“For most of history, anonymous was a woman –Virginia Wolf.” For women, the path to equality in the home and workforce has been a long hard fought battle that is still taking place as we speak. With every victory that has taken place, there have also been road blocks at every turn, many shed tears, resistance, and an unwavering belief felt by men, that women truly will never amount to anything other than a housewife. If the women from the start of this battle were to see the great strides taken place over the years and the place women are at now, they would stand in utter disbelief. It is with great thanks that we as women are able to flourish as individuals; letting our goals, dreams, aspirations, and intelligence take the forefront of our duties to society.
Martha Ballard was a midwife in Hallowell, Maine in the early eighteenth century. She is the author of the diary that inspired A Midwife’s Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Martha Ballard was an extremely busy woman with her medical duties and was very serious about being a midwife. Nothing was trivial to Martha she was serious about her work and community. She was an independent woman of her time and valued her autonomy. Her job highlighted how compassionate and caring she was towards her community. She never turned anyone away, and she would help anyone in need regardless of race, social rank, or economic standing. She relied on her connections to the people in the community in many ways. Martha was a pillar of her community because of her
The Declaration of Independence stands as a representation of justice, equality, and natural human rights. With it being written to liberate the American citizens from British control; allowing the citizens to live freely as they wish - as equal humans. However, there are numerous discrepancies and controversies to this document. Especially in the field of gender-equality and women 's rights. Mary Wollstonecraft, writer of A Vindication of the Rights of Women, is a forerunner of this movement. Comparing her work to the Declaration of Independence, it can be seen that Wollstonecraft 's work can be served as a critique against the masculinity put forth in the Declaration of Independence. With the declaration making numerous remarks with recognition
Women were one of the main groups of Americans who did not fully benefit from the rhetoric of liberty and equality in the Declaration of Independence. Foster believes that the founding statesmen who composed the Declaration, gave “little thought to the meaning of republican citizenship for either white women or African Americans.”3 An example of this is the fact that women were excluded from politics as it was believed that they were unable to make 'reasoned judgements' regarding political issues.4 Women had to learn about politics through the men in their lives and did not have the opportunity to voice their own personal opinions. For men, on the other hand, the Revolution increased their political input with more than 70% of white males voting.5 It could be argued that equality could only be achieved if women...
We find many story’s recounting the contributions men made throughout American history; yet, in comparison we find few accounts of women’s influence and patriotism for their county. This does not mean that women did not contribute to the establishing and building of a new government. There are some accounts of women who through voicing their opinions or through their actions made a difference. Abigail Adams spoke to her husband about her concerns for America and the future state of women in a new government, Emily Geiger performed a heroic deed for her country, and Maria Stewart voiced her feelings regarding freedom for blacks. All three women performed in their own way services for their new country.
During the 18th century, in the Declaration of Independence when Jefferson wrote “all men are created equal,” he not only meant men, but also women. Women were not involved in these practices until women received their rights in the 1920s, which had violated women’s right to liberty (Jefferson 262). Most women did not go beyond primary education, but Mary Wollstonecraft believed that was unjust. She believed that young girls, adolescents, and women should be allowed a universal education so that they can be independent from men. Stanton has the same perspective, in the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolution, she says “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal” (Stanton 272). Women should have received a universal education because men and women are treated as equal. On July 9, 1868, in the Constitution of the United States, Amendment XIV promises that Jefferson’s words applied to those who were protected under the Constitution: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” (The Constitution 97). Even though women were protected under the Declaration of Independence because they are citizens, and they were either born or naturalized in the United States, men were superior to women back then, which had prevented women from gaining their rights earlier.
Even though the second paragraph states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence.) The Declaration of Independence only spoke for white men. African American men and women and white women were not included in this. Elizabeth Cady Stanton implicitly critiqued and revised the Declaration of Independence. In her version, she included everybody. According to her, “We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights and governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” In this quote Elizabeth included not just men, but men and women. Also, from prior knowledge of her being an abolitionist, I know African American men and women were included in this also. When it comes to revising the original Declaration, Elizabeth Cady Stanton each line. Every line congress made about the lacks of Britain, Elizabeth did the same for the lack of the U.S. giving rights to women. She makes several clear examples on the
James, Edward, Janet James, and Paul Boyer. Notable American Women, 1607-1950. Volume III: P-Z. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971. Print.
Women did not benefit from the Declaration of Independence, despite the assertion that the declaration would further equality throughout the nation. The Declaration of Independence did not discuss women’s rights and what Independence would mean for them. Thomas Jefferson did not disclose any information about women in his writing of the declaration. The declaration granted all white males the right to vote, but women did not receive the same right. How can the Declaration of Independence argue that it brought equality when women were not granted equal rights to men? Elaine Crane supports this view and shares the view of Charles Brown in her writings where she writes “Brown argued through his protagonist that the denial of the vote to women violated “pretensions to equality and
Women had an extremely difficult time during the 1800s, but after many centuries of hardships and misunderstandings a defining point was boiling down in the next 100 years. An evolution was starting, women were ready for change but only time will let it unfold. Women continued struggling and falling behind men in between the cracks, they have been taught to cook clean and be only homemakers, their lack of education narrowed their vision, they weren't able to see anything else in their peripheral sights. A women's life was set and planned from the day she was born, until her teenage years to seek out marriage, have kids, and teach her daughters to do the very exact same.
Midwife's Tale and Captivity Narrative of Mary Jemison are an excellent anecdotes to gain essential information pertaining the life of women throughout 17th to 18th centuries ago. Both stories will give every reader a better way of understanding the roles of women in the community during the Revolutionary era. However, each story narrates how these women embraced the changes occurred and how they deal with different situations. Two women, yet different tales. One became a film and the other became a successful novel. Furthermore, readers will be able to appreciate and discover the uniqueness of each story of these women.
Eisler, Benita. The Lowell Offering: Writings by New England Mill Women (1840-1845). New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1977.
Throughout history a recurring theme in society has been a fight for equality. The need to be equal to one another expands past language and nationality, time period, and government type. Women have continuously fought for equal rights since the inception of the United States of America. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that "all men are created equal". Seventy two years after its signing, women were tired of being excluded from this groundbreaking sentiment, so they held the Seneca Falls convention. Seventy two years after the Seneca Falls convention, the 19th Amendment was ratified which gave women the right to vote. Equality does not move quickly but with persistence improvements can be made.
This film, directed by Richard P. Rogers and produced by Laurie Kahn-Leavitt was produced in 1998. It gives the viewers a glimpse into the life of a midwife from Maine in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s by means of journal entries, seen from a twentieth-century historian’s eyes. The main character and midwife, Martha Ballard, is played by actress Kaiulani Sewall Lee, and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich as herself. Even though the beginning of the film seems like a documentary, but the more it continues, it becomes riveting, and shows great insight in the struggles and journey of Martha Ballard, and the actors and actresses make the film feel real.
...y uses anecdotes and stories of women in the 17th and 18th centuries to provide evidence to the reader and demonstrate the roles women filled and how they filled those roles. Furthermore, she illustrates the individuality in each woman’s story. Although in several of the stories the women may be filling the same roles, the uniqueness of the situation varies from woman to woman. Ulrich’s use of period stories helps add to the credibility of the arguments she makes. She makes the reader feel the weight of responsibility on the shoulders of colonial New England women. A sense of appreciation is gained by the reader for the sheer number of roles fulfilled by the women of New England. In addition, Ulrich’s real life accounts also give valuable insight to life as it was during this time period in American history and the silent heroes behind it – the wives of New England.