Women's Employment in the 1940s Essays

Women's Employment in the 1940s Essays

Length: 6013 words (17.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The 1940s provided a drastic change in women’s employment rates and society's view of women. With the end of the Depression and the United States’ entrance into World War II, the number of jobs available to women significantly increased. As men were being drafted into military service, the United States needed more workers to fill the jobs left vacant by men going to war. Women entered the workforce during World War II due to the economic need of the country. The use of Patriotic rhetoric in government propaganda initiated and encouraged women to change their role in society. Yet, at the end of the war, the same ideas that encouraged women to accept new roles had an averse affect on women, encouraging them to leave the workforce. The patriotism promoted by propaganda in the 1940s, encouraged Americans to support the war effort and reinforced the existing patriarchal society. Propaganda's use of patriotism not only increased loyalty to America during the war, but also, increased loyalty to the traditional American patriarchal values held in society.

Many factors affected the changes in women’s employment. The change that occurred went through three major phases: the prewar period in the early 1940s, the war years from 1942-1944, and the post war years from around 1945-1949. The labor shortage that occurred as men entered the military propelled a large increase in women’s entrance into employment during the war. Men's return to the civilian workforce at the end of the war caused the sudden drop to prewar levels. The cause of the sudden decline during post war years of women in the paid workforce is unclear. Many questions are left unanswered: What brought women into the war industry, ...

... middle of paper ...

...ck, Sherna Berger. Rosie the Riveter Revisited. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987

Hartmann, Susan M. The Home Front and Beyond: American women in the 1940s. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1982

Honey, Maureen. Creating Rosie the Riveter. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1984

Koussoudji, Sherrie A. and Laura J. Dresser. “Working class Rosies: Women Industrial Workers During World War II” The Journal of Economic History 51.2 (June 1992): 431-446

Meyerowitz, Joanne. “Beyond the Feminine Mystique: A Reassessment of Postwar Mass Culture, 1946-1958” The Journal of American History (March 1993): 1455-1482

Mies, Maria. Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale. New York: St Martin’s P, 1998

Nichols, Nancy A. Reach for the Top. Boston: Presidents and Fellows of Harvard, 1994

Williams, Raymond. Keywords. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Role and Status of Women in the 1940s and 1950s

- The Role and Status of Women in the 1940s and 1950s After the First World War women had gained a huge step towards having equality with men. In 1918 married women over the age of 30 were given the right to vote. During the war women had proved themselves as capable as men, not only as nurses near the front lines working in very dangerous positions but also back in Britain working to help the war effort in jobs that before the war they could never have even had a chance of getting....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
909 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about Women During The 1950s And Early 1950s

- During the late 1930s and early 1940s women roles were changing with the war happening. Women were kept at home doing housework, taking care of the children and husbands. When the First World War came, society started seeing women come out and work. By the end of the war women were put back into their homes and back again doing housework. Once the Second World War came along women went back to work to help out their solider husbands. Most women liked the changes and some did not. This change also sparked many arguments whether women should be allowed to work....   [tags: World War II, World War I, Clothing]

Powerful Essays
1847 words (5.3 pages)

Women During The 21st Century Essay

- Another popular daytime show was the homemaking shows. These shows covered an array of topics of homemaking issues in order to help housewives and encourage them to become interested in homemaking because millions of women left wartime employment to become full-time wives and mothers. Elain Tyler May noted in What Women Watched that as postwar women “came to accept their domestic role as the center of their identity, they sought to turn homemaking and motherhood into vocations” (Chapter 6, pg. 134)....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, World War II, Woman]

Powerful Essays
1828 words (5.2 pages)

The First Wave Of Feminism Essay

- It is a common belief that feminism has come in waves. The first wave of feminism began with the women’s suffrage movement in the 1800s. The second wave came with the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 60s and 70s. Currently, we are at the center of the third wave of feminism. One would hope that with each wave the feminist movement would have evolved, but has it. The American suffrage movement officially commenced at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. One of the figureheads of the movement was and still is Elizabeth Cady Stanton....   [tags: Feminism, Women's suffrage, Gender role]

Powerful Essays
1456 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about Employment Laws And Employment Law

- What is Employment Law: Employment law (EL) is the body of law which oversees the relationship between employers and their employees. Employment law is a broad field but key elements of employment law are the employment rights which are instructed upon both the employee and the employer. The Employment Law covers key elements such as Pay, Discrimination, Equality, Employment rights, responsibilities, health and safety etc. Overview: Employment law (EL) has been changed significantly and has brought changes since it came into force, It’s still very complex but good effort has been made to make the law pretentious and easier for employers and employees to understand their rights....   [tags: Discrimination, Sexism, Employment, Gender]

Powerful Essays
2064 words (5.9 pages)

Discrimination Laws Against Women 's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

- According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission it is unlawful to discriminate against a person based on their gender (U.S EEOC) However, there are many cases around the world that deal with anti-discrimination laws against ones gender Anti-discrimination laws are put in place to make sure people are being treated equally in the workplace Almost every employee is subjected to protection under a lot of federal employment and anti-discrimination laws Also, some state laws may vary greatly depending on their employers and the protections provided to employees However, there are company’s out there who do not follow these laws Even though, these laws are required to be followe...   [tags: Discrimination, Employment]

Powerful Essays
1232 words (3.5 pages)

War Meets Girl: The Roles, Responsibilities and Difficulties of England's Women in World War II

- ... It was not just the military where a woman’s help was needed. There were many organizations through which a woman could help the war effort. The National Federation of Women’s Institutes, the Women’s Mutual Service Clubs, the Women’s Land Army and the Women’s Electrical Association were all examples of organizations that women from all walks of life could join (Schofield 74-77). The largest organization for women was most likely the Women’s Voluntary Service, later the Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence....   [tags: female military involvement]

Powerful Essays
1795 words (5.1 pages)

Ethical Issues And Employment Law Essay

- Ethical issues and Employment Law As an organization develops their testing and hiring process, it is vital for the company to make their employee selection decisions, based on meaningful and relevant information to job applicants, and the position they are applying for. As organizations test applicants, they must choose tests that are reliable and valid so they can learn as much about the applicant as they possibly can. Once managers select the minimum criteria for the position they wish to fill, they must ensure the test(s), are fair and unbiased in considering race, gender, cultural differences, and disabilities of the applicant....   [tags: Employment]

Powerful Essays
1018 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Gender and Employment

- Introduction of Social Problem The problem I am writing this research paper is on the subject about gender and employment. Does a person’s gender really affect their outcome within a job. They answer is yes. I thought that in today’s day and age we would not see a problem with a woman working a male’s job or a male working a female job. Such things as occupations, wages, sex segregation and gender typing with the workplace. This topic would be a social conflict due to the strain between male and female within the workforce....   [tags: inequality, wages, workforce, women, workplace]

Powerful Essays
1177 words (3.4 pages)

Comparing the Daily Lives of African American Women in the 1940s and Today

- Comparing the Daily Lives of African American Women in the 1940s and Today For much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in America, Black women were an after-thought in our nation's history. They were the mammies and maids, the cooks and caregivers, the universal shoulder to cry on in times of trouble. Often overlooked and undervalued, Black women were just ... there. African American women have come a long way. In the 1940s, women were treated as second-class citizens and Blacks faced discrimination everywhere they looked....   [tags: Papers History Blacks Essays]

Powerful Essays
3838 words (11 pages)