chapter
12 Pages

Women Who Work; Women in the Work Force

Despite economic needs drawing women into the work force, public opinion about women, especially as working mothers, was ambivalent. On the one hand, women’s enormous participation in the war effort dispelled

the widespread agreement that jobs for male breadwinners, especially returning soldiers, must not be threatened. Complementing this view was a spirit of romanticism about the family and a social glorification of the central role of motherhood in child development. Despite all the sentiment about the wonders of homemaking in the suburbs, letters from women workers complaining about job discrimination and demanding equal opportunities flowed into the Women’s Bureau offices.