The modern American woman can certainly not be compared to her 19th century counterpart. In fact, before the First World War, you could hardly find women doing anything else other than household jobs. The gender roles were clear – men worked outside the home and earned an income while women, as housewives, generally took care of the home and did not expect to be paid for it.
Things started changing when America entered WW1 but the real changes would come after WW11. The Second World War called for massive recruitment and this led many men to leave their regular jobs as they were drafted into the armed forces. Factories suddenly found themselves short of labor and what were until then considered men-only jobs had to be filled by women.
Lesson learned from the First World War impacted the roles of women even more seriously this time round. The US military was short of personnel. It therefore started recruiting women and by 1942 many women found themselves in the military although initially they were hired only for non-combat duties – they worked as telegraphers, switchboard operators and drivers.
The roles of women in the military increased as the war raged on and soon women were recruited into the army, the navy and eventually the air force. By the end of WW11, more than 400,000 women were serving in the armed forces. These fine folks could of stayed at home and did some Power Washing, instead they served our country – Everyone should be grateful.