Why Rosie the Riveter?

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  • Topic: World War II, World War I, Flapper
  • Pages : 4 (1357 words )
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  • Published : January 10, 2010
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Why Rosie the Riveter?
Answers for the Future of Women
History is often taken for granted in today’s society. Without certain events in our nations past, the America we live in today would be vastly different. More specifically, women in the 21st century would live dramatically different lives if it were not for the women who changed the image of women in America forever. The New Women of the Progressive Era resisted domesticity and the Flapper allowed women to have fun. Rosie the Riveter told women that “We can do it!” while the “Happy Housewife” brought on political and economic changes during the post war era. Though not all of these groups put women in the best light; they all helped form the path for future women of America.

During the Progressive Era, a new wave of women was emerging; quite literally, these women were referred to as New Women. These women were college-educated, frequently unmarried, and self-supporting. Their rise surfaced after the Civil War, and by 1870 there were eleven thousand women enrolled in higher education. The New Women moved into growing female careers, like teaching and nursing, and they began to find new ways of living outside of the family. However, they were also being accused of unnaturally refusing motherhood, and people claimed that research proved too much education could harm the reproductive system. Women thus began to turn to solidarity and reformation just as the generation of their mothers did before them. They formed clubs, such as missionary societies, and women’s clubs like the WCTU (Woman’s Christian Temperance Union) and made a new claim to domesticity. Their policies stated that those who chose careers over marriage would reveal maternal skills when needed. Teaching the young, tending to the poor, and improving the heath of women and children were their goals. This claim rested on the success of new, female-dominated institutions, which allowed women to support one another in creating new ideas,...
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