Cracks in the Mold

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The mid twentieth century proved to be a compelling, interesting time for the United States and an era that changed the World. The Civil Rights movement brought the end to de jure segregation and racism and this incredible grassroots movement served as a foundational model for other groups to mock and seek their own liberation. The 1960s spurned movements not only for African Americans, but also for the LGBT community and women. With the emergence of America as a media savvy economic powerhouse post the World Wars, a tide sort of changed within the community of women. According to Sara Evans in the selection “Cracks in the Mold,” women in the 1950s recognized they were somewhat limited to performing the dutiful tasks of motherhood, but many were outright no longer finding fulfillment in such rolls (176). Evans describes the complexities of sexism in the United States’ culture while also she explains that both a conservative female push and a more radical feminist movement helped shape the legislation and attitude changes permeating through twentieth century America.

In the 1950s, the attitudes surrounding women’s roles were very “Leave it to Beaver” oriented. Women were homemakers, not educated thinkers who should compete in a global economy. In a 1956 Life magazine article, the introduction charges that “many of woman’s current troubles began with the period of her preoccupation with her ‘rights” (Evans, 177). “Ladies, we have won our case, but for heaven’s sake let’s stop trying to prove it over and over again” (177). But in fact, women had to “prove it over and over again.” Women from different ideologies, stronger or more moderate in their philosophies would have to fight for equal opportunity well beyond the disillusioned consumer crazy 1950s. When a growing overall sentiment of unhappiness seemed to seep up from the “feminine mystique” façade, many critics fought back against the society-challenging thoughts of mid-century feminists....
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