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  1. #1
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    Default Feminism and WW2

    During the war, most of the men in Europe were fighting and women basically kept the countries running, right? So, how is it possible that women didn't get equal status back then? After the war, a large percentage of the men were dead. There must have been female bosses around at that time. What happened to them? Why did feminism pop up only in the sixties?

  2. #2
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Some possible reasons:

    -Men held the vote
    - Women were too busy working to feed themselves and their children to protest
    - Judges, lawyers, and political leaders were men

  3. #3
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Not to mention, you have a.. status quo of things.. it's hard to think about the idealistic "We could fix this with a new way of thinking! Lets put the women in charge!" when the realistic "People are dead, lets just do this and figure things out now." is shoved in your face.

    People were struggling to survive.. it's not exactly the best time to be thinking about what should be. People are too worried about what was.
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  4. #4
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    ^ Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking as well. But still, it would seem logical that in a situation where there's a lot to be done they would take as much out of everyone as possible. To get the full potential of people. So, it seems like a reasonable step to put women in as many jobs as possible. Also the responsible jobs.

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    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I think it'd have been a real turning point for women if they thought of this.. And for a while, DURING THE WAR, women worked in jobs they never had before. They were doing more than ever--and after the war we were just tossed aside again and forgotten about. I'm not quite sure why this happened this way.. If we'd have kept marching forward, maybe we'd be leaps and bounds ahead of the current thought processes in society.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  6. #6
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    It could also be that without women working during the war, they wouldn't have any rights to speak of now. I guess the idea of equality was started back then, but most of the women of that time wouldn't really take that up as a project. Then their children got used to the idea and started to ask questions.

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    1. Feminism did not begin in the 60s. Second wave feminism started around that time.

    2. The economic growth and subsequent expansion of families to the suburbs that occurred after WWII created a cultural meme in which women were symbolically sequestered off into the domestic sphere (and literally, though most completely in the white middle-class.) Second wave feminism, which is the type of feminism you're referring to (concerned with the issue of equal opportunities for women in the workplace and ending discrimination, among other things) was a reaction to this, but it only gained momentum after latching on to other civil rights movements during the 60s.
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  8. #8
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    It was estimated that up to 75% of women working during WWII wanted to remain working, post war. But after the men returned, women were fired or rolled back into lower pay scales or lower paying jobs.

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    The OP specifically mentioned Europe. There were no jobs in Europe after WWII. Europe was a big pile of rubble. It took the Marshall Plan and the better part of a generation to start getting things back to normal.

    As for the U.S., there weren't any jobs prior to WWII (due to the Great Depression, which lasted roughly half a generation). Jobs were created by the industrial gearing-up for the war, and woman increasingly took those jobs as men went to war. But once the war ended, the jobs evaporated again. The women went back home to allow men to pick up the few jobs that remained, and the rest of the men were sent off to college on the G.I. Bill for servicemen. The new generation of college-educated men that started graduating at the start of the 50s kicked off the technology wave starting in the late 50s, the space race, the Cold War, and all that. But women weren't part of that since they hadn't done military service and so hadn't gotten the free college education.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    The economic growth and subsequent expansion of families to the suburbs that occurred after WWII created a cultural meme in which women were symbolically sequestered off into the domestic sphere (and literally, though most completely in the white middle-class.)
    Why did the women go along with this idea? They had seen first-hand that they can do more than the men expected of them.

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