Tuesday, July 23, 2019

American Women Essay Example for Free

American Women Essay The American society was such a fragmented society in its early days of independence that various sectors of the society have had to free themselves through the hard way. The racial segregation between the blacks of the south and the whites of the north took a long time to resolve, and the solution came only by the war between the two regions when the one mighty Abraham Lincoln intervened. After racism, gender equality took the center stage. The American men could not envisage a situation where their women counterparts could vote alongside them, but with the upcoming of powerful women like Elizabeth Cady Sturton and Susan B Anthony with no exception to Alice Paul in the late 19th Century saw the fight get a notch higher. Actually the centre problem was the Amendment of section nineteen which will have allowed the women of the bigger empire. In this paper we are going to peruse through the whole process of the fight until the actual inception. The history of the women’s suffrage movement can be traced back in 1848. In this year a small women’s Right convention met at Seneca Falls in New York. These ladies were here to initiate their public outcry for equal rights with men . They wanted to be given equal opportunities as men to attend college, to make doctors and lawyers as their men counterpart. Pegged to this they demanded the right to vote, which according to them will open doors for all of the above. Alice Paul, the biggest name in the fight for women’s suffrage, entered battle seven decades after the inception of the fight. She herself had a test of the battle back in England where she had gone to attend her studies but unfortunately her later years ended in jail. She immediately flew back to the states only to find that the fight was underway. The entrance of Alice Paul in the bigger fight saw the battle reenergized and take an even rigorous pace. It is important to note that the first time the women’s suffrage amendment was presented to congress was in 1878 but unfortunately the congress did not give it any vote. In the next four decades the unrelenting women kept presenting it to the congress, all this time the bill yielding no luck. By this time the older generation of women suffragist had gone but the support among the American population had not gone. When Alice Paul and his party (National Women’s Party) gained strength, some states of the United States had already mandated voting for their women. Infact, in 1916 Montana became the first state to elect a woman, Jeannette Rankin ,to the congress. However, the congress was not in any way prepared to pass the suffrage amendment bill. With the congress having a negative attitude towards the bill (perceived as a gender biases) Alice Paul and some other leaders like Harriet Sturton thought to get the attention of the president and the congress. Their first strategy was to organize parades in the major cities, and New York and Washington were the most targeted. Suffragists in thousands and wearing white robes marched along the streets of New York. Some groups of the suffragist rode on horse back carrying banners flying high, but this could not change the mind of the president (then President Wilson). Therefore, another move was looming-picketing was to begin at White House. No sooner had picketing begin than was Alice Paul thrown in jail. She spent almost six weeks in and when she was released any move to stop picketers bore nothing. The exaggerated stories on the newspaper only helped to anger suffragists even more and helped more women join the movement. The mistreatments of the arrested suffragists, including forced feeding for those in prison hospital deterred not the free suffragists. These women were so courageous and that’s why in one of the president’s speeches to the public Paul courageously stood up and asked â€Å"How about votes for women? †(Doris, 1918) She could only be manhandled and led away for custody mistreatment. Still during the mistreatments one of them cried out and said â€Å"It was Alice Paul, the strongest weapon left with which to continue our battle†¦Ã¢â‚¬  (Doris, 1918). Therefore, it was evident that these women were not going to let up soon, not until their demand was attended to. On January 9th 1918 President Wilson officially declared his long awaited support for the women’s suffrage movement. The events that followed saw a speedy move to pass the suffrage amendment bill, first beginning with the Susan B Anthony Amendment, which was to give suffrage to all American women citizens. Hardly a year later on August 26th, 1920 the amendment was verified in Tennessee, becoming the 36th state to do so. With this the Nineteenth amendment was officially introduced into the American constitution. For Alice Paul and her colleuges the first part of the battle had been won, next was the Equal rights Amendment which was to protect and guarantee women protection against discrimination. Eight decades down the line the battle still continues but the war can be said to be more than won. The approach and the strategies employed by Alice Paul and her friends can be said to intellectual. Their demonstrations never involved violence infact when she was asked if at all she threw stones herself she strongly resisted,-â€Å"No, indeed. I never did and I never shall. I think such deeds belong to rioters and women are seldom rioters† (Doris, 1918). I personally like this attitude in Alice Paul. The contemporary U. S politics is characterized by powerful women politicians like Madeline Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Jendayi Frazier and many others. I am of the opinion that these politicians should be made to understand that any political ovation they do enjoy today was fought for by the more powerful women like Alice Paul and Anthony B, who came before them. They should also realize that U. S politics make a big difference in the whole world: there is no nation in the world where women have been given a high profile than in the U. S, save for the fact that the empire hasn’t produced any woman president. All these, courtesy of suffragist women movement. We now turn our attention to the movie, evidently acted by young Americans who were actually touched and directly affected by the acts of the suffragist movement. Iron Jawed angels was acted in 2004 and it narrates the suffrage movement of the early 20th century. Having received its filming in Virginia under the production of HBO films in 2004, it is said to have received a standing ovation at the Sundance. The play focuses on the two defiant and powerful women in the history of the United States, first Alice Paul, whom Hillary Swank acts, and Lucy Burns acted by Frances O’Connor. In essence the movie attempts to explain to bring out how these activists formed a more radical wing from the conservative and older main stream wing. In the real sense the movie is a clear show that actually women are not objects but complete characters just like their counterpart men. The play also acknowledges the fact that although these women had different backgrounds but they are united in their common goal of women’s suffrage movement. The play continues to Harvey the fact that in this country dominated by male chauvinism, it was no easy go as the women of this radical wing clash with their conservative counterparts and also a divided public opinion. It is also extra hard given the male dominated leadership of the country led by president Woodrow Wilson (acted as Bob Gunton) himself. The actors also bring out the idea that along the way in the course of the fight sacrifices are looming with many of the activists being thrown in jail and going a step further ton strike on food. These lead to forced feeding by the hospital nurses. This forced feeding wins them a name, Iron Jawed Angels: the title of the play. These ladies have a strong will which actually sees them realize their dream one fine day in 1920. By the time the movie was being cast in 2004 it was clocking 84 good years since the end of the suffrage movement. Many in this generation had not experienced the reality of the bitterness of living without accessing the necessary human rights enjoyed by any member of the society. To an eighteen year old American girl in college it is just a common right for her to access to . I tend to feel the real bitterness this young woman engages when the plain truth dawns on her that actually it isn’t any other opportunity for her to attend her college tutorial classes alongside male counterpart, who also ought to realize the opportunity was mistakenly meant for them alone about close to ninety years ago. Needless to add, the movie is real timely to these somehow ignorant population of the whole truth behind the struggle for equal rights among the men and women of the great empire. Asking me to scoop out my view of the accuracy and effectiveness of the movie to the contemporary American society, I Imagine the American college lady who has just been watching this actors in the theatre. The pain of the hard swallowed saliva drips along her saliva as it comes to her realization that she is their as a result of a sacrifice made by somebody else.The play is this effective and accurate! References: Stevens, Doris. Jailed for freedom: American Women win the vote. 1920. Ed. Carol O’Hare Troutdale: Newsage Press, 1995. Graham, Sally Hunter. Woodrow Wilson, Alice Paul, and the Woman Suffrage Movement: Political Science Quarterly 98 (1983-84):665-79. http://www. gutenberg. org/etext/3604 http://iron-jawed-angels. com/ http://movies. go. com/iron-jawed-angels/d776839/drama

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