Power of Women and Women of Power Essay

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Women have found power in a variety of ways though out history in their struggle towards justice and equality. Though personal power can take many forms this paper will primarily focus on power found through gender solidarity, class issues, race or sexuality. I intend to examine the ways in which three different women, of different races and times in history, were able to find such power resulting in a positive change to either their own lives or the lives of others. Those women are: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eleanor Roosevelt and Melba Beals.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton found power through gender solidarity. She was a true feminist concerned with not just suffrage but total equality for the sexes. Her Declaration of Sentiments brilliantly
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Roosevelt spoke out for an abundance of causes including women’s rights, poverty, discrimination, children’s issues and foreign affairs. Being the President’s wife came with certain privileges and she utilized them on several occasions to further her agendas. According to an article in Women’s America “ER increasingly bypassed State Department restrictions; she worked, often covertly, with private groups and individuals. She campaigned for a less restrictive refugee policy, pursed visas for individuals, and answered and passed on to government officials every appeal sent to her” (Kerber 532). Being of the highest possible social class, Roosevelt found power in her status and leveraged it to further her own itinerary.
Selecting from only the above mentioned forms of personal power, I must argue that Melba Beals found power threw race. She used her race, or at least attempted to, to gain equal access to a higher quality of education and educational resources. The white students also used their race to gain access to such an education. The difference was that the white students were born with the skin color that came with those opportunities. This was their white privilege. If all students, regardless of race, were provided the option to attend either the prestigious Central High School or the impoverished Horace Mann High School, it is likely that none of them would have chosen to go the latter.
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