Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Women in the 1970's

In the 1970’s, this was a time where people were getting to the end phase of the “hippie” era. In this era, people were also opposing the use of nuclear weapons, proposing world peace, and women gained the right to have abortions. Women were receiving more rights than they had in the past. With even the smallest gain of rights for women comes with reward of a new role in society. Most women in the 1970’s were striving for a footprint in society and wanted to achieve more than just the standard household position. Women were fighting for the right of equality as men. This equality they were striving for would enable them to work in offices, classrooms, law firms, and science labs.

Women in the 1970’s are dramatically changing their role. The reason they are changing their role is due to the Feminist movement. The Feminist movement began in the 1960’s but carried over to the 1970’s gaining a larger audience. Women were beginning to stand up for what they believe in; they are demonstrating this by protesting and picketing. They wanted to change the “traditional” role of women and change the image of gender roles. The 70’s didn’t really have a role to follow for women but, they were beginning to stand up for what they believe is right and to form what that role should be. I can say that the women were changing their hair from long and straight to short and feathery. 

A handful of powerful women were supporting this movement with all force and were attempting to gain women’s equality. Strikes and picketing were the most popular form of demonstrating what women want. Majority of the strikes were directly aimed towards sexist laws and social equality. The movement was getting broader which in turn was giving women more opportunities to equality. By the mid 1970’s, women were given the right to work in politics, businesses, law, science, and most commonly the home. Women had finally lifted a newspaper and read in the advertisement section that there were jobs for both women and males, but categorized by the task they had to achieve.  With the gain of these job opportunities, women were still losing in the field of wage. There was still a huge gap in the wage of men to women, but has made minimal progress. Women were getting paid about 45% less than men for the exact same position in any field. Progress is progress though.

The women’s movement carried throughout the entire 1970’s and the first few years of the 80’s. A few women that were responsible for this new role change was; Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Betty Ford. Throughout this entire movement, there were several ups and downs. They have won some, but majority of what they were really striving for led in a loss but, the progress they have achieved throughout the ~22 years they were alive created a great foothold for women’s rights. The roles of women were beginning to change but they still have not achieved their goal, equality.

Henry Piatek

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Decade of Change---1960's

In the 1960's, women experienced many cultural changes. For the first time, women were becoming a bigger part of the paid workforce. But even though an income was important, most women still experienced lower pay than male workers. So how was this fair? Business owners saw women as "weaker" or "not as capable" of doing the work of a man. They thought that just having women in the workforce was a big enough change for everyone. The women fought for their rights and were eventually given bigger and better opportunities, and granted more equal paying jobs.

Another major change for women in the 1960's was the usage of contraceptives, such as birth conrol. Over 80 percent of wives at childbearing age were using the birth control pill. This was extremely controversial because women now had a choice of whether or not they wanted to have children. Many women saw this as having a little more freedom for themselves because it is their body and it is up to them what they want to do with it. This created women to become more educated, get better paying jobs, and control exactly how big a family they wanted.

Sexual assaults and domestic violence against women was also rapidly changing in the 60's. Laws began to take place in cities and states to prevent such things from happening. As women gained more rights, more and more laws came into play. Men were no longer able to "control" women like they were able to in the past. Women were able to go out, whether is be the grocery store, a job, or on the bus, and not have to worry about being discriminated against. This was a major turning point for women because they began to feel empowered and felt like, for once in their lives, they had as much freedom as men.

Overall, the women of the 1960's decade had a world of experience. The culture was changing, and so were the women. Feeling power and freedom can make the world of difference in life, and women were finally being granted that opportunity. Whether it was entering the workforce, using contraceptives, or battling violence the women of the 1960's made a huge difference in America; and it is something that sparked an everlasting change in the view of women.

Erica Hendzel

The Flapper Era of the 1920’s

What is a Flapper? How did the Flapper era emerge? What effect did these Flappers have on women and the society of America at that time? And what effect do they have on women today?

The looks and attitudes of the Flapper did not emerge until the 1926, but the changing roles for women began during World War I. Since men were off to war, women had to step in and fill the roles of men. They were no longer just housewives, they entered the work force working in places where usually only men worked and wearing clothing that usually only men wore. Now that women were filling men’s roles, the rules, morals, regulations, cultural norms and structure of the American society were changing. As a result of the war, the once accepted conventions of society were no longer the same and it was hard for men and women of this generation to return to the original society that was in place before the war. Not only did these societal changes come with the end of the war, it came with the Jazz age, which then brought the Flapper era.

What did these Flappers of the 1920’s look like?

Flappers wore long, hour glass looking dresses, skirts and lingerie which revealed a great amount of their arms, legs, chests (which they tried to make as flat as possible) and backs, which before this time was very unheard of. Their hair was in a bob cut and hats were also a big accessory. Other accessories included many layers of beaded necklaces and rings, pins and brooches were also worn. The use of make up also emerged during this time. Flappers were heavy makeup that would accentuate their mouths and eyes.

What were the attitudes of these Flappers?

Women were learning that they had new freedoms because of their changing roles and they embraced it. Flappers of the 1920’s not only changed their appearance, they changed their attitude about how women should look and act. Flappers smoked, drank, embraced sex, listened to jazz and acted completely different than women did before the war. The were often called, “a different breed”.

How did the Flapper era emerge?

The Flapper era occurred because of women’s new position in society and their refusal to return to the way society was before the war. Since many men of their generation died during the war, women decided they were not going to waste their time waiting for the right guy to come, instead they were going to enjoy their time and enjoy it how they wanted. These decisions brought on new freedoms, attitudes, looks, goals, personalities and actions of women.

What effects did Flappers have on women of that time and today?

I believe Flappers gave women a way of expressing their new freedoms, attitudes, looks, goals and actions after the war. They changed the accepted roles of men and women, the ways of thinking of most people of that time and gave women a voice. Flappers showed that women were becoming stronger and that things of that generation and time period were going to change for being a woman. Not only did it affect the women of that time, it affects us today. If the Flappers did not take on the roles of men, go against the accepted ways of women in society at that time and change the looks and attitudes of women, strides for the positions, freedoms and judgment of women today would have not been made.

Allison Kanaman