The fight for equal rights for both men and women goes a long way back. Women felt that they were not well represented in the patriarchal society, and they started airing their grievances. The society had assigned women a subordinate role. Women were not supposed to take part in the civil running of society. They were not allowed to own property, participate in National elections, and other matters of national importance. However, a wave of feminists arose, and they started fighting for the rights of women. As a result, women (in most parts of the world) have continued to enjoy equal rights with their male counterparts, and this has helped a lot in the advancement of many affairs in the society.
We will write a custom Essay on Women’s Fight for Equal Human Rights specifically for you
301 certified writers online
According to the readings assigned, the term feminist could be used to refer to people who fought for the rights of women. These people noted that the society had assigned women inferior roles, and they sought to liberate women from this position. This is because they knew that women had a lot of potentials, which could not be realized unless women were given equal chances. These people were referred to as the first wave feminists since they reacted against the domineering patriarchal society, which had sidelined women for a long time (Zinn & Arnove, 2004).
Mostly, women dominated the first wave of feminists. This is because women faced the most oppression from society. For instance, in Woman in the Nineteenth Century, Margaret Fuller questions the authenticity of the proclamation that all people are born free. In fact, the trader interviewed in this article claims that women are happy in their current, oppressed state; he does not wish for equal chances for women (Zinn & Arnove, 2004). Elizabeth Cady also seeks to fight for the plight of women since women are equal contributors to the world as compared to men.
People of different races also sought to fight for the plight of women. Almost all societies viewed their women as inferior, and women were not expected to contribute much to society. In fact, their existence depended on the lives that men crafted for them. In 1851, Sojourner Truth (a black woman) said that men, as well as women, were enslaved. She says that blacks were fighting for their rights collectively, and there should be no rights for women and men; all humans should be guided by the same rights (Zinn & Arnove, 2004).
The people who constituted the first wave of the feminist movement were educated; they belonged to a privileged class of people. For instance, Lucy Stone was the first woman to earn a college degree, and she advocated for equal rights for married couples. This is because she had the intellectual knowledge to know that the oppression of women was a disadvantage to the whole society.
The people who fought for equal rights for women wanted to construct a society defined by equal chances for all. They did this by appealing to all members of society to support this course. Susan B. Anthony appeals to the authority of the judiciary by saying that the right to vote should apply to all people. Sojourner Truth seemed to appeal to the religious authority by saying that Jesus was a product of Woman and God; man was not involved (Zinn & Arnove, 2004).
These people succeeded in their mission since gender equality has been realized globally. In fact, these people are recognized as the pioneers whose efforts made it possible for all people to enjoy equal human rights.
Zinn, H. & Arnove, A. (2004). Voices of A People’s History of the United States. New York: Seven Stories Press.