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Class Paper

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“When the classic work on the history of women comes to be written, the biggest force for change in their lives will turn out to have been war. Curiously, war produces more dislocations in the lives of women who stay at home than of men who go off to fight”1. The Second World War was a total war. It had a total effect on manpower, industry, resources, and, even the lives of civilians. The United States did not fight on its own turf but the people, men and women alike, were affected by the wartime. Sixty percent of the men who went to war were drafted by the United States Armed Forces. This left 11,535,000 families without their husbands, sons, dads, or brothers.2 Men either volunteered or were drafted into the United States Armed Forces, leaving their families behind to carry on their daily lives without their sole provider. The absence of men left the women to take up various aspects of life that they had never had to do before such as, providing for their family, getting the family car serviced, and many other activities that society deemed as masculine during this era. The presence of various propaganda art, like the iconic “Rosie the Riveter”, helped make the transition from masculine duties into feminine duties smooth. Pictures of women doing physically demanding jobs helped show other women that it was acceptable.


World at War

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History Commons



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