|But was the 50's worse than the 40's on this issue or the 30's. Was there something in the 50's that made it worse?|
I finally got around to reading The Feminine Mystique a few years ago and was kind of surprised to realize that women had more independence in the '30s and '40s than in the '50s. There was more acceptance of women as doctors and editors and factory workers than in the '50s, although a lot of professional women were single. After WWII, there became a collective yearning for an idealized existence with a working dad and a homemaker mom so it was a reactionary period. Women faced discrimination because they were seen as taking jobs from men. The GI Bill sent a lot of ex-soldiers to college and it took a while for women to catch up.
On the other hand, Truman integrated the military in 1948 and the modern civil rights movement got rolling with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1954.