Women During The World War

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The 1950s is an era remembered for the Cold War, communism, and June Cleaver. Most historians, if asked about this period, will mention the ‘Red Scare’ and the fight to stop the pervasive reach of communism in post-war America. Most feminists will recall the iconic image of June Cleaver and the detrimental effect this perfect housewife had on the women’s movement after the massive employment of women during the Second World War. Often forgotten and missing from the pages of history are the millions of women who were ostracized and subjected to discrimination based upon their sexuality. These women lost federal jobs, their military careers came to a halt, and, in some cases, were blacklisted from applying for civilian jobs. Not only were these women forced to overcome gender inequality in order to support themselves in the workforce, they were also ostracized by society and endured unending discrimination from the government and police on the basis of their sexuality. In the face of this tremendous cultural pressure these women carved their own communities and lives out on the edges of the social order. The pervasive fear of homosexuals in the 1950s bred an era of anti-gay legislation that greatly contributed to the horrific discrimination against lesbians and the development of a lesbian subculture. This fear, known as the Lavender Scare, led to a severe climate of oppression for the emerging lesbian subculture following the Second World War. As a result of medical

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