Women's Rights In The Early 1900s

Words: 1137
Pages: 5

During the fight for women's suffrage, during the early 1900s, women accomplished labor rights and a changed social perception of women. Through creating a new female personality women combated social expectations of gender normalities. The outreach from women’s original sphere of domesticity to spheres such as politics and economics, furthered women’s involvement in society. Advancements in the women’s movement ultimately led to the emergence of a new woman figure who fought for greater equality throughout their continuous efforts.
Before the 1900s, women continued as their husbands’ dependents and confined to society’s traditional image of a woman. Expected to stay at home, take care of the children, and submit to their husbands, women had
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The first step for women’s suffrage began in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention when Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott came together with the desire of equality amongst the sexes. These women opened the convention by giving a speech declaring the need for women to protest the American government in order to obtain representation. Also,they expressed the necessity of unity among women to fight for a better nation. When the injustices of the government became apparent to women, the movement accelerated towards women’s suffrage. Alice Miller’s poem addresses the hypocrisy in women’s responsibility versus their rights in 1915:
“I went to ask my government if they would set me free,
They gave a pardoned crook a vote, but hadn't one for
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Women’s fashion, in the 1920s, embodied women’s effort for freedom and independence, coinciding with the counterculture of the time. Mostly flappers, fashionable young women flouting conventional standards of behaviour, that broke old restrictions of fashion and behavior, according to Louise Benner, “with [their] short skirts, short hair, noticeable makeup, and fun-loving attitude.” Also, flappers drank illegal alcohol, smoked, and raised their hemlines, which was unheard of beforehand; thus resulting in these women defying “society’s expectations of proper conduct for young women.” Unacquainted with the popular new immodest fashion, women’s swimsuit hemline had to measure to verify women’s skirt’s did not exceed six inches above the knee, which displayed society’s discomfort with ladies’ becoming more revealing than before in earlier generations. Additionally, due to the expanding automobile business, women no longer needed men to travel as they could now drive themselves. Plus, novels such as The Great Gatsby influenced American women to loosen sexual relations by exploring romantic affairs among the characters. These creations gave more freedom to women, that in turn decreased the amount of control men exerted over women. With looser sexual relations, Margaret Sanger started the birth control