Gender Roles In The 1950's

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The 1950’s introduced a new generation that had a significant impact on mainly the middle class. New jobs and an economic boost allowed for sixty percent of America to be middle class. The post-war dream created a new suburban life and the hope for a healthy family. The G.I. bill granted low-interest mortgages which made it easy for families to purchase new homes. New homes would be essential for the large increase in children born known as the “Baby Boom”. The gender roles and suburban house norms proceeded through the 1950’s. Domestic took place in Levittown where the use of mass production created affordable housing in weeks. In this new trend of living in the suburbs, there were many norms that came with it. This would be the setup…show more content…
Society disapproved of women working outside of their homes. People believed that women were not smart or strong enough to maintain a proper job. Magazines, including Esquire and Life Magazine, highlighted women in the workplace and wrote about how working outside of the house would “jeopardize their children’s mental and emotional health”. Women only had one goal in life which was to fulfill the role of being a good housewife. The housewife stereotype took control of suburbia and created a predetermined role for women. Social expectations of women pressured them into researching how to be the best possible housewife. Looking after the children, cooking meals, and keeping the house clean were some of the many tasks they had to complete around the house. As Betty Friedan wrote in the Feminine Mystique, “there was a reoccurring problem among women that remained unsolved”, many women experienced feelings of emptiness and boredom. An interview that Friedan captured explains this more, “I love the kids and Bob and my home”, she begins to, “feel I have no personality”. The men of the house have a simple but powerful role. Men would typically work during the day and expect to come home to a clean house and the children tended to. Men would get to relax and have a drink while waiting for his wife to prepare dinner. Men were the dominant decision makers and held all the power. If jobs were not getting done around the house, the husband would have to enforce and make sure they get done. The roles set in the suburban life were biased towards men and the women had little
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