Gender Inequality

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During the 18th century, the women’s role and work was extremely tiring, time consuming, and thankless. The male dominated society was unappreciative. Women’s fight for equality was trying yet crucial in helping to shape our country into the land it is today. Some of women’s duties included tending to children, educating the school aged, cleaning, making and mending clothes, preparing meals, and general housekeeping chores. Women performed many tasks in order to keep the patriarchy happy. Despite everything they did for the home and family, the longer list is what they were unable to do. Women were unable to obtain higher education, vote, hold office, make a contract, sue, be a witness in court, or gain custody of the children in the case of a separation. Married women had no control of their finances, inheritance or property. Women were not seen as an equal. They were viewed as a tool for the advancement of man. Jan Lewis confirms in The Republican Wife: Virtue and Seduction in the Early Republic “Americans and British writers..argued that the most important considerations in the selection of a wife were her qualifications as a companion and a helper.” These issues and inequality would be tested by a few strong voices standing out trying to change the status quo. One of the many issues addressed by women was desire for higher education. Men justified women’s education by explaining such schooling was tied to the needs of the early nation; women would ensure that patriot sons were raised properly. Well-to-do families made it possible for their daughters to receive an education that included practical, attractive skills in hopes this would attract a man. These skills included cooking, sewing, and household management. Someti... ... middle of paper ... ... Wyoming did not generate a great deal of publicity or support nationwide” much to my surprise it was a “short paragraph or blurb.” Because this battle was long and trying you would assume the news would be front page. Some women faced negativity, so much so to be considered prostitutes “The label “public women,” a common reference to prostitutes, was adopted by anti-suffragists in referring to women in politics.” The proponents of enfranchisement hyped women’s expanded rights. This finally included property ownership and the power to control their own bodies. According to The Ladies’ Repository, “Now, she can legally buy and sell, earn and own, will, deed, and contract; can be guardian of her children; can vote in Utah and Wyoming…” Following enfranchisement, women began pursuing leading roles in political offices, regardless of the negative responses they faced.

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