A welder at a boat-and-sub-building yard adjusts her goggles before resuming work, October 1943

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Have you actually spoken with anyone of that generation? Housing was so tight after the war, and cars so expensive, that two incomes were needed just to rent a small apartment or afford a 15-year-old car (assuming you could get one at all).

It was only in the early 1950s, when the “pre-fab” suburban homes were built, that women stopped working; those houses were *deliberately* priced so that a working veteran could afford one even if he weren’t married, which made him more “eligible” as a bachelor. Meanwhile, the media heavily pushed women to stay home and have kids, but many women enjoyed working and continued to do so in more socially-acceptable jobs. I’m sure there were some women who were glad to get out of the factory, but those women didn’t usually sign up for heavy war work to begin with – they tended to stick to the Post Office and so forth.

Many women left because they had sufficient savings from their war work and so they could do other things they wanted, like having a family. Having this nest-egg was incredibly important to women who had survived or grown up during the depression. But without that WW2 work opportunity allowing women to save up, I think more would have stayed in their jobs.

Also, don’t forget that women were often fired when a veteran returned to get his old job back from the boss – no official stats on that (that I know of, anyway) but my grandma and her friends often talk about female coworkers who got fired for trivial reasons to make way for a male veteran. I know one 90yo woman who drove trucks during the war and she often speak of how “liberating and educational” it was for her, and how she wished she had fought her dismissal at the end of the war, but she could afford to stay home since she had earned/saved good money and gotten married.

Yes, it does get regurgitated for pro-feminist purposes a lot, but there are many more reasons behind this situation than just “different values”.

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