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Feminist Backlash: The Unconscious
Undermining of Genuine Equality
American people come in a variety of shapes and sizes; their thoughts, fears, and convictions differ widely. It is usually necessary for Americans to choose a status in politics and community; but it is obvious that among specific groups and organizations, a person’s beliefs and opinions differ dramatically from the next. Feminist groups, specifically in the last twenty years, have announced their view of membership as an elite group of woman who must have the same specific convictions. Moreover, they denounce anyone who does not, as irrational and supporting the continuance of subordination of women. Feminist propaganda is off track when it comes to the real experiences of American women and men. It is true, that in the past, a woman’s voice was often disregarded; she was denied certain rights, for some women fought. Elizabeth Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Blackwell were famous for their courage and persistence in bringing change. It is safe to say that most Americans now agree men and women have vast talents and capabilities. A century ago women were concerned with issues, such as the right to own property and vote. Somewhere between then and now, feminist groups turned their agenda to issues that offended many Americans. They crossed the line of personal and moral decisions and made ridiculous accusations toward men. The first feminists were necessary. Modern feminists have lost touch with American women and “unconsciously undermined genuine equality”. It is no wonder why men and women try to distance themselves from feminism.
Long before Europeans came to the “new land” with their Judeo-Christian ideology, patriarchy was the exception not the norm. Women, their bodies, and ability to give birth and nurse children were adorned. Women did eighty percent of the hunting until the reintroduction of the horse. “Women were shoved out of the hunting scenario. The horse allowed men to become radius,” and the man’s “expendable sex” was no obstacle when traveling long distances. The “economic survival” was now the man’s domain. The value of the women fell when “mother earth” lost her place. In addition, the European settlers forced their Christian ideals on the Native Americans and other subordinate groups later.
During the next several years, the colonial family stayed the same; historically, there was no women’s movement until 1848, the year of the Seneca Falls Convention. Organized by Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott, the “Declaration of Principles” was produced. It paraphrased the Declaration of Independence with emphasis on women. Before 1848, vocal feminists had raised their voices within the Abolitionist Movement. Major concerns of pre-Civil War feminists were: property rights for women, custody of their children in cases of divorce, the right to their earnings, the ability to sign contracts and serve on juries, equal higher education opportunities, and equal opportunities in the workplace . The latter phase of the movement came after the Civil War. The feminists
had now formed associations and groups primarily concerned with getting the vote. The American Women’s Suffrage Association associated with a more conservative group, including Elizabeth Blackwell, the first women doctor, as a prominent leader. The two groups united in 1890 as the Suffrage Movement; because of this coalition, the older radical National Association lost influence. In 1920, after fifty years of struggle women were given the right to vote. The suffrage movement had no official ideology; its purpose was to obtain the right to vote. Its members and leaders came from all walks of life and had greatly varying views on current events. The second wave of the feminist movement began in the 1960’s. By this time, a very broad and diverse movement had developed a mass following. The National Organization of Women (NOW) was established in 1966. Within a few months, many other women’s organizations were established. NOW represented an older, more conservative movement; but many younger radical women’s liberation groups were emerging with no national organization. Young women were often involved with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). In the early 1970’s, the conservative feminists and more radical feminists began to work toward common goals. Ms. Magazine was first published in 1972. The second wave feminist movement wanted a complete restructuring of American society which included the restructuring of family, individuals free to determine their
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Feminist theory, Womens rights, Feminist movements and ideologies, Third-wave feminism, Feminism and society, Feminism, Feminist movement, Radical feminism, Second-wave feminism, Social feminism, Feminist views on sexuality
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