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The role of the First Lady of the United States is often seen as symbolic and figurative rather than an active participant in the American political landscape. Little research exists about the role of the first ladies, making it a minimal role in the history books. Through this research I seek to shed light on the active roles of the first ladies of the last century. My research seeks to debunk the Separate Spheres Ideology that surrounds the first ladies. The Separate Spheres Ideology is a theory that is centered on women in the private sphere of the home and men in the public sphere. For centuries I believe this theory surrounded the women of the White House. Due to the fact that First Ladies have only been that cliché face of the White House, I believe gender inequality has been at work, but through their own perseverance, determination, and effort, the First Ladies of the twentieth and the twenty-first century have sought to change the stereotypical role of yesteryear and become active and empowering women in the White House. Through the analysis of women like Edith Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Hillary Clinton, I seek to show that first ladies have been making their mark on politics and public policies. The evolution of the first lady’s image is an empowering statement of what women can accomplish if only they set out to make a difference in the world around them.


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18 Jul 2022
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  • Subject
    • Political Science & International Affairs

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • LTC 382

  • Event date
    • 30 March 2015

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Beth Rauhaus