Document 13490790

In the UK only a fifth (19%) of the public
claim to be feminists, including 27% of
women and 10% of men. (66%) stated they
were definitely not feminists, including
77% of men and even a majority (57%) of
American Moderns:
The Popular image of the Roaring
Twenties– John Held’s Flapper
Women could vote in Wyoming, Utah and other western
states from 1869.
Property rights had been achieved
Pay was unequal, but no law existed protecting the
right to strike
Over 8 million women were in the workforce from 1915
During the war, of the 9.5 million war workers, 2.25
million were women
Women continue to form ¼ of workforce, gradually
dominating white collar work
Consumer culture appeals to woman as center of
consumer households
 “The
position of a married woman ... is, in many
respects, precisely similar to that of the negro
slave. She can make no contract and hold no
property; whatever she inherits or earns
becomes at that moment the property of her
husband.... Though he acquired a fortune
through her, or though she earn a fortune
through her talents, he is the sole master of it,
and she cannot draw a penny....[I]n the English
common law a married woman is nothing at all.
She passes out of legal existence.” Harriet
Beecher Stowe, 1869
 Women
active from 1820s in anti-slavery
campaigns—link between causes
 Sarah Grimke, Southern abolitionist and
social activist: “Men and women were
created equal…Whatever is right for a
man to do, is right for a woman.” (1838)
 But was the women’s movement just for
middleclass, educated women who could
afford servants like Stanton and Anthony?
Feb 1869 Congress passes 15th Amendment: right to
vote can’t be denied “on account of race, color, or
previous condition of servitude.”
Women had supported war in North by working for US
Sanitary Commission and National Woman’s Loyal
Black and women’s rights linked: Stanton, Anthony and
Stone found American Equal Rights Assn in 1866
“If that word ‘male’ be inserted, it will take us a century
at least to get it out.”– EC Stanton
Abolitionist groups withdraw funds from suffrage orgs
Stanton/Anthony oppose 15th amendment which will
create ‘aristocracy of sex’
Frances Ellen Watkins
Harper (1825-1911), an
advocate of racial equality
and women’s rights who
sided with Frederick
Douglass in arguing that
black suffrage should take
precedence over votes for
Disagreement over amendment causes split:
Moderates led by AWSA (Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe
and Henry Blackwell) advocate state suffrage first and
continue to work with abolitionists and men
More radical is the all-female National Women’s
Suffrage Organization (NWSA)– the vote is only one of
many issues to them:
Magazine Revolution addresses divorce, women’s
property rights, unequal pay and marriage
Only merge in 1890 National American Woman
Suffrage Association
National Woman’s Party goes for a National
Amendment (Alice Paul, 1917)
August 18, 1920, 19th Amendment becomes law
 First
women’s rights convention in
American history, July 1848
 Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Declaration of
Sentiments based on Declaration of
 Her husband would not accompany her
to the convention as he thought it would
wreck his career
 Liberty Party makes women’s suffrage a
plank in campaign
He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the
elective franchise.
He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she
had no voice.
He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and
degraded men - both natives and foreigners.
Having deprived her of this first right as a citizen, the elective franchise,
thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he
has oppressed her on all sides.
He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper
causes of divorce, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the
children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of the
women - the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the
supremacy of a man, and giving all power into his hands.
He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education - all
colleges being closed against her.
He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a different
code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which
exclude women from society, are not only tolerated but deemed of little
account in man.
Stanton attended
Johnstown Academy and
studied Latin and Greek.
Her father was a
prominent lawyer and her
mother a descendant of
Revolutionary War
Had servants to look after
her children and refused
to be called Mrs. Henry
Some of first strikes in American labour history led by
1824 Pawtucket, Rhode Island, young women lead male
and female co-workers out to protest wage cuts and ask
for longer hours
Lowell, Mass, 1834: 800 women protest 25% wage cut.
Many quit and go home to the family farms
1845, first chapter of New England female Labour
reform Assn. Sarah Bagley leads Lowell chapter and
petitions Mass legislature for 10-hr day. 1846: 10,000
signatures (4K women’s) ignored by legislature.
Working-class activists become involved with suffrage
through joint interests in progressive legislation
“For the last halfcentury, it has been
deemed a violation of
woman’s sphere to
appear before the
public as a speaker:
but when our rights
are trampled upon
and we appeal in vain
to our legislator, what
are we to do?...Shall
not our voice be
heard…shall it be said
to the daughters of
New England that they
have not political
rights?” – Sarah
1847, NH state
responds to women
who refused to
work after dark:
first 10-hr day law.
ME (1848) and PA
(1849) follow
 1847, New
Hampshire state legislature
responds to women workers in Nashua
who refused to work after dark: first 10-hr
day law.
 Maine follows in 1848 and Pennsylvania
in 1849
 Women were still routinely paid less than
1839: Mississippi, first state to enact married women’s
property: but really prevents husbands’ creditors from taking
away family slaves after panic of 1837
Maryland (1843), Michigan (1844), and Arkansas (1846)
Texas (1840), women could sue for divorce and stop sale of
family house even if they were not the owners
1848, New York (a NY act in 1845 had allowed married
women’s inventions to remain under their copyright)
California follows Spanish Civil Law in 1849, enabling strict
separation of married women’s property and assets
1855 Massachusetts Married Women’s Property Act
By the end of the Civil War there were 29 state acts, but most
women were not allowed guardianship of children and right
to manage husbands’ estates
 While
working-class women found industrial
jobs and domestic service options, increasing
numbers of women become primary school
 Rise of public education
 Catherine Beecher advocates women as best
teachers for the young
 Oberlin College first co-ed institute of higher
education (1833)
 Mount Holyoke (1837) first women’s college
 By 1850 women dominate profession
 More jobs open up during and after Civil War
Lucy Stone (left)
pioneers bloomers in
Victoria Woodhull
(right) runs for
President in 1872;
First female stock
Broker from 1870
Susan B Anthony (above)
arrested November 18,
1872 for voting in
Presidential election (even
though she said she had
voted Republican…
Both see higher education as a way out of domestic
drudgery and marriage
Anthony taught at Eunice Kenyon's Friends' Seminary,
and then at the Canajoharie Academy in 1846, where
she became headmistress of the Female Department.
Anthony's first occupation inspired her to fight for
wages equivalent to those of male teachers (men
earned roughly four times more than women for the
same work)
Stone earns degree at Oberlin College and goes on to
teach there, also campaigning for equal pay
Both had Quaker backgrounds but Anthony ends up
rejecting organized religion altogether
Daughter of former slaves
Graduate of Oberlin College
Member of NAWSA and concerned
about the organization’s racism
Teacher and journalist and
Founding member of NAACP
Founder of National Association of
University women
President of Republican Women
during Warren Harding’s admin
 Women’s Trade
Union League (1903)
 Worked for and against the AFL
 8 hr day, protective legislation, minimum
 After Triangle Shirtwaist fire, gains even
more support
 Rose Schneiderman speaks in favor of
joining NAWSA: working women need
“bread and roses”– importance of the
Fall in birth rate: women had on average 7 children in
1800, but were only having 4 by 1900
Abstinence, rhythm method, withdrawal or abortion (1
in 4 pregnancies aborted in 1840-1860– same as I the
First legal bans on abortion in 1860s at state level
Access to literature on contraception banned by 1873
Comstock Law– the “chastity” law
Harper’s Magazine estimates that 4/5 of reading public
were women (1850)
Were women merely passive consumers of American
culture or were they drivers of publishing industry
Women’s fiction (Susan Warner, Catherine Sedgwick,
HB Stowe) often depicts women working in cities
Relationship between women and missionaries—
feminine control of religious instruction
Women authors of popular history with educational
slant; early social and cultural histories
Native American rights championed by women (Helen
Hunt Jackson, 1880)
See Ann Douglas, The Feminization of American Culture
 Section
1. Equality of rights under the law shall
not be denied or abridged by the United States
or by any State on account of sex.
 Section 2. The Congress shall have the power
to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the
provisions of this article.
 Section 3. This amendment shall take effect
two years after the date of ratification (1972,
passes congress yet not adopted in time by
state legislatures)
 Women’s
work largely excluded from social
 No jobs in CCC and many other agencies
 Men get more relief from gov’t
Women, both married and single, work in
greater numbers---1/3 workforce
They hang onto white collar jobs
Higher numbers in education
Women cabinet secretaries and heads of FTP
 Women
made $31 to men’s $54 a week in
defense jobs but
 By 1944 only 1.7 million unmarried men
between the ages of 20 and 34 worked in
the defense industry, while 4.1 million
unmarried women between those ages
 Women’s employment goes up 75%
during war
1948 UN proposes statement of equal rights for women; US only nation to veto it
 20
million women in workforce in 1942; 4
million women lost their jobs in 1945-46
 Equal Pay Act introduced 1945 and
resubmitted to congress each year until it
finally passed in 1963
 1947 230,000 women from AT & T strike
 Women dropped by unions in postwar
 Married women return to work in greater
numbers than during war
 Wage poverty and women’s work
 Friedan, Feminine
Mystique (1963); see de
Beauvoir, Second Sex (1949): a woman is not
born, she is made
 National Women’s Political Caucus, 1971/Ms.
Magazine founded
 Shirley Chisholm (NY) first black candidate for
President, 1972
 Barbara Jordan, first African American elected
to TX Senate since Reconstruction, first African
American woman to delivery keynote at DNC
 More
than 80% of employed women worked in
only 20 of the 420 occupations listed by US
Census Bureau
 In 1973 less than 15% of all employed women
were in professional occupations
 New no-fault divorce laws meant women
eliminated alimony; most men default on child
 1970s number of households headed by women
increases to 70%
 1975 bankrupt National Welfare Right Org
 1980: women become more than 50% of
workforce: enter the backlash
 "I
intend to scream, shout, race the
engine, call when I feel like it, throw
tantrums in Bloomingdale's if I feel like it
and confess intimate details about my life
to complete strangers. I intend to do what
I want to do and be whom I want to be
and answer only to myself: that is, quite
simply, the bitch philosophy.”
 Elizabeth Wurzel
80% of all workers in catering, cleaning, hairdressing and
personal services are women
78% of clerical workers are women
Only 5 out of 50 governors in US are women
.1% surgeons in UK are women
147/650 MPs are women
According to the BBC, women are
1.3% of brigadiers (or their equivalent) and
above across the Army, Navy and RAF
13.2% of the most senior judges (High Court and
above, including Senators of the College of Justice in
14.2% of university vice-chancellors
16.6% of the most senior staff in the police (Acpo
ranks and above)
During Reagan administration, cuts pushed 2 million female
headed households and 5 million more women below the
poverty line.