Essay about The Progression of Women through the 20th Century

1164 Words May 2nd, 2014 5 Pages
The Progression of Women through the 20th Century

March 24, 2014

HIS204

There has been so much history and so many changes to our country over the last 100 years. I will focus on the changes that women have fought for and helped in making positive changes in our country.
“If one compares a woman in 1900 with her counterpart in 2000, the gains have been significant. There were the obvious changes, such as the right to vote and other governmental policies supporting women in the 1960s and 1970s. The results were women successfully engaging in certain jobs for the first time. Where women were once a minority, or excluded entirely, by 1980, they accounted for more than half of all undergraduate students”,
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Between 1900 and 1920, women started taking jobs outside the home. It started with teaching, nursing, and social work but soon women began taking clerical jobs if they were native born white women with an education. Thus leading to “Rosie the Riveter”, which we will discuss later. “American Feminists, in the early 20th century included a segment of working-class women, participating alongside better-known middle-class and elite adherents of feminist ideas”, (Greenwald, 1989).
During World War II, many people moved in to new jobs for the war effort. This included women by the millions. “Rosie the Riveter” was a national symbol of women taking jobs in the industrial field while the men were away fighting the war. “She was fictional, but represented the ideal government worker, including being loyal, efficient, and patriotic”, (Bowles, 2011).
Another area in which women made changes was with their appearance. Women used their attire and style to show an independence, a certain freedom in which they alone had control. Starting with the “Gibson Girl”, women dressed in long, slim dresses, freeing themselves of the poufy petticoats of yore. Women started wearing shorter dresses and shorter hairstyles, leading to “Flapper Jane”. “Women started wearing “less” clothing, shorter dresses, cutting off their hair, and just being more “sensual” than normal”, (Bliven, 1925).
Along with taking control of their wardrobe and style, women also