The Beginning of Women’s Liberation
|July 17, 2012||Posted by under Game Changers|
Seneca Falls in New York is the city that began women’s liberation with the first wave of the feminist movement being held in 1848, which ended with the signing of Declaration of Sentiments after two days of heated debate and discussion. The Declaration of Sentiments was written by the famous Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an activist and the leading figure of the woman’s movement.
The Beginning of Women’s Liberation – Declaration of Sentiments
The Declaration of Sentiments was modeled off of the Declaration of Independence noting the mistreatment women suffered from her husbands. Men were their masters, they owned them and had every say over what women could say and do. The declaration stated that a man should not be able to take a woman’s property, refuse her voting privileges, or take away any right of hers that men already have. Men felt that it was their duty to keep women protected from voting and politics but Stanton made it clear at the Seneca Falls Convention that women were strong, independent beings who didn’t need the aid or protection of a man.
The Beginning of Women’s Liberation – Second Wave
The second wave of feminism broadened the argument to include reproductive rights, sexuality, the workplace and family. The movement dragged on for thirty years from the 1960s into the 1990s. The second wave was fairly successful, however, the Equal Rights Amendment failed to be ratified in 1982 after falling three states short.
The Beginning of Women’s Liberation – Third Wave
The third wave of feminism began in the early 1990s in response to the failed Equal Rights Amendment in the second wave. The third wave which still continues on to the present day mainly focuses on the improvement of the stereotypes and derogatory words spoken about women by the media and in general such as whore, bitch and cunt. The third wave also focuses on eliminating any form of pornography stating that women are constantly being exploited. The third wave has brought up increased criticism in the woman’s right to have access to contraception and being able to decide if she wants to get an abortion. The women’s rights movement believes that it’s important for every woman to be able to have the right to control her own life. Unfortunately, there have been many attempts in states to ban that freedom completely because many people see it as unconstitutional deeming it as murder. The third wave has been deeply criticized for its lack of purpose since women obtained their freedom during the first wave in Seneca Falls.
From the city that began women’s liberation in Seneca Falls, women have come a long way to getting their equality up until today. Fighting for similar rights is still an issue with many women receiving unequal opportunities in the workforce. Women still suffer with a lower pay than a man would entering into the position and their sexual rights are still being tossed up in the air. Women make up a huge part of our economy and will continue to be strong supporters for their families emotionally and financially as well. There’s a positive future for women and each day, they’re all one step closer.
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