SUDDENLY WOMEN ARE IMPORTANT
By Anne Greene
Before World War II a woman served as a wife and mother. Occupations were reserved for men and some states barred married women from holding jobs. But the need for women power was so great during the war that both women and men had to change their perception of women’s roles.
For many women, WWII brought sacrifice, new jobs, new skills, and new opportunities. Women voluntarily mobilized to meet every challenge the US Government asked of them. With so many thousands of men serving aboard, dying and wounded, America grew drastically short of manpower.
Women stepped up to fill the male jobs. The government posted advertisements to encourage women to take on defense jobs. Posters asked women to enter the male professions.
Some types of jobs women held:
Government Girls. Girls migrated from every town and city in the US to Washington D.C. to work in federal government positions to participate behind the lines in the war effort.
Rosie the Riveter Girls. Girls signed up by the hundreds to take hard-to-handle male jobs as US factories expanded their facilities and retooled for war production. The government depended on women to accomplish those vital jobs. More than 310,000 women worked in the aircraft industry alone, representing 65 percent of the workforce. The munitions industry also heavily recruited women.
Based on a real-life munitions worker, the strong, bandanna-clad Rosie became one of the most successful recruitment tools in American history and the iconic image of working women during World War II. Movies, newspapers, posters, photographs, articles, a Saturday Evening Post cover and a Normal Rockwell painting of Rosie stressed the patriotic need for women to join the work force. Huge numbers did. Crucial to the war effort, their pay lagged far behind that of males doing the same work. Females rarely earned more than fifty percent of male wages. Yet, by 1945 one out of every four women worked.
Women in the Armed Forces WASPS, WAVES, WACS, WAFS, NURSES, and SPIES all joined the men in the armed forces. Some 350,000 women served in the US Armed Forces, both at home and abroad. You’ll learn how the heroic WASPS served by reading my exciting, historical romance, Angel With Steel Wings. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt urged women to use their talents to serve their country.
At first servicewomen took clerical jobs to free a man to fight. But as more and more men shipped overseas, women replaced them in every occupation except direct combat—in the motor pool, as radio operators and repairmen, gunnery instructors, mechanics, flight instructors, test pilots, and in the technical and scientific fields.
Some 350,000 women served in the US Armed Forces, both at home and abroad.
ON THE HOME FRONT. At home, in towns and cities across the land, women raised money for war bonds, collected blood, rolled bandages, helped with civil defense, tended Victory Gardens, hosted troops in their homes, recycled scarce materials, dealt with strict rationing, raised their children, and mourned their dead. Almost every home had a gold star in a front window.
American may well have lost World War II without its women, America’s Secret Weapon.
Do you think American would have lost the war to Germany and Japan if her women had not mobilized? LEAVE A COMMENT and one commenter will win a free autographed copy of my book, Masquerade Marriage. Please leave your email, so in the event you win, I can get your address.
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement releases in December, 2013. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won several awards. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s travel pictures and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.PelicanBookGroup.com. Or at http://www.Amazon.com.
I definitely think that the fighting men would have had a much harder time if the whole country, not just the women, weren't behind them. From what I hear, it was a ocmplete effort of men women and children, businesses... everyone joined in the effort. It's so sad to me that nowadays we have service personnel deployed and they are practically forgotten because the nation is so divided on so many issues.ReplyDelete
I think that's also we look at this period as the greatest generation. I am proud of the efforts in my family...as a baby boomer I grew up on these stories. Lovely post, Anne!
Happy Flag Day!
I'd love to be in the drawing for your story and hope to read your WW11 soon as well.
I would also be grateful if our nation were united today. Yes, only a fraction of the country is behind our men and women offering their lives to keep us free. I think the last few generations take our freedoms for granted.
I think that women played an important part in the war effort and without their support and help we would have been at a disadvantage. Thank you for the chance to winReplyDelete
griperang at embarqmail dot com
If think if men had not re-evaluated the part women could play in the war effort, America would have lost the war. I hope I mentioned to everyone to give me their email address in case they win. Thanks for yours.Delete
As much as I don't like to think of women on the battlefield, I am sure if I had been alive at that time, I would have been willing to go and do whatever was needed! Would love to win and read this book.ReplyDelete
God bless, Betti
Thanks, Betti. Back then, no women was sent into combat. It's a bit different today, and I'm not sure I will ever agree that women should enter combat. Thanks for visiting.Delete
Thank you for sharing, Anne. I have always been fascinated by this era and the role women played.ReplyDelete
That period of wartime really opened doors for women. They slammed shut again after the war. But women had tasted what could be and pounded on those doors until they reopened. Would you send me your email address? If I have no email address I can't enter you in the drawing for a free book.Delete
Yes, I do believe we would have suffered much more as a country had women not gone forward to fill in. They held the fort down while the men were overseas. Something to be proud of! Great information!ReplyDelete
farmygirl at hotmail dot com
Thanks, Susan. If war is ever good for something, which in the case of WWII, it definitely was, the byproduct was a shot in the arm for women.Delete
I really do think the women is what helped them win. Women are tough and can handle anything. :)ReplyDelete
campbellamyd at gmail dot com
Great words, Amy!Delete
I am writing about women who served at home. It has been fascinating to see what women were suddenly "allowed" to do. And sad because many of them gave up their jobs when the men returned home.ReplyDelete
I love to write about that era! I hope your book is published. I love to read about it too!
Thanks so much for sharing! It is such an amazing look at that time in our history, to see how everyone was pretty much helping in some way to fight the war. It's the first time you see that on a large scale, although I love looking at all the accounts through history where women played crucial roles in wars, even just by being there for the men.ReplyDelete
Keeping the men's morale up was vitally important as well. Nice seeing you here, Karen!Delete
Anne, it wasn't just American women who played a huge part in the war--Great Britain had already realized the importance of utilizing women in WWI, and the Russians had a group of female pilots who have been credited with the victory on the eastern front. You and I should talk--my first book with Love Inspired Historical was a book about a girl pilot flying B-29s in WWII Georgia! Looking forward to reading your book!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Patty! Yes, other countries utalized their women as well. Depending on how one looks at history, women took a big step ahead.Delete
Sure, let's talk!
Wonderful post about the women of WWII. I've actually written the memoirs of a WWII veteran (not published yet), and his wife was the one who decoded the message that Pearl Harbor had been attacked.ReplyDelete
I loved your post, especially since he and I have talked so much about that time frame - and how much things changed.
The changes after WWII were emense. Good for the most part, I think. Thanks for the kind words, Donna! I hope your books sees publication!Delete
Don't you have to wonder how stay-at-home-moms moved into so many machinery & technical jobs? I know I could easily do the clerical type work, but I don't know about being a riveter or assembling bombs. And yet, many women did. It just shows how people can do anything they set their minds to.ReplyDelete
I also hate that America has lost much of its patriotism and support for the military.
HI Vickie! I'm a great admirer of the women of that era! The can-do attitutde they had despite all the bad news from the war front. They slipped into men's roles and continued with their own doing double-duty. Our nation owes a great deal to those women.Delete
Before I was born, my father fought in WWII and my mother worked. I think, generally, people were more committed to the war effort and to our country. At least, that's what I determined from hearing my parents and grandparents talking as I grew up. However, I'm so very glad that my mom was able to stay at home and not work, as I was growing up in the 1950's. I had an idealistic childhood.ReplyDelete
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com
Hi Kay, Good to hear you had such a wonderful childhood. Actually, our government encouraged women with children to stay home and raise those kids. Mothers did that as well as head blood drives, buy war bonds, make ends meet when rationing was so strict, and so many other things. Mostly single women went into the factories, the military, and to Washington.Delete
I believe the women were a important part of the war. They filled places in the war that helped the men to win the war. Thank you for your wonderful post.ReplyDelete
Hi Barbara, good to see you here. So far, we are all in agreement that women were indespensible during WWII. Without women pinch-hitting to free men to go into combat, we might well have lost that war and all of us would be speaking German and Japanese.Delete
Loved this post with your long list of accomplishments by women working at home and overseas. It's plain to see that women here and in other countries under direct attack gave invaluable service. My now elderly neighbor, a British war bride, was a plotter for the RAF. Some American women volunteered to stay here or go abroad with the American Red Cross. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, happy you mentioned her, was a voice for our troops and provided moral support for those serving overseas, making repeated visits to bases both in England and South Pacific. Among other things, the First Lady saw to it that American men got items of clothing they needed. She also wrote a book called It's Up to the Women.ReplyDelete
Wonderful post, Ann. Please put me in the drawing.
Hi Pat, lovely to hear from you. Since you left your email address you are automatically included in the drawing. Thanks. Yes, I have a lot of respect for Eleanor Roosevelt. She did a lot for women. I love the name of her book. People these days have a great deal of interest in those terrible/great days.Delete
You know, I'd never really thought about this subject you shared on but yes, I do think the women truly helped win the war. It makes me think how much better off people are and how much higher the morale is in any situation when we're backed up physically, mentally, and especially spiritually! The greater the support the higher the morale. Thanks for your post today!ReplyDelete
Hi Kam, nice to hear from you. That support is sorely needed today for our troops. Especially for those wounded warriors who come home and must learn to cope with their injuries. Morale is important for them.Delete
Oops I forgot: kam110476 (at) gmail (dot) comDelete
Great post..and yes it had to be a team effort to win against such a devastating enemy. Thanks for the extra info...it was great would love to win!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Eliza. Just think what a different world this would be if Germany had won that war! Horrible to think about. Women stood up and were counted and made a great difference.Delete
Hi Anne! I think that the success of America in World War II is very much due to the spirit of teamwork and cooperation demonstrated by the women who stepped up to help, and I have a high regard for them. :-) Would love to win a copy of "Marriage by Arrangement" ;-) Bless you!ReplyDelete
Hi Gwendolyn, I recognize you from pinterest. Nice to see you here. Your name is in the hat for the win. I wish we had that teamwork and cooperation today that they enjoyed during WWII. But, I think women are still the same today. Women step in to occupy whatever spot needs filling with courage and perserverance. We are strong, we are loyal, we are loving.Delete
HI Anne. I think women played an important part then and now. It's a joint effort and those that fight for our country sacrifice so much. Thanks to them and thank you for this giveaway.ReplyDelete
Hi Wanda, thank you for joining me here. I love writing about the World War II era. I have a couple other books I hope to contract about women spies in the OSS, the origin of the CIA, and another about emergency flight nurses. I hope we will still be friends when they release.Delete
I have never encountered information about a state that prevented married women from working, not that I've much researched working married women. Fascinating. More info. please? This forever curious mind wants to know.ReplyDelete
Hi Laurie Alice, You do have the most inquiring mind! Nice to see you here. The government didn't prevent women with children from entering the factories and military, but they encouraged them to stay home and raise the kids as part of their patriotic war effort. But single women were sought, recruited, and even propaganzied to go to work! Posters sprang up everywhere. Songs, radio scripts and newsreels, newpaper and magazine articles, and perhaps even sermons urged women to get out of the house and do their part to win the war. Thousands of women responded...and performed extremely well.Delete
Thanks, Anne. My husband tells me that as high as the Supreme Court decided some jobs were too difficult or dangerous for women (he's a lawyer) and this was getting lifted by the war. World War II, that is.ReplyDelete
Glad to know. Thanks for the post. 20th century history is NOT my forte.
I do believe that the efforts of the war would have been much different without the women involved with the behind the scenes and other jobs they did. My grandmother was a designer that designed tools to put together airplanes, larger machines etc. that were used in the war effort. The work she did was grueling and she did not get much recognition for it.ReplyDelete
She would not see the sun for 6 days at a time as they went to work underground before the sun came up and left after it went down. She was away from her family, and had to petition to get paid more, but still was less than what the men were paid.
Yep. The women worked very hard and didn't get much recognition. Very sad. And they did not get equal pay with men, even though when THEY returned home the women still had the home work to do. Yet the women perserved! Great women.Delete
I think we probably would have lost if not for women. It was truly a united effort on everyone's part. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)comReplyDelete
So true, Veronica. Good to see you here.Delete
The winner this month is Kam. I don't have a full name, but I do have her email address. Kam, I'll be emailing you for your address so I can send you an autographed book. Thanks for joining us here.ReplyDelete