In what ways did the feminist movement change America?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is very difficult to say how the feminist movement changed America.  There are many ways in which America is different than it was before this movement, but it is not completely clear that the movement was the actual cause of the changes. 

The major change that can be attributed to the feminist movement is the change in the view of women’s proper role in society.  Before the feminist movement, there was a strong sense that women belonged “in the home.”  There was also much more of a sexual double standard than there is today.  We could say that the feminist movement caused these things.  However, we can also say that other factors caused the changes.  We can say that the invention of oral contraceptives led to this change.  We can also say that a change in our economy led to changing roles for women as physically demanding jobs became less of a part of the economy.  The point is that we do not know how much of the change is due to the feminist movement.

So, there have been many changes.  Women have started to work more and to hold more positions of importance.  There is less of a sexual double standard.  Men and women are both expected, to some degree, to help with housework and childcare.  Divorce is more common and more children are born out of wedlock.  However, it is not possible to say with certainty that these changes have been caused by the feminist movement.