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The Transition of the Housewife Essay

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As history demonstrates, conflicts always seem to emerge when the discussing a woman’s “place in society.” Before the late 20th century, the expectations of women were blatant; they were to perform housework, tend to their children, and above all, obey their husbands. As considered second-class citizens, they had none of the rights that a male in the US was granted. Most women accepted the roles that had been set out for them because it was the only one they knew. Their ancestors had performed the same duties for centuries and so they were content with the idea that it was their turn to be the housewife. However, as time passed and changes in mindset occurred, women started to question their societal roles and rights as citizens. The media has helped shape and reflect American culture as it aided the major transformation that the common housewife experienced from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Few notions for change occurred in the 1950s, but the major changes in women’s rights didn’t occur until the much later in the 20th century. The first documented attempt for women’s rights occurred in 1898, which is known as the Seneca Falls Convention; this was where the signing of the Declaration of Sentiments took place (Lapsansky-Werner 52). The document established agendas for upcoming committee meetings as well as an outline of the grievances women addressed. As a result of hard work and persistence, the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, which allowed women the right to vote. Despite this great stride in the right direction, women were continually treated as inferior beings to men. When considering the role of women, most believed they had one status to uphold; the perfect housewife. Training for this role began at a very young age as littl...


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...d.net. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. .

Lapsansky-Werner, Emma J. United States History: Reconstruction to the Present. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008. 52. Print.

Layman, Richard. American Decades: 1950-1959. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1994. 278. Print.

Liz, Sonneborn. "Mary Tyler Moore." Fofweb.com. N.p., 2002. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. .

Minard, Maureen E., Jerra Jenrette, and Robert Thorton. "Women in Society, 1938-1960." Fofweb.com. N.p., 2011. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. .

"The U.S. Home Front During World War II." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013. .


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