How was the perception of women changed throughout the Second World War?
World War Two (WW2) broke out in 1939 and would have great effect on the Australian Home Front. The impact was particularly felt by women and their role in society changed to a significant extent. These changes are clearly evident from many factors that took place during the course of the war although, the most significant changes were due to the introduction of women to the predominantly male orientated workforce, fashion change and restrictions and the ‘friendly invasion’ of the American troops. Through identifying these changes it is clear to see how the role and perception of Australian women was completely changed.
Women in the workforce are commonly
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Discussing the change in women's perception and role in society would not properly be conveyed without mention of the American soldiers, and the impact they had on Australian society. With Australian troops fighting alongside Britain in Europe Australia called in the American troops to help defend the Japanese from invading. As Australian troops had already been at war for two years prior to the americans arrival, the abundance of single american soldiers caused a dramatic change. Head of History at Southern Queensland University, Dr L. Connors states “Due to the sheer weight of numbers made it inevitable that marriages would crumble, families would fall apart, customs alter and old prejudices be challenged”(1992,p.140). The Americans brought new traditions and were very different to the Australian men. Connors also states “ The Australian women were surprised at their unfamiliar concern with personal appearance and cleanliness, different attitudes towards women, new flattering courtship rituals and different expectations about male female relations”(1992,p.146). As well as this Connors conveys “The American men were clean smelt good, had nice teeth, clothes were starched and smelt good as they used aftershave lotion which Australians hadn’t heard of before”(1992,p147). Not only this but the Americans had a better lifestyle. Professor of Modern history Lewis states “ The American troops were better paid, had access to customer