Women's New Roles, at Home and Away
With their men away at war women had to step up their game. Not only were they expected to be housewives, but they had a family to provide for too. Women were sent off to work, doing men's jobs. But when their men came back home, they were expected to go back to being a traditional stay at home wife. Some women did step down, but others loved their newborn freedom and were not willing to back down. Stuck in between being an idealistic wife or an independent strong woman, women struggled for rights, freedom and individuality.
New Roles Away from Home
In and before the 1950s women's jobs included housekeeping and raising a family. The traditional family consisted of a stay at home wife, and a working man earning money for his family. But what happens when millions of the working men go off to war? Leaving women alone not only to raise a family, but somehow provide for it too? Women enter the labor force taking over jobs that men used to do. During WWII women by the millions took factory jobs to make up for the missing manpower shortage. When the war ended numbers did drop. But as the years passed the number of women entering the workforce increased. Even married women with school-aged children were working. However not all working women rose to jobs above assembly lines or service jobs. Only 12% of women practiced a profession, while 6% held management positions.
New Roles at Home
Men and women had to get used to the changes going on at home, work, and in the family. Some roles were reversed for instance, women starting taking control of the family fiances and men would buy groceries on their way back from work. Since women were at home more than men they would even perform manual labor around the house like mowing the lawn or any job that would traditionally be considered "men's work". Men started to chauffeur the children to school and after school activities, or even go to school meetings with them. Children even had to get used to their busy parents. Even though the change of duties was going on, not everyone agreed with these changes or thought they were positive ones. Some men refused to do "women's jobs" and forced their wives to stay traditional. Women were grateful for their new opportunities and some didn't let the chance to be independent get away. This caused a divorce rate high in the 1950s.
Women were tired of being this plaster stay at home wife waiting on their husbands. They were now ready to emerge from the home and embrace the world. Women were done with being stuck at home raising kids. They were now ready to go get an education, a job, a new life. With their new lives women were not going to back down. As years passed women become more and more confident and definitely become their own person. They become a working part of society.