However, some women joined the work force and would do jobs that men previously had held. Some were not forced to, but they had to work as hard as they could to support their families during this difficult time. In contrast, the writer Norman Cousins commented that there was a negative opinion on the women’s presence in the workforce despite women willing to acquire a living wage. He also stated in his book that the federal government proscribed holding government jobs by both members of a married couple, and many localities stopped hiring women whose husbands with a minimum wage (Cousins 1939). Another aspect of the Depression affecting life of women was the moral argument against working-women.
The war gave them the chance to work in a greater variety of jobs but most of these new jobs were lost at the end of the war. Fewer married women of all classes worked. In some cases, like teaching, they had to give up their jobs once they got married. But more working-class married women worked than women from other classes. In some parts of the country and in some occupations, such as the Lancashire textile mills, they were expected to carry on working after they married.
In the eighteenth century most children were not receiving the best education. Women were being undermined in these institutions and it forced them and their children to look for other alternatives. In Margaret’s case, the readers get a sense that their economic life was difficult. Her husband and daughter, Mabel had to go to work in factories in order to meet ends meet. This is a new beginning where women left their houses to go and find jobs, “Job opportunities for women were better in the United States, particularly Massachusetts, the cradle of industrialization in North America.” In Margaret’s case readers get an insight of the middle class and working class family.
Depending on the lower or upper level of the middle class, women were able to be work as school mistresses, or not work at all and only take care of the house. As upper class and middle class women had little advantages to their life, lower class women often had none. They were married to poor farmers, with no education and often had to work just as hard as their husbands, maybe even harder as they had a responsibility of taking care of the house and children. In some parts of the Western Europe, lower class women had to work in textile mills or various workhouses parted away from their families, working many, many hours. Double burden was also common at the beginning of 1900’s as women worked to earn money but also had the responsibility for unpaid, domestic labor.
Some women worked so long in the factories that they had to move closer to the factory. They got paid well, however men doing the same work as skilled women got paid more. That was not fair for the women. They struggled with discrimination, harassment, and physical pain from long hours and poor working conditions. Once the war was over and the men came home, the women had to give up their jobs and these hard-working women did not want to leave their jobs.
and go back to home and to have children, this would make them much happier. Some of the campaign encouraging women to return there jobs went to far for example “Leave it to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best”. Women’s rights changed but not as much as they wanted them to, as they wanted the same opportunities as the men were receiving. Women were increasingly unhappy with the burdens and the contradictions they faced. The were bombarded with the cultural message that said that good mothers and wives didn’t work and dedicated their lives to supporting their husbands and children, but at the same time they were increasingly forced to work to make ends
Women became “deputy husbands”. This meant that women, such as Mary Silliman, took over their husbands’ responsibilities including the up keep of the farm, either working on it themselves or hiring workers, keeping the family’s finances in order. It was found that that Mary “took pride in the discovery that she could cope unaided with the work of overseeing the farm chores, keeping the accounts, and dealing with household repairs...” On top of keeping those “husband” duties, Women also had to ensure that their family and home is safe if there was to be an invasion of their home. When there was a raid in a nearby town, Mary heard of this news and was on alert “She did not
Although before the Civil War, women rarely took a part in society, the war significantly changed women’s roles in many ways. Before the Civil War, women typically worked in and around their homes. The typical housewife would cook, clean and raise many children while the men worked. Many people typically did not promote women to branch out outside their homes, particularly stated by historian, Linda Miles Coppens that “Horace Man, president of Ohio’s new interracial and coeducational college publishes ‘A Few Thoughts on the Power and Duties of Women’ in New York. He warns women against vocations of preaching or politics, explaining that they can influence public opinion in their homes and communities.” They were strictly housewives and were destined to raise children.
Since most of the men were off fighting, the women were needed to stay home and run things so that the economy would not completely fall apart. Before the war, women mostly depended on men for financial support. But with so many men gone to battle and then dying, plenty of women had to go work to support themselves. They helped provide food and other supplies to the military, served as telephone operators, and worked as journalists. Some women went to work in factories while others worked as trolley car drivers.
They now share equal responsibilities in homecare and rasing the family. Slowly the gender roles that were previously set are melting away. Since the dawn of the feminist movement women have been able to accomplish what many thought impossible. But in our modern era woman now face other challenges, such as negative sexual attention. When a man is referred to as a ‘slut” it doesn’t associate to the actual definition used by society.