By Rochelle Gatlin
E-book by way of Gatlin, Rochelle
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Extra info for American Women Since 1945
2 shows this was more dramatic among women than men. 2 Earnings of black and other races to whiten Among men (%) 1939 1959 1964 1969 1974 45 61 66 69 74 Among women (%) 38 66 69 82 94 Year-round, full-time workers only. souRcE: Population Division, Bureau of the Census, The Social and Economic Status of the a Black Population in the United States: An Historical View, 1790--1978 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, Current Population Reports, Special Studies, Series P-23, No. 80) p. 48.
Married women workers, especially if employed part-time, saw their earnings as supplementary family income. The married mother worked not for 'selfish' reasons, but to give her children a better chance in life, such as a college education. She was merely extending the way she performed her traditional roles as wife and mother. Husbands could accept their wives as secondary or supplementary income-earners; women, in turn, were expected to play down personal ambition. The fact that women, even if they worked full-time, generally earned far less than their husbands minimised any threat to men's status as breadwinners.
However, the continued large demand for teachers and health workers in the 1950s and 1960s delayed any break with tradition. Youth became another Cold War concern. The high post-war birth rate and prolonged years of adolescent schooling focused national attention on the 'teenager'. Business and advertising firms welcomed the new 'youth market' for records, clothes and automobiles; but parents, religious leaders and psychologists were becoming worried about adolescent 'alienation'. Youth heroes, such 46 AMERICAN WOMEN SINCE 1945 as James Dean of Rebel Without a Cause and Marlon Brando of The Wild One, were brooding, resentful 'loners'.