Womens Rights Essay

Submitted By inga10
Words: 1278
Pages: 6

In the book Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement by Sally G. McMillen, the concept of “All men and women are created equal,” is a short crucial statement from the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 in New York. The idea of equality was taken from the famous writer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, and his statement “All men are created equal.” Aside from the major controversial topic of woman's rights there was also another crucial issue, abolitionism, abolishment of slavery, which led to the Civil War in 1861. This is to say that people were now attempting to seek change by challenging the old ways of living. Both these ideas of were significant polarizing movements and were bond to change for the better. In the early nineteenth century, a typical woman's life was fairly limited. Women were not allowed to vote, hold public office, and serve on juries, voice opinion to public and so on. In society, men, had woman portrayed as house wives, in other words what one would call a stay at mother today. Their status was also portrayed as inferiors, therefore, men and the law, were against the need of woman to attain a college education. The men were afraid that with higher education woman would want to be more than what their original role as a house wife was portrayed through the eyes of society. Another huge injustice was the inequality of pay wages. The most common job women attained if they were allowed was that of a teacher. In this profession as in many others, men and women were given the same work yet unfortunately, the pays were quite different. Male teachers normally earned “ten dollars” a week meanwhile, female teachers earned practically less than half of that, “two-dollars and fifty cents.”(McMillen 51) Women were wanted to do the chores at home and yet still help the spouse, husband, with certain activities that he needed assistance with such as planting and harvesting crops. Furthermore, women had to care for the children, if they had any, and teach them morals, values, characteristics that would help them be better people in society when they became grown. The obligations that women were forced to compile with would at times contradict with what they were allowed to do, which once again one can infer that woman's roles were limited. This would continue to occur up until the mid-nineteenth century when women were moving into new roles. This was due to the confidence women were beginning to contribute to their personalities in challenging the old methods of thinking. The Seneca Falls Convention, 1848, had more than 200 people, including men, who attended. Some of the people who attended were Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, William Lloyd Garrison, as well as many others. The Seneca Falls Convention was a two-day meeting that no one knew would hold change for the future such as women writing letters and essays, and even lecturing the opinions to the public in public locations. The issues described at the Convention were those that many Americans today merely take for granted instead of valuing and appreciating what some only wished to have and therefore were forced to fight for. These issues were “the right of women to vote, serve on juries, hold public office, claim their own possessions, earn equal wages, acquire a good education, have access to divorce, and pursue meaningful work” (71). Apart from these issues being crucial in the Seneca Falls Convention there was also the fact that this was the first time ever that so many people met in a public location to discuss such a controversial topic such as woman's rights especially after the fact that people could be sentenced to death for disobeying the law, as Anne Hutchinson was hung. The two advocates that seem to be of most significance throughout this book seem to be Elizabeth Stanton and Frederick Douglass, although almost everyone that