1950s Women's Roles

1349 Words6 Pages
In the last seventy years, women in America have made great strides toward equality, which has dramatically changed their role in society. In days that seem long past, women were expected to be doting mothers, immaculate housekeepers, and submissive wives. These roles were the primary, if not only, responsibilities of any woman prior to the 1940s. However, since the post-war era, the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of women have evolved in leaps and bounds. In the first half of the twentieth century, women were not wanted, or needed, to be a part of the workforce. In fact, it was thought to be odd and unsettling for women to work or attend college.” The role of women in the 1950s was a society-endorsing template that all…show more content…
Progress begets more progress and the sixties set the tone for the seventies. In the seventies, discrimination against women in education, discrimination against pregnant women by employers, and discrimination against women in housing was made illegal. Contraceptives for unmarried people became legal and in 1973, abortion became legal through the ruling in Roe vs. Wade. Women were becoming more independent, more opinionated and being given more options. Options gave them some power and influence, as an emerging voting class with a particular set of priorities. Women still faced inequality and discrimination, but in the words of the Virginia Slim’s slogan, which was marketed toward women in the sixties and seventies, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” (Catalano, pg. 76). The simple fact that product marketing, which was not for household products, food, or clothing, was being directed toward women was evidence of a new group of people with purchasing power. Women were no longer sitting idly by as decisions were being made for them. They were out in the working world, the political world, and the commerce world, making things happen and being counted…show more content…
In 2005, Hillary Clinton became the first First Lady to be elected to public office as a U.S. Senator from New York and Condoleezza Rice became the first black female Secretary of State. By 2007, Nancy Pelosi had become the first female speaker of the house and the following year, Hillary Clinton became the first First Lady to run for President. She became the third female Secretary of State in 2009. Two more women joined the Supreme Court in the 2000s (www.nwhp.org) and Hillary Clinton ran for a second time for the presidency in
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