Essay on Women 's Political Influence On The Political System

Essay on Women 's Political Influence On The Political System

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Creating social change, at times, is an action done behind the front lines. There was a time when women’s political voice was silent, they lacked direct connections to the political arena and without the right to vote they could not work within the political system to create change. Even with these challenges against them, women developed different ways to impact the political system to produce an impact in their own lives and in the lives of others without the vote. The two camps of thought that influenced how women believed change would come were, moral suasion and political abolitionists. The historian Greta Lerner is quoted in saying, “women had a ‘peculiar relationship to political power’ because of their history with disfranchisement” (Hewitt, p.152). Even though each group did not always see eye to eye about how they would gain political access; nevertheless, their overall goal of freedom and helping the disfranchised was similar. The camps of thought provided a way for women to take control of their own actions and create a change in their own and other’s lives.
By the 19th century, women were restless of being ignored and restricted from the political realm. The norm centered on the idea that women were legally and political covered by the male figure in their lives, femme covert (Lecture 11/22). With the 2nd great awakening taking place, women were beginning to reach a level of unification through their grievances and female concerns. The moment that ultimately convinced women and united them to no longer endure in political silence was the abolitionist and anti-slavery movement. They began to draw parallels between their own oppression and the oppression of the enslaved; they were both confined to the patriarchal dicta...

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...en the voices of the women became too strong through petitions, the norms of womanhood were forced to change and women were stripped of their abilities to appear in public. When women signed petitions to end slavery at such an alarming rate, it forced the government to partake in debates that they refused to have. Political abolitionists forced the government to understand that the people fighting for freedom were not average citizens, they were ready to fight in a political arena and they were financially supported by the people as well. Moral suasionists and political abolitionists both “employed pressure, education, and persuasion; both developed and redefined grass-roots organizing and fund-raising techniques”; however, political abolitionists were more effective in influencing the content of the political system, rather than the whole structure (Hewitt, p.152).

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