Professor K. Wolfe
December 1, 12
Women Over Time
Over the past hundred years the role of women has drastically changed. In the beginning women had to live up to others expectations. Once they became of age the only they were forced to marry and fulfill their “duties”. Today, women can do anything and everything that their hopes and dreams desire.
From the early 1900’s women did not have any legal rights, including the right to vote, work and own property. There were only two types of women that would determine what their role would be, married or unmarried. Women were rarely given the chance to marry for love. Instead they were forced to marry for money or status. If a woman was married her job was to stay home and care for their children while their husband was at work. Once a woman was married she was to remain married till death do them part because divorced women were rejected by society. Women were also forced to stay in their marriages because they depended on their husbands to take care of them financially. If a woman were single or widowed she would work in some form of service, for example working as a waitress or a cook.
Even during the 1950’s women were to live up to the standards of society and if she were married she were to live up to the standards of her husband as well. According to society it was important that a woman behaved at home as well as in public. Women were supposed to carry out roles of a caring mother, a meticulous homemaker, and a docile and diligent wife. A perfect mother was expected to stay home and nurture her children. A docile and diligent wife was expected to have dinner on the table as soon as her husband arrived home from work. According to society a good wife was to carry out her husbands orders and agree with him on everything. Women were not allowed to voice their opinion due to their lack of education.
Everything changed for women in the early 1980’s when the Women’s Rights Movement took place in the United States. During this time women were given the rights to vote, hold public office, work, fair wages and equal pay, own property, serve in the military, education, enter into legal contracts and marital, parental and religious rights.
By the mid 1980’s a large percentage of college graduates were women that were in the field of law, medicine and business. Although there were many women who fought for their freedom, there were also many women that were opposed to these rights.
Today, women in our society have total freedom; freedom to be and do whatever, whenever they choose. There are women that have ran for president of the United State, serve or have served the country, are lawyers and there are business-women. Women’s rights have come a very long way over the past hundred years. It is hard to believe that the role of women was ever determined by her marital status and today it is determined by whatever she chooses to do.