In America’s history and currently, women have not been and are still not being treated equally to men. This, may include women not being allowed to attend school, not being able to vote, not getting equal jobs and pay, or even just being treated with disrespect. Many of these problems have been solved, but some we still face today. These problems and the fight to solve them is called Women’s Rights. A person who fights for women’s rights is called a Feminist. Throughout history, women’s rights and how they work have changed a lot. Technology has had an impact on how people spread the word about Feminism. Also influential women have done different things throughout history to gain the rights we have now. As women have gained more rights, they continue to fight for more equality.
Today, women have more rights than ever, but it hasn’t always been that way. Women have had to fight for what they wanted for many years. In the mid to late 1800’s women wanted a say in how our government and country is run, like how men do. The website History, Art, and Archives states, “The beginning of the fight of the women’s suffrage in the United States… grew out of a larger women’s rights movement.” This was very early in women’s rights history. Women wanted a chance to voice their opinion on by who and how our country is run. They believed that it was unfair for males to vote and have a say but for them not to. Eventually in 1920 the 19th amendment was granted for women to have the right to vote. After many years Feminism and women’s rights seemed to have died out, however it picked up the the 1960-1980’s. On page 70 of the book The Encyclopedia of Women’s History in America Kathryn Cullen-DuPont tells us, “ years in which she combined writing for women’s magazines with a tradition homemaker’s role.” Many women then faced the problem of having to balance a job and a household. Up to this time in history women were thought to take care of the house and men were thought of to make the money. This was hard because women who did work had small and “not as skillful jobs.” These women got little to no help balancing their two roles. Women started to see that this stereotyping was wrong at that they could work too. They could also do the same and and “more skillful jobs” that men could do. Eventually companies started to hire women to do the same jobs that men could do, but they would not receive an equal pay. Jessica Ravltz states,“Women who work full-time earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts, “ As women have been given better jobs companies have started have seen that they are equal to men. The stereotypes from 1900’s and later, still have an impact on how these companies see them today. On average men make 12 more cents than women per hour, meaning that men are worth that much more. That might not seem like a lot but to many modern day Feminists this gap is why many people still think that men are superior to women. Even though women have been granted many rights throughout history although it’s still not enough to be considered equal.
This is a poster from the time of Women’s Suffrage
When women did not have the rights that they have today, many women had to take extreme measures. Many female writers couldn’t use their real names in fear that they wouldn’t be taken seriously. On page 13 of the book Ladies of Liberty The Women Who Shaped our Nation by Diane Goode it states,”She used the name ‘The Gleaner’…readers would take her writing more seriously if they thought it was by a man.” At this time in history, late 1700’s women were not considered even close as equals to men. The men owned everything, even if it was inherited from the woman’s father. Women had to follow the commands of their husbands without question. If a lady did do something such as write she would have to do this under an anonymous name. If they didn’t do this people wouldn’t take them seriously due to stereotypes at the time. At different times in history, women haven’t even been able to have control of their own bodies and have had to take illegal action. On page 9 of American Women’s History a student companion by Glenna Matthews she writes,”Abortion, whether by surgical means or by various home preparations, is as old as history.” Abortion, however, wasn’t illegal until the 1900’s, wasn’t supported in most cases. Women would have to do it in private, in some cases with no help. This would not only harm the child in an unsuccessful case but also be very harmful to the mother. The fight to get abortions to be easy and affordable have dated back as late as the 1970’s. This is still a controversial topic and right that people are still fighting for today. Many people assume that all women only want is beauty, however, many women felt that they could be who they were without makeup and other beauty products. On page 24 of the book The Encyclopedia of Women’s History in America by Kathryn Cullen-Dupont states,” bra-burning was a form of protest that never actually occurred but nonetheless was widely reported.” Bra-burnings were protests that women would do during the 1960’s and the 1970’s. They did this to show that women were more than just a group of pretty faces. At bra-burnings women would toss around dish cloths, pads, girdles and bras to signify that they didn’t need these be a women. Thankfully, today, women do not have to go to these super crazy extremes to get rights, but we still have to keep fighting.
This is a Women’s Rights poster form the 1970’s
Modern day technology has given people the opportunity to spread news and information about women’s rights easily. This includes social media, email, and even cars. Before this, the fights for women’s rights weren’t as organized and put together. In the 1800’s, women formed different clubs based on the rights that they wanted for themselves and others. The National Women’s History Museum states, “There were thousands of women’s clubs across the country. …Portland, Maine alone there were fifty women’s clubs.” During this time there wasn’t a way for women to spread news and information around other than mail and in person. This is why there were so many groups of women across the country, they couldn’t make large groups due to lack of communication. Also there was little to no way for women to travel long distances to get to a far away meeting. This caused each group to be with close neighbors so they could organize easily. As time progressed, technology allowed women to organize more effectively and for larger groups to form. In the book American Women’s History A student companion by Glenna Matthews it states,” The founding of the National Organization for Women.. the first post-suffrage civil rights organization for women.”(351) By the time this group was put together, in 1966, the household phone was around and so was the car. These made it easier not only for women to get around but to spread information. At this time the television was common is most houses so important news could be broadcasted for many people to see. Since this time, many other useful inventions have been made that have helped the women’s rights movement. Jessica Ravltz rights, “A Tumblr site and Facebook page dedicated to ….feature young women brandishing their own versions of that argument.” Today social media and the internet have had large roles on how we communicate. People can put information online that everyone can see making it easy for news to spread. Social media can make it easy for things to spread all over such as the recent women’s marches. As technology has improved so has the way that people are able to communicate and form groups. this has helped progress women’s rights and how we can fight for them.
This is a poster from some of the most recent women’s marches
All throughout history, women have not been treated equally to men. This may include examples such as not being able to vote or not being able to get equal jobs and pay. Women have had to do many harsh and extreme things to try and get rights. Technology has made things a lot easier for women, but there are still challenges. Women have been protesting all throughout history and they are still having to protest. Change is hard and most people are unwilling to help the movement because of it.