History, Politics & Society
History of the United States
WW2 Homefront
Decade - 1950s

What are the arguments for why the traditional role of women taking care of the home should change?

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2005-12-01 01:24:19
2005-12-01 01:24:19

Well, first of all, there is some debate about whether or not the traditional role of women has been caring for the home. Many historians point out that for most of history, men hunted and women gathered, and there was no such thing as a homemaker. Even during the early days of our nation's history, women worked on the farm planting and harvesting along with men. Some would argue that the Betty Crocker, Donna Reed view of women as primarily housewives was a social construct of the 1950s. During World War II, many women took jobs in factories and business so the men could fight in the war. Without women, there would have been no mail delivery or retail business, for example. When the men returned, some women were reluctant to give up the independence and income of employment. Social pressure was created ( by politicians, women's magazines, radio and eventually TV) that suggested it was 'unwomanly' to work, that a woman's proper place was as a homemaker and mother to her children. Prior to that time, virtually no-one could afford to be a full-time mother. This was also the era that decided that women were needed to be the moral guardians of society. So, when you talk about the 'traditional role' of women, you're really talking about something that existed between 1945 and 1975, maximum.

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