Marriage for women was highly encouraged by society and those who did not conform were ridiculed and shamed by the community. Men obtained full responsibility for their wife’s actions along with complete control of everything women possessed, including rights to her body. Women were long regarded as inferior to men both physically and mentally. Men and women had a great deal of pressure on them to marry and often time’s young girls got married in their teenage years. People married for financial and economic security and seldom for physical attraction.
Women began discussing the problems they faced in society and the different ways they wanted to change their lives. The Civil War and World War I also had an enormous effect upon the movement. During both of these wars, women felt a new sense of independence and strength. During this time, the women had to step in to take the place of men in factories, mills, and the like. Once the men had returned from war and kicked women back into their old positions, the women were furious.
A Woman's Journey The "old" definition for feminism was defined as working towards an overall goal as a group, to achieve economic and political power. Today, this new definition no longer holds true, because many women are misrepresented and confused by many new definitions of feminism. This confusion has created women's ability to take matters into her own hands, and follow her own goals and inspirations-whatever they may be. The first wave of the women's movement started when Abigail Adams wrote her husband, John, to ask him to "remember the ladies" when writing the Declaration of Independence. In fact, the writers did include women's rights, but they took it out in the final draft.
As the fight for suffrage concluded, the country’s women contended against the patriarchal system and internal conflict of the movement until they won the battle with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. During the late 19th and early 20th century, working-class women in the United States fought for their rights as humans during the fight for suffrage as they persevered against injustices of sex, class, and ethnicity, despite their overshadowed contributions. In 1848, the convention in Seneca Falls, New York produced the “Declaration of Sentiments” in the name of American women, which was brought about by Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Across the nation, groups came together holding conventions in direct reaction to the convention held at Seneca Falls, in addition to the consequential birth of women’s rights organizations. In 1851 at a convention in Ohio, Sojourner Truth, former slave and activist, gave her famous speech requesting that “if woman upset the world, do give her a chance to set it right side up again.” Just as Truth labored for women’s su... ... middle of paper ... ...edited by Linda K. Kerber, Jane Sherron de Hart, and Cornelia Hughes Dayton, 269-271.
It is no secret that no matter how much women continue to strive in the workplace, politics, etc., inequality will always persist. Throughout American history, the oppression of women has caused an adverse effect on humanity. Some men believed that embracing women as worthy of equal opportunities was a threat to them, as all the rules would be changing. However, the 1900s witnessed a change in that trend, as women started to fight and stand up for their rights. Women have stood on the frontline of this conflict, but at the end of the day they are only requesting “The power or privilege to which one is justly entitled” So, how did women’s role in society evolve from 1919 to 1941?
Available http://www.pbs.org/onewoman/suffrage.html, February 12, 2002. "The Path of the Women's Rights Movement." (Online). Available http://www.nwhp.org/legacy98/timeline.html, February 19, 2002. "Women's Rights".
Kerber, Linda K., Alice Kessler-Hessler and Kathryn Kish Sklar. US History as Women’s History. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995. “Living the Legacy: The Women's Rights Movement 1848 - 1998." The National Women's History Project.
Retrieved on October 19, 2011 from http://www.history.com/topics/the-fight-for-womens-suffrage Law Library- American Law and Legal Information (2011). Seneca Falls convention. Retrieved on October 19, 2011 from http://law.jrank.org/pages/10144/Seneca-Falls-Convention.html Library of Congress (1998). Votes for women: National American women’s suffrage association collection, 1848-1921. Retrieved on October 18, 2011 from http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/naw/ Linder, D. (2011).
The first wave of feminism gained women the right to vote which led to fight for equality with men. Emmeline Pankhurst is considered by many to be the most influential leader involved in the Women’s Movement in the early 20th century, due to of her role in the formation of the WSPU and their active protest for women’s rights. Her militant tactics have been perceived as being central to the first wave of feminism, which began an international movement that still resonates around the modern Western world. This movement has changed the lives of women and accelerated the fight for equality. However women will still continue to fight for financial equality in the workforce.