Comparing Gender Roles of Americans over Past 100 Yrs

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Kristal Smith
Professor Ryan
Enc 1101 Section 39547
November 22, 2012
Contemporary Roles vs Roles 100 Years Ago
If we look at America 100 years ago, the changes from then to now are phenomenal. In 1906, the average life span was 47 years. Only 18% of the homes had their own private bathtub. There were only 8000 cars total in the United States with only 144 miles of paved road.[1] Today we have an estimate 250 million registered vehicles in the United States. There have been laws passed that every home must have its own bathtub and fresh source of water. Considering the changes the United States has made over the past 100 years, it is no surprise that the roles of men and women have changed as well. The roles of men and women in contemporary society verses their roles in society 100 years ago present a large gap of physical and psychological differences.

The American woman of the 1900’s was to be seen, not heard. She was the homemaker and the one to raise the children. She cooked, cleaned, tended the laundry, taught the children and took care of her husband. She had no rights or freedoms in the political or religious world. was Limited rights and freedoms with a full load of responsibility was a difficult task to succeed at however the role was well defined which provided a sense of security. She was able to maintain a soft and emotional dispostion simply because there were no expectations of her to be any other way. The 1900’s American woman is the definition of what we term the traditional role of a woman. [2] Her counterpart, the 1900’s American man, was the worker, provider and protector. He had a voice in politics and religion. He gained respect and prestige by his job, his wife, and his children. The role of the man was simple but very important. He was strong and secure with the emotional support of his wife. The roles of the 1900 American women and man complimented each other well and were successful.

The American woman role of modern...
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