Evolution of the American Women

By: Lauren Johnson

Victorian Women

During the Victorian Era women were house wives. They would stay at home and tend to the family and house. Only 3% of these women had jobs outside the home. If they did work these women were usually a maid, nurse, laundress, or teacher. For the wealthy class they would often sew or visit friends. For the middle class during their free time they would go and help the lower class women. Up until the 1840's women education leaned towards the role they would play in a family. At the time women lacks formal education and some would organized their own education in groups. Women dress at the time consisted of big bell shaped or domed skirts, dresses with narrow sleeves and tight torso, and linen caps with lace frills. Women at this time were expected to by the innocent house wife would always cleaned the house and take care of the family.

1920's Women

In the 1920's the american women was recognized more, showed by the 19th amendment.

Women started to get more education opportunities, colleges started to allow women to enroll and graduate. More jobs started coming along too. Public acceptance of wage- earning jobs for young unmarried women was growing. No longer being limited to work as "mill girls" or domestics, these women began to perform clerical work in offices and retail work in shops and department stores. Dresses that women wore were brighter in color, looser, and shorter. Women started expressing their style and emotion. Society now accepted that women could be independent and make their own decisions. Women started enjoying attending social dances and night clubs, some women even started drinking and smoking for fun.

"Post WWII" Women

After WWII the economy was booming. The post-war reconstruction effort made the need for an expanded labour force urgent. In the late 1940s, the government launched campaigns to encourage women to enter or stay in the workforce. However, education was not helping them in the workforce. For women who were educated in English and had professional qualifications they could only find low paying and unskilled jobs. Even though women in the work force was increasing they were still expected to do work at home. Married women were still expected to do all the house work without the help of their spouse. The silhouette changed form the masculine outline during the military time back to having a more feminine look. In addition, some of the styles of women's fashion also become more lavish and feminine. The rounded shoulders, long spreading skirts, V-necks, narrow waistlines, flouncy hats, high heels, and bright colors all became the main characteristics of the womanly figure. For women during this time period sewing was expected and was a hobby enjoyed by most women but do it yourself kits became a big part of the industry and had a wide audience including women. And for others painting became a good hobby as well.

1980's Women

Women seemed to be crowding into sectors of work force traditionally occupied by men. From 1972 to 1985 women's share of professional jobs increases from 44 to 49 percent and their share of "management" jobs nearly doubled growing form 20 to 36 percent. In the 1980's women started to go to college more and more with men , they were becoming a force in society, education was now pretty normal. Every year in the 1980's research shows there was a new change in gender roles, women were changing the roles between male and female. In magazines pictures were shown with females working beside men , society was now starting to change their perception of women. the 1980's were known for their fashion, women clothing was colorful, bold, and in some cases, outrageous. Clothes were short and tight showing off the body figure of a women. As most of you know a hobby for everyone in the 1980's was roller-skating. It was known as a sport but also as a every day thing. Women of all ages would do this.

Modern Women

For modern women education was now part of daily life. There are now more females that attend college than males. For every male that graduates college there is 1.35 females and 45% of females get their bachelors degree. On top of this, 55% of women are in the workforce, not counting the ones with in-formal jobs. But addition to this 29% of women stay at home with the family, cooking and cleaning.Women' s fashion today is all about expression of emotion through dresses, shirts, jeans, leggings and other pieces of clothing. These clothes can be bight or dark depending on how the women wants to express them self. Society expects women to show off their body, shown by music these days which are all about that. Hobbies for modern women are varied. Some like sports while other like fashion or art. Today women are allowed to express who they are which will show through their fashion and hobbies.


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