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Women's Rights Movement
Transcript of Women's Rights Movement
Suffrage has always been one of the most important rights gained by women during the women's rights movement. At the time, it was illegal for women to vote in presidential elections. The public believed voting was a right only males were worthy of. The two main leaders in women's suffrage were Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Anthony gave many speeches composed by Stanton, and the two women were slowly gaining followers little by little. Stanton's persuasive ideas won over the minds of a majority of the public citizens. Finally, in 1920, women were able to exercise their right to vote for the first time in history. Sadly, neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to see the new laws put into effect.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Born November 12, 1815, Elizabeth Cady Stanton grew up as a strong supporter of women's rights. She enjoyed tagging along with her father at his work, just so that she could debate women's rights with his co-workers. When she was an adult, Stanton attended a World Anti-Slavery Convention that would change her life forever. When she arrived, she was told that she, along with all other women, were prohibited to sit on the convention floor. Infuriated and humiliated, Stanton walked out on the convention arm in arm with Lucretia Mott, who was also strongly opposed to the unfair rules. From that day on, Stanton dedicated her entire life to work as a women';s rights activist. Stanton passed away on October 26, 1902.
Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. She became interested in women's rights mainly because her family believed in a fair community for both genders. She had a job as a teacher before becoming a women's rights activist. She also helped form the National American Women's Suffrage Association, in which she became the first president. Susan B. Anthony gave many important speeches to some very well-known groups and people, and with the help of her lifelong friend and ally, she achieved voting rights for women. A dedicated writer and lecturer, Susan B. Anthony died on March 13, 1906.
Women's Equal Pay
Lilly McDaniel Ledbetter was born on April 18, 1938 in Jacksonville, Alabama, and is currently 75.
In 1979, at age 41, Ledbetter was hired by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Gadsden, Alabama as the only female line manager. Although she was an exceptional employee, Lilly was forced to endure sexual harassment. In early 1999, Ledbetter decided to take legal action. She won the case and was awarded $300,000. However, Goodyear appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where a bitter 5-4 ruling took place in favor of Goodyear. Lilly insisted that the ruling was unfair because she was unaware of the pay discrimination until she received the anonymous tip. Attempts by congressional Democrats to change current law during the 110th Congress were unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Ledbetter became a activist who was nationally recognized when she spoke at the Democratic National Convention in November 2008.
Fun Facts & Media
The Women's Rights Movement began on July 19, 1848, when the First Women's Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. After two days of debate, 68 women and 32 men signed a Declaration of Sentiments. It stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal." The addition of "and women" to this famous phrase brought tension to the public citizens. They didn't like how Elizabeth Cady Stanton changed a sentence in the Declaration of Independence. On the right is a picture of a copy of the genuine Declaration of Sentiments by Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
The Women's Rights Movement is the longest movement in American history. It started in 1848, and is continuous. People are fighting for women's equal rights, because females are considered inferior to males. Susan B. Anthony once said "Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less,'' an accurate summary of the focus of the women's rights movement.
Q. Who was the first president to support women's suffrage?
A. President Lincoln
Fun Facts: Question and Answer
Media is anything that spreads news to others, like newspapers and slogans. The media played a very important role in the Women's Rights Movement.
For example, Susan B. Anthony once voted illegally voted in a presidential election, and was charged a fine of $100, which she never paid. Media impacted this event because when the public heard about Susan B. Anthony's rebellious actions, some were sparked to do the same, but some were angry that she was acting against the law.
One of the most famous slogans of the Women's Equal Pay movement is
Prepare your daughter for working life: Give her less pocket money than your son
. This expresses the cold, hard truth in a bitter, straightforward way. On the right is a picture of a poster with this slogan from 1993.
Q. What clothing were women prohibited to wear?
Interview with Goodyear
Lilly Ledbetter faced pay discrimination and sexual harassment at Goodyear. I conducted an interview with them, because all other sources gave Lilly Ledbetter's point of view. It was really hard to get first-hand information straight from Goodyear. But when I did, I learned a lot of information, some of which was very shocking. One of the most interesting things I learned was that Lilly Ledbetter waited until her boss, who had supposedly insulted her because of her gender and forced her to do manual labor when she was over 60, had died to file her case with the Supreme Court. My mother told me something that I find to be very true: “There is her story, his story, and the real story.”
How the Laws Changed
The Nineteenth Amendment
Passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, the 19th amendment grants all American women suffrage. Sadly, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton did not live to see the amendment to the United States Constitution ratified on August 18, 1920. It states:
"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.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
The Women's Rights Movement has been one of the most important part's history, and it will always be known that it brought on a more impartial and prominent society. Our country has finally been rid of the majority of discrimination against women. Women of our time can be married without having to worry about being ordered around by their own husbands every day of their lives. They can vote in elections, receive equal pay, get proper education and have fair trials. They can have the same job opportunities as men do and be treated equally amongst others. Women of our time are free.
The Fair Pay Act
On January 29, 2009, President Barack Obama signed his first bill into law: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. While it was declined in the 110th Congress, the 111th Congress accepted it.It took 10 years, but the act was finally signed. It states:
To amend title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and to modify the operation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to clarify that a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice that is unlawful under such Acts occurs each time compensation is paid pursuant to the discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, and for other purposes."
It has six additional sections.
While women's equal pay has come a long way, there is still a long way to go. There is still pay disparity. For a man's dollar, white women earn 77 cents, African-American women earn 64 cents, and Latina women earn 55 cents.
Q. What percentage less was Lily Ledbetter paid than her male co-workers?