Evolution of the American Woman

BY: Claire Buchmann

"Victorian" Woman

Societal expectations- Women were seen to be morally strong and physically weak. The qualities of womanhood included, religious, purity, obedient, and domesticity.

Job opportunities- Women often worked at home raising children, housekeeping, and cooking. They were also preparing the next generation to carry on this way of life.

Educational opportunities- Women were not allowed to be educated outside of the home because that was "the man's world". Women were taught by an adult female inside of the home.

Fashion/Appearance- 1830's- Women started wearing bonnets instead of hats, bell-shaped skirts were getting rounder and rounder, often needing hoop-supports.

1860's- Women started using the sewing machine, which brought costs of clothing down. The skirts flattened out in the front and puffed up in the back.

1870-80's- Bustles were very popular and slowly went from soft bustles to hard flat bustles.

Marriage- Before marriage women were not allowed to talk to the man unless chaperoned by a married woman. Girls often married in their early 20's and married an older man. The reason for the man being older is so that he could prove to the brides father, that he makes enough money to support a wife and a future family.





"1920's" Woman

Societal expectations- In the 1920's women were stepping up and defending themselves. Women were seen as un-lady like because of new interests and some of the things they started doing. They were often known as flappers and they took risks.

Job opportunities- In the 1920's the amount of women working increased. Women started working in "white collar jobs" like office work and non labor jobs. New inventions like the vacuum and washing machine help eliminate some household work.

Educational opportunities- The 1920's brought more educational opportunities for women. More women started attending private schools or all girls schools, more women were also getting college degrees.

Fashion/Appearance- Women stopped wearing long skirts and corsets, they often wore more convenient clothing. Some women started to also wear makeup and cut their hair short. Women started to take more risks with clothing choices, and expressed their self more.

Hobbies/activities- In the 1920's, a different side of woman was seen, women smoked, drank, danced, and voted.

Marriage- Divorce started to become more common, and acceptable.



"Post WWII" Woman

Societal expectations-

Job opportunities- Women proved that they could do mens work, more manufacturing jobs started to open up to women.

Educational opportunities-



"Modern Day" Woman

Societal expectations- Women today are expected to have much self-confidence, be strong willed, smart, and nurturing. Women not only care for her family but she can also have a job and help support the family.

Job opportunities- Today women have the privilege to work in any job field that they desire. Heavy labor jobs are not just "a mans job" any more women are open to work heavy labored jobs. Some women choose to stick with "white collared jobs" but other choose "a man's job".

Educational opportunities- Women have the choice of public school, private school, homeschool, and more. Women can also attend college if thats their choice.

Fashion/Appearance- Women's today fashion is pretty casual women do not wear dresses everyday. Women often wear pants, shorts, t-shirts, and other clothing. Women's fashion is more laid back and comfortable. Women's fashion and appearance today is expressing who they are as a person.

Hobbies/activities- Women often have many hobbies, sports, drawing, writing, and much more. Men and women can often be interested in the same hobbies and activities.