The Weaker Sex : Gender Discrimination During World War II Essay

819 Words May 4th, 2015 4 Pages
The Weaker Sex: Gender Discrimination in World War II

“[G]ender subordination and patriarchy are the oldest of oppressions” (Shiva 184). Over the years, women have been oppressed, discriminated against, and suppressed by their male counterparts. It took years for women to gain any type of rights across the globe and women are still struggling for gender equality today. We live in a patriarchal society and most societies in the present and the past are also patriarchal, as a consequence of this, women are lower on the proverbial totem pole. However; an important time in history is during World War II when women, for the first time in Western history, were allowed to join the military on a large scale. Unlike during World War I, women in World War II were doing more than just aiding the war effort as nurses and clerks, they were actively participating in the military and widely encouraged to volunteer. They were breaking gender roles across the western universe (in the United States and Great Britain particularly) and ignoring the passive roles placed upon them by society.
Women from all types of backgrounds joined the war, more or less, as equals amongst each other. Mothers, singers, noblewomen, poor women, all joined the military during this time to either become pilots or radio operators or took on other various roles to support the war effort (Cornelsen 116). These are women who, under normal circumstances, would not have met in their daily lives came together for a…

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