The enduring struggle of women for their emancipation and for the attainment of equality remains a significant portion of the history of humankind. The fervent effort to eradicate the patriarchal set-up of societies and the culture of machismo therein overwhelmed the female species throughout time…
This synchronized and yet sporadic movement by women activists, suffragists and liberationists precipitated for the advent of an epic legal victory that resulted benefits that scores of generations of women have enjoyed. In this paper, the author will outline, examine and interpret the women’s rights movement in America. Of particular importance here is the creation and the many hindrances that the Equal Rights Amendment of the United States Constitution has confronted throughout the years. The aim of this scholarly treatise is not only to provide pertinent information regarding the women rights advocacy but also to demonstrate insightful ideas and recommendations for the now and the future. Historical Background In 1848, the first-ever Women’s Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. Abolitionists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott spearheaded the two-day meeting of over 300 people who rallied for justice and equality for women who were institutionally restricted from the rights and privileges of a citizen. The said convention generated the Declaration of Sentiments among other eleven resolutions denouncing inequality and proposing suffrage. However, the nation was far from ready to seriously pay attention to the issue of women’s rights and thought that the call for justice was not only ridiculous but also a worthless endeavor (Becker 39). After the Civil War, while the constitutional reformation centered on giving freedom to the slaves, Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth, as well as the already-veteran Stanton, fought for the legal ground of providing the same civil and political rights that men enjoy to the American woman. Citing the 14th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution that the right to vote shall not be deprived to citizens on basis of their race, color and previous states of servitude, these women freedom fighters underscored the obvious and utter neglect of women in the laws of the land (Whitney 57). In 1872 during the presidential election, Anthony cast her ballot in one of the poll precincts in New York invoking her right as a citizen as provided in the 14th Amendment. Her somehow rebellious act prompted her arrest, conviction and a penalty of $100, which she refused to pay. On the other hand, the Supreme Court decision in Minor versus Happersett (1875), pronounced that while women may be citizens, not all citizens are necessarily allowed to vote. Stanton, Mott, Anthony, Truth and the rest of the women abolitionists and suffragettes during the time passed their lifetime without experiencing the joys of participating in the political activities of the nation. Yet certainly, their monumental efforts were never put to waste. The Movement’s Gaining Momentum The past century saw the exponential increase of the number of women who joined in the workforce. This strong power base for women incited them to take part in the movement for social progress and reform, and eventually for a revived call for the right of suffrage. Staunch lobbying, frequent street marches, deliberate political boycotts, massive picketing at the White House and widespread civil obedience showed how serious the women during this period to achieve their impassioned goal to participate in the political affairs of the country and to cast their ballots. Millions of women collaborated to send their message to the national government, and most of them even went out of their way to lobby their causes in Congress. It was Carrie Chapman and the National American Woman Suffrage Association who emerged as leaders during this period of the American feminist movement. Although these demonstration strikes (proof that democracy was working in the American ...
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