The Intimately Oppressed

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A report about Chapter 6 in Howard Zinn's People's History. Looks at what it was like to be a woman early on in our country and through some major time periods in our country.

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The Intimately Oppressed

  1. 1. The Intimately Oppressed Chapter 6 of A People’s History of the United States
  2. 2. Women’s Oppression Throughout America’s history, and in global human history, women endured a changing sphere of oppression from males and society. Women were held behind men in society because they were essentially put under stern rules to who they were to be and how they were to act.
  3. 3. Men on Women Puritanism and the patriarchal views of England invaded America with the colonists. Men thought women inferior because of religion, childbearing abilities, and an idea that women were simply built, biologically, to be dependent on men (fathers, husbands, sons). Men created these beliefs, and women were trained to believe them. Society beat down any women, or men, who said otherwise.
  4. 4. Women were... ● During the colonization, viewed as sexual companions and a rare commodity. Obviously considered less than males, but important in building a society. ● During the Revolution and the building of America, confined to the home and wifely duties. Only upper class white women were remembered for having any say in the rights of women. ● During Industrialization, either strictly confined to the home, or treated like slaves in factories, depending on class.
  5. 5. Women’s worth fluctuated In times of instability (war, building this country, changing an economy), women grew closer to men in value and equality. They were more necessary because the society was changing, and were harder to oppress in a time where every social class was changing.
  6. 6. A Formal Start to Protest Industrialization in the later 1800’s created a workforce of women outside the barriers of the home. Women’s strikes, like those of the Lowell girls and others, began a trend of women fighting for their rights. They began to be noticed, and pulled themselves into the public sphere by demonstrating their abilities and protesting their mistreatment.
  7. 7. Literacy Propels Feminism A job left unchecked by men, teaching became the profession dominated by women. These women became educated, and gained power and confidence in theird position. Soon, women lead movements, for anti-slavery and health reform. Their practice here lead to the Feminist Movement in the late 1800’s, where they protested their limited rights and argued their importance in society.
  8. 8. What I Know From School I really wish I knew less about the philosophies of dead old white men, but that’s all we learn about in schools. Certain religious ideologies negatively impact women’s view of themselves and their worth. Men writing about a woman’s place as submissive are littered in English and History class curriculum. Psychologist who prescribe to diatribes about women with penis envy write introduction to psychology textbooks. These are the things we’re taught in school, the things we are forced to read, and analyze, and argue with or against.
  9. 9. As a Woman... I would like to hear about Abigale Adams in history books, because the only place I read her was an AP English class. I would like to know more about women who fought in the Revolutionary War. I never heard that in any class, any textbook, outside of a mention of female nurses. I would like to read about working class strikes more often. I want to know about lower class women struggling
  10. 10. My Opinion I am a feminist. I am frustrated by our culture, that women are undervalued and discriminated against. This article describes what happened to women to put them in this position, and gives reasons why. These are not ideas being presented, these are facts. I am disgusted by them.
  11. 11. This Version of History... Should be read by all Americans. In a AP U.S History textbook, there are two chapters dedicated to slavery and the slave owning culture and economy. A section was dedicated to the Seneca Falls convention and the start of the formal Feminist Movement. A paragraph was given to the passing of the 19th Amendment. Giving a voice to fifty percent of the population is seen as
  12. 12. Society Then Affects Now There was a comic I saw once that illustrated a man in a business suit happily standing in an elevator going up. A woman in a professional suit, a skirt and jacket, was sweating and panting up the stairs in her high heels. Women in history were held back from being active members of society. We have come far, but we started closer to the bottom. We have a harder time getting up.
  13. 13. As I See It Women’s struggle is not seen as important. Many people don’t see the inequality of genders. Feminist is a slur in some circles. I shook my head while reading this. Much in the chapter I already knew about, but only due to my own digging, to my own drive to know and change things. This creates a burning frustration in me, and I know it doesn’t in many of my peers, man and woman. The tradition passivity is difficult to dispose of.

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