Who were the male breadwinners?
In general, people thought the breadwinners were men and women. They thought women were the breadwinners because they were the breadwinners. So, if women want breadwinners, the men should have jobs. If the breadwinners want jobs, the men should have jobs. But women, as a group, did not have jobs and they were not breadwinners. They had other jobs. The breadwinner role was taken by their mothers or grandmothers.
That was an interesting view in 1900 and 1910, but in today’s society, that does not represent a lot of women. We’ve got this idea of breadwinner as a “white woman” and we’ve gotta get rid of that. I think the whole idea of “motherhood as a role or an income that women take home.” And they’re taking it home, at least if they’re able. They’re not taking it home for their family.
And, they’re definitely not taking it home because they are working. In 1913, there was a little more than 10 percent of people who were self-employed. This was very different than when they first went into the labor force in 1914. I think that in 1914, we thought in general that women worked and that they had a role in society; that women worked; that women were breadwinners.
But we had a whole different set of expectations about how much women worked in 1915 when they started getting into unions or in 1915 when they started getting into the labor force. So, those expectations, we didn’t get around to trying to enforce them, until the 1920s and 1930s.
So, these were the days of the Depression.
And many people had to go through depression because the jobs that were available went to men, but women were forced into very difficult labor. Women were forced to either stay indoors and don’t do work or to be part of industrial production; so that women had to pick cotton or pick cotton, or they had to pick some other kind of agriculture. They didn’t have any jobs. They didn’t have enough jobs. So, those women were basically excluded, forced out of the labor force, because they couldn’t find jobs.
And women who did not want to work for wages at that time came out of the factories, but not all of them did, of course. Because if you did, the men wouldn’t take you under their wing. Well, this
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