Being a woman is a task in its own; it takes more than having a female sex, and being able to reproduce. A woman is not just someone with a sway in her hips, grace in her walk, and having a rich voice. She is a conqueror, able to endure hardships, is not easily broken, patriotic, but most of all she is a protector. Even with all of these qualities women are looked down upon, and have to fight for things that should be giving to them. A woman’s heart is with her children even though she doesn’t have the right to them. She cooks, cleans, and washes knowing that her name is not to be on any of those accessories or property. Meaningful freedom is what allowed women in the 1920’s to realize that their rights were worth fighting for. During this era women are being denied citizenship, even the rights to their own wages. The Women’s right movement brung light to a dim and pitiful situation. It gave hope to the single mothers, housewives, widows, even those forced into prostitution. This time period is important because it highlights a great event, a woman having a voice in the law that she has to obey.
In August 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, guaranteeing American women the right to vote. This ended a decade of struggle by suffrage activists to ensure that women were allowed the same rights as men, which was to participate in the electoral process. “The long fight for suffrageâ€¦. Is known as the first wave of American feminism” galep.9. These were patriotic women, sharing the ideal of improving the new republic. “We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men and women are created equal”Rowlandp.23. This statement was presented at Seneca hall in defense of women’s right to citizenship and voting. Women recognized at Seneca Hall that they must not accept but challenge their struggles.
All women were not married; even with this dilemma the same laws were effective. Women also faced discrimination on the job which was another reason advocates spoke up, and movements rise. Women were treated less than other employees, which is job discrimination. Women had hard times finding good paying jobs, that they could hold on to, in the early 1900’s. A woman was not supposed to be a part of the working world, but some had no other choice. Women who did find good jobs were payed very low salaries compared to men, and got fewer hours. Many young women had to turn to prostitution, because they had no other means of survival. This caused a lot of havoc and rebellions. Women felt as though they were jus =t as patriotic as men, and deserved the same rights. Organizations were formed such as NAWSA. NAWSA associations organized protests, riots, held seminars where women would speak out to politicians and other women. Despite the problems the organizations gave to the authorities they never gave up.
Not only were women being kept from voting, working, and owning property but also the right to their body. The thought of independence became more intriguing. Being able to decide when you wanted to become a mother was now being looked at as a right. Birth control was first initiated in the 1920’s by a public health nurse, Margaret Sanger. Margaret Sanger also contributed to women’s emancipation. Although a lot of controversial opinions were originated, women still pushed for that right to give birth on their own terms. Despite the criticism the first birth control clinic was opened in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Sanger also wrote a book titled Woman and the New Race. The novel stated “No woman can call themselves free who does not own and control their own body”.Rowlandp.123. The option of birth control allowed women to be more in control of their lives which went along with the movement.
No decade has seen as much change as The roaring twenties, they are filled with many advocates, trends, and movements. A trend that took America by surprise in particular were the flappers. Women are evolving into what they desire to be, instead of society. This time is often looked at as the era of Wonderful Nonsense. Flappers became the dramatic change in women’s lives and attitudes during this period. Young women were no longer content in wearing burdens of clothing or masses of hair. Their new dresses allowed much more freedom than those before the 1920’s, it did not show breast but did show legs, which was horrific to those from the older generation. Despite the youth enthusiasm for the flappers, some people felt threatened. To some it may have been a harmless new style but to the older generation of society they took it as a sign of disrespect. A lot of hostility brewed from this trend but it did not stop the movement towards a freer fashion.
In 1910, Some states in the West began to extend the vote to women for the first time in almost twenty years. In 1916, NAWSA President, Carrie Chapman launched a campaign that mobilized state and local suffrage. In 1920’s the Women’s bureau of the department of labor was established. In 1923, Alice Paul, leader of National Woman’s Party, drafted the equal rights commandment. After the vote was won, women were able to enroll in military academies and service in active combat. The 1920’s became a changing point; it was the movement foundation of a better life and equality for future generations of women around the world. The movement benefited women in society in various ways. It allowed women to obtain more work hours then minimum wage. Women were now able to better support their children and in some cases sick husbands. The women’s Right movement left a lasting im pact on not only America but it’s neighboring countries. The legacy lives on today. After ratification of the vote women had the right to their children and property after divorce. With this being said the fight is still being fought. There are many women who still face challenges today dealing with abortions and birth control. On the job women are still payed less than men. Through the years we have adapted to society and it has become one of our many survival skills to take the crooked with the straight.
Gale, Thomson. Women’s Rights. Michigan:
Szumski Bonnie, 2003.
“The fight for Women’s suffrage.” History.com.
1996-2010. AETN Corporate. 16 May 2010.
“The Women’s Right Movement in the 1920’s.”
Socyberty.com. 11 April. 2007. Socyberty.
16 May 2010 http://socyberty.com/history/the-womens-rights-movements-in-the-1920s/
Ross, Susan, Pinzler, Isabelle, Ellis, Deborah, and Moss, Kary. The Rights of Women.
Carbondale, IL: Nadraga Natalia, 1993.
Rowland, Debran. The Boundaries of her Body.
Chicago, IL: Sphinx Publishing, 2004.
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