Throughout this ted-style talk, I am addressing women’s gender roles from as early as the 1900s to now (because this is such a large time frame, I have picked a few key time periods within these years); but specifically the change in women’s roles and what caused this shift. Some of these factors include the need for labor in factories when men went to war, demographic changes in the attitude of society, and feminist activism. Because most people are familiar with what happened during WWI and WWII in terms of filling the spaces in jobs left by men, I will mention that, but focus more on the feminist activism side.
There are so many examples of women with high-ranked, professional jobs. To name an example: Hillary Clinton, first woman to be nominated president of one of two major political parties. An example more specific to our lives: Dean Bieschke, the dean of the Schreyer Honors College.
Women in the 1900s would never have had these jobs. Men went to work everyday and women stayed home to clean. Most women had many children (due to lack of contraceptives, something I will touch on later in the ted talk) which was the reason for their lack of schooling and ability to work other jobs outside of the home. The first spark was WWI – when men left to go to war and women filled their positions – which most everyone is familiar about, so I will not spend much time talking about.
The second spark in the change of women’s jobs was when women began speaking out against these norms and publically broadcasting their opinions – some published articles, or tried to start movements. Margaret Sanger was a key role in the creation of “the pill” which enabled women to control their pregnancies and get an education/job before having kids.
I will close by talking about women’s jobs today and how I think certain percentages regarding jobs will change in the future (for ex: preschool and kindergarten teachers are dominated 98% by females, will this be consistent in the future?)