Women Role Then and Now Essay

1966 Words8 Pages
This essay will compare and contrast the thoughts of two great activists for women’s rights, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Their perspectives on women, class, and race were in opposition to one another, yet they both share some common views on white male dominance of 19th century America.
Status of Women in the 19th Century
The industrialization of the 19th century brought change to the world of women. One significant impact during this time was the formation of socioeconomic classes. The distinction was made between the middle class, the working class and much poorer classes. Regardless of social class, women's focus on spousal relationships, childrearing, personal fulfillment, and relationships with other women was
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Although African American women, as well as working class women, were both seeking additional income, there was contrast in the acceptance of women working. "Within black communities, acceptance and support for wives who worked outside the home “had a strong acceptance on the part of men (Woloch, (2002) p151)."
African American families focused on instilling "hope" in their children. Forced to abandon the ideal for family structure, mothers would invest themselves as avid supporters in their children's schooling (Woloch, (2002) p152). "By preserving this hope for their children's future, more than a quarter of black mothers sacrificed the domestic ideal and came to represent its antithesis .
Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Ida B. Wells was a newspaper editor and journalist who went on to lead the American anti-lynching crusade. Working closely with both African-American community leaders and American suffragists, Wells worked to raise gender issues within the "Race Question" and race issues within the "Woman Question. (Sterling 61) “Wells was born the daughter of slaves in Holly Springs, Mississippi, on July 16, 1862. Her parents, James and Elizabeth Wells, were slaves, and thus Wells, a woman who devoted her life to promoting racial equality, was born a slave. It was from her parents that Wells developed an interest in politics and her unwavering dedication to achieving set goals (Sterling (1998) p78). During Reconstruction, she was educated
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