women who did report the crime were viewed as being the actually perpetrators and the assault was actually their fault because they were unable to defend themselves. Domestic abuse during the 1950s was not considered as a crime but as a family matter, and law enforcement would not get involved. Since women were unable to defend themselves from abuse and assaults during the 1950s, the excuse that it was the woman’s fault was an excuse that was popularly used. During the 1950s there were no laws to protect battered women and assaults on women were not considered as a crime. Dorr (2008) explained that during a study that when women who were sexually assaulted that “neither [the boy] or the [investigators] termed [the assault as] rape” (Dorr, 2008, p. 35). Even though now it would be considered as rape back then laws and law enforcement did not see it as the man victimizing the woman. Only extreme cases went to courts and all others were seen as the norm. Similarly domestic abuse was considered as a private matter so police or courts did not get involved (, 2008 para. 20). When a man was abusing his wife it was normal and not viewed as a crime. It was seen as a way for a male to punish his wife for something she did wrong. To even solidify that domestic abuse wa... ... middle of paper ... ...and a sneer: the iconography of the 1950s biker and its translation abroad. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from Pill, the. People & events: mrs. America: women's roles in the 1950s. Retrieved January 25, 2014, from 1950s, the. (2010). Retrieved February 10, 2014, from website: Teenage life in the 1950’s. (2009). Retrieved February 14, 2014, from Rewind the Fifties website: Frigidaire refrigerator commercial 1950's. (n.d.). [Video file]. Retrieved from Vintage xerox sexist commercial (n.d.). [Video file]. Retrieved from

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how domestic abuse was seen in ads and media as a way of punishing the wife for something that she did wrong.
  • Explains that women who were sexually assaulted when dating rarely reported crime because of the idea of male aggression.
  • Explains that women were expected to stop men from 'going too far' but if they were unsuccessful, she was blamed for not doing so.
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