Women's Fight for Social Equality
If I were to teach a class that dealt with the twentieth century in America, I would choose to make my focus the women's struggle for social equality. Comprising fifty-percent of the population, women are by far the largest "minority" in the United States. Through them I could relate the most important social, political and economic trends of the century. Their achievements, as well as their missteps, tell us a story of America that we most often hear of in snatches, or read about in digressions. Though we are making an effort to improve women's right for equality, the American dream is still yet to be achieved by many mothers, sisters, aunts, wives, and daughters.
How many times have you heard "All men are equal"? It's a quote from the American Constitution. In today's society it has been taken literally. Yes all men are created equal but are women created equal as well? Of course not, most would probably say yes but women are a minority in this country. Men are the rulers over America, being very forgetful that because of women they live. Elizabeth Cady Stanton stated on July 19, 1848 in her speech entitled Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers form the consent of the governed" (43). Although women are the creators of life, women are still not being treated equally when it comes to jobs, salary, or other aspects. Is it fair that women still don't receive the respect and the same things men have the right too?
Obvious biological differences made women the first minority group. Disadvantages resulting from their smaller frames and lighter weights, combined with their reproductive destinies as mothers, relegated them to a second class status. As more women became educated, however, they began to assume a more prominent role on the national stage. By about the turn of the twentieth century, their importance could no longer be denied. The women's struggle for equal rights is characterized by peaks and troughs. Periods of activity were followed by stretches of relative quiet when the details of living obscured their need or ability to progress towards achieving equality. Equally important in their success was the presence or absence of women who were ready to challenge traditional religious beliefs, social institutions, and the conservative convictions of their own families. The women we recognize as leaders in the movement were willing to risk their reputations, sometimes even their lives, to support their convictions.
Equality has yet to be achieved by women in the United States. Out of 1.3 billion poverty stricken people, women are the majority. There is an estimated 75 to 80 percent of the world's...