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Gender relations after WWII - Essay Example

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Gender relations after World War Two World War Two is regarded as one of the key turning points of not only the political history of the world, but also the social history. That is, during and after the war, many social changes took place in all the countries involved in the war, thereby changing the outlook of the people in many social issues…
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Gender relations after WWII
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Download file to see previous pages In the World War Two, women started doing more industrial jobs and even participated in the military actions in the front line. Before the war, men were considered as the breadwinners who need to work outside the homes, while the women’s role was ‘contained’ within the confines of the house. However, “as some sixteen million males were enlisted or were drafted into the military, employer’s recruited women to fill the roles on the assembly lines of what were referred to, as essential industry opportunities.” (Bryant 2009). During the war, there was also the need for heightened production from the industries to support the war efforts, and with only minimal men available to fill the vacancies, women were recruited in large numbers and were encouraged to play larger roles outside their homes. Even various propagandas were carried out thorough mediums including print, radio, films, etc., to entice women to join the workforce. However, there was a catch and that mainly led to some opposition, resulting in the changing of gender relations after the War. That is, “women's employment was only encouraged as long as the war was on. Once the war was over, federal and civilian policies replaced women workers with men. (PBS). With the plan of handing over the jobs to the returning men, the women were restricted from continuing in their jobs and importantly encouraged to take over their family roles. That is, after the war, there was a strong reassertion of long-established gender roles, with the working women asked to return to their homes, so they can rebuild and stabilize their families, as many families suffered some form of disruption due to the war. “Motherhood lay at the centre of post-war constructions of femininity, bolstered by theories of the damage suffered by children deprived of 'mothering', while men were constructed as breadwinners.” (Pears). Although sizable number of working women left their jobs and returned to their traditional roles inside their homes after the war, other sections of the women wanted to continue in their jobs. They felt liberated and also socially as well as financially independent because of the jobs, and wanted to continue in the same path. Thus, the women who were supposed to give back the jobs to the men started resisting because of their new found positive status. This led to gender confrontation, as the returning soldiers faced a lot of difficulties in finding jobs in post war societies in European countries and United States of America. After serving the country, the men expected jobs and comfort in their homes. However, with women wanting to continue in their jobs, they faced difficulties in both the fronts. This led to confrontation between the genders in both at the home and at the workplace. Due to the growing influence of the women, men felt threatened and they responded with harassment and discrimination against the women. “The independence given to women during the war and its removal with the advent of the returning men, had a definitive effect on gender relations” (Study World). This scenario also laid the ‘seeds’ for the raise of Women rights movements in various countries. With working women being confined to their homes, the women ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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