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The changes that women in the
United States experienced in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s would be felt by every
generation to come. The lives of women will dramatically change during the
Second World War. As most of all the men went to battle and the few who went to
work in factories. Now, with fewer men in the labor force, women had to fill the
shoes of male jobs and had to pick up their husband’s tasks as well. As we
know, most women’s place was to be in the home and to take care of the injured
soldiers who came back. Their main duty was to cook, clean, take care of the
children, and look their best all the time. Women were not only asked to
complete daily errands and responsibilities that were normally expected of them
but were asked to go to work during wartime. When the war broke out, it was
very clear that America would need the help of every woman in the United States
to win the war. The traditional housewives now turned into the hard-occupied wartime
workers. During World War II, many women found that their roles, opportunities,
and responsibilities lengthened historically and for once, gave them a voice in

When the war started, everyone
agreed that the labor force was in high demand. They also agreed that the women
who would receive these jobs would only but be temporary, But the United States
government had to overcome encounters to recruit the women into the workforce. The
government had to launch an advertising campaign to sell the importance of the
war effort and to, more importantly, lure women into working. When men went off
to battle, women were left behind to pick up the work the men left behind and to
keep everything else running smoothly. It was becoming an understanding that this
type of work needed to be done regardless of how untraditional it was. Women
worked in all manners of production, ranging from assembling ammunition, to
uniforms and all the way to war machines. The hours they encountered were
beyond long and most had to move near the factories. Those who did not work in
the labor force joined the military, which was the first time in history.

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A select few were serving as
pilots associated with WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), but the mass
majority of women were serving as welders inside the aircrafts, ships, and also
served in the ordnance field, representing their complete competence in whatever
job they were thrown into. The government wanted to deny any equal rights that
they should deserve while being in the workplace. They faced inequality while
they went to work and often were unable to attain their goals due to
harassment. Women often come across hostility from male coworkers and management.
Isolation by gender was common in all duties of the workforce, and separate supremacy
tilts were kept apart from one another. They were also paid at a much lower
wage than what a man would be getting paid for that very same job title. Even
though women faced dissimilarity, they had jobs as plumbers, shipbuilders, mechanics,
and also infused in the making of bombs, as well as aircraft parts during the

As women were in charge of the
home front, the shortage of domestic funds to provide fell more heavily into
their laps. Women’s food preparation and daily errand habits were affected by
having to deal with crazy rationing methods, as well as the possibility of her
working outside the home, without account to her homemaking tasks. As a result
of the war, much of the goods that a housewife used to complete her everyday
chores with were either completely gone or very scarce. A 1940’s housewife
could not buy an essential good, like sugar at the store, because the sugar
supply was beyond reduced. Whatever sugar that was left was dynamic to the war
effort, because it makes molasses; molasses helps makes ethyl alcohol, and
alcohol creates the powder which helps a gun fire. Also serves as most bombs
and other chemicals that were desperately needed by the American military. The accessibility
of this product to the United States was very limited and as a result, it
became a dead product.

Most women worked in war effort
organizations that were completely voluntarily. Women were greatly advised by
organized propaganda movements to practice helping the U.S economy by carrying
groceries instead of using the car which was to try and preserve as much tire
rubber for the war effort as possible. They were also urged to grow more of
their family food in home gardens and repair any clothing rather than buying any
new. Most of all, women needed to contribute to war bonds, and give reassurance
to the war effort without questions asked.

However, more than 59,000
American women served in the Army Nurse Corps during the war. Nurses worked
closer to the front lines than they would ever have imagined. With the formation
of the Army Medical Department during the war, nurses served in the field of
fire and evacuation hospitals, while others served as flight nurses on medical
transport planes. The skill and work of the nurses helped contribute to low
injuries among every American military force in the war. Only a small number of
African American nurses were able to join because of the Quota System (History).
It was forced by the segregated army during both years of the war which held
the number of black enrollments down. Army authorities maintained assignments
available to black nurses, limiting them because they were only allowed to care
for black troops that were held in black hospitals. The Women’s Army Corps was beyond
effective in aiding the United States in the time of war. Was part of a much larger
effort from the entire Nation that required selfless sacrifice from every
American. The war effort began vast social and economic changes, and lastingly reformed
the role and true identity of women in the eyes of America. 

As a result, when the United
States entered the war, there were nearly 12 million women already working and
by the end of the war, jumped to 18 million due to promoting of the fictional
character “Rosie the Riveter” as the ideal worker: loyal, efficient,
patriotic, and pretty (Warefarehistory). Half of the women in the workforce
already were mostly part of the minority class and now due to Rosie, she helped
them switch from low paying jobs to higher paying factory jobs. With the mass
majority of women already in the workforce, the government was still not
satisfied with the number. They began to shift their attention to young ladies that
were graduating from high school. Even though the demands in the labor market were
so unembellished, they would not take a married woman with toddlers to go work
in these industries. These women were known as homemakers, which solely stayed at
home and cared for the family. Most women were able to quit their job freely if
they felt unhappy with environment or pay. Unlike men, who suffered from PTSD,
women would suffer from the double shifts received at work and the stressful caring
for the family at home. Some working mothers were even involved with the public
blaming them for the rise in juveniles’ behaviors.

The women faced harassment,
teasing, and unwanted advances simply because the men felt in furrier. One
of the main reasons men felt the need to resent women in the workplace was
due to the absence of a male majority. Females were beginning to demonstrate
that they were able to live life without the supervision of men. At every
opportunity, men tried to return women to their proper place at home and in the
eyes of society. In addition, male employers even denied every women’s position
that would be considered of higher standards. Women wanted to be treated as if
they were a male worker and not be given special considerations because of
their gender. As time passed on, more and more women were entering the
workforce and the arrogance towards women began to change.

As in every war, some spies and
resistance fighters were able to be possessed by women. Besides the obvious fact
of women being able to use sexual attractions to blackmail for secrets, the image
of women’s purity and morals worked against suspicion of women. The unthinkable
desires faced by the United States during World War II shaped the face of American
women in numerous new social and economic opportunities. Both society as a
whole and the United States military soon found an increasing number of roles
for women to be a part of. As large numbers of women entered the war industry
and many for the first time in that profession, the military service now took women
and men as one, from all over the country for the first time. After the war, most
women were able to remain in the workforce but were forced by their employers
to go back to lower-paying “female” jobs. A lot of women were even more
unfortunate, being laid off and told to go back home and care for the family.
Their wartime experiences and bravery broadened their lives as well as their
expectations to all women in society and created a new role for women in

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