What was life like for women between 1910-1920? What were the hardships and what were the advantages to being a female during that time period? Was the overall quality of life good or bad for women...

What was life like for women between 1910-1920? What were the hardships and what were the advantages to being a female during that time period? Was the overall quality of life good or bad for women during that era?

Expert Answers
thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Life for women during the period 1910-1920 was generally not good. This is because they were considered second class citizens with most of their basic rights restricted. In most countries women were not allowed to vote so their right of choice was infringed on since they had no say in the choice of leaders or laws that governed the societies they lived in. Women of different social and economic classes had different opportunities. Lower class women often worked and were employed as school teachers, nurses, domestic servants, shop clerks, seamstresses, and secretaries who could type and take shorthand.  Upper class women were still mostly confined to their homes raising children, participating in charitable work, and overseeing a household of servants since external employment was still the preserve of upper class men.

The same period also featured the First World War which presented some emerging opportunities for the women. They were able to take over jobs that they were not allowed to do from the men who were engaged in war. Through this, they were able to display their abilities and eventually their participation helped them lay claim to some of their rights, such as the right to vote, given their contribution during the war period. In most countries, during and after this period, the right to vote and other basic rights were granted.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During this time, women made some gains during World War I, as many American women served as nurses or worked in munitions or other plants during the war. As men were away fighting, jobs opened up to women that would not have been available to them otherwise. This was one of the advantages of this decade. However, women were expected to relinquish these jobs once men returned from the war. Women were also paid less than men, and the jobs open to them were generally clerical or industrial. They were still largely kept out of professions such as medicine or law and kept out of management and politics.

In this decade, an early form of feminism developed, as women pushed for the right to vote, which they were granted in 1920 with the 19th Amendment. In some states, women could vote in the 1910s. However, they held few political offices.

At home, women still did not have the benefit of labor-saving devices, and many worked long hours taking care of children and the home. While women were beginning to see changes, which would accelerate in the 1920s with the idea of the freer "New Woman," life in the 1910s was still fairly restrictive for most women.

thewanderlust878 | Student

Between 1910-1920 a lot of changes were starting for women. The biggest one is the increased fight from women to be given the right to vote. Also, many women were starting to rebel against old traditions of long dresses and skirts, long hair, not having a career and simply being a mother, etc. This helped spark The Roaring Twenties. 

atyourservice | Student

I would say the overall quality of women in the 19th century was bad.

Women weren't allowed to vote. They were seen as a  weaker sex. They had no say about anything related to their family or their homes. Once they were married all their properties fell into the hands of their husbands. They had to live life confined into this small little box where they had no say. When they left their family home, where they were ruled by they father, they went to another man who would also have the upper hand.

Women weren't allowed to work, and had to rely mainly on their husband's income. A woman who became a widow had little to no way of surviving, as they weren't allowed to work for themselves. Women at that time also had no sexual freedom, a man could have had a few women here and there but if a woman did she was ruined. Women were basically seen as dolls who were made to bear children and take care of the house, they were seen as nothing more.