WOMEN'S RIGHTS. Throughout most of history women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men. Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women's most significant professions. In the 20th century, however, women in most nations won the right to vote and increased their educational and job opportunities. Perhaps most important, they fought for and to a large degree accomplished a reevaluation of traditional views of their role in society. Early Attitudes Toward Women Since early times women have been uniquely viewed as a creative source of human life. Historically, however, they have been considered not only intellectually inferior to men but also a major source of temptation and evil. In Greek mythology, for example, it was a woman, Pandora, who opened the forbidden box and brought plagues and unhappiness to mankind. Early Roman law described women as children, forever inferior to men. Early Christian theology perpetuated these views. St. Jerome, a 4th-century Latin father of the Christian church, said: "Woman is the gate of the devil, the path of wickedness, the sting of the serpent, in a word a perilous object." Thomas Aquinas, the 13th-century Christian theologian, said that woman was "created to be man's helpmeet, but her unique role is in conception . . . since for other purposes men would be better assisted by other men." The attitude toward women in the East was at first more favorable. In ancient India, for example, women were not deprived of property rights or individual freedoms by marriage. But Hinduism, which evolved in India after about 500 BC, required obedience of women toward men. Women had to walk behind their husbands. Women could not own property, and widows could not remarry. In both East and West, male children were preferred over female children. Nevertheless, when they were allowed personal and intellectual freedom, women made significant achievements. During the Middle Ages nuns played a key role in the religious life of Europe. Aristocratic women enjoyed power and prestige. Whole eras were influenced by women rulers for instance, Queen Elizabeth of England in the 16th century, Catherine the Great of Russia in the 18th century, and Queen Victoria of England in the 19th century. The Weaker Sex? Women were long considered naturally weaker than men, squeamish, and unable to perform work requiring muscular or intellectual development. In most preindustrial societies, for example, domestic chores were relegated to women, leaving "heavier" labor such as hunting and plowing to men.
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As far back as the Paleolithic era, women had different rights then men. Some of the injustices women faced include, not having a right to vote, a voice in law, and women could not enter most occupations. Women were not even allowed to get a college education. Once a women was married she had no rights, or in the case that the women got divorced she had no legally could not have custody of her children. Many religious believed God created women to be inferior. It was considered a natural law that men were above women. When women started the fight for more rights, it started out as a political and legal fight and eventually turned into a social and economic fight as well. Many women who started the fight, died before they could see there work pay off, including Susan Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucy Stone. In the U.S, Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren fought for the addition of women’s emancipation in the constitution. During the late 18th century, in the United States men had many rights while women had very few. Women also could not keep their own wages. One right woman maintained was the right to own property if their husband died.
Throughout most of history women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men. Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women's most significant professions. In the 20th century, however, women won the right to vote and increased their educational and job opportunities. Perhaps most important, they fought for and to a large degree accomplished a reevaluation of traditional views of their role in society.
Women cooked, cleaned, sewed, and even held light jobs (working in a mill), while men held jobs in heavier industries (railroad, steel, mining, etc.); however, a woman would not be as well compensated as a man would be and she could not obtain a high education because all colleges were closed against her. To fight for women’s equality, women such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Susan B. Anthony led feminists’ revolts, and after a long period of time, white women were granted the same rights as men (Hymowitz and Weissman). This is an important part of history for women, because without it, we would be unable to obtain a high education, have a career, and support
With the change of the society from the primitive period to technological globalized world, people tend to believe that men and women have the equal rights in workplace or domestic life. But it does not happen so. Women have always been the second class to the man because of the inequality in wages, workplace and domestic life. Women movement started after the late 19th century and early 20th century but the involvement of women in the political events in the past goes far beyond the history. Most of the chronological event of the history is written in the male’s perspective. That’s why feminist historians tend to focus only women in women’s history.
When women are often perceived they are thought of as a complicated, uneducated, person who should only stay inside the home to prepare dinner and take care of the children, at least in the 17th century. Now women are fighting for equal rights just as their counterparts and while they are still complicated and well-educated people it was not always this way women have been fighting this same fight for countless centuries before this time trying to be known as being just as important as their male acquaintances. The first time equality between men and women was thought of was in the 18th century during the enlightenment period.
It is said that Western civilization had been primarily male dominated and as a result as diminished the feminine. Women’s roles in society have changed drastically over the past decades. While it took much time, progress for women’s rights has blossomed. Influences in civilization have affected view points of the commonly held mores, expectations, and stereotypes which define gender.
Women were treated with excellent conditions in the cultures mentioned in documents 1 & 2. The Pueblo American Indians treated women well because they considered their creators to be two women (Document 1). The Egyptians had a great treatment of women by giving them the right to participate in court sessions and other legal activities (Document 2). Egypt’s treatment of women according to legal documents is due to their influence from Sub-Saharan Africa, a matrilineal culture that had multiple impacts in Egyptian culture.
Gender plays an enormous role in society, it distinguishes the difference between men and women. Men and women has different role to play in society because it is what they have to do in order not to be criticized. Moreover, they have to be the head of the household and they have to provide for their family. On the other hand, women has to be the housewives and have to take care of the family. Gender roles takes place in every single era that people lived in and it always had an influence over every single individual. During the 1700-1900s, women had few rights and they never had a voice in society. They had to stay pure until marriage and men who are sexually inactive are considered less of a man. Women couldn’t divorce their husbands, or own properties. In addition, women were treated more like a property or an animal to be tamed by men. Once a baby is born, s/he has to live up to the expectation of society or
It was a difficult life for women in the 14th century. The women were not valued as much as men. They did not receive much respect and did not have many rights. They were treated like objects by men. Women were not educated as they weren’t allowed to go to school. Three of the main things women in the 14th century did not have were the right to own property, the right to take part in a job, and respect.
The role of women in learning and education underwent a gradual change in the Afro-Eurasian world and the Americas between the 11th and 15th centuries. As societies in Africa, Middle East, India, China, Europe, and America grew more complex they created new rights and new restrictions for women. In all regions of the world but the Middle East, society allowed women to maintain education in order to support themselves and their occupations. Women slaves in the Middle East were, however, prized on their intelligence. In Africa, women were trained in culinary arts. In India, women learned how to read and write with the exception of the sacred verses of the Vedas.
Looking back through many historical time periods, people are able to observe the fact that women were generally discriminated against and oppressed in almost any society. However, these periods also came with women that defied the stereotype of their sex. They spoke out against this discrimination with a great amount of intelligence and strength with almost no fear of the harsh consequences that could be laid out by the men of their time. During the Medieval era, religion played a major role in the shaping of this pessimistic viewpoint about women. The common belief of the patriarchal-based society was that women were direct descendants of Eve from The Bible; therefore, they were responsible for the fall of mankind. All of Eve’s characteristics from the biblical story were believed to be the same traits of medieval women. Of course, this did not come without argument. Two medieval women worked to defy the female stereotype, the first being the fictional character called The Wife of Bath from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. The second woman, named Margery Kempe, was a real human being with the first English autobiography written about her called The Book of Margery Kempe. In these two texts, The Wife of Bath and Margery Kempe choose to act uniquely compared to other Christians in the medieval time period because of the way religion is interpreted by them. As a result, the women view themselves as having power and qualities that normal women of their society did not.
Because of this, they were given equal influence in society. When agriculture developed women no longer needed to harvest plants from the forest and no longer seemed as beneficial to society as the men were. With the development of permanent societies there also came the ability to have larger numbers of children and the ability to support them. Women were now having more children than they had during the Paleolithic era, when people were still hunter-gatherers. The baby boom caused by the development of a more permanent type of society forced women to stay at home more so that they could take care of their children. Because women were stuck at home taking care of children, they were seen as less valuable to society then men were, despite the fact that they had to do work taking care of the house and raising children, which didn’t make women more economically valuable. The fact that men could do a lot of heavy lifting and complete large amounts of farm work meant that they were economically valuable. This caused men and sons to be seen as more valuable than women, because they were the ones mainly working and making
Prior to the use of agriculture, life was extremely different for women. The information that historians have obtained is limited, but there are certain aspects of Paleolithic society that have been discovered and point towards a more liberal lifestyle for women. Generally, a woman’s job was to gather food and tend to her children while her male counterpart hunted. These simple divisions allowed both men and women to play significant roles in hunter-gatherer society, which further allowed women to be held in equal if not greater esteem then men. According to Elisabeth Gaynor Ellis and Anthony Elser, authors of World History: Connections to Today, women also held...
For generations, women had been subjected to men. Women had no saying in what was going on around them, to what they wanted their lives to be, or even when it came to their bodies. Many women have raised their voices to protest against this subjugation, sometimes at great personal risk. Such is the French case of Marie Gouze(1748-93), who under the name Olympe de Gouges, wrote "Declaration of the Rights of Women and Citizen." In this document Marie advocated for civic equality, as well as equal participation in political rights, women's right to vote, and equal education. She presented this document to Marie Antoinette in 1789. Unfortunately, the proposal was rejected and Marie was condemned to the guillotine by the radical Jacobin in the assembly, however the ideals have survived through the years. In the 19th century, due to the industrial revolution, a new middle class with wealth from land, trading, and factories, was created. The women of this class took Marie's ideals and created has come to be known as the feminist movement. These women were educated, and it was obvious to them the rights they were missing, because they saw how the men of their class had acquired these rights with the new found wealth. The goals of the Women's Movement in the 19th century were to get the vote, to archive equality in property rights, access to education, access to jobs and fair pay, divorce, and children's custody. In spite of a few changes women still where a long way from archiving equality at the end of the 19th century, so the women of the 20th century following in the foot step of their feminist ancestors continued the fight for the total realization of all of these goals.