American history

Mask of Masculinity:
American Women’s Dual Behavior During World War II

Mask of Masculinity:  American Women’s Dual Behavior During World War II

Kelsey Clinton (Vanderbilt University class of 2018) – In September of 1939, American political journalist, Norman Cousins, offered the following solution to the Depression, “Simply fire the women, who shouldn’t be working anyway, and hire the men.” During the same month, events occurred in Europe that would ultimately make Cousins’ solution infeasible. Hitler’s invasion of Poland set the stage for World War II. Not only were women expected to replace men who were leaving to go fight in the war, but they were also expected to maintain pre-conflict duties, such as taking care of children, being good wives, and upholding a feminine sexual appeal.