Status Of Women In America

Submitted By beezi28
Words: 1515
Pages: 7

Some people in the historical community can argue that that the status of women in America was a gradual process and that change was inevitable since we always have, and continue, to build and strive for the best in this country. These same people would probably believe that an issue such as women’s rights would have unfolded regardless of the radical, groundbreaking, and sometimes outright rebellious acts of certain women throughout history. The voice of women has been heard with compassion and ambition even when men tried not to listen. While events at times can be credited for societal change, it was the actions of women throughout history voicing what many believed but dared not to say that can be credited for historical change in the status of women’s rights. The women that can be noted for opening the door to women’s rights goes by the name of Abigail Adams. In the time leading up to the completion and signing of the Declaration of Independence, John and Abigail Adams shared letters, in the year 1776, that voiced what both men and women felt about the rights of women. (Norton and Alexander 110) On March 16th, Abigail wrote John a letter, not only to tell him how eager she was to hear that he had declared an independency, but more so to say “by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.”(Norton and Alexander 111) Abigail Adams, along with her gender, wanted women to be able to have a voice. Only men represented women up until this point in history and women had no power over to contest the laws they lived by. Abigail urged her husband to bestow women with a voice so they could speak for themselves. She wanted him to use the power that he had to create a country where men did not have the upper hand to dictate the lives of women. Although she asked John Adams to use his power to uplift the constraints of the rights of women, she also added “if care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice or representation.”(Norton and Alexander 111) John Adams returned a letter to only to fuel the fire and determination in Abigail to voice her concerns with woman’s rights. After reading Johns letter she wrote to Mercy Otis Warren stating how furious she was to John Adams response. She was so outraged because in Johns reply he laughed her off, telling her that with all the problems of the disobedient apprentices, Negros, and Indians, women’s rights were not a priority. (Norton and Alexander 111) Abigail wrote Mercy to join her in a petition to congress a List of Female Grievances. Abigail voiced her radical thoughts to her highly respected husband. She could have done what any housewife at the time would have done and left it at her “Masters” hand and been quit when he turned his head from her views on women’s rights. But she chose to stand and fight for what she believed women deserved. The actions she took in voicing further her thoughts, especially coming from a woman married to a man with such high rank in American history, gave countless other women the courage to follow in her footstep and not be bound by the hands of man.
One of the women who stood up against the time in which she lived was an African American woman by the name of Isabella Baum. Isabella was a slave in Ulster County, New York until she gained her freedom in 1827. (Daily 43) Isabella later took the name as Sojourner Truth when she became an abolitionist and feminist in 1843. (Daily 43) in a time period prior to the 13th Amendment there were not many African Americans, especially African American women who voiced what many women, including white women, felt but never dared to stand up and say. On May 29th, 1851, Sojourner Truth gave a speech, Ain’t I A Women, at a women’s rights convention. (Daily 43)