What Are Gender Roles In The 1920's

Great Essays
The United States, during the years 1920-1945, was not merely divided by race, religion, and social class, but also, it was divided by “racially gendered roles and expectations.” During this time, there were many fluctuations in gender related views. At one point, women were gaining a small taste of “independence” in the 1920’s, but hidden gender discrimination quickly masked their independence during the time of the Great Depression and World War II. An excerpt from Modern Woman: The Lost Sex, written by Farnham and Ferdinand Lundberg in 1947, perfectly depicts the inequitable gender roles placed on women, during this period, in comparison to men. No matter how much support for equality the women received (e.g. National Woman Suffrage …show more content…
The armed forces took about 16 million men, which forced the defense industry to look elsewhere for workers: women, African Americans, Mexican Americans and poor whites. At first, women were deemed unsuitable for industrial jobs, but the employment shortages changed their minds. As depicted in the movie The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, women were needed to fill in the work that the men were doing before they were sent off to war. It was a time when women were given the opportunity to disprove the traditional norm that women only belonged at home. The number of women in the workplace increased by 57 percent, but only 16 percent worked in defense plants and only 4.4 percent had “skilled” jobs. In the movie, all women were represented as necessities for the well-being of America. However, they were portrayed as only having the desire to work during the time their husbands were away when in actuality they were happy to have been given the opportunity to work compared to previous years. Yet even through their hard work, women were not respected outside of the workplace. Women worked harder than they had ever done before, yet people accused them of neglecting their children as they went to work in the defense factories. Unfortunately once the war ended, women were laid off from their jobs as if they were unimportant in such a position and they were forced back into their expected place at

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Women had obtained just the right to vote in 1920, but they still struggled for basic rights. Then the Great Depression hit with women being the last one hired and first one fired. Women often had stereotypical jobs, like teachers and nurses. Their income was also much smaller than their male counterpart. Colored women had the largest endeavor trying to receive respect in the workplace.…

    • 1301 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The article “Working Women” says that “Only one tenth of married women worked.” “The percent rose from 11.7 to 15.2 in 1940 of married women who worked.” (Working Women). It was very hard for women to have a job while the household chores were already hard on them. “Married women who worked faced particular hostilities” (Working Women). The men thought it was not right for the women to be working because it is usually a man’s job to take care of the money in the family. The article “Working Women” also stated that ”The Depression caused women’s wages to drop even lower, so that many women could not meet basic expenses.” “Women with physically able husbands would not qualify, since men were considered the head of the households, even if they were unable to find jobs.” It was very hard for households to get by the family members were unable to work.…

    • 862 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Women have been victims of prejudice in the workplace, and have been regarded as less valuable than men. In the past, women had worked in the household to take care of their families. Eventually, women slowly began to join the workforce however were never taken seriously by their male employers. The wage gap also demonstrates the discrimination against women, and demands that they work overtime just to compete with their male counterparts. Lastly, women have trouble being hired as much as men, and when they are hired, they have difficulty obtaining promotions.…

    • 1282 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The United State did not have enough male soldiers to defend an entire country. During their efforts recruiting Women into the work force, they started using Rosie the Riveter as a character to show how women were strong and how they could work in factories. “Rosie was the modern factory girl – a woman who could effortlessly bridge the gap between masculine and feminine” (Hawkes). Although women were encourage to work, not all of them wanted to work even with the county’s propaganda. Women were adapted to staying home and the industry field was totally different than their work at home.…

    • 1635 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    For thousands of years, it was almost unheard of for a woman to be working in a factory, and even more unlikely for women to be working anywhere near the front line. However, feminine jobs still existed in the first world war. General john pershing requested applicants had to be single, in excellent physical condition, speak fluent french, and have a college education. Yet still these women worked close to the front line, which made men uncomfortable. The girls were named the ‘Hello Girls’ because every time they picked up the phone, the first thing they said was “hello?”.…

    • 1022 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    During this period, women were discriminated in the workplaces as men held on to available jobs to enable them to feed their families. Women who got pregnant in the course of work lost their jobs. Abortion cases soared during this time. Most women were not able to acquire insurance for their…

    • 1862 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    There is a book name “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg, which discussed about gender being in the workplace. Critics’ criticized about how Sandberg was urging women to adapt to the damaged system instead of demanding corporate America adjust to women’s needs. For Sandberg cynics is that business leaders across America are busy building a feminist workplace that allows women to thrive in their careers without having be involved too much. One of the biggest problems is employers not seeing women as individuals. Due to many companies not listening to their female employees, they left and started their own companies.…

    • 1190 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s focused on disassembling the workplace in inequality, such as denying women access to better jobs and salaries. Even a women’s private life was controlled. She was not able to have equality in their relationships, sexuality, birth control and abortion (Norton, Mary Beth and Alexandra, Ruth M. Page 201-227). Women lived very restricted lives that they felt that something had to be done. Gloria Steinem and Germaine Greet attracted the media’s attention through both of their popular writings and their appealing image.…

    • 1075 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Women's Jobs In The 1920s

    • 1593 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Women were needed to yet again going to workforce due to lack of males. Persuaded by wartime propaganda and patriotism, women joined the workforce again. The government went out of their way to persuade women into the workforce. They created multiple campaigns to boost women in the workplace such as “Rosie the Riveter,” which is now a famous icon and feminists symbol. According to the Metropolitan State University of Denver, “the percentage of married women working outside the home increased from 13.9 to 22.5.” and about half of them worked in defense…

    • 1593 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Directly after the war, when many of the men had come back to claim their original jobs, many women were left with very little to do. “I cannot attempt to describe what it now felt like, trying to get accustomed to a woman 's life and a woman 's clothes again… Turning from a woman to a private soldier proved nothing compared with turning back from soldier to ordinary woman. (It was) like losing everything at one fell swoop, and trying to find bearings again in another life and an entirely different world” This quote is an account of what life after the war was like for women, especially for those working in the munitions factories, who made more money than they would make anywhere else. Having to go from that to not working at all proved…

    • 1328 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays