A Woman's Journey
The "old" definition for feminism was defined as working towards an
overall goal as a group, to achieve economic and political power.
Today, this new definition no longer holds true, because many women
are misrepresented and confused by many new definitions of feminism.
This confusion has created women's ability to take matters into her
own hands, and follow her own goals and inspirations-whatever they may
The first wave of the women's movement started when Abigail Adams
wrote her husband, John, to ask him to "remember the ladies" when
writing the Declaration of Independence. In fact, the writers did
include women's rights, but they took it out in the final draft. This
single incident could have changed history for women, but instead, it
was over 144 years before suffrage for women was granted. As a result
of their oppression, women were compelled to join together, as a
group, and spend many years fighting for their own "natural- born"
After the first wave, a new wave of women's movements emerged during
the 1960's. Women's rebellion against the middle-class housewife's
role contributed to this second wave of women's movements. It began
with women's examination of their personal lives and developed into a
program for economic and political change. Women's groups discovered
discrimination in the workplace, where women received less pay and
fewer promotions than men did. They also uncovered barriers to women
seeking political office and to female students striving for high
So, the women of America banned together to achieve their political
and economic rights. Many people knew them as feminists. They marched
and petitioned for their own beliefs, as well as women in general.
Protests became an every day word, and women's rights became
inevitable. They stood to be heard and respected. In the end, they
achieved it with grace.
The United States passed several laws during the 1960's and 1970's,
aimed at providing equal rights for women. The Equal Pay Act of 1963
requires equal pay for men and women doing the same work. Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits job discrimination on the basis
of sex as well as on the basis of color, race, national origin, and
religion. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 bans
discrimination on the basis of sex by schools and colleges receiving
federal funds. This law applies to discrimination in all areas of
school activity, including admissions, athletics, and educational
programs. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act took effect in 1975. It
prohibits banks, stores, and other organizations from discriminating
on the basis of sex or marital status in making loans or granting
After passing many laws, women gained political and...