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by Bianca C on September 9, 2012 - 10:07am

In today’s society we find women as doctors, lawyers and even CEO’s. It was not always like that however. Women were nurses, secretary’s, and most importantly mothers. The changing role of women in the work place is very evident. Women worked in the textile mills after the industrial revolution but the amount of women were very few and they were mostly un-married women. They also worked during world war two but returned to the homes once the war was over.

 During the time of the industrial revolution the laborers had pushed for a family wage which took into account the family the man had at home (Burns). The family wage was beneficial to most but it was not to women that needed to work because it kept their wages low because in the eyes of the factory owners they were being paid through the family wage. Marriage became a necessity for women because they had no way of providing for themselves. Heidi Hartmann, a feminist economist and the founder of the institute for women’s policy research, views job segregation by gender a “vicious cycle that traps women into low paying jobs and marriages. When a woman is financially reliant on her husband she has to do what he says. The woman is not his wife; she is more like his child. Many people consider being a mother a full time job. If that is the case the men, who make all the money, are the boss.

During world war two women left the house and entered the factories in huge numbers. The women made a reserve of army labor (Burns). They took the jobs of men in factories and still managed to complete their responsibilities at home. After the war the women were ushered back into the homes so they could return to their maternal roles. In order to persuade women they used a massive amount of propaganda mostly highlighting maternal deprivation (Burns). Maternal deprivation occurs when the interplay and physical contact normally seen between mother and infant may be absent or distorted

To this day there is still a gender bias towards women in the workplace. By paying women less the men have a constant advantage over them. Juliet Mitchell, a British psychoanalyst, believed that the patriarchal beliefs are embedded in our unconscious. It being embedded into the deepest part of the brain makes it very hard to change. 

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