Instructor Andrew Cramer
November 12, 2012
A husband greets his wife after she works all day at her eight to five job. He lets her know that dinner will be ready in about twenty minutes and that their two children are in their rooms doing homework. In what century would this imaginary scenario would be more likely linked to, 1925 or 2012? The answer is simple; no man in the year 1925 would be at home waiting for his wife to come home after her long day at work cooking dinner. The roles would actually be the complete opposite. Over the last century, women have gone from being strictly housewives to fighter pilots in World War II to corporate executives; women of America’s past have worked so hard to become equals they need not stop there, but strive for greatness. Women in the early twentieth century and preceding centuries had a specific lifestyle, which is completely foreign from what is known in today’s society. “The typical life path for a woman of this era was marriage and family, where her responsibility was tending to a home and caring for the needs her children and spouse” (Bowles, 2011). This was the perfect norm for women in the early twentieth century and any centuries previous to that timeframe. Washing clothes, preparing meals for her family, teaching her children and loving and caring for her husband was the “job” women of the early eras took on. They were not welcome to do anything more than that. Men of these early eras considered women to be inferior to them in any way imaginable and that was agreeable by both genders at the time.
Why have women always been considered the weaker gender? What basis of weakness is being weighed in the analysis of women being the weaker gender? In 1915, could one specifically say that a woman is physically weaker than a man, yes the probability of that is pretty significant. However, can that theory still hold true this day and age, the probability drastically lessens. Looking back at the environmental differences between a man and a woman in 1915 vs 2012, it can easily be determined that a man was the stronger gender in all regards, physically, mentally and spiritually. “Men served as the central authority to their families, and outside of the home, interacting in the commercial world with other men. It is well known that different socioeconomic, ethnic and regional influences led to many different variations in the way that manhood and womanhood were expressed” (Wilkie, n.d.).
The legal status of women in the early twentieth century was nonexistent in regards to being a registered person to vote therefore a legal citizen to vote. It was not until the nineteenth amendment and it’s ratification on August 18, 1920 that they became a very large addition to the voting people. “Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution” (National Archives & Records Administration. (n.d.).
After women won their right to vote they continued to conquer the work force equality battle, even though men still viewed women as inferior beings in the work force. Wages and jobs were still drawn under the lines of discrimination of gender. It was not until World War II where women really made a giant leap to show that they could indeed be equals to men in the work force. “Women have increasingly become more involved in the workforce following World War II. Paid employment of women has shifted from primarily traditional female-oriented jobs to more non-traditional, and previously male-oriented careers” (Domenico, 2006). “Millions of people moved to work in new jobs for the war effort. Most importantly, this included women in massive numbers working in