Introduction

This blog shows the changes throughout women’s labor from the mid 1700’s to present date. Throughout my blog postings we can see the effects of “separate spheres” and how it shaped peoples views on both men and women. While men were always able to work outside the home in factories, construction sites, offices, ranches, etc., women had to fight their way to be able to work outside the home; a privilege that men always had. In the first blog post we see a labor wanted ad for domestic work inside the home. This work was seen as unskilled and paid poorly. The second blog post shows the beginning of “industrializing” women’s domestic labor with the use of spinning mills. The wives of farmers could now spin wool more efficiently, however this was still viewed as unskilled. Moving later into the 18th century and the early 19th century we see ads for wet nurses, such as the one in my third blog post. The women that were usually employed for this type of work were poor and black. In my fourth blog post I shared a labor wanted ad from 1824 for mitten sewers. Domestic work such as sewing was viewed as work that all women and girls should already know how to do. Since they were expected to know how to already do it, it was seen as unskilled. The girls that would be hired for these jobs were usually on the younger side. For a woman, if you were working past your mid 20’s it was seen as shameful; at that point your life you ought to be married and having children. This is where we start to see women do other jobs other than just housework. However, in the fifth blog post we see how men felt about women beginning to do jobs other than domestic labor. The Printer’s Union complained of women being in the workplace and gave a detailed list of reason why they should not be allowed to work in the same space as men. In the sixth blog post we see how Heinz used the employment of women to their advantage. They used women’s purity and knowledge of preserved foods as a marketing strategy to get other women to buy their product. Moving into WWII era we have a quote from a speech made by Ella Reeve Bloor in the seventh blog post. While all of the men are away, companies and firms begin to employ women. Bloor tries to motivate her fellow women by telling them that their men would be “happy” to know that the women are being “useful.” In the eighth blog post we have an excerpt from a speech made by Clare Booth Luce around the same time period. Contrary to Bloor, Luce attempts to motivate women by telling them that with their help in the labor force, the U.S. can end the war and lock up Hitler. Moving ahead to the 1950’s there is a quote from Alice Peurala in the ninth blog post. She talks about how she moved out of her house in her early twenties to live with a friend of hers and make a living for herself. At this point, society had become more accepting of women making moves like this. However, Peurala’s traditional Armenian parents were not happy with her decision. They believed that she should have stayed home until she was married. Lastly, my tenth blog post includes a song from 2005 called “Mr. Mom” by Lonestar. It is about a husband and father who loses his job. His wife tells him that if he stays home with the kids, she’ll work until he is able to get back on his feet. Throughout the song he explains how overwhelming and difficult it is to take care of things at home. Between the kids, everyday tasks, and balancing the finances he was amazed that his wife could do it every single day. This has been the role of women for hundreds of years and it is overlooked. With these blog posts put together we can see that through the idea of “separate spheres” society believed that women were only good for domestic, “unskilled” work. This was until men were drafted into war and women needed to take over in the factories and offices that had previously been dominated by men.

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