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Author Topic: Women in Society  (Read 862 times)

* The Narrator

    (05/12/2012 at 17:19)
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a n ∙  i l l u s t r i o u s ∙   g u i d e  ∙   t o  ∙  w o m e n

"A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water."

a t   h o m e
Having gained the right to vote only recently, women were juxtaposed against a rigorous gender gap. The typical American woman was still seen as a housewife and a mother first, and many girls were taught from a young age to focus upon basic skills such as homemaking, baking, and child rearing in favor of learning a trade.

HOW THIS PLAYS OUT - Skills taught, particularly in the more conservative schools (Beauxbatons), may focus on homemaking magic for women. An inherent gender bias may also be present - i.e. your boyfriend asks you to mend his Quidditch uniform. This varies wildly depending on one's socioeconomic class and upbringing, but by and large, women were expected to remain at home until they married.

a t   w o r k
That said - following the Great Depression, an increasing number of women were employed full-time. Unmarried women typically lived with their families and worked in a factory or a seamstress' shop, if they were of the working class, or lived at home while waiting for a husband. Much of the time, women looking for work were seen as taking the jobs away from men - it was rare indeed for a woman to rise to mid-level work.

Common jobs included:
  • Secretaries
  • Factory Workers
  • Seamstresses
  • Nurses
  • Teachers

Additionally, women in the workplace had far fewer rights than men - their contracts could be terminated for any reason, and equal pay was a thing of legend. Particularly in Axis nations (Germany, Austria, Italy), women working outside the home were an abomination not only to their family, but to their country. Economic incentives encouraged women to marry young and produce children to herald in a new era.

HOW THIS PLAYS OUT - Women applying to positions in any number of our institutions (St. Mungo's, the Daily Prophet, the Ministry, et al) are welcome to do so - and will promptly be placed into a secretarial, nursing, or other position suited to their skills.

a t   s c h o o l
All students in 1937 were required to complete a mandatory seven years at a Wizarding Accredited Institution. At the end of seven years (and the successful completion of N.E.W.Ts or the equivalent), students of both genders were considered properly educated. However--

Higher education was almost exclusively for men at this time, and the women who did pursue further education often enrolled in finishing schools. These schools encouraged domestic and household management skills, and taught slightly more complex topics than one would learn at home.

HOW THIS PLAYS OUT - All students will be required to attend school for seven years before receiving accreditation - however, some courseloads may vary (particularly at the more conservative schools), and there may be a bias towards women in areas such as the Hospital Wing, and against women in Quidditch, et al.

a t   p l a y
The roaring 20s far behind, the role of women in America greatly reverted back to Victorian times - modesty, prudence, and deference were encouraged. Many nations throughout Europe (and America) were rising out of one of the deepest depressions of that time, and fun was limited to inexpensive entertainment.

This was the rise of detective, western, and romance novels, as well as radio programs.

HOW THIS PLAYS OUT - Equal rights don't always mean identical activities - boys were given a preference for active sports such as Quidditch, Quodpot, and Duelling, while girls will be expected to pursue other, more appropriate interests - tutoring younger students, working in the Hospital Wing, and the like. Where the lines between the two may have blurred once, the steady influx of Muggle culture is hardening the divide once more.