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From Rosie to Lucy

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by

Alex Jolliff

on 30 May 2014

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Transcript of From Rosie to Lucy

The Feminine Mystique
TV propaganda
Many TV families consisted of a all-knowing husband, a ditzy helpless wife and their many children that she cared for. They depicted the ideal American family, A mother who happily cooked and cleaned, a father who worked and supported his family that was comfortably middle class. These families never fought of got divorced, the wives never worked other than to help the family and they were all white. These families had a large influence on society, people wanted to be just like the perfect TV families.
Social Effects on Children
Many studies have proven that children learn from what they see in everyday lives without reinforcement. Since many children saw that mom's job was to cook clean and serve her husband, this meant most girls believed this was what they were supposed to do when they grew up, causing our society to never move forward
Societies role
Women spent most of their time cooking and cleaning, they were expected not to work and when they did they made significantly less money than men. Women grew up being told to finish school, find a man to marry at a young age, then give up their life to raise their children. Most did this but many women wanted more they wanted to have jobs and support their families in other ways. Even after women started working more their focus was still more on their families than it was on careers.
Pay Controversy
Jobs during the World Wars
During the war many women replaced men in the factories and labor jobs. They received the same or close pay to what men were paid before the war and for the first time, during WWI women were encouraged to work to make a living and support their families.
Women have always been paid significantly less than men, and once women began working more regularly and started supporting their families more people fought back against this and it became illegal to give women lower wages. This law didn't change much, many women still made less because they were just given a diffrent job title for the same job or less hours. The government didn't put much effort into enforcing this new law either, for fear that paying more for labor from women would cause prices to go up and the economy to fall back into a depression.
Women's roles in the home
Even though women were getting into workplaces more and more, their focus was still on taking care of the home. Many women worked less hours then men because they needed to care for the family and when given the choice between taking care of their families and working they still felt they were responsible for in home problems first.
Rise in careers for Women
During WWII women got higher payed jobs, because most of the men were away fighting the wars, and the companies needed workers to replace the men. The government also put out lots of propaganda to convince women to work in war relater industries, like building guns or making bullets, to help our military succeed. Many women took this opportunity to help support their families and the men at war. However, once the war ended and men came back women's wages went right back down and those in higher positions were quickly fired and replaced by men. Although many women left the workforce, there was also a large number who stayed, in fact the 1960's had more married working women than any previous point in American history.
From Rosie to Lucy
The new woman did not work "except housework and to keep their bodies beautiful and to get and keep a man." Betty Friedan
The Effect of TV on the Everyday Family
Betty Friedan was an American housewife who always felt like she wanted more, she wanted to have a career and do more with her life but society at the time told women who did that were unpatriotic and bad mothers. Friedan doubted that she was alone in these feelings longing for more and decided to look into it she found that in fact, most women wanted more from their lives but thought that family was more important than being satisfied with their lives.
Research on the satisfaction of the average American housewife
Her fight to publish her findings
Friedan attempted to publish her data on the happiness of the housewives but no one took her seriously. The male editors of the women magazines Friedan submitted her articles to thought she was crazy, how could women be unhappy with such simple lives? Didn't they all just live to care for their kids? Because of this disbelief Friedan couldn't get published in a magazine and decided to publish the Feminine Mystique instead.
Once the wars were over and all the men came home everything immediately went back to how it was before the men left. Women were expected to run happily back int the homes and start popping out babies again. Women wages dropped significantly and men took the management positions back. Many women did as they were expected to and went back to cook, clean and care for their children again even though many were not happy with their lives and wanted to do more. Those that continued working still started being more family centered than career centered.
After the wars
During the wars
Propaganda
Review Questions
1)Do you think sexism is still prominent today?
2)Did women really have to give up their jobs when men returned home from war? Or could women and men work together in the workforce?
3)Do you think that there was more of a "Rosie" influence on women today or more of a "Lucy" influence?
4) Were women brainwashed by propaganda that they could only do domestic work even though they had just left industrial jobs?
5)What was your opinion on Betty Friedan? Did she really help women's suffrage or just state what everyone else was feeling?
6) What would you do if you were a woman during this time? would you stand up for your rights or follow the crowd?
7) How do you feel about international women's day? should we have it or does it separate men and women?
8)There are stories or radical feminists and their violent actions, do you think this is another way to suppress women?
9) Will women and men ever become equal?
10) What could make women and men equal?
Women working during and after WWI
Increase in women's jobs during the war
Retreat to the home after the war
I Love Lucy
During WWI many women began to replace men in the workforce while the men were gone at war. They made more money than any women would with men still working and some of them held powerful positions. Women still did housework and cared for the children but they also needed to work. They were encouraged to work by the government, that strongly encouraged women to work in war related industries so the men at war could have all the supplies necessary.
Once the war was over, and men started to come back into the workforce, most women went back to house work and let the men take back the industrial work. If women did work it was usually teaching or nursing and they still put their family responsibilities in front of their jobs. This most likely happened because society expected women to happily run back to their homes, and if women were unhappy as housewives most people just thought that they were neurotic, so even if they were unhappy most women didn't speak up because they didn't want people looking down on them for it
Who was Lucy?
Lucy refers to Lucille Ball, the actress who played Lucy in I Love Lucy, a TV show that constantly showed that women could not work alongside men, but also showed the women as strong people who could hold the family together. In one of the most famous episodes Lucy and her best friend Ethel switch places with their husbands. The women get a job in a candy shop and the men work at home. Both genders appear to be hilariously incapable of doing the others job and in the end they both go back to their societal gender roles. Teaching their audience that the only way for a family to work is if the mother cooks and cleans and the father works
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