The article highlights struggles which female icons had to go through in the past as they advocated for gender equality. The article highlights Mary Wollstonecraft’s achievements, a British writer who was a strong defender of women’s rights.
She was a strong advocate for female emancipation in Britain and other parts of Europe. The article reveals how she experienced domestic violence and depression, which strengthened her resolve to fight against gender injustices.
She was among the first crop of feminists who used their writing skills to fight against gender inequality, in a patriarchal society in the eighteenth century.
She made many women realize the importance of challenging oppressive systems that made it difficult for them to achieve their dreams (Zellinger, 2012, p.23). She encouraged women to be more independent, which enabled them to work hard to overcome repressive situations.
First wave feminists advocated for women to be granted the right to vote in the U.S. They wanted to influence political governance systems to make them more involved in crucial public affairs.
They advocated for gender equality in all spheres of life to allow women to access all opportunities in societies they lived. Their efforts made it possible for future generations of women to enjoy more freedoms, even though they had to overcome a lot of challenges.
Frances “Fanny” Wright argued that men stood to benefit more if they allowed gender equality to take root. She advanced the notion that men need women who are more enlightened to bring more progress and prosperity to the society (Zellinger, 2012, pp. 26-27).
Together with Sojourner Truth, she spoke out against slavery and other acts that justified sexist attitudes against women in the eighteenth century.
First wave feminists played important roles which helped to improve the lives of other women in different societies. Susan B. Anthony encouraged women to vote by registering as a voter in the U.S, an act that resulted in her imprisonment.
Voting rights were crucial in helping women participate effectively in various political issues that affected them directly.
Anthony together with other suffrage advocates argued that equal voting rights for women would help them scrutinize political candidates running for different leadership positions.
Their persistent pressure made the U.S. government to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment of 1920, which granted women the right to vote. This milestone paved the way for more gender reforms in the country that improved the lives of many women (Zellinger, 2012, p. 29).
It had taken more than 100 years before the U.S. government allowed women to participate in universal suffrage.
First wave feminists also advocated for equal education opportunities for both boys and girls. Many girls were unable to go to school which made it difficult for them to realize their true potential.
At that time, women’s roles were mostly domestic which made most men to argue that education was not necessary for them. Frederick Douglas, a freed slave, was among visionary black men that advocated for gender equality in the nineteenth century (Zellinger, 2012, pp. 30-31).
Douglas was a notable advocate for women’s rights because he had witnessed the evils of living in a society where racial and gender inequality was used to justify unlawful acts.
Sarah and Angelina Grimke were among the few women that were allowed to study by their parents in the nineteenth century.
Some feminists advocated for women to be given full reproductive rights, to give them more control over their own bodies. Margaret Sanger advocated for increased sex education, to allow women access to contraceptives to regulate their reproductive functions.
She encouraged women to practice birth control to enable them conceive fewer children. She was among the first feminists to make women understand that motherhood places an extra burden on a woman, which makes it difficult for her to achieve personal dreams (Zellinger, 2012, p. 34).
The Married Women’s Act of 1848 was one of the key milestones achieved through first wave feminism. The act granted women rights to own property in the state of New York, with or without the consent of their husbands.
This law made it possible for more women to own property as individuals which encouraged them to participate in meaningful economic activities.
The article chronicles different milestones achieved by various feminists which brought about gender equality. Their efforts enabled women from all backgrounds enjoy more freedoms in a society dominated by masculine ideals.
The article shows how first wave feminists inspired generations of young women who were born many years after them to value themselves as equal human beings.
The article shows how these feminists challenged stereotypes perpetuated by masculine systems that made it difficult for women to advance. Their efforts brought positive changes in different societies which allowed women to compete on an equal footing with men.
However, the article’s author uses a lot of profanity to convey her arguments which undermines the accomplishments made by first wave feminists. The tone and writing style used by the author is confrontational, which waters down the importance of the message conveyed to readers.
Zellinger, J. (2012). A little f’d up: Why feminism is not a dirty word. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.