Women's Rights 150 Years Later Feminists Highlight Persisting Inequities, as America Charts Its Progress since 1848 Meeting That Launched the Women's Movement

By Linda Feldmann, writer of The Christian Science Monitor Dl: Washington | The Christian Science Monitor, March 9, 1998 | Go to article overview

Women's Rights 150 Years Later Feminists Highlight Persisting Inequities, as America Charts Its Progress since 1848 Meeting That Launched the Women's Movement


Linda Feldmann, writer of The Christian Science Monitor Dl: Washington, The Christian Science Monitor


It all began at a ladies' tea party in upstate New York, on a steamy July day in 1848.

The conversation turned to women's rights - or more precisely, the profound lack thereof - and the outrage poured forth: They had no right to vote, no right to formal education, and virtually no role in church affairs.

Married women had no right to own property or keep any wages or inheritance. Abusive husbands were tolerated, for divorce was not an option. In the eyes of the law, they complained, they were practically nonexistent. The women, with housewife Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the lead, took action. Within a week, they convened the first gathering ever to address women's rights, at a chapel in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Thus was launched the women's movement, issuing a call that reverberated around the world. Fast forward 150 years: In this sesquicentennial year of the women's rights movement, the lives of American women have changed beyond recognition. They can vote, run for president, run a corporation, and command a space shuttle. In all 50 states, it is now illegal for a man to rape his wife. Today, 1 in 3 girls participates in high school sports, compared with 1 in 27 in 1972. But feminists aren't resting on their successes. "We've come far, but not far enough," says Judith Lichtman, head of the National Partnership for Women & Families here. In this anniversary year - beginning with Women's History Month observances all during March - women's rights groups will highlight what they call remaining gross inequities in employment, wages, pensions, insurance, and health care. They also note that some of their gains aren't as complete as they seem; some laws barring discrimination have loopholes or are ignored outright. "Elizabeth Cady Stanton would be upset," says Eleanor Smeal, head of the group Feminist Majority. "These suffragists weren't just for the vote and equal representation. They believed in equal rights." Indeed, in 1923 - three years after women won the right to vote - suffragist Alice Paul drafted an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) nearly identical to the one Congress eventually passed in 1972. But with the amendment's failure to gain passage in enough state legislatures, the US Constitution still has no provision guaranteeing equal rights for women. Does this matter? Activists on women's issues - liberal and conservative - continue to argue vehemently over what women really want and need. Women themselves are torn. In the research for her 1994 book, "The Deep Divide: Why American Women Resist Equality," author Sherrye Henry found that while nearly all women say they want equality, equal pay, and an end to job discrimination, most weren't willing to work toward those goals. Part of the problem, Ms. Henry found, is that the term "feminist" carries negative connotations, signaling to many an antichild, anti-family attitude. Many women also couldn't explain how equality would make their lives better. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Women's Rights 150 Years Later Feminists Highlight Persisting Inequities, as America Charts Its Progress since 1848 Meeting That Launched the Women's Movement
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.