Women And The Expansion Of Their Roles ?1940300?
Before the 1940?s your average woman would be at home taking care of the household chores and preparing diner for the family. The women make sure that when her husband and family returned that dinner was on the table and the house was clean. The men would work all day and make the household income. In the late 1930?s early 1940?s the role of women changed dramatically. The world was going to war again and unfortuntly the world was all but ready. However had this war never had taken place women may still be in the kitchen today.
The majority of men were called upon to fight for their country and knowing that you can?t be two places at once the question of who would run the factory?s, bussiness and all the things the men were doing before hand arose. This is where the women come in.
Women took the place of men completley. They were working in factories, shipyards, lumbermills, steelmills, and foundries. Women were going crazy, they were testing the boundries and taking the best of their known abilities and taking them to the highest of their unknown. Women let their minds expand and it wasn?t long that the society realized that women too, had extradinary abilities. ?
Then, too, there was my belief that now and then women should do for themselves what men have already done? and occasionally what men have not done?thereby establishing them selves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action? Women worked as welders, electricians, mechanics, boilermakers, engineers, doctors, physics, chemists, nurses, and many other occupations. Over 3 million women served at Red Cross. By the end of WW II, Americas wartime production reached it?s highest point ever! Production records include 296,429 airplanes, 10,351 tanks and self-propelled guns, 372,431 artillery pieces, 47 tons of artillery ammunition, 87,620 warships, 44 billion rounds of small arms ammunition. One could say that this war was a Production miracle. Thanks to the women, of course!
Women however helped more then just doing the men?s work in the factories. As amazing as it may be; women also helped fight for our country.
Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rodgers and Eleanor Roosevelt presented our society with a bill on May 28, 1941, in hopes of establishing a Women?s Army Auxiliary Corporation for service with the United States. This bill was first denied and rejected. What place did women have in the war The society thought to it?s self, what good would any women do
General George C. Marshall was the first to take interest. In 1941 General Marshall ordered the war department to create a women?s corporation. Finally on may 14, 1942 the bill to ?establish a Women?s Auxiliary corps? was re-presented. Oveta culp Hobby, wife of the former governor of Texas, was appointed director. With a little help from Eleanor Roosevelt the navy united and authorized a Woman?s Naval Reserve and a Marine Corps Women?s Reserve. The Coast Guard followed closely.
The first director of WAVES ( Women accepted for volunteer emergency service) was LT. Commander Mildred McAfee. The SPARS (which came from the coast guard motto semper paratus- always ready) was led by LT. Commander Dorothy C. Stratton. The marines Corps Women?s Reserve was led by Major Ruth Cheyney Streeter. A second bill was later signed in July 1943, by President Roosevelt changing the WAAC to the WAC. This placing it as part of the army and not an auxiliary.
One Incredible woman who serve was captain Lillian Kinkela Kele, she was a member of the Air Force Nurse Corps and one of the most excellent women in the United States Military. Keli flew over 200 air evaluation missions during WW II as well as 25 trans-Atlantic crossings.
She returned with civilian flying with United Airlines after the war, but when the Korean conflict erupted she put her uniform back on and flew several hundred more missions as a flight nurse in Korea.
By January 1944 the first WAC?S arrived in the Pacific and in July of 1944, WAC?S landed on the beach at Normandy. By this time there were over 100,000 women in uniform. There were already nurses serving in England and Egypt. Women continued to serve overseas through 1945 and at one point there were over 2000 WAC?S serving in North Africa alone. Form their women were sent to Italy serves with the fifth Army and these women moved all over Italy during the Italian campaign. Handling the communications.
As a result they earned commendations, bronze stars, and overall they gained the respect of their fellow soldiers as they crawled through mud, lived in tents, dived into foxholes and dugouts during the Anzio Air raids. During the battle on Anzio, the Germans bombing killed six army nurses. Four army nurses were awarded silver stars for extradinary courage. Overall, more then 200 Army Nurses lost their lives during WW II.
Women played an important part in the United States winning WW II. The women showed the society that they too had the ability to do what men were doing for all the many years before hand. Women showed that they could handle any task. They showed that they have all the abilities that any man does. They helped significantly in keeping the world in order during WW II. However, as quickly as women went into the work force they faded away with the ending of the war. But this time it was because that is where they wanted to be. -X