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THE AMERICAN WOMAN. EARLY FEMINIST PHILOSOPHIES Olympe de Gouges published a 'Declaration of the Rights of Woman' to protest the revolutionists' failure.

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Presentation on theme: "THE AMERICAN WOMAN. EARLY FEMINIST PHILOSOPHIES Olympe de Gouges published a 'Declaration of the Rights of Woman' to protest the revolutionists' failure."— Presentation transcript:


2 EARLY FEMINIST PHILOSOPHIES Olympe de Gouges published a 'Declaration of the Rights of Woman' to protest the revolutionists' failure to mention women in their 'Declaration of the Rights of Man'. (In 'A Vindication of the Rights of Women‘ 1792) Mary Wollstonecraft called for enlightenment of the female mind. Margaret Fuller, one of the earliest female reporters, wrote 'Woman in the Nineteenth Century' in 1845.

3 THE INTIMATELY OPPRESSED Howard Zinn: Standard history tends to have forgotten about half of the American population Invisible woman: Private property and competition-based societies make monogamous families practical units for work and socialization--women’s role declines Private sphere v. public sphere

4 PRE-COLUMBIAN WOMEN Zuni tribes of the Southwest: Large clans, matrialineality Women had no farming duties Functions:healers, herbalists, in case of death of chiefs, could even be chieftains Communal nature of society gave more respect to women

5 COLONIAL SETTLEMENTS 1587: Birth of Virginia Dare 1619:90 women arrive at Jamestown Women mostly arrive as indentured servants Mayflower: 18 married women arrive, 4 survive until spring

6 ATTITUDES TO WOMEN Wedlock is locking together Coverture (veiled, clouded, and overshadowed) The doctrine of coverture meant that the husband was responsible for the property within the marriage. The wife's property became her husband's, or he held it in trust. Julia Spruill: husband given right to give chastisement but not entitled to inflict permanent injury or death Bastardy: (having a child out of wedlock): punishment by society Father: role of king and priest

7 REBELLIOUS WOMEN Anne Hutchinson: defied patriarchal church authority—ordinary people can interpret the Bible Banished for heresy and defying governmental authority Killed by Indians

8 A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY 1608: First women arrive at Jamestown 1613: Pocahontas marries John Rolfe 1638: Excommunication of Anne Hutchinson 1650: Ann Bradstreet 1682: Mary Rowlandson 1773: Phyllis Wheatley 1776: Abigail Adams, ”Remember the Ladies” -Letter to her husband calling for more rights for women

9 FROM REVOLUTION TO CIVIL WAR Cult of true womanhood Religion, sexual purity, patriotism Cult of domesticity Women could not vote, own property, earned lower wages, were excluded from professions Romantic paternalism: view of women as a weaker sex, in need of protection Genteel Tradition Women as shapers of culture

10 WAYS OF RESISTANCE Education Reform movements Becoming literate 1821: Emma Willard: Founder of Troy Seminary 1843: Dr. Harriot Hunt establishes the Ladies’ Physiological Society Anti-slavery activity: Angelica Grimké

11 SENECA FALLS CONVENTION Organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, two Quakers July 1848, N.Y. Mott an antislavery activist was denied a seat in an antislavery meeting in London The Convention had 240 delegates, including 40 men, among them Frederick Douglass Delegates adopted a statement (Declaration of Sentiments) inspired by the Declaration of Independence

12 DECLARATION OF SENTIMENTS V. DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE Preamble: laws of nature, nature’s God,a family of man Statement of rights: all men and women are created equal Grievances: absolute tyranny over her: Denied of franchise, had no voice in making laws affecting her Left without representation

13 Civilly dead in marriage, he has taken from her all rights in property Morally irresponsible, in the covenant of marriage compelled to promise obedience Excluded from profitable employment Subordinate position in Church Destroyed her confidence in her powers Demands: immediate admission to rights and privileges that belong to them as citizens

14 OTHER ISSUES IMPACTING WOMEN Triple bind of oppression: economic, race, and gender oppression for minority women Glass ceiling: women are unable to achieve top positions in business organizations Mommy track: time taken off from career due to childbirth and childcare Two stages of the feminist movement 1848-1920 1960s-modern feminism The Feminine Mystique-Betty Friedan (1963) Motherhood, housekeeping do not provide fulfillment 1966: National Organization for Women

15 OTHER ISSUES IMPACTING WOMEN Demands for greater access to jobs and political power, equal pay for equal work 1963: Equal Pay Act 1972: Gender discrimination is barred from federally supported educational programs 1970s: Equal Rights Amendment to Constitution is defeated

16 WOMEN IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS 1981: Sandra Day O’Connor: first female justice on Supreme Court 1984: Geraldine Ferraro, first woman VP candidate 2008: Hillary Clinton, first female presidential candidate 2008: Michelle Obama, African-American first lady

17 THE FIRST LADY Martha Washington: did not support candidacy, would not attend inauguration, hostess Abigail Adams: farm manager, financial manager, early women’s rights activist Abigail Filmore: teacher of President, advisor Mary Todd Lincoln: unstable, later committed to mental institution Lucy Hayes: first presidential wife with a college education Eleanor Roosevelt: active role in social issues, UN representative in 1950s

18 THE FIRST LADY Jacqueline Kennedy: high fashion, host of the White House, a media personality Betty Ford: supports Equal Rights Amendment, founder of Betty Ford Clinic, supports women’s right to abortion Hillary Clinton: advisor, later senator, presidential candidate Laura Bush: promotes reading and women’s health

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