Elizabeth Cady Stanton started the fight for women’s rights at a convention in Seneca Falls, New York 1848. She spoke out on the so-called equal rights that women had, “It is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise 1: Scott. ” With that great statement Elizabeth Cady Stanton showed that women do have an opinion and they want to voice it. As her speech progressed she spoke about the “inalienable rights” granted to all in the constitution and how these were not given equally to women.
Her radical new ideas sparked a controversial battle that would last well into the next century. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the first women to wear bloomers and not a dress around her town and home, causing her husband a judge much ridicule and embarrassment. In 1851 at another convention in Seneca Falls, she met Susan B. Anthony a woman as passionate about the fight for women to vote as she was; oddly enough they met while Stanton was wearing bloomers. The women immediately became friends, and started full force to gain equal rights for women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote most of the speeches delivered by Susan B. Anthony.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton became the woman behind the scenes, and as the years progressed so did their fight. Susan B. Anthony helped start the movement for women’s rights in 1851 when she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Between the two of them, these women started in New York and slowly worked across the country educating women on what rights they should have and why they did not have them. The two were strongly fighting for a woman’s right to vote. At the time the only people allowed to vote were white males over the age of 21, no slaves, no colored people, and no women.
From 1854 to 1860 Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton worked in New York to change all laws discriminating against women. Anthony began organizing women all over the state to help with this fight. In 1869 Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton Lucy Stone and Henry Beecher joined forces to organize the National Woman Suffrage Association. This group would work to get a constitutional amendment that would grant women the right to vote the idea was sparked by the 15th amendment which stated that the newly freed slaves had the right to vote. To make their statement more dramatic Susan B. Anthony and 12 other women cast their votes in the 1872 presidential election.
These votes were one of many dramatic steps in gaining voting rights for women. Anthony was arrested, convicted, fined $100, and then set free for this, she soon became an icon in history. In 1920 the fight for a women’s right to vote was soon over as the 19th amendment to the constitution was passed allowing this right. This also allowed women to become more outgoing and true to there own beliefs. Later in the century women would once again have to fight for equality but for a very different reason.
Gloria Steinem is not only a successful businesswomen and co-founder of “Ms. ” magazine, she was also a major figure in the women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It may have been written in her genetic code to be a feminist as her grandmother, Pauline Perlmutter Steinem, was a suffragist in the 1900’s. Steinem’s major life change came shortly before she left for a trip to India in 1956. She discovered that she was pregnant. After overhearing a conversation, she came to know about a new procedure that could possibly help her, an abortion.
Half of the money she had saved for her trip to India went toward the operation. Shortly afterward her visa for India came and she was on her way to start a new life. In India she found her political views, and that marriage, and romance were not her thing. Of course none of these views could surface just yet, at the time women did not usually express their views. By the time the sixties were coming to a close, Steinem’s point of view on a women’s rights had drastically changed. On March 10, 1969 Steinem and other protestors disturbed a meeting which was trying to wave the right for a women to have an abortion.
She had become one of the Redstockings, a group that fought for women’s rights, and she was now a feminist. Over the next ten years Steinem strongly announced that women everywhere wanted equal pay for equal work. She became a published freelance writer and created a name for herself with each protest she organized. Gloria Steinem did not just fight for women’s rights in America; she also fought for women’s rights in other countries and equal rights around the world. The fight for women’s rights started in 1848 with one grand statement and has progressed throughout the years.
Today many women around the world are still oppressed by laws stating that they do not have the same rights as men. When Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and 12 other women voted in the 1872 presidential election they had a direct effect on the way women would be viewed. No longer were women wives, mothers, and cooks, women were now opinionated, independent, and wanted recognition. It took almost 75 years to get the first equality law past in this country but without that one law who knows where women would be today.
Even though women had the right to vote, they still did not have the right to be what they wanted. Women went to college, but afterward most stayed home to continue the cooking and cleaning routine. It was not until World War 2 that women would go out to earn money. Even during the time women were earning money a women’s opinion was not wanted in a conversation and if she gave it, her opinion was not acknowledged. In the 1960s during the time of the equal rights movement of African-Americans, women were starting to have another movement of their own.
Women wanted recognition. Among their leaders was Gloria Steinem. Most of the women that led those protests were the daughters of women who worked during the war. Some women just wanted the same money men were getting for doing the same job. Whatever the cause, women across the country were joining forces to get these rights. As of the mid 1980s women were holding executive positions and earning the same pay as men. In 1984 Geraldine Anne Ferraro ran for vice president and at the same time went down as a major mark for women’s equality.
Sandra Day O’Connor has become the first woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice, and Janet Reno is our current Attorney General. These women may not have had the opportunity to serve in any of these positions had it not been for the women who fought for equal rights in 1851. The fighting had paid off. Women everywhere are now getting the recognition they deserved. Without women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Gloria Steinem to start voicing their opinions when they did who knows were women would stand today.