American Women's Social Position, woman suffrage, Sojourner Truth
―We hold these truths … American Women’s Voices of Protest 1848 - 1920
Women’s Social Position• No right to vote• No right to her wages or property if married• Barred from most professions: medicine, law, business, the ministryHoward Zinn, A People’s History of the United States. New York: Perennial, 1980. Chapter 6.
Women’s Social Position• Barred from most colleges (Oberlin College the exception)• Unequal wages--1/4-1/2 less than men• Legally a married woman’s identity was subsumed into her husband’s—she was ―femme couvert‖ in the eyes of the law Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States. New York: Perennial, 1980. Chapter 6.
Middle-Class Women’s Intimate Lives Dominant Ideologies of Womanhood• The Angel in the House (Victorian Ideology)• Cult of True Womanhood (U. S. Ideology)• Ideology of The Two Spheres Female, domestic sphere Male, public sphere―Separate but equal‖--not equal for women Nancy Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood. New Haven: Yale UP, 1977. Chapter 2; Conclusion.
Cult of True Womanhood or Cult of Domesticity• Woman ―naturally‖ suited only to maternity and domestic duties• Woman idealized as: Pious Passionless Sexually Pure Submissive Obedient Docile Humble / physically delicate / dependent Patient Long-suffering / Self-SacrificingNancy Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood. New Haven: Yale UP, 1977. Chapter 2; Conclusion.
Women’s Resistance• Working-Class women strike for labor rights (1830s, 40s, 50s) in Lowell, Waltham, and Chicopee, MA.• Female Labor Reform Association: fought against position as ―slaves to a system of labor‖• Women led textile workers’ strikes in 1840s, 50s, & 60sHoward Zinn, A People’s History of the United States. New York: Perennial, 1980. Chapter 6.
Women’s Resistance• Middle-class women enter primary school education (single women only)• Emma Willard opens first school for girls in Troy, NY, 1821• Women fight for admission to medical schools (Harvard refuses)Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States. New York: Perennial, 1980. Chapter 6.
Women’s Resistance• Abolitionist women in the American Anti- Slavery Society begin to fight for women’s rights: Angelina and Sarah Grimke Lucy Stone Susan B. Anthony Elizabeth Cady Stanton• National American Woman Suffrage Association (1890) Carrie Chapman Catt
Seneca Falls Convention• Seneca Falls, NY, 19-20 July, 1848• First National Convention for Women’s Rights in U. S.• Passed 12 resolutions to address the inequality of women• One resolution—the franchise—was the most controversialAmy Kesselman, et al. Women: Images and Realities. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006. 548.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton• Declaration of Sentiments author• Presented it at the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY―We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal‖ (Amy Kesselman, et al. Women: Images and Realities 548)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Stanton with two of her eight children Espoused ―Voluntary Motherhood‖--that is, the right to choose when to have sexual relations, and the right to refuse sexual relations to one’s husband Wrote The Woman’s Bible—a feminist translation and interpretation of Scripture
Fredrick Douglas "In this denial of the right to participate in government, not merely the degradation of woman and the perpetuation of a great injustice happens, but the maiming and repudiation of one-half of the moral and intellectual power of the government of the world.‖ Seneca Falls Convention, 1848
Sojourner TruthAbolitionist and Women’s Rights Activist c. 1797-1883
• Born enslaved c. 1797 in NY • ―Owned‖ by Dutch family • Parents were Africans who kept the language and traditions of Africa alive in the community • Sold at auction, aged 9 • Beaten and raped by this owner until sold again at age 11 • Sold twice more by 18101870 photograph
• Fell in love with an enslaved man at 18 • Her lover brutally beaten by his ―owner‖; their love forbidden • Forced by her ―owner‖ to marry another enslaved man by whom she had several children • Escaped from slavery with her daughter in 1826; NY emancipates slaves, 1827 • In 1843 changed her name to Sojourner Truth and worked for the abolition of slavery • Speaks at abolitionist and women’s rights gatherings1870s tintype photo
―Ain’t I a Woman‖—Ohio Women’s Rights Convention, 1851
Dominant Gender Ideologies & Female SlaveryTruth ―deconstructs‖ these ideologies in ―Ain’t I aWoman‖ (shows internal contradictions)• Cult of True Womanhood• Ideology of the Mammy• Ideology of the JezebelDeborah Gray White, Ar’nt I a Woman: Female Slaves in the Plantation South. Chapter one.
Woman Suffrage Movement 1848 - 192072 Year Struggle to Win the Vote
National Women’s Association• Next Generation of Suffrage Activists: Alice Paul (Wrote the Equal Rights Amendment—still not ratified) Lucy Burns Inez Mulholland• More militant ―New Women‖; advocated direct, public actions and demonstrations
Iron-Jawed AngelsPresident Wilson Inaugurated 1913; U. S. enters W W I 1917Woman Suffrage activists continue picketing the White House―Mr. Wilson, when are you going to give us democracy athome?‖Dozens of women arrested, striped naked, beaten, man-handled, illegally detained without counsel, physicallyrestrained and force-fed. ―Night of Terror‖—November 15,1917, in Occoquan Prison Workhouse, Occoquan, Virginia.Iron-Jawed Angels: March 3, 1913 Iron-Jawed Angels--force-feeding--1917g
―Will the Circle Be Unbroken‖ Americn Hymn (1907)Chorus:Will that circle be unbrokenBye and bye, Lord, bye and bye?There’s a better home awaitingIn the sky, Lord, in the skyWritten by Ada HabershonFirst recorded by renowned Carter FamilyWidely sung during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement
Works Cited• Slides 2 & 3: Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States. New York: Perennial, 1980. Chapter 6.• Slide 4 & 5: Nancy Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood. New Haven: Yale UP, 1977. Chapter 2; Conclusion.• Slides 6 & 7: Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States. New York: Perennial, 1980. Chapter 6.