Sexism and Racism in the 1930s

Sexism in the 1930’s In the period of the 1930s in America there were lots of forms of discrimination: one of them was sexism. Women were not seen as equal to men: they had fewer rights than men, were paid less and most of them were only allowed to take care of domestic chores. In that period of time, women started realising how submitted they were to men, so they began having ideas on how they could improve their lives and gain more independence.

Most single women worked for a living, and so did a lot of married women. The number of married women going out to work increased during the 1930s because many women were trying to keep their families afloat. Some people objected to married women working, because they thought they were taking jobs from single women who needed to support themselves. Many school boards for instance refused to hire married women teachers. But in spite of this, the number of working married women increased steadily throughout the 30s. Despite this, only around 24.3% of women worked. 3 out of 10 women had a job relating to domestic or personal services, such as being a secretary, maid or clerk. This was due to the fact that women were generally denied influential jobs, instead relegated to lesser occupations.

Women did get the vote in America in 1920. However, black women, like black men, were often prevented from voting in the south by the poll tax, literacy laws, threats, intimidation, and outright violence.

Racism in the 1930s The 1930’s were a turbulent time for race relations in America. Despite the decline of such organizations as the Ku Klux Klan, which had enjoyed renewed support during the 1910’s and 1920’s, racism was as strong as ever in the Southern states. Furthermore, the increased presence of Black Americans in cities (where many had migrated during WWII and especially during the Depression) resulted in increased tension. In the 1930’s about 11.9 million African Americans lived in the United States. Starting from the 1700’s, racism reached its peak in the 1930’s causing blacks to fight for the right to be treated equally. The treatment that African Americans received from the Whites was awful, leading to a sense of inferiority.

Not only were they denied the right to receive a good education, constitutional rights were virtually non-existent for blacks. The Great Depression of the 1930s was catastrophic for all workers. But as usual, Blacks suffered worse, pushed out of unskilled jobs previously scorned by whites before the depression. Blacks faced unemployment of 50 percent or more, compared with about 30 percent for whites. Furthermore, Black wages were at least 30 percent, on average, below those of white workers, who themselves were barely at the edge of poverty.

In the 1930’s blacks had no civil rights: land ownership was possible, though very limited. Blacks were not allowed to serve in any political positions on any level. Formal education was not provided. It was illegal for blacks to read books or go to any school or library. Other tactics were also used to further oppress blacks, such as derogatory name calling and legal, physical abuse which could possibly result in death (such as from lynching). 40% of the lynching’s that happened to blacks were due to false accusations from the white populace.

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