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Some men opposed the employment of women in WWI when their work was absolutely crucial. Why did men oppose this?

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Introduction

Why did some men oppose employment of women in industry? To start off with, some men opposed the employment of women in WWI when their work was absolutely crucial. Why did men oppose this? To start with, the working class was very dominant by the males. Traditionally, the men went out to work, while the women stayed at home and looked after the rest of the family. The "traditional" women jobs included cooking and cleaning the house etc. When women came into factories to work, men felt like women were "Breaking the tradition." Because men were so used to having other men around them during working hours, the whole atmosphere in the work place was changed when women were working. They felt like they had to act differently in front of women, and they didn't like the change. This, of course, sparked the loathing of women at work, and often led to forms of bullying. ...read more.

Middle

They believed that women were "stealing" job places off men who were in the army. If women took their places, what job prospects would their friends and family return to? Also, the mood in the front line was that they should be able to return to their normal day jobs once the war was over. They did not expect for them to have been taken by women, who were seen as house wives. Factory jobs were the main jobs that women replaced men doing. These jobs usually required hard labour, typically performed by males. According to Source H, "Women can satisfactorily handle much heavier pieces of metal than had been previously dreamt of." Women weren't only replacing men in factory life (though source I states that "women preferred factory life"). Other jobs were now female dominated such as conductors on buses and trams. Women now even tackled the more dangerous jobs such as Air-raid conductors and Fire officers. ...read more.

Conclusion

This view was shared even by the factory owners themselves. "When the boys come back we are not going to keep you any longer girls." So, in conclusion, men had many reasons why they opposed women in the workplace. The main ones were for job security and to keep society male dominant, like it was traditionally. They did not believe in equality as we do today, and this is visibly expressed in Source G. Men were afraid that they would lose their jobs if women proved themselves, and this in turn, would lead to a more female society elsewhere. Men felt as though they had to work incredibly hard to earn their places in the working society, and they did not like the intrusion of women who had very little training and experience. Finally, if women didn't take over their jobs completely, men were worried about a pay cut if women were working for less. It has been stated in source A, women generally thought they were "very well off earning �5 a week." This was a massive pay rise compared to the "�2 a month" that women were previously earning. ...read more.

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