As you walk down the street today, what do you notice about the people around you? Maybe there’s a white male, an Asian female, and a Latin male. Other than visual cues, there is no indication that there are any differences between one person or another. Any one person, whether black, white, male, or female, can enter any establishment, get a job, buy a piece of land, or vote in an election. However, this has not always been the case. Most of these people at one point or another had limited rights in the United States. Specifically, in the 1800’s, women had limited rights, especially after marriage. Once a woman was wed, she was no longer able to take in her own wages, sign a contract, or own any property. What were the rights that women were lacking, and where do we stand on those issues now? Have we come as far as we think we have with women’s rights? We have a widespread misconceived notion that women have equal rights, but we still have a ways to go. On the surface, it seems that we are all equal finally. However, there are still issues that are still being argued after over 150 years of being in front of our government.
Women’s suffrage has stretched from the 1800’s to present day, as women have struggled to have the same civil and constitutional rights as men in politics and be appreciated as equals in the workforce. Groups of women known as suffragists questioned the customary views of women’s roles. Eventually our nation has evolved and realized that male-controlled societies suppress women’s rights. From the beginning steps taken in 1850 to 2013 with women earning combat roles in the military, women’s roles to society, their work ethic, and progressively public aptitude, as a whole should be allowed the right to vote, help the country grow economically, politically, and have the overall rights equal to those of men.
People were not only discriminated due to their race but some of their gender, which affected their political rights in a multitude of ways. To illustrate, one of the Colonies most unspoken laws, dating from Ancient Greece to 1920, is that women have no right to vote and that only the gentry could contribute in political matters according to the Governor. Additionally, a law from Great Britain in stated that if a landowning woman is to marry, she must sign a document stating she is giving her property to the husband. However, in the case of Anne Cart, a wealthy indigo farmer who was engaged, she testified to a jury that the land was worth more under her ownership and she won the right to own it. Another example is that 97% of court cases involving dark magic is directed towards women accused of witchcraft and found that 78% of the women are convicted and hung. This shows that in the 16th century, people thought women were generally inferior to men and treated them as such politically.
Women slaves endured far worse punishment and cruelty than men ever did. Lets begin with women’s duties. Their duties consisted of two parts. The first part was that of being a household servant. They did the cleaning, cooking, cared for the white children of their Mistress and Master, and other household duties. Secondly, slave women had to not only maintain the household, at times, they were also expected to work in the fields and slave like the men on the plantations. Things like picking cotton, cleaning outside, feeding animals, and hoeing the grounds for planting crops. Slave men were never made to perform women duties.
People have been fighting for rights for many years now, from women to men, from blacks to whites, from animal cruelty, and the list goes on forever. At time the struggle of women’s rights extended way beyond what some may think. Women wanted the right to own property or get the chance to vote. Women had to fight for their individual right and to secure an education and the women had to plan their families and control their lives.
Although woman had many duties at home, church and in community, they had almost not political or legal rights. Women were seen as dependents of men and without any power. They were often thought just props that enhanced the social status of her husband by making him appear as a trustworthy family man to his community. By the 1840s a great amount of people began fighting for women’s right to be first class citizens. After the fifteenth amendment was passed in 1870 allowing African American men to vote, women felt it excluded them and were disappointed that others were giving the right to vote before them. American women began a movement to gain more power as women and American citizens. The nineteenth amendment is a turning point in history because it granted women the power to vote by prohibiting any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex (PBS).
Women today cannot function outside the home. If women truly want suffrage, then they have to demand equality across all fields of life. Suffrage alone will not solve Women’s Rights issues, being allowed to live the life they desire will. Currently women are not equal to men in any place. My top venues to insist equality in are the law, workplace, and home. The traditional life of the American woman is oppressive.
Women have been fighting for equality in America since 1848, and since then major gains have been made. With women getting the right to vote in 1920 they are considered equal to men according to the United States Constitution. Over the next decades women increased opportunities available to them in nearly all aspects of life; be it sports, careers, pay, legal rights, and many others. However, one of the restrictions that was still in place on women until recently was restricting women from having full access to jobs in the military. When most people talk about “women in the military” they usually refer to women in combat jobs as women have been helping or serving the U.S. military in some capacity since its inception. As of 2016, all jobs in the military have been opened to women except in special cases. Obviously, with this issue being quite controversial, there are sharp opinions and beliefs concerning this decision as there have been for many years. With this decision being so new, however, it is unlikely that we will see any meaningful data on the subject for many years to come. Especially considering that the U.S. military is not in a war time state. There are many questions and problems when it comes to integrating women into different jobs in the military, such as: height, weight, and bodily differences and accommodations that women require that men do not. The opinions on this issue go deeper than simple physiological differences and they can be boiled down to two
It wasn’t until the early 1960’s when second wave feminism got its start. It focused primarily on mass social change and fought some of the oppression women were and still are facing today. It brought freedom for women in regards to their reproductive rights and sexuality amongst other things. Prior to this cultural shift, the women’s role in society was set. The image of the nuclear household dominated the time, and women were not only expected but in a way forced to become housewives and child bearers. The female Beats came in like a storm, being more interested in sex, drugs, and drinking. Because of sexism, and its undeniable grasp on American society, the male Beats were seen as outcasts, but the female beats suffered even more. The Beats, both males and females, were rebels for themselves. I believe that when they were writing at that time it was more for their own freedom and individual experience then other fellow Americans. Of course, that ended up not being the case, and today, over 60 years later American youth still read their works and feel powerful, inspired, and enlightened. I could write a massive essay of the importance of the female Beat writers as a whole, but today I find it important to focus on one who is still writing, still performing, and still inspiring today; Anne Waldman.
According to a recent study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, for every dollar a man makes, women get paid 77 cents (Pay). On average that 's a variance of at least $10,000 annually. Although, much needs to be done to put men and women on an equal playing field, taking into account that not so long ago women were restricted to a very small array of job opportunities during times of peace, women have come leaps and bounds. Granted, the women’s movement successfully sought social opportunities previously not given to women, not all women benefited. In general, however, the movement improved the economic status and freedom and rights of most women, but there’s still a big distance to go to achieve social equality between the sexes. Women face gender discrimination when looking for work and in education, experience a sharp double standard, and a subjected to incessant online abuse.
Many women around the world today do not have the same rights as women do in America. A country that has truly had a rough timeline is Iran. Women are looked down at and aren’t thought have true humans but as objects a lot of the time. Women are looked down at, and are expected to just do the house chores and what is expected of women, raising the kids. Today in day, that is not the case in the US, but in Iran it is still a hard and difficult situation. In the year 1979, the women were required to start wearing the Hijab everywhere. This really downgraded women, to the point where even activists were stopped through cruel punishments such as, imprisonment or even the cruel act of torture. In Iran, the women are often physically abused by their husbands when they don’t follow the rules of the religion or government, leaving women below them and having to follow as they please. In a lot of situations women are seen as sex objects and then the caretaker of the males children and are supposed to make them grow up to fullfill the family name.
Feminism has always, and continues to be a heavy topic in literature. The status of women in the world has continued to change due to the fight for the equal rights of women. Even today there are still some issues involving the rights of women, some places more so than others. Ama Ata Aidoo, an author in African literature, was born into royalty in Ghana which provided her with a clear significance of African customs (Horne 48). She illustrates in “Two Sisters” how the inequality of genders affected women in Ghana, from inequality in employment to inequality in gender roles. She uses the lives of two sisters, Mercy and Connie, to explain the inherent senselessness in the foolish choices that women make to prosper in a male privileged society that thrives on capitalism (Aidoo 994). Because women in Ghana did not have the equal rights that men did, they had to do what they felt would bring them happiness and security.
Can you believe that various factors in the workplace have been discovered that show women being treated unequally to their male coworkers? From the first working women to now, there has been a slight increase in the amount of equality women have to men at work. Although we have succeeded to make it farther up the food chain, men are often still treated as though they are superior to women. I believe that in the year 2016, women are still being discriminated against in the workplace as a result of feminism.
“The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of emancipation itself” (Woolf). Nowadays, in most societies, the role a woman chooses to take for herself is often a choice rather than a restriction. In Islamic societies, however, women seem to be forced into certain roles and responsibilities. These restrictions often seem to elevate a man 's status and importance in society while degrading a woman 's status. Women’s fight for their rights is not something new. As a matter of fact, they have been fighting for their rights around the world for centuries. In some societies, they obtain fairly freedom, but unfortunately in other societies such as Muslim society, women are not as free as