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Women of the Gilded Age - Essay Example

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At the beginning of the 20th century the term 'new woman' came to be used in the popular media. More girls than ever were going to school, working in factories and administrative jobs, and living independently. Critics "feared that feminism, which they interpreted to mean the end of the home and family, was triumphing" (Women in History)…
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Women of the Gilded Age
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Download file to see previous pages They had achieved the right to own property and had been employed outside the home for several decades, mostly in textile mills and garment shops. The first woman Mayor had been elected in 1887 (Moya 3). Higher education had opened its doors to women with the recent edition of women's colleges. By 1900 one-third of college and university students were women (Women in History). Most were trained in nursing or other female dominated fields, but the prized occupations of doctor and lawyer were still almost exclusively male. Traditionally, in the American culture girls learned the homemaking skills of cooking and cleaning that would be expected of her as she became an adult (Women in History). The right to vote was still 20 years away.
During this period women experienced social growth but had yet to show much real progress. They had learned to organize through labor activities and social reform movements. The concept of women as a unique social group was taking hold, as women's suffrage had become an issue. However, the concepts of masculine and feminine were deeply divided. A late 19th century play titled Marriage portrayed the woman's place as, "A wise marriage is one...in which a man binds himself to a pretty little woman...in short assist him to hold that social position so essential to progress in business affairs" (qtd. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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