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Is Feminism Still Relevant? Essay

1466 words - 6 pages

As said by Gloria Steinem, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” Throughout the ages, the question of the relevancy of feminism has come and gone. From women arguing for voting rights, to women burning bras in the 60s. With each advancement proponent and opponents argue the same basic points. With all the equality that todays world affords us is the feminist movement still relevant? In order to answer the question we will look into what feminism actually is, the history, women today in households and the workplace, feminism today and role models.
In order to completely understand the feminist movement, it’s important to understand the ...view middle of the document...

Women were envisioned as too weak to be able to handle the world. Sadly Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton did not live to see women vote. With the turn of the nineteenth century the concept of a “new women” came about. Women began to get jobs, at least until married. The movement was put in the hands of others such as Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt. Alice Paul was known more for her extravagant methods. The very first parade she held was the day before President Woodrow Wilson’s first inauguration in 1913. At the parade, there were 26 floats,10 bands, 8,000 marchers and 6 chariots. The President was surprised the next day to discover no crowds showed up to greet him at the train station. Alice Paul also once held a picket at the White House for 18 months, which ended in several arrests. President Wilson got the Susan B. Anthony amendment through Congress and it was ratified in the summer of 1920. In the 1920s, women began to get hold office and get low paying office jobs. But gaining the right to vote did not stop the ideas of women’s inferiority to men. In 1924 magazines, all written by men, came out with headlines such as “Is Women’s Suffrage a Failure?”, and “Women’s Ineffective Use of the Vote.”(Cott, No Small Courage). The women’s movement then became split up into individual interests. 1928 was the year that all women, regardless of old qualifications, were allowed to vote. Other times of important change were the 40s, 50s, and 60s. The beginning of war led to a large increase of the mount of women in the workplace. With a larger number of women working, family duties were put onto the state. Trade unions and the women’s movement vied for a welfare system to take care of the more unfortunate. This leads into the 60s, which is where all the bra-burning, hardcore, radical feminists came from. Even then, men were in control of women’s property and earnings. Women could not even go into business without their husbands approval. In the summer of 1960, Lois Rabinowitz went to traffic court in New York city to pay her boss’s speeding ticket and was wearing nice slacks and a blouse. Lois approached the bench and magistrate Edward D, Caiazzo yelled in rage, “Do you appreciate you’re in a courtroom in slacks?” and sent her home to change. She gave to ticket to her husband who paid the fine and the magistrate told him to “start now and clamp oa little or it will be too late.” The magistrate told reporters that “ I get excited about this because I hold women-hood on a high plane and it hurts my sensibles to see women tearing themselves down from this pedestal.”(Collins, When Everything Changed) All this over a woman wearing a pair of slacks. These were the women who also fought hard for birth control, rights for abortion, free childcare provision, and equal pay ( “The Women’s Movement- Our History”).
Womens rights have definitely come a long way. Nowadays we have most of the ideas these women spent so long fighting for. But, just...

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