A Government Sanctioned Career Essay

Submitted By zackford44
Words: 1898
Pages: 8

Zack Ford
History 349
A Government Sanctioned Career

How many times have you seen a woman give up her future education, happiness, and career choice for marriage in the hope of bettering tomorrow through her children? You may know a vast amount of more people than I do, or possibly people from the “Baby Boom” era; but as for me, women giving up their potential career choice and happiness isn’t something I’m too familiar with. In today’s society I can count on my hands and toes, how many people I know who waited until they got out of college or comfortably set in their careers before considering marriage let alone kids. This was far from the case in the early 1940’s and 50’s. Never again have we seen such a spike in the “wanting” of marriage and childbirth on a grand scale like we did in this era. What the book “Homeward Bound” goes into, and what I will also be covering, is what were the causes of welcoming the gender roles placed on their society and the cultural aspect of this time. To set the stage we see a direct quote from J. Edgar Hoover which most agreed with during this time talking about “career women… I say ‘career’ women because I feel there are no careers so important as those of homemaker and mother.”1 This shows you how not only does the population feel this way but the government figures are strongly advocating for women to stay home and take care of their children and families. Women of this era were called upon to take care of our troops not only during time of war but as well as when they come home, to strengthen our households. We see the call for strong homemakers and households clearly in the famous “Kitchen Debate” of 1959. Here Vice President Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Premier talk back and forth over the model home in America. Nixon wants to convey how the American Capitalist system is greater than that of the communist society they have because it not only creates jobs for American workers and strengthens our economy, but it makes life easier and more efficient for our women in the household. Thus creating a strong household where women can cater to their children and men efficiently and give us strong households nationwide, a goal that was strived for all throughout the end of World War II up to the end of the Cold War. During this time after WWII there’s a strong movement to the new ‘Suburb’ life, one of the most famous of these is Levittown created by William Levitt. This movement to send white, working class families to these communities was in order to build on the idea of strengthening our homes in America. This was able to be sought after and pursued by most mainly because of the G.I. Bill which offered low-costs mortgages, certain low-interest loans, cash payments of tuition for college, and a one year unemployment compensation. This push for newly married adults was advertised as the “American Dream” for it offered a new, attainable cheap home for all. This was one of the many ways of “conformity” during this time period as people were going with the suggested norm of society. When the men got back from war, just as any man who’s away from women for a while, they wanted the pleasures of love and touch of a woman but at this time the morality strength of society was much stronger than ours today and looked very down upon premarital intercourse. When they got back to see their women and then get the blessing of the G.I. Bill, that could provide for them a stable new home, they were quick to leave the fears of a lonely individual pursuit of the public and join in marriage in pursuit of happiness and the “American Dream” that was being so widely advocated. After the depression in the 1930’s people weren’t used to seeing couples jump into marriages because of financial deprivation and an inability to support a family. Yet when the war brought America out of depression, along with Roosevelt’s workforce set in place, couples could see a stable