Life in the 50's Compared to Today for Women Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Life for Women in the 1950's Compared To Life Today

Life for women in the 1950's was certainly different from life today in many arenas including political, social, and economic, however, while women in the 1950's were expected to be the epitome of the domestic homemaker, today they are expected to be the epitome of the super-mom.

In "The Feminine Mystique," Betty Friedan writes about the typical lifestyle of the 1950's woman. According to Friedan, women were expected to make the beds, have dinner on the table, chauffeur the children, and as Freudian experts told them, "they could desire no greater destiny than to glory in their own femininity" (Friedan 15). This meant that only neurotic, unhappy women wanted to be writers or politicians, and that truly feminine women did not want careers, higher education or political rights -- all the things the suffragettes fought for (Friedan 16). The proportion of women attending college compared to men had dropped from forty-seven percent in 1920 to thirty-five percent in 1958 (Friedan 16).

The female role model on television was Lucille Ball in "I Love Lucy," whose any attempts at a career was always thwarted by her husband Ricky. And the father role model could be found in "Father's Knows Best." Women in movies and television were usually portrayed in pearl necklaces and heels while cooking dinner and vacuuming, and life seemed to center around the husband's arrival home from work. Women did not work outside the home unless widowhood forced them, and others who worked, generally part-time, usually did so to help pay for their husband's education (Friedan 17).

Today the…

Sources Used in Document:

Work Cited

Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. W.W. Norton & Company. 2001;

Pp. 15, 16, 17

Critical Mass.

"Profile of U.S. Single Mom is Changing Study Shows."

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