Women’s Roles in the 50’s

How did Canadian life develop after WWII? With this current project I have found that the topic that has jumped out to me is gender roles in the 50’s, more specifically the roles of women. Women’s roles changed when soldiers returned home which effected Canadian lifestyle. I have found many examples that support this idea and may make you look at this topic differently. 

Women’s roles in the 50’s were focused around the household. They would clean, cook and take care of the kids. Women in the 50’s were expected to fit the description of a perfect wife. When we watched “Leave it to Beaver” in class I noticed that the father referred to the mother as a dish washer. I was able to connect this to the “Back in Time for Dinner” episode we watched when Tristan commented on how she had to do all the work while her husband relaxed. Beauty standards also went up after Cinderella was released. 

Women had finally gained independence during WWII with all the men going to war and jobs needing to be filled. But once the war ended they went back to being seen as a wife and nothing more. Most women were told to quit their jobs and find a husband. These job positions were then filled by the men coming home from war. Women lost their independence and started having to depend on their husbands. 

With all these women marrying and starting families there was the baby boom. Suburban life emerged and the ideal family was set. The husband would go to work and the wife would be expected to raise the children. Boys would be raised knowing they will get a job and family one day while girls were taught how to be a mother. Girls would help their mother clean and cook and if they went to school they would take a home economics class. These home economics classes would teach them how to take care of a home when they grow up. This caused many girls to only dream of becoming a mother rather than an astronaut or to work in a business. 

In conclusion I think that women had worked so hard to get more respect and then were set back to square one in the 50’s. Their roles did indeed change when soldiers came home and it still leaves behind an impact today on Canadian lifestyle.

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