Faculty Advisor

Kim Jensen

Faculty Advisor

Ricardo Pelegrín Taboada


Increased focus on working conditions with the rise of women adrift leaving home to look for work at the turn of the 20th century led to a massive wave of reform in the Progressive Era called protective labor legislation. This legislation would aim to aid women workers in securing shorter hours, higher wages and better working environments, but ultimately was met with contention. To achieve the goal of protecting women, women’s organizations like the Consumers’ League of Oregon adopted the idea of difference theory which stated that men and women are fundamentally different, and took to the courts. This research showcases the importance of difference theory in the approval of women’s labor rights in Oregon and highlights that while protection was granted, it was at the expense of women’s identities as laborers. Sex-based legislation might have convinced the supreme courts that women deserved protection, but it also convinced the courts that women would never be equal to men.

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Western Oregon University Library has determined, as of 7/22/2021, this item is in copyright, which is held by Chloe Miller. Users may use the item in accordance with copyright limitations and exceptions, including fair use. For other uses, please ask permission from the author



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