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This paper examines how, by the time the 19th century came to an end, women were well on their way to gaining the right to vote, along with numerous other rights including birth control and equality in the workforce. The civil war had ended, slavery had finally been abolished, and this gave women hope that the oppressed can indeed rise up and become free of the chains that bind them. The paper also looks at how women were becoming increasingly organized and motivated to fight collectively for change and how they were entering more and more diverse jobs and careers and earning all different types of college degrees. They were no longer content to stay in a miserable marriage, as divorce became a progressively accepted practice. Most importantly, they had found their voices, and had learned how to make themselves heard.
From the Paper:"Another outspoken woman promoting women's education after the American Revolution was Judith Sargent Murray. This feminist author used the pen name Constantia to promote her views on women's rights to equality in education as well as politics. "'Are women deficient in reason?' she asked. 'We can only reason from what we know, and if an opportunity of acquiring knowledge hath been denied us, the inferiority of our sex cannot fairly be deduced from thence'. If women were 'allowed an equality of acquirements' in the area of education, they would 'meet on even ground' in their achievements" (Riley, 2001, p. 84).
"As the 19th century dawned, women were continuing to pursue their educations. This helped to propel them from a passive role in society to more of a leadership role. Many began to question women's submissive roles. For example, Mary Gove Nichols "spoke forcefully and wrote explicitly about women's physical frustrations and sufferings in marriage" (DuBois and Dumenil, 2005, p. 216). This type of outspokenness definitely affected women's roles in public life, allowing men to see that they were not just submissive assistants, but that they were capable speakers, writers and leaders. Certainly many women still believed that women were supposed to be submissive and innocent because of their strong belief in the teachings of the Bible. However, clearly not all women agreed, as early feminists like Nichols demonstrate."
Sample of Sources Used:
- DuBois, E.C. & Dumenil, L. (2005) Through women's eyes: An American history with documents, Boston/New York: Beford/St. Martins.
- Hurner, S. (2006, July) Discursive identity formation of suffrage women: reframing the "cult of true womanhood" through song, Western Journal of Communication, 70, 234-261
- Kramarae, C. & Spender, D. (2000) Routledge international encyclopedia of women: Global women's issues and knowledge Vol. 1, New York: Routledge.
- Leach, W. (1980) True love and perfect union: The feminist reform of sex and society New York: Basic Books
- Riley, G. (2001), Inventing the American Woman: An Inclusive History Vol. 1, Harlan Davidson Publishing
Cite this Research Paper:
The Changing Role of Women in America (2012, May 30) Retrieved June 19, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/research-paper/the-changing-role-of-women-in-america-151236/
"The Changing Role of Women in America" 30 May 2012. Web. 19 June. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/research-paper/the-changing-role-of-women-in-america-151236/>