What Is The Role Of Women In The 1930s

962 Words 4 Pages
At the beginning of the twentieth century, women were outsiders to the formal structures of American life—such as holding elective office—and they were subject to wide-ranging discrimination that marked them as secondary citizens. However, with the Great Depression began a period of substantial social change. Cleveland State University (CSU) conducted a series of interviews with women who remembered the Great Depression. These recordings show that due to their greater labor-force participation in the 1930s, women gained a greater political and social voice, and thus moved dramatically (though still not equally) into all aspects of public life, including politics and popular culture.
Women in the 1930s were doing the jobs they had traditionally
…show more content…
The social and cultural conventions of the 1930’s defined work with metal and machines as male work. No man would work as a housekeeper or as a private duty nurse, just as no woman could get a job as a construction worker or airline pilot. Though women working during the Depression were thought to be taking men’s jobs, in reality, women were entering the work force only in the traditionally female employment sectors. Thus, equal opportunity employment progress was slowed because women were not allowed entry into the "male professions". According to Helen, all supervision of “the machines in case something went wrong … and … bring[ing] the material for the machine...” was designated as male work. Thus, women’s changing roles as breadwinners came with the price of holding occupations that reinforced traditional stereotypes of what constituted women’s work (light …show more content…
Furthermore the hard times of the Depression worked to reinforce traditional gender roles, not defeat them. Nevertheless, women still managed to increase their own political and social influence during this period. The women’s Depression-era contributions like the preservation of culture, greater participation in the labor force, and financial contributions to the family, all may have helped lay the foundation for the feminist movement of the 1960s through

Related Documents