The Twenty-first Century vs The 1960s and 1970s: Are Women Freer than They Were Before?

The Twenty-first Century vs The 1960s and 1970s: Are Women Freer than They Were Before?

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Women’s rights came to the forefront of the nation’s collective as it attached itself to the Civil Rights movement, becoming the second wave of feminism. This led to many changes, in women’s upper hands, but there were also many untied ends that still needed to be seen to. Eventually, a third wave of feminism began, and saw to some of the things that were left from the second wave, though many things are still being argued and fought for. Although times have changed between then and now, are women freer than they were when the second wave hit?
Women’s rights began early on in the United States, in the 1800s, with women trying for marriage rights and the right to “control over her own body.” Women’s rights begun by women did not become an immense, all-involving movement until the Progressive era suffragettes in the early 1900s. This women rallied for the right to vote, as well as protections for workers and the poor. These suffragettes won the right to vote through the Nineteenth Amendment in 1919.
The next movement for women’s rights began in 1962, with the introduction of Betty Friedan’s book, The Feminine Mystique. Friedan’s book chronicled how women were unable to realize their freedom “for personal self-realization”.3 According to Friedan, women that pursued careers instead of becoming a housewife were seen as less appealing than those who decided to stay at home. Though this theory was considered feminist, and therefore for all women, many were excluded. Friedan’s worked talked of middle class, suburban, Caucasian women. This alienated women from other social, sexual, and racial groups. This alienation set the tone for most of the second wave feminism movement.
This wave of feminism began at the same time that Civil Rights...


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"States probe limits of abortion policy." The Pew Charitable Trusts. http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headlines/states-probe-limits-of-abortion-policy2-85899387496 (accessed April 30, 2014).
Widnall, Sheila. "Digits of Pi: Barriers and Enablers for Women in Engineering." Lecture, S.E. Regional NAE Meeting, Atlanta, April 26, 2000.
Rice, Condoleezza. "Remarks On International Women's Day." Lecture, International Women of Courage Award Ceremony, Washington DC, March 7, 2007.
Oxford English Dictionary. "Oxford English Dictionary." Home : Oxford English Dictionary. http://www.oed.com/search?searchType=dictionary&q=freedom&_searchBtn=Search (accessed April 30, 2014).

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