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Women's Changing Roles: 1950-1960, 1960-1970
Transcript of Women's Changing Roles: 1950-1960, 1960-1970
Period 7 AP Lit.
3/6/13 Roles of Women 1950-1970 From 1950-1960 Connections from the 50's to The Handmaid's Tale Women are submissive to husbands in 1950's: lots of children - In book, Commander's can have their way with the women and they produce many offspring
Women are expected to cook and clean - Women in book, specifically the Marthas are used for just cooking and cleaning, mainly servants
Women who end up single & pregnant are estranged in society & even expelled from schools - In book, women who are single and pregnant would be killed and displayed on 'the wall'
Few women in the 50's had jobs - No women in book are allowed to work, make money, or own property The Evolution Into The 1960's As the 1960's came about, social reform in the treatment and equality of women's rights came into the forefront of social conversation along with other minority and underrepresented rights. With more women entering the workforce than ever and experiencing the gender disparity (Walsh 2010) between men in regards to pay, advancement, sexual harassment and more. Furthermore, with female college attendance reaching new highs, social protest against such indecencies became common such as on campuses, and by not just the old but the young as well. A New Bread Bringer Arising With the most women than to have ever before, entering the paid workforce, groups on women's rights (such as the Commission On the Status of Women) were finding gender inequality all over the place. This commission found that legal barriers existed in some states barring women from certain occupations, performing jury duty and equal pay for equal work (Teasley 2008). Pay was usually about 60% the male rate (on a good day), and advancement was a even worse uphill battle with management not even being considered at times. But with social and political reformers calling for change in all this, it was a new era about to erupt. In fact, for the first time, a American female (pictured above), Maria Meyer, won a noble Prize for physics over her male competitors. Childbearing A major promoter of women's rights and social reform wasn't even one individual, it was a newly legalized/federal approved item: birth control.
"By the end of the Sixties, more than 80 percent of wives of childbearing age were using contraception after the federal government in 1960 approved a birth control pill. This freed many women from unwanted pregnancy and gave them many more choices, and freedom, in their personal lives" (Walsh 2010). Boycotts/Rallies For Women's Liberation Movement Simeon de Beauvoir writes novel, The Second Sex, in 1949 depicting women as just a sexual object and unequal to men.
This kick-starts the Feminist Revolution Women marry as soon as graduation from High School or College
Women called getting married, getting their "M.R.S." degree (finding a husband rather than further education)
Lots of pressure to marry VERY early
Majority married by age 25
Not being married by 25 was an embarrassment Women could not refuse sex or refuse to conceive a child if the husband wanted one
Women obeyed sexual demands of child bearing until menopause
Most families has a lot of kids Women in the 1950's Cont. Women in the 1950's Cont. Ideal of stay-at-home-mom
Mother's cooked, cleaned, and watched the children
Only 35% of women were in the work force Single and pregnant was a major taboo
Single and pregnant during school would result in expulsion Women in the 1950's Cont. A young couple on their wedding day, both are in college A young, high
on a date. Women were definitely expected to have a
meal prepared for their husband once they
came home from work 'Normal' family during the 1950's Works Cited for Information
"1950's Lifestyles and Social Trends." Enotes.com.
Enotes.com, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.
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2013. Works Cited for Photos
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For Their Own Gender Women were no longer limited by unwanted pregnancy and could plan careers farther out to more than just the point they got pregnant, but to when they wanted to have the baby and etc. But perhaps one of the most striking changing role of women in the 1960's was the growth of female social activism. Numerous groups were created, funded and otherwise to research gender disparagement in pay, management, political appointment, and more. Some examples are:
Commission on the Status of Women (1961)
National Organization for Women (1966) - Formed to replace the Commission, they fought against sexual discrimination
The Women's Liberation Group - Composed of female students and radicals, they focused on individual cases of discrimination
The Women's Rights Group - Lobbied for strengthened equal rights laws
Media attention and national scrutiny did not arrive on many women's issues until many "radical" demonstrations of the time had been performed. It was boycotts, rallies, parades, and more like these that brought attention to inequalities that ought to have been corrected long before.
One of note, is the Boycott of the 1968 New Jersey Miss America Beauty pageant. Outside the location where the competition was being held, women burned hair curlers, bras, false eyelashes and more in "Freedom Trashcans" in significance to their cause and objection to the presence of the pageant. Works Cited
"English-Online." Society and Life in the 1960s. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.
"Jordan Smith's Photographic Journalism." Jordan Smiths Photographic Journalism. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.
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Roberts, Sam. "Podcast: Women Are Winners." City Room Podcast Women Are Winners Comments. N.p., 20 July 2007. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.
Teasley, Carolyn. "Women's Rights in 1960's America." Helium. N.p., 8 Sept. 2008. Web. 7 Mar. 2013.
"The Thinking Housewife â º Extinguishing the Embers of Burning Lingerie." The Thinking Housewife. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.
Walsh, Kenneth T. "The 1960s: A Decade of Change for Women." US News. U.S.News & World Report, 12 Mar. 2010. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.