The reason that women were not accepted into many professions was that traditionally they were supposed to marry young and start bearing children. This expectation kept them from going to school and studying to become doctors or lawyers. It also kept women at home doing domestic work and caring for children rather than working outside the home. There was a large increase of working women in 1917 when the U.S. entered World War I (“Women of the Century”). Unfortunately, once the war ended in 1918 many women left their jobs and returned to domestic work, where they stayed for years after.
One of the biggest roles of women in the second world war was working war factories. these were regular factories that had been converted to help the war effort. For example instead of making cars they would make tanks or instead of clothing the factory would make uniforms. Before the war started these factories were generally staffed by men but now most men were drafted into the military leaving tons of available factory jobs open for the taking. Women jumped at the chance to fill these positions, bring in some extra spending money, and support their family, country, and the feminist rights movement.
That being said, Rosie the Riveter became the most important advertisement for the production of materials for the war materials (A&E Television Networks). As more women joined the working class, the press strived to persuade them that they could do the work typically regarded as a man’s job and still be considered feminine(A&E Television Networks). It may seem like a silly idea, but women were still overall regarded as the weaker sex. Until World War II, they had not yet had the chance to prove themselves to society. Not only did the United States Government draft a Rosie the Riveter poster, though.
Gregory, Chester W. Women in Defense Work during World War II; an Analysis of the Labor Problem and Women's Rights. New York: Exposition, 1974. Print. Hartmann, Susan M. The Home Front and Beyond: American Women in the 1940s. Boston: Twayne, 1982.
Women also realized that they enjoyed this taste of freedom and wanted to continue this lifestyle even after the war. World War II sparked the women’s movement, as the major role they played and the contributions they made helped to change the way women were viewed by society and create new opportunities for them. Before World War II, the role of a woman was to be a wife and mother. Most jobs were reserved for men and some states prohibited married women from even having certain jobs. There was extreme sexism that women didn’t even take note of.
Washington D.C.: Library of Congress, 1995. Print. McEuen, Melissa A. Making War, Making Women: Femininity and Duty on the American Home Front, 1941-1945. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011.
Ho... ... middle of paper ... ...ov/rori/index.htm, 2011 Santoro, Gene., Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII. 2011, Volume 25 Issue 6, p.70, Accession Number: 58110946 Siebel, Julia M., Remembering the Riveter. Organization of American Historians. OAH Newsletter, p. 15. 2005 Sorensen, Aja, Rosie the Riveter: Women Working during World War II.
The increasing responsibilities women had to perform helped pave the way for acceptance in the military. Women proved they where able to perform the duties of there male peers and this helped open the doors to serving in the military. Women began to be an accepted part of the military after the Army Nurse Corps was established in 1901, but they often played important roles all the way back to the American Revolution. One very memorable woman that played a role in the American Revolutionary War was Deborah Sampson. She entered the Continental Army dres... ... middle of paper ... ... with more acceptance by their male peers.
As the war progressed the number of male workers declined dramatically. Society had no choice but to turn to the mothers, sisters, and daughters of our nation for help. The results for each woman varied but the nation was to be forever changed in how it looked at women in the work force. Although employment opportunities after the war were significantly reduced for women due to the return of the male soldiers, the effort and abilities women displayed during these difficult times had far reaching effects. Women's actions in small communities like the Hunter Chemical Plant in Huntsville, Alabama and Bridge and Steel Industrial Plant in Mt Vernon, Ohio changed the way men viewed their physical abilities.