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Transcript of 1840
The Origins of Feminism in the United States
The Early Women's Rights Movement
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
The Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Women
Woman in the Nineteenth Century
Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave
1848: Seneca Falls Convention
Roots in the anti-slavery movement
"Declaration of Sentiments"
Passed a resolution calling for women's suffrage (supported by Frederick Douglass)
Established Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott as leaders of the movement (had been excluded from the World Anti-Slavery Convention)
Helped produce the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) and the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA)
(founded by Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell and others)
Supported the 15th Amendment (voting rights for African-American men)
Encouraged a state by state approach
(founded by Stanton and Susan B. Anthony)
Opposed the 15th Amendment
Women in all leadership positions
Sought a Federal law or amendment
1940s: Expanded Opportunities
1890: National American Woman Suffrage Association
Merged the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) and the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA)
Had divided over the 15th Amendment
National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) founded with Susan B. Anthony as leader
Clubs founded throughout the U.S.
1910-1918: The Movement Gains Strength
National Woman's Party (NWP) founded by Alice Paul (1916)
Militant organization - picketed White House
Held a hunger strike
1920: Nineteenth Amendment
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
1875: Supreme Court rules against women's suffrage
Minor v. Happersett
Ruled that Virginia Minor was a citizen of the United States but not entitled to vote
...it cannot for a moment be doubted that if it had been intended to make all citizens of the United States voters, the framers of the Constitution would not have left it to implication. So important a change in the condition of citizenship as it actually existed, if intended, would have been expressly declared.
Margaret Sanger opens first birth control clinic (1916)
"No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother."
Colored Women's League of Washington, D.C. (1892)
Heterodoxy Club founded in Greenwich Village, NYC (1912)
Promoted the term "feminism"
Brought together intellectuals, labor activists, radicals, journalists and literary figures
Alpha Suffrage Club fouded by Ida B. Wells in Chicago, IL (1913)
African-American alternative to the mainstream suffrage organizations
Protested both segregation and disenfranchisement
Women and World War II
Margaret Sanger's American Birth Control League is federated as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Jane Addams and Hull House (1889-1935)
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
Feminine values according to Addams: "responsibility, care, and obligation" - should be involved in "civic housekeeping"
Influenced by the Progressives
Elected president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (1919)
Women are "faced with an alternative of marriage or a career."
"History has a long-range perspective. It ultimately passes stern judgment on tyrants and vindicates those who fought, suffered, were imprisoned, and died for human freedom, against political oppression and economic slavery."
-Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
Gender Roles and the Feminine Ideal
... a man's wife is the show window where he exhibits the measure of his achievement... . The biggest deals are put across over luncheon tables;... we meet at dinner the people who can push our fortunes... . The woman who cultivates a circle of worthwhile people, who belongs to clubs, who makes herself interesting and agreeable ... is a help to her husband.
- Dorothy Dix, 1920
The problem lay buried, unspoken for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, -A sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slip-cover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night-she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question- "Is this all?"...
- Betty Friedan,
The Feminine Mystique
There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before. So I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring; because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to get it going again. -- Equal Rights Convention, New York, 1867
Lucy Stone: Described by one associate as “a little meek-looking [girl], with the sweetest, modest manners and yet as unshrinking and self-possessed as a loaded canon.”