The fight for freedom in America contains a sequence of events that have involved different parties. Women formed a significant group that in the history of US. In this research, I explore the various instances in which women were involved in ensuring that all American citizens have a better life. The journey to freedom has been illustrated here, including the challenges they faced throughout their agenda. Lack of freedom and social segregation among other injustices (Ware 54) are all that women faced in their fight. I can argue that, although women were thought to be inferior and were often considered as second to men, they have managed to empower themselves, and their voice is now heard in different fields. With unity and goodwill, the power of women has given many the freedom that they never had their before. This paper typically expresses the role played by the hope and ambition of women at large.
Sexism is a notion that has been in existence for a long time, keeping in mind that the US society has long been a patriarchal society. You can bear witness that it has been the base for prejudice based on sex against women. Women have for a long time not been able to get their entitlements and freedoms in the world. These hurdles have been in existent for a long time, and they are still evident in the contemporary society. Women have taken the step of gaining access to education and employment which has enabled them to compete with men although the discrimination challenges never seem to get overwhelmed.
Women as Abolitionists and Suffragists
History tells us that the campaign for the rights of women started decades before the civil war. By that time, all men had been given the opportunity to be subject to equal treatment regardless of the amount of wealth they owned. This led to the rise of different groups of citizens like anti-slavery and religious movements. In these movements, women were key members, and they took the lead in the quest for their freedoms and equal rights. They had begun to campaign against what is now considered as the Cult of True Womanhood. This engulfed the idea that a true woman is one that is submissive and the domestic domain was her area of specialization. All these actions showed that women in the United States were ripe in their new way of thinking and were ready to protect their rights as citizens of the US.
Most women abolitionist, together with some men were part of the group that worked together in ensuring that the problem of women rights was solved amicably. We should never forget reformers like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott who took the lead in ensuring that the political identities were recognized. With their primary argument that both men and women were created with inalienable rights, they meant that both men and women were equal and they had a right to gain citizenship and vote (Dudziak 23). And by winning the right to vote, we can see that women attained their power of having to make decisions on their own.
However, the new generation of activists came up to protest that the acquisition of the right to vote was not because women were equal to men, but rather because they are different from men. Their principal aim was to ensure that the females' domesticity was to be collaborated with the political strategies to make sure that the society had a more fair and moral maternal commonwealth. This political perspective of the gaining of the right of voting by women was looked at by political enthusiasts to ensure that they gained more influence in the society more that they had there before. I can argue that the advantage that was accrued here was the fact that there was now a bigger voting bloc that would help the many middle-class whites. The idea of enfranchisement would lead to a fast attained and durable white supremacy that is achieved honestly. Therefore, our research clarifies that the fight led by the women was of an advantage to the majority of the American citizens.
Women and the Struggle for Civil Rights
As stated earlier, women are said to be a minority group in the US that successfully fought for their rights and those of other American citizens. Women rights and civil rights are intertwined; hence there is no way you can talk of one and avoid the other one. Civil rights are the right of an individual to be treated equally to their counterparts in the same situation. This means that there is equal treatment in different settings like education, employment, and housing among others. The term civil rights also describe the advancement of equality among all people without looking at their age, gender, nationality, religion, disability, and other characteristics. Ultimately, we now learn from history that we cannot talk about gender equality and racial equality without talking about justice for all. Therefore we can openly say that women had a role in the fight for civil rights. Throughout the journey of finding a way of ensuring that women rights and those of other groups are recognized, women faced several drawbacks from their male counterparts who thought that their wars just needed to be subjected to failure.
Looking at slavery in the US, women had a hand in its abolishing. Having been led by likes of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, they joined up the world anti-slavery convention in London. However, their recognition was looked down upon because slavery was imposed on the blacks and the blacks were also considered to be in the minority group. African-American abolitionists like Fredrick Douglas were supported by a majority of these women enthusiasts and ensured that the rights of all citizens were achieved. Despite intimidation, they eventually led to the end of slavery.
Challenges Faced By Women in Their Quest for Justice
Women suffrage was a challenge to the existing order; the fight for women to hold equal rights with men was opposed to several customary laws that put the women in only the domestic domain, not the public sphere (Jackson 118). As the system was, men were considered as the heads, and there are no ways in which they could allow women to gain any power. Hence, the move was always challenged and not accepted openly even though it is on record that women were accorded the equality they demanded.
There is evidence that some women did not have the guts to help their counterparts in the fight for justice. Due to illiteracy, some supported men who claimed that women were ignorant and giving the women equal rights as men would only be dangerous to the society.
There was fear that if women could be given the right to be equal with men, they could the subjected to competing with the men in the areas which they were not prepared for. There was also fear in the change of roles of family members, making the family structure to be broken.
I can also not forget to indicate that women activists faced violence in carrying out their activism actions. This was mainly due to the threat they posed to the existing society and its government. Some of the violence was caused by the police that used brute force in trying to disrupt and break the peaceful assembling of the activists.
Defamation was also employed by those opposing the actions of the militants. The reputations of the women could be attacked, making them be looked at as horrible people in their efforts. Most of the defamation hinged on sexual baiting that was meant to destroy their credibility in the society.
Ways used by Women in Fighting for Freedom
Most freedom fighters used multiple ways of ensuring that their cries were heard. Formation of movements was the most common, and the majority of women leaders used this method. As a movement, they ensured that they had a common target, and of course, that was being free from the societal chains where they were tied (Taft et al. 55). Women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Antony formed the National Women Suffrage Association (NWSA) which was a body they used to fight for the enfranchisement of the American women. Several other clubs were formed by women and they all aimed at the attainment on the vote. The other multiple groups included the Young Women Christian Association and the Womans Christian Temperance Union.
Treachery was also practiced by some groups that were fighting against the abuse of human rights in the US. For example, an investigative journalist Nellie Bly faked a mental illness for an undercover newspaper assignment. Her aim was to ensure that they got firsthand information about the cases of abuse of human rights in New York. The exposure that the activists would get from the investigation was evidence to help them fight for the rights of those citizens that were subjected to brutality.
I do not want to neglect the efforts of some activists that actively engaged in the confrontation of the evils that were experienced in the American states. A woman like Patricia Due openly went against the laid laws of not using the whites only lunch counter in Florida. This was a bold move of ensuring that racial discrimination was something that was openly opposed although the system that was in place openly practiced it. She is among the brave and courageous women that, despite the challenges they faced when fighting for the rights of the minority in the society, they endured and got through the mess. The sacrifice the woman had was more of a selfless act that showed that she had given up her life to ensure that the world was a better place for all. We understand that, in her quest for justice, she lost her vision after a tear gas thrown by the police hit her face. The efforts of Patricia and many others like her have been recognized and they ought to be celebrated because they are the reason as to why we have a better society; a society of social justice where all ills like racism are now openly condemned.
This research illustrates the different efforts that have been made to ensure that every citizen in the US lives happily. All beings are equal, and there is no reason of violating other peoples rights.
In conclusion, I think women formed an integral part in the fight for freedom in the history of the American citizens. The struggles they went through for the fight for freedom for all citizens is a clear indication that their efforts were worthwhile. That is why in the contemporary society the United States has adopted the international and regional instruments that aim at protecting human rights. The existing cultural, religious and patriarchal systems that affect minority groups, especially women need to be completely outdone. The coordination and collaboration in the civil society is active and ensures that there is no human rights violation goes unpunished.
Dudziak, Mary L. Cold War civil rights: Race and the image of American democracy. Princeton University Press, 2011.
Jackson, Thomas F. From civil rights to human rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the struggle for economic justice. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.
Taft, Casey T., et al. "Intimate partner violence against African American women: An examination of the socio-cultural context." Aggression and Violent Behavior 14.1 (2009): 50-58.
Ware, Vron. Beyond the pale: White women, racism, and history. Verso Books, 2015.
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