Feminine Mystique Paper

This essay has a total of 707 words and 3 pages.

Feminine Mystique


The Postwar effects on Women
The "feminine mystique" that American culture promotes is entirely dependent upon its
ideas, beliefs, and needs of the time. American culture has always tended to influence
women into doing what the day and age required. After men went to war there was a gap in
the work force that needed to be filled. During World War II women were the most available
to join the work force. Due to the discouragement to raise families during the Great
Depression and the fact that most men of age had entered the war, many women were left
without families to look after and men to take to take care of them. "Most women toiled at
unskilled jobs; most were young, single, and without children" (307). This lack of family
and funds left women with no other place to go besides the factories. Women's need for
work was nursed along by the media as well as the public.

"A rapidly expanding war economy absorbed most of the reserve labor force," (307) yet it
still was not enough, the economy demanded a larger work force. This demand worked in
cooperation with the availability of the women of the time. "'Commando Mary' and ‘Rosie
the Riveter' became symbols of women who heeded their country's call" (307). There were
many enticements luring women to join the work force. These enticements included higher
war wages, more available time and opportunity to work, and wartime restrictions on
leisure activities.

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