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Womens Triumphs And Tragedies

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    Before the women’s movements in the United States, women who were treated unfairly and not given any equal rights as men had suffered great tragedy. There tragedy was the way the society had treated them cruelly such as 1women once only had the option of teaching, and nursing, as career opportunities. Women would usually have the role of staying home and taking care of children and the home. Now after the first and second waves of the women’s movements, women now are treated with great respect and given independent freedom. And carry a great deal of 5Women’s Movements are group efforts, chiefly by women, that seek to improve women’s lives or the lives of others. Probably the best known women’s movements are those that have engaged in political efforts to change the roles and the status of women in society. A women’s traditional role throughout history was wife or mother dominated, and most women’s lives have been centered around their household.

    Women’s Movements usually concentrate primarily on equal rights, freedom, and greater social, economic and political involvement for women. In history, there have been two major women’s movements, the first wave was concentrated on gaining voting rights for women. 9On August 26,1920, the nineteenth amendment was added on to the amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America. This amendment stated that women now have the right to vote. During the second wave of the women’s movement, there had been many organizations setup to help women unite, such as the Women’s Equity Action League (WEAL), the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL), the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA), the National Organization for Women (NOW), the National Women’s Party, the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC), and many more.

    The second wave, which emerged in the 1960’s, was concentrated mainly on political and social changes in many areas of the world. These contemporary women’s movement have sought greater equality for women in the family,workplace, and political life. 2Women’s movement’s have won greater freedom for women to as self-sufficient rather than dependent wives or daughters. Many great American women have contributed greatly to the to the rights women now have. One of the women who played a big role in gaining voting rights for women was Susan B. Anthony. 8Susan B. Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts on February 15, 1820. She was an American Pioneer for women’s rights in the 19th century. Anthony also helped found (1886) the American Equal Rights Association, In order to work for the Women’s Suffrage in 1869. In which she also helped establish the National Women’s Suffrage Association. From 1892 to 1900, 10Anthony was president of the National Women’s Suffrage Association.

    In 1872 she was arrested for attempting to vote, claiming the provisions of the 14th and 15th amendments applied to all citizens, male and female. Her ceaseless work and travel made women’s suffrage a recognized cause in both America and Europe. 3Jane Addams another American women’s rights advocate also was a American social reformer, and pacifist. She was born in Cedarville Illinois, on September 6, 1860. In 1889, influenced by British precedents, she founded Hull House in Chicago, in which she and other social reformers lived and worked to improve the city slums. Hull House became a model for many other settlement houses in the United States. Jane Addams became president of the Women’s National League for peace and freedom in 1919. Together with Nicholas Murray Butler, she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. She also supported investigation that resulted in child labor reform, an eight – hour working day for women and better housing. She wrote two books called Democracy and Social Ethics (1902) and Twenty Years at the Hull House (1910).

    She died on May 21, 1935. 7Elizabeth Blackwell was born in Bristol, England, in 1821 into a large, progressive family. Elizabeth’s father believed in fully educating his daughters as well as his sons, an unusual idea at the time. In 1832 they came to America. Some years later, the death of their father, Elizabeth and her sisters setup a private school for girls. Elizabeth became dissatisfied with teaching as a career. She decided that she wanted to do something in medicine. In the middle of the nineteenth century the thought of a woman becoming a doctor was as preposterous as it was shocking. 8Elizabeth began her ambition by studying medicine as a private pupil of prominent physicians of Philadelphia. Her teachers were impress by her capacity for hard work and strong stomach. She copped better with the procedures of the dissection room than many male medical students. Eventually after being rejected by twenty-nine medical schools, she was accepted by Medical College in New York State in 1847.

    Many male students attending the college disliked the idea of a woman doctor. But in 1849, when she finally graduated as an M.D. (as the head of her class), thousands of people came to Geneva to watch the awards ceremony. She became the first American woman to graduate to obtain a medical degree from a U.S. medical school. Confronting prejudice when she sought a hospital post, Blackwell opened the New York Infirmary for women and children. Elizabeth Blackwell’s struggle for recognition didn’t end with an American diploma. She wanted to enter a leading French hospital in Paris as a graduate surgery student. Paris at the time was considered the medical capital of the world at the time, but the French authorities refused to accept a female student, even one as celebrated as Elizabeth Blackwell, now was.

    She then entered La Maternite, a leading hospital for mothers and children, as a student midwife.  While she was working at this hospital she was infected by one of her infant patients and lost the sight in one eye. This ended her hope of becoming a surgeon. After she recovered, she was invited to attend St.Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, she later found the London School of Medicine for Women. 10Elizabeth Blackwell’s contribution has made a pathway for many ambitious women wanting to become a doctor. 3Like Elizabeth Blackwell’s family, Elizabeth Garret was born into a large family and her liberal father also believed in providing his daughters as well as his sons with an broad education.

    In 1860, when she was twenty- four, Elizabeth Garrett resolved to become a doctor. along with that she also became Britains first women mayor, and Britain first women doctor. 4During the second wave of Women’s movements , many American women played a big role, but there were four main, remarkable women who later became known as the Leaders of the second wave. Their names are Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Germaine Greer, and Kate Millet. These women had been affected, in their formative years, by World War II. They had also lived through, were still living through, their own crucibles, their own personal versions of what Betty would call ” The problem with no name.” These women led America into the second wave of the women’s movements and successfully changed the lives of many women.

    Their past contributions are still impacting on the lives of women today. 4Betty Friedan was a housewife, born in Peoria, Illinois, who had migrated with her husband and three children to the suburbs of Rockland County, New York, had been offered a prestigious fellowship that would have launched her career, but, fearing the loss of a conventional marriage life, she turned it down, Gloria Steinem, who single handedly cared for her disturbed mother then grew up to become the cooly glamorous epitome of the “liberated woman.” Kate Millet who was a loquacious struggling artist and college lecturer vilified for her differences, and Germaine Greer who chafed at restraints, the insults, the denial of women’s human equality, and perhaps most of all, of their potential. These women led many protests and sit-ins, a lot of them gained world wide attention, the main headlines of news were: The Oak Room… The Miss America Protest…. the sit-in at the Ladies Home Journal.

    The four women overcame their weaknesses (being a woman) and made it their strengthnesses. Women have contributed greatly to our American history and culture. Some famous and some not. Women now a great number of rights and are all treated as equals to men. Women now have the ability to be or do anything they put their mind to. 6Women now have careers as doctors, engineers, surgeons, lawyers, mayors, corporate executives, business women, and a number of other positions that were once thought of as preposterous and unheard of , but now considered as common roles. Women now aren’t required to marry, they aren’t required to carry roles as wife or mother, and can live their lives individually, they are given freedom. We would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for the women who took part in the women’s movements, thanks to the Great American women who made a difference in the Women’s rights Movements, women now have a great deal of triumph.

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