Meanwhile, the federal government, in a mind-boggling display of bureaucratic spin, advocated the notion that women actually felt less strain due to the Depression than men.
The chief of the Federal Bureau of Home Economics argued that homemaking could and should be esteemed because it was the ‘only occupation engaging a significant number which give economic security to its workers.’ None of the nation’s twenty-eight million housewives lost their jobs because of the economic crisis.
– Lois Scharf, To Work and to Wed
The government of course ignored exactly how unpaid work inside the home offered the women any economic security. Nonetheless, the government’s awkward praise is an example of the difficult negotiations during the era to determine exactly what service provides a “contribution” to society and should be protected by governmental assistance.