How TV Programming in the 1950s Influenced Women's Lives

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 22nd May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Family

In the struggle for women's rights which stems well over a century, some women made great strides in changing the social mores of the day. The plight of the poor is an ongoing topic in women’s issues and women’s rights. I will now provide a brief history of feminism. We will now look at the media in the 1950s and its portrayal of women.


Before we get to the 1960's and the second wave of feminism, we will revisit the world of the 1950's, the world that is sometimes called the Ozzie and Harriet World. This era reverted backwards in terms of the status of women. In some ways the 1950's were the forgotten era in women's rights.

The gains that the Rosie the Riveters made in terms of equality with their male counterparts were taken back when the men came home from the war and reclaimed their jobs. Having said that, there were still as many women in the workforce at the end of the 1950's as there was when the Second World War was in full swing.

Television of the 1950's sent a direct message to all women - continued

Television of the 1950's sent a direct message to all women - continued

I will not go as far as to say women were not loved, but what is closer to the truth is that women were not valued for the work they did around the house. Men did not see housework as work because there was no pay involved. They did not see that raising children was work, they did not understand how a woman who was up all night with a crying baby could be tired the next day. What they saw was that she stayed home all day while they were the breadwinners who had to go out in the world to make a living.

The TV shows of the 1950's reflected this idea of family life and women's lives. They further perpetuated the myth of how every woman should spend her life, whether she yearned for a different kind of life or not.

The working women was not even considered in 1950's programming. It was as if working women were aberrations of society or at least forgotten about. Working women simply were not represented in the world of 1950's television programming.

TV Shows of the 1950s

The Nelsons - 1952 -1966

The Nelsons with Ozzie and Harriet, and Ricky their son was the number one family in America, the show aired from 1952 - 1966. They were the perfect family, no conflict, just friendly discussion that sorted out any single marital problem in existence.

If your family issues were different from this family then you had a dysfunctional family, if your mother, father, sister or brother did not act like this family then something was wrong with all of you.

On the other hand, Montreal French speaking women also had a chance to view television with a french Canadian content. In 1953, La Famille Plouffe aired on Société Radio-Canada This type of french television broadcasting was known as the first téléroman (televised novel), based on the novel, Les Plouffe, by Roger Lemelin.

Previous link

TV Programming about Women

All photos taken from the public domain
Do you have a passion to write? Do you want to share your words with the world while getting royalties on your work for years to come? Follow me here on Wikinut


1950S Tv, Dutiful Wife, Housewives, Ossie And Harriet, Te Programing About Women, Tv Programing, Tv Programming In The 1950S, Women In The Media, Womens Issues, Womens Rights

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
23rd May 2015 (#)

They wanted to paint a pretty picture to calm people after the war.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Randhir Bechoo
23rd May 2015 (#)

Interesting article

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
23rd May 2015 (#)

Great post!

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?