Changing place of women
Going back to era of the 1800’s leading to the 1920’s onto now. Women were born to a life of just having a domestic role in their lives. Being a housewife was their only job. Cleaning, cooking, and taking care of their children were their normal way of living. Therefore, doing something out of the ordinary at that time was considered unacceptable and immoral. Although women wanted to enhance their role to be able to work or go to school, it was not until the 1920’s that they started to begin to change. They decided to change in many ways that women through out the years such as Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, and Margaret Sanger begin to emerge to empower other women to stand up to fight for their rights. Ever since, women have continued to change their place in society dramatically in ways that they are able to achieve many goals now that they could not have done so during the early era.
After world war one an era of prosperity in the U.S rose like a big celebration. Blacks started their new revolution called the Harlem Renaissance and businesses were beginning to boom. In addition, women were not left behind they decided to become more liberated and more open minded about the way they would dress and present themselves. Women like these were considered Flappers. Flappers as stated in the history book Making America it describes,“flapper as being a young woman in the 1920’s with short hair and short skirts who flaunted her avant-garde dress and behavior” (Berkin 589). Women became more aggressive and demanding for their right of being able to express themselves as they pleased. However a flapper was not only a woman who wanted to be more freely about the way they looked or behaved. In a magazine called the AOH Magazine of History states, “A more in-depth analysis, however, that includes changes in the family and sexual mores, women’s participation in the work force, and the political activism of these newly enfranchised citizens, offers a vehicle for broadening our understanding of the social, economic, and political developments of the era”(Dumenil 1). T
his meant that women became more eager to become for self-sufficient and being able to come out of their traditional gender roles was not a dream but was something that could be turned into reality. They wanted to be able to be considered as independent women however to get to what they wanted they had to overcome many struggles.
Having their right to vote was one of many struggles they had to over come. Women wanted to be able to have a say in the government and be a part of politics. Many of the men opposed to this because their way of thinking was very close-minded. According men women did not have the ability to think critically and the only place they pertained was the home. That is when a woman by the name of Alice Paul decided to take matters into he own hands and with a group of women who wanted to be able to vote created the NWP. The NWP was an abbreviation for the National Woman’s Party and was created to be able to fight for democracy in the U.S. Alice Paul’s idea was to be able to convince president Woodrow Wilson to strictly reinforce to constitution and give the women the right to vote. However, throughout her journey to enforcing democracy she believed that acting and making their voices heard was the only way Wilson would be able to pay attention. Alice Paul was well known for her radical ways of protesting. Such as Jean Baker states in her Placards at The White House, “She believed that for women to gain the vote — no matter how radical such a step might seem, no matter the reaction of conservative suffrage organizations — her dedicated followers in the Woman’s Party must picket the White House.
She was determined such as other suffragists such as Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other Women Organizations to be able to achieve their goal for all women to obtain their right to vote. Therefore, it did not matter to Alice Paul if she had suffered any consequences because according to her it had to be done. However it sill took them a couple of years to get congress to finally accept them. It wasn’t until Later on in the 1920’s when congress finally passed the 19th Amendment. This was an achievement for all women in the U.S because the Amendment as states, “No state can deny the right to vote on the based on sex”. This meant that woman had risen one foot forward into striving or their success in their future. To be able to have a say in the government meant a lot to them and still does in present day.
Even though women accomplished their goal of having the right to vote they now had to take care of other issues in which they were not happy. Women in the early era had always wanted to be able to do something else besides just being a housekeeper. Since society had always looked down upon women they would not dare to speak about being able to go out and get a job. In society living in the suburbs behind white picketed fence with husbands with stable jobs was the way to live. However, during the 1920’s women became more eager to become self-sufficient. It wasn’t until World War II that they had the opportunity to get a job in factories and in the assembly lines. This was an accomplishment because this meant women could now be able to earn their own wages and also take care of their families. According to the YouTube video Women who Make America, “ Though the number of woman in the work place gradually increase there jobs were always low paying and dead end”. Even though the women were able to obtain jobs the job market was unfair. Such as when women had to look for jobs in the newspaper men and women’s job advertisements were segregated and often times when women tried to apply for a male position they were often turned down.
Women continued with the jobs they could find but soon enough they started to dislike all the discrimination and the fact that they weren’t able to get professional jobs. In addition women decided to come together again to strive for change in the job market and started a Labor Movement. Women soon started to join Labor unions to be able to fight for their right to work in other areas that included well-paid wages. As time went by more and more women became part of unions and movements that would help them become more successful in having a job that included better working conditions and better earning wages. In the article in the website Mape states, “In the early part of the twentieth century, the WTUL was the most important cross-class organization of this type, bringing upper-class materialistic women into active support of poor immigrant factory women’s struggles for improved wages and conditions and of union-building efforts among women workers”.
This gives an example of how the women were coming together as one to be able to achieve the same goal. After this women today continue to demand equality in the workforce. Although women’s jobs have changed since the 1920’s women continue to change their place in the work force to be able to hold the same job position of male and earn a similar wage.
In order for woman to get a better job woman had to get an education and were excited to do so. However, being able to go to school started off as a dream and seemed far out of their reach. As years passed just as women were able to fight for their rights for work and suffrage they fought for their educational rights. More and more women had the idea of being able to go to college. Despite all the challenges they had to go through with discrimination and not being looked as “Real Women”. Women made their way into colleges. Such as in todays society more and more women from then to now have made their way into universities and have earn professional degrees. However, this does not mean that discrimination among women and men has diminished. In an article titled “Woman in Higher education” states, “They have documented that sex discrimination on the campus is real and not a myth.
On many campuses hey have stunned both faculty and administrators with formal accusations of discrimination” (Sander 532). This is proof that no matter if women are able to be a part of education they will always be looked down upon and continue to be discriminated. In many colleges and universities have started organizations for women’s rights in education. These organizations help encourage woman such as offer certain aid and resources for only women. Now statistics show that more women have earned more degrees than men. This has been an accomplishment for them for them because back then no one knew women were going to be able to go to college and have a career with a bright future.
In addition, women in the 1800’s were also seen a baby making machines. Individuals who only had the ability to conceive and take care of their family needs. Such as cleaning, cooking and washing their clothes. Waking up each morning having breakfast and walking their children to school to preparing dinner for their husbands. Although to many women they were content with this lifestyle other women felt like they were inside a cage where they felt the urge to break out. These woman were the ones who often felt depressed because to them this lifestyle was boring and it was very frustrating not being able to be intimate with their husbands in fear of having more babies. It was not only about sexual freedom but also the fact that they could not afford to have any more children. Later on in the 1920’s there was a woman by the name of Margaret Sanger who decided these kind of woman and their needs. She was a birth control activist and even if at the time birth control was illegal she still found a way to help these desperate woman.
She believed that woman should have sexual freedom and be able to be responsible of their bodies and if they did not want to have any more babies birth control was the answer. According to a document called Mothers Seek Freedom from Unwanted Pregnancies describes, “Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States in Brooklyn in 1916, authorities arrested and jailed her for violating the Comstock Law of1873 which outlaw the distribution of information about contraception” (Sanger). This was a risk Margaret took but to her she did not mind because she knew that she was helping women and that was all she cared about. After the idea of contraceptives had arrived more and more women would begin to ask more about it and how they could get it. Soon after with the help of Margaret Sanger, other powerful woman, and birth control organizations after world war II.
Birth control became legal. With the help of Margaret Sanger many women now have the freedom to protect themselves and prevent pregnancies. Clinics such as planned parent hood were influenced by her and continue to offer these services for women. This has change the ways in a woman’s sex life. Now they are able to have sexual freedom and not worry about bringing a child to the world if they cannot afford to.
As preciously stated, women have indeed change their place in society with many of the goals they have been able to achieve. Achieving their right to vote was one of the most rewarding because this was a sense of power that they to let their voices be heard. Also, being able to come out of their traditional gender roles and be part of the work force. Women have been able to be more self sufficient with out a husband. Although, they have always been seen as being incapable of being able to achieve success. Women have and will always continue to fight for their right to be equal. Until then they will continue to come across challenges such as discrimination. A woman’s place in society will continue to transform as they start to be more aware that they can be just as good as men and society begins to accept them as they are.
Dumenil, Lynn. “The New Woman And The Politics Of The 1920S.” OAH Magazine Of
History 21.3 (2007): 22. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 27 May 2013.
Berkin, Carol. Making America. a History of the United States. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012. Print.
Baker, Jean H. “Placards At The White House.” American Heritage 59.4 (2010): 74. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 31 May 2013.
“Makers: Women Who Make America (Part 1).” YouTube. YouTube, 05 Mar. 2013. Web. 01 June 2013.
“A Little History of Women’s Labor Movement.” MAPE.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2013.
“Women In Higher Education.” Vital Speeches Of The Day 38.17 (1972): 532. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 2 June 2013.
Sanger, Margaret. “Mothers Seek Freedom from Unwanted Preganancies.” Motherhood in Bondage,. New York: Brentano’s, 1928. N. pag. Print