Historically, women have been unfairly seen as the weaker sexi They have been seen as physically and mentally inferior compared to men. and consequently have been denied rights and privileges that men had. Gender roles for women were subverted in the WWII era, however, as America’s men headed off to war. While women were expected to stay home in the kitchen before the war, a labor shortage brought on by the draft led the government to run propaganda campaigns urging women to work in wartime industries.
This gave women the opponunity to leave the house to take up jobs previously reserved for men. Millions joined the workforce to help the war effort, working on assembly lines, in email moms. and over 300,000 women joined the armed forces; the first war in which women could officially join. The newfound freedom of America’s women only lasted through the war, however, and many were forced to go back to their “natural” role as housewives.
even if they wanted to continue working.
The end of WWII sparked the beginning of the Baby Boom. and women were expected to become full-time housewives while their husbands worked to support the family The taste of freedom from gender roles that women were given during WWII set the stage for the women‘s rights movement. which impacted American culture by helping them gain the rights to make their own decisions The first impact women had on American culture was they gained the right to birth control. Contraceptive rights have been debated in the Supreme Court before.
and two landmark cases against the restriction of birth control were Griswold V Connecticut in 1963 and Roe V. Wade in 1973.
In Griswold V. Connecticut. Estelle Griswold, a Connecticut Planned Parenthood League executive, and Dr C. Lee Buston of Harvard Medical School were both arrested, found guilty, and fined for providing binh control advice to married couples. This violated a Connecticut law outlawing ”any drug. medicinal article. or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.” The case was taken to the Supreme Court. where it was mled that the Constitution‘s first, third, fourth, and ninth amendments created a right to privacy that state laws could not violate, In Roe V. Wade, Jane Roe sought to have an abortion, but Texas state laws prevented women from having an abortion except to save their own life. The law was challenged in the Supreme Court, where the decision tied into the decision reached in Griswold V. Connecticut that citizens have a right to privacy. While second and third-trimester abortions were still somewhat regulated under law due to health risks to the mother, first-trimester abortions were strictly for the doctor and patient to discuss.
These two cases let women exercise the rights to control their own bodies, and the right to keep the basic right to privacy in their personal lives. Another impact of women on American society is that employers can no longer discriminate against applicants based on their gender. On October 3, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive order 11375, which banned discrimination based on gender when employing workers. Previously, race, national origin, and religion were all protected classes. Executive Order 11375 amended these to add sex as a protected class. The signing of this order gave women the ability to become employed without having to fear being discriminated against because of their gender, and allowing them to be considered as equally as a man would. The third way women have impacted American society is that they became allowed to serve their country.
On January 24. 2013. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lift the military’s ban on women in combat. [t has previously been ruled that women could not be in combat roles, even though women have already found themselves in the front lines “temporarily”, and many have been killed in combat. Women before the ruling have already made up 14% of the active military, out of 1.4 million. While integration of rules is still ongoing, and not all positions will be available to women, the new ruling officially recognized women that risk their lives for the country, and the opportunity was given for other women to sign up and protect the country. The fact that women fight on the front lines is a sign that they can be just as mentally and physically capable as a man. and goes against the prejudice that women are incapable of fending for themselves