Women's History FD - cougar

Tianna Rosa
Women’s History
Oppression, determination, and undeniable strength have all characterized
women’s history in the U.S. In the past, the ideal woman was obedient, nurturing, and
typically an all-around stepford wife. It was women such as Susan B. Anthony, Jane
Addams, Jane Austin, Maya Angelou, and Oprah Winfrey who rearranged the status quo
of society’s expectations for women.
Many women were imperative within the feminist movement; however, one in
particular upped the ante by testing the right of women to vote. She was arrested two
weeks later. After being tried and convicted of violating the voting laws, Susan B.
Anthony succeeded in her refusal to pay the fine.
From then on she campaigned for a federal woman suffrage amendment through
the National Woman Suffrage Association (1869-90) and the National American Woman
Suffrage Association (1890-1906) and by lecturing throughout the country. Although
Anthony did not live to see the result of her hard work to win the right to vote for women,
the establishment of the 19th amendment is thanks to her efforts.
Women’s rights have truly evolved, but it is argued that there is still work to do.
Librarian Heidi Truax holds that opinion “Yes, there is still work that needs to be done
starting with equal representation in positions in power, in government, in business, and
equitable pay,” she said. According to General Accountability Office (GAO), the weekly
earnings of full-time working women were about three-fourths of men's during 2001.
If women have truly evolved, then why does the media persistently tell women to
perfect themselves? The Media Awareness Network says, “Images of female bodies are
everywhere. Women—and their body parts—sell everything from food to cars. Popular
film and television actresses are becoming younger, taller and thinner.” Poet Maya
Angelou had exemplified in her poem “Phenomenal Woman” that there is more to beauty
then being a size 2. “Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to
suit a fashion model's size. But when I start to tell them, they think I'm telling lies,”
Angelou writes.
When asked to define a “phenomenal woman,” Senior Monee Langworthy said,
“An ideal woman keeps her head high. She doesn’t change her standards or goals for
“A ‘phenomenal woman’ is one that doesn’t let gender get in her way, she knows
what she wants to do and she is compassionate about what she does,” added Social
Worker Susan Hickey.
Most students view this “prodigious woman” as their mothers. “She sets a good
example and she wants what’s best for me, and she is a hard worker,” stated Senior
Maggie Mitoraj.