Quan, Ana Danielle
As we have been discussing in lecture this week, women role in society has been debated for years. Several sociologists such as Marx strongly believe that women’s place in our social structure is at home taking care of their children, families and house and not in the war front lines.
Why? Well there are several arguments that support this idea for example the notion that naturally men are stronger than women and hence have to manly strength to go out to the battlefield and fight. Women’s nature is to be motherly- like and kind while males are more aggressive and therefore more suitable to fight in a warfare and finally women have been constrained by society that they compromise to men and that is their main responsibility and role.
Nonetheless World War II opened frontiers and expanded horizons, as it was a global conflict. Resulting in the involvement of women in the warfare, to give you an idea around 350,000 women served in the US Army. Statistically it is noted that between 1940 and 1945 women workforce increased around 10% and half of this women took jobs in the defense industries. Rosie the Riveter was a symbol woman for all of those who sacrificed and showed hard defense jobs during these times. It now represents and denotes female empowerment. As you cans see the image above it shows a Rosie saying, “We can do it!”. It is important to know that this image of working women became probably the most successful propaganda in those times. According to the History Channel “it was one of the most successful recruitment tools in American history”.
Moreover a fact known to lesser extent was that women played a significant role in Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). They were the first women to fly American military aircraft. Yet for a couple of years they were not recognized they’re effort and talent. Having said this it is also important mention that even though women were crucial to the war effort their pay still was a lot less compared to men solfiers. Nevertheless it was until 1977 that WASPs received full military status and received the Congressional Gold Medal.