Important truths begin as outrageous, or at least uncomfortable, attacks upon the accepted wisdom of the time."
History has shown that changes in society not only come slowly, but are met with some degree of opposition. This is not always the case however, for example, it was in the not so distant past that the statement "a woman's place is in the home" was an accepted wisdom. Yet, today women take up their place in society at many levels; the home, working in the service sector, running major corporations, and also at the higher levels of government.
Opposition to women moving into the workforce was met with disdain, and it is still the case in some professions today where women make up the minority. Those who feel uncomfortable about the situation consider it outrageous that women are "trying to do a man's job". However, it was during World War II that women moved out of the home and took up positions in factories in far greater numbers than they ever had before.
Not coincidentally, it was at this time that another important truth was shattered and women's fashion also made a sudden change. Another accepted wisdom was altered; women only wear dresses and skirts. It was in fact the factory work that gave women "permission" to wear clothing that had been formerly considered strictly male attire. Though some members of society may have felt uncomfortable with the change, economic necessity due to the war effort demanded that all the workers be dressed in appropriate clothing, regardless of their gender. A woman at the top of a ladder, installing rivets on the front of an aircraft, could hardly been consider appropriately attired in a skirt, after all.
However, with the return of hundreds of thousands of service men from abroad, these dramatic changes in society would not remain. Shortly the "wisdom of the former times" would return and women were once again relegated to household duties. Yet, an important threshold had been crossed, and soon a new wisdom would be introduced to the west, via the women's liberation movement. Once more the cycle of outrage and discomfort would begin and important truths about the need for equality would emerge.