20th Century Feminism Essay

Krystal Subillaga
CH 203 section 3007
Dr. Engrid Barnett
Essay #2
10 May 2015
Feminism in the 20th Century
Achieving roles for women that are as equal as men, before and during the twentieth century, appeared to be inevitable in the United States. Women were limited to domesticity, performing duties that only serve their families as wives, mothers, and diligent daughters. Women were absorbed and accustomed to these standards, oblivious to their worth and capabilities that are above and beyond their set domestic duties. “Groups of women challenged this norm of the twentieth century and exceeded their limited roles as domestic servants by organizing movements whose sole purpose is to achieve equality within a male-dominated society” (Norton
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“Women’s movement spoke of moral purity, whereas feminists emphasized rights and self-development” (Norton et al. 555). Although feminists took a more demanding and formidable approach to achieve their goals, they still held on to the gentler side of their sexuality. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of Women and Economics (1898) is a major figure and one of the most influential feminists in this social evolution. She argued that roles as domestic servants have become obsolete” (Norton et al. 555). However, without the cult of domesticity, men would not have been able to attain the wealth they have. “Gilman stated that the labor of women in the house, certainly, enables men to produce more wealth that they otherwise could; and in this way women are economic factors in society” (Gilman 13). Men’s authoritative attitudes however, hinder women’s opportunity to receive economic independence. As a result, Gilman emphasized that women who are seen as property of men and obliged to perform domestic duties without getting paid for it, must be economically independent. Women and Economics gained popularity for the new term “feminism” as Gilman further called for women to earn their economic independence within the male dominated
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