European History Dbq Essay

European History Dbq Essay-77
During the war, British men who were on the front also indicated their anxiety about the perceived shift in women’s interest in typically male-dominated work; for instance, Private G. Wilby writes to his fiance: “don’t develop into one of those ‘things’ that are doing men’s work...don’t spoil yourself by carrying on with a man’s work.” Hearkening back to the elevated image of Queen Victoria as an angel in the home, Private Wilby’s letter represents a broad societal expectation that women be untarnished by “men’s” work or concerns.

During the war, British men who were on the front also indicated their anxiety about the perceived shift in women’s interest in typically male-dominated work; for instance, Private G. Wilby writes to his fiance: “don’t develop into one of those ‘things’ that are doing men’s work...don’t spoil yourself by carrying on with a man’s work.” Hearkening back to the elevated image of Queen Victoria as an angel in the home, Private Wilby’s letter represents a broad societal expectation that women be untarnished by “men’s” work or concerns.However, this bias did not take into account the reality of lower class women already working in hard labour jobs out of necessity.

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WWI, however, brought issue of women’s rights to the forefront; while the country battled on the frontlines, women battled at home to build credibility and to empower one another to demand professional and political equity.

No longer were they willing to bend to the common biases against them, as depicted by several documents related in this paper.

Although men seemed to be threatened by the emerging female workforce during the course of WWI, in fact, women’s involvement in the industrial workforce was not actually very different prior to the war in contrast to during the war.

One statistic indicates that there was only a 6% increase in women in the industrial workforce from 1911-1914 (“Women as percentage of the industrial workforce in France, 1911–1926”) .

Each of the World Wars acted as a catalyst for women’s rights and roles in society.

In WWI, many women were asked to take on traditionally male roles in order to support the war industry and to keep up production of other goods and services that typically were considered in a man’s domain.At the turn of the 19th century, many British women were in the conceptual phase of imagining themselves in roles extending beyond the home.Many bowed to social expectations to admire and mimic their Queen.The sacrifices of women on the front are portrayed as being minimized, or even seen as a threat, by male politicians.One magazine cartoon, titled “Votes for Heroines as well as Heroes,” portrays a mythic-looking woman with the title of “chivalry” on her head, standing above a male politician who is doggedly working against women’s right to vote.The resistance to women’s political rights was rooted, therefore, in a misogynist bias against women’s participation outside the home and men’s inherent right to be in charge.Bias against women in the workforce was often based on misperceptions, or a fabricated idea about what a woman “shouldn’t” be.The French author, the Countess de Courson wrote in 1916 that “[d]espite the crushing weight of physical and emotional fatigue, [women] continued, with few exceptions, to face up to the necessities of the war.” , is the accounting of women who worked typically male jobs during the war, as depicted by the poet Madeline Ida Bedford in her poem, “Munition Wages.” She writes: “Earning high wages? / A woman, too, mind you, / I calls it damn sweet.” Bedford indicates that women were, in fact, enjoying their newfound pay scale, and were quite aware that this remuneration was not typical for women.Unfortunately, there is not exactly a call for women’s political freedoms in Bedford’s poem, as might be expected from a female writer; she makes the speaker in the poem to appear rather flippant about the future, which is obviously uncertain.In Britain, in the decades leading up to the first World War, views of women were heavily based on the image and person of Queen Victoria.She was considered almost angelic in her role as “mother,” “wife,” and “feminine woman.” Queen Victoria was lauded as the prime example of virtuous woman and mother; after her husband King Albert died, she denied involvement in politics, and instead became a secluded, devoted mother at Balmoral Castle.

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