What is the role of women in the history around the home and in employment?
To begin with women have always been expected to be the heart of the family. Daughters stayed home and helped out and did not live with a man and prepped themselves for getting married, pleasing their man and raising children. In the late 40s - 50s they stayed home cleaned house, cooked, looked after their children and on top of everything else expected to take care of the social aspect of things. Men worked, women stayed home. If a woman's children were in school and she had a little more time on her hands and wanted to work even part-time many of the husbands refused to allow their wives to work because it made them (in those days) look like a dead-beat. It was important for a woman to show she was a good hostess and, in fact, this was taught in Canadian schools as Home Economics. I came across an old Home Economics book of mine from high school a few years ago and had a good laugh and I wasn't buying it then and I sure don't now! I realized that when women fought for the right to vote in the early 1900s we hadn't come that far up into the 50s and as the saying goes "You've come a long way baby" did not apply! Women in the 40s were the typical housewives looking after their family and home. Then came WWII and off to war the men went which lead to a great shortage of employees in the workforce. This is the first time women had the chance to work at real jobs (not just in a hat shop or behind a store counter.) They worked in factories, (munition, parachute factories, etc.) They did just as good a job as the men. Thus the term "Rosie the Riveter" became a motto during the war years. When the war was over the Western governments basically said, "Go home little ladies and do your housework and tend to your babies!" The joke was on the governments because young women for the first time knew they could be more than secretaries or made to stay home. Women began to slowly gain status in the workforce. During the 50s women (by their parents and society) as a whole were seldom considered "college material" because they stayed home being primed to only move out and get married to raise families of their own and had the choices of being an airline stewardess, nurse, teacher or secretary and a very few every made much of a dent in the man's world. Women were still held back at this point. I chose to become a confidential secretary and was excellent at this, but the money wasn't there because women just didn't make as much as men. My heart laid in forensics back in those days and I applied to several colleges that carried this and it was "no man's land." I couldn't get in even with the high grades I had. No women were in any of these classes! I was one angry young woman back then. Then came the 60s and the Women's Liberation that changed all that. Women began to claw their way working in jobs that were only limited to men. Many became recognized scientists, lawyers, head of corporations and held office in government. Along with this came freedom of others sorts such a sexual freedom and freedom of speech where women were actually taken seriously and heard! From the 70s up many women became much more powerful. They had earned some good rights. The were so zeroed in on becoming something out in the world they forgot that they had children at home. If one is to have children for the first seve - 10 years they should be there to help their children develop and feel loved and secure and it's called "trimming down" and making sacrifices like our parents had to do for us. Most families that make this statement want too much and most have big homes (not necessarily fancy homes) two cars, vacations, etc. They want it all! They have now brain-washed themselves and the children often suffer for it. There is nothing wrong if a man stays home and is "Mr. Mom" and perhaps he works out of the house through his own private office in the home, if the wife makes more money than he does. This method also applies to women. They can be home and look after their children and more and more women in the 21st century are doing this and waiting until their children are old enough to be more independent before they work a full-time job. In places such as Sweden women can go to work and hold down positions in a company and take their children to the nurseries or a type of kindergarten in the company itself. This is a perfect solution but rarely ever used in the Western world. From the late 60s on women joined the armed forces, became firemen, police officers, etc., and were greatly ridiculed for their efforts and some of the men, not use to a woman in their ranks wouldn't make it easy on women. They are still, to this day, using threats, scaring the wits out of a woman, sexually harassing them and sometimes even rape is involved. Thankfully most of the men just grumble and do little else, but there is always those bad apples in every bunch. Also sexual harassment is almost zero tolerance. This in itself is bittersweet because some women will consider a man laying his hand on her shoulder looking at her computer as sexual harassment and it can cause a man to lose his job. There are certainly men that take too many liberties with women and I am behind any woman that has this problem. Men and women should simply keep their hands off each other in the workplace! Like each other then date outside of work! The unfortunate part of the 21st century and women working is that SOME women are on a quest to out-do men. Now with many unions they will fight for the right to do the job of a man, but, many women fill these positions such as in construction, or heavy-duty jobs and can't keep up the pace. The unions protect them and I have heard many frustrated male boss' say the woman simply can't do the job. I have no problem with any woman striving to be something in her life and she's waited a long time, but if she can't do the job or doesn't have the physical strength to do that job she shouldn't be in it! My husband builds yachts and has no problem with women working on his crew if they can do the job and has two women on his crew but only for certain jobs. So far so good and he has had no problems with sexual harassment because he's a "hands on" (no pun attended) kind of boss and keeps a tight rein on the members of his crew. I admire the women that have fought for their rights and I certainly will fight for myself if I think I am not being treated well in the workplace. I once was taught how to operate wall-to-wall computers in the early 70s and had no reason to think I wouldn't get the same pay as the man standing beside me learning the same thing. I was in for the shock of my life because I was expected to do that complicated job I'd mastered for the same pay I was getting as a Confidential Secretary. I took my chances, dug in my heels and refused to work with the computers. Luckily I did get a raise (not enough to warrant me working on that computer system) but just for all the hard work I had put into it. I refused to operate the computers and stuck to my guns, but at least I held onto my job. I was furious, but it helped when the very man I worked along side of had actually fought along with me for the right to be paid as much of a salary as he was being paid for the same job. Unfortunately, with the freedom of women to have the same choices as men the family unity has suffered greatly. There is little time for parents to spend quality time with their children and so much is missed watching them grow up. There is a delicate balance in raising children and working. With some groups of career conscious women they will turn down their noses at stay-at-home moms or a woman that simply chooses to stay home whether she has children or not. The laugh is on these ladies because it's a true fact that raising children is one of the hardest jobs a woman will ever have to do. I am by no means saying women shouldn't work, but, work from home at first, then when the children are in school this is the time to go after the career they want. I'm not a true Women's Liber because I think they have missed the point. I will fight for my rights at a job I can handle, but, I love being a woman too and enjoy doors open for me and being treated like a lady. I'm not trying to be a man! I am a strong woman (many like me) but enjoy my husband acting like a man and I feel safe. Of course I know deep down I can look after myself just fine. Smart women can work at what they want, but have respect for men and still be treated like a lady. The 21st century is in for some great changes in the home and workplace. Family unity is lagging badly and there are more divorces than ever. The upside is, in the next 10 - 15 years there will more companies that will have their employees work from home computers, etc., and offices will become non existent. Already many companies in the U.S. and Canada are "cutting back" to almost bare bones. I am seeing it more and more in British Columbia and I work from home. I do find by doing so I miss the comrodery of my peers in the workplace so I volunteer in 3 different societies to fill that need and also have a healthy social life. Perhaps people working from home will bring the family unity back into force.