Feminism Movement in the United States

The three separate peaks of the mainstream women’s movement in the United States called the first, second, and third feminist waves.

Qn. 2: Seneca Falls Convention

The Seneca Falls Convention was the first convention held at the Wesleyan Chapel in New York City in July 1848 to advocate for women’s rights. This convention marked the turning point of women’s rights movements whereby it significantly drew many men and women to stand up and fight for women rights. The significant issues of the campaign were the acquisition of civil, social and religious rights to women, which were only allowed to men. The three-day conference was successful in its operations since it launched a women’s suffrage movement sustained for many decades. The convention made a Declaration of Sentiments which greatly influenced the social and political structures in the United States. The Declaration of Sentiments documents influenced many women to be courageous in the fight for their rights, which saw a great shift in education, health and political reforms in the 18th century, which changed the lives of many women. After seven decades, the convention succeeded in granting women the right to participate in the voting process.

Qn. 3: The connection and tension between the first-wave feminism movement and the abolition movement

The first wave of feminism movement in the United States started in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention. The movement’s declaration granted women their voting rights that men dominated. On the other hand, the abolition movement was an initiative of organized efforts to terminate slavery in the US. The movement fuelled extreme division and hatred in the United States, which caused the civil war that ultimately ended slavery. The first wave feminism movement and the abolition movement were similar in that they aimed at acquiring equality in rights to the oppressed. The feminist movement advocated for women’s rights marginalized in society and denied most of their civil, religious and political rights. The abolitionist movement sought to grant constitutional rights to the black people oppressed by the white people by overworking them and treating them as their properties. Although the two actions were similar in goals, they differed in the way they achieved their goals. The first wave movement caused transformation through educating people, but the abolitionist movement achieved victory after a civil war that freed the slaves.

Qn. 4: Importance of Margaret Sanger’s Work in the Feminist Movement

Margaret Sanger was the first American to advocate for birth control in the United States and later founded a birth control movement. Margaret launched the Birth control league, an organization that founded the Birth Control Federation of America, later called the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in 1942. Margret greatly devoted her life to fighting for women rights to own properties, where she launched campaigns for Married Woman’s Properties Act. Margret also emphasized the rights for women to vote, where she found the National Women Suffrage Association. The National Women Suffrage Association pushed for the constitutional amendment to allow women to participate in elections and compete with men in leadership and political elections. The association also emphasized many events that demeaned women and supported other reforms that advocated for equality in the society to view women as equal beings to men. The NWSA varied from the American Women Suffrage Association in that it advocated for various reforms to equalize women with other members of society. At the same time, the latter solely focused on the voting rights of women.

Qn. 5 Second-Wave of the Feminist Movement

The second wave of the feminist movement lasted between the 1960s and 1980s. The second wave focused on equality and discrimination against women in society. The campaign worked with a slogan, “the personal is political”, which identified the cultural and political inequalities against women. It emphasized educating women to understand their personal lives and reflected on the sexist power structures.

Qn. 6: Title IX and Its Impact on Education and Athletics Programs

Title IX seeks to eliminate gender-based discrimination in schools, allowing both male and female students to acquire education equally. Title IX also impacts athletics programs by protecting the athletics participants in admission and safety from sexual harassment.

Qn. 7: Gender Wage Gap

The gender wage gap refers to the variation in earnings between men and women. Several studies in the United States indicates that women earn less than men in the same task, which reflect inequality and discrimination in society. Therefore, closing the gender wage gap will benefit women and cause business expansion and sustainability of the economy.

Qn. 8: Second- Wave Group Focusing on Non-White Women

One group that focused on non-white women was the National Association of Coloured Women (NACW). This group aimed at abolishing the civil rights movement that prohibited women, especially black women, from holding leadership positions. The group sought to find space in the managerial roles that middle-class white women predominantly occupied.

Qn. 9: United States Women Presidential and Vice-Presidents

In 1872, Victoria Woodhull emerged and as the first woman to run for the presidency in the US. She was later followed by Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood and Margaret Chase Smith, who all lost their male counterparts. In 2016, the American Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate but lost to former president Donal Trump. In 2020, Kamala Harris won the vice president’s position under the democrats. The media is very supportive of these women, whereby they are depicted as heroes for rising above the societal expectation to compete with men.

Qn. 10: Studying Historical Periods

According to Gwyn Kirk and Margo Okazawa- Rey the process of defining historical periods is highly selective in that it focuses on some events, masking others and erasing others. Our studies in class have confirmed this statement, whereby our examination on the survey of women & gender roles has only focused on the feminist movements, which has masked the third wave of feminist movements and erased other efforts to achieve gender equality.

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