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Sisterhood

Powerful Essays
Sisterhood

Historically, women have been relegated to a limited role in society. In our male

dominated culture, a considerable number of people view the natural role of women to be that of mothers and wives. Thus, for many, women are assumed to be more suited for childbearing and homemaking than for involvement in public life. Despite these widespread and governing beliefs, women, frustrated and tired of their inferiority and subordination, began seeking personal and political equality, including equal pay, reproductive choice, and freedom from conventional societal restraints.

Massive opposition to a demand for women’s equality with men prompted the organization of women to fight collectively for their rights. The birthplace of American feminism

was Seneca Falls, New York. Here in 1948, at a landmark convention, the first wave of women’s rights activists gathered. Their primary goal was to obtain voting rights for women (Moore 1992, 21). In the mid 1960’s, the seeds of oppression (which spread from earlier civil movements) were scattered and sown among other dissatisfied women. These seeds began to take root, and grow dramatically, initially within the context of the growth of more general and widespread left radicalism in Western societies. As a result, beginning about 1965, the second wave of women’s rights activists began to emerge with an autonomous agenda for female liberation. The movement’s objective was to secure equal economic, political, and social rights for women.

The women’s liberation movement was composed of an association of women working together in a common cause. Young radical women who had been active in the Civil Rights Movement gathered in small groups and began to focus on organizing in order to change attitudes, social constructs, the perception of society toward women, and, generally, to raise the

consciousness of their sisters.

The women adopted the phase “Sisterhood is Powerful,” in an effort to express succinctly

the aim of the movement. This slogan was also an attempt to unify women by asserting a shared connection and circumstance, and thereby to build fundamental and lasting cohesion. “Sisterhood is powerful” was embraced by the women in order to convey a common identity of sisterhood, one firmly grounded in family-based concepts of interdependence. Biological sisterhood is an easily understo...

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Personal Perspective.” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow,

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Moore, Richard. (1992, August 2). “Birthplace of American Feminism.” New York Times, pp.21.

Shulman, Alix, Kates. (1996). “A Marriage Disagreement, or Marriage by Other Means.” The

Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press.

Tax, Meredith. (1996). “For the People Hear Us Singing Bread and Roses, ‘Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!’ ” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow,

Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press.

Wolfson, Alice, J. (1996). “Clenched Fist, Open Heart.” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed.

DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press.
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