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WOMEN'S RIGHTS and MORE
What We Should Never Forget or Not Know
By: Joyce Peters-McCormick
A teenager girl enters her family home tired, but glad the school day is over. She goes into the kitchen and hands her mother an envelope. Whats this? her mother asks.
My report card, the teenage girl replies.
Her mother opens the envelope and looks confused. These grades are terrible. How many times do I have to tell you? I want you to get a high school diploma. Youre going to need this, her mother says with concern.
Im not going to use anything theyre teaching. So Ive made up my mind. Im going to marry a rich old man with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, the teenage girl says casually as she grabs a glass a tea.
The above conversation happened to me in 1966, decades after the womens movement began. I was developing into a young woman, being influenced by all that was around me. I wonder now, what I might have achieved had I known about the womens right movement and all that it entailed. The following is just a tip of the iceberg on the movement that changed the world forever.
The womens right movement started to evolve, soon after the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787) were written. For hundreds of years women were taught their only reason to live was to get married, have children, and obey and serve men. In the 19th century when a woman married she was considered legally dead under the common law, because this union made her and her husband as one person and the man was that person. Women could not vote and neither could men, unless they were upper or middle class. Women (black and white) were denied an education and were willing to risk their lives for it. Children were considered as animals or servants, not as human beings. Poverty was treated as a crime and men, who acknowledged that the poor had no right to live, passed the laws. Women not only fought for their rights, but the rights for all. Life before the 20th century was more than womens rights; it was human suffering for many. One would be appalled, astonished and disturbed about what happened to so many by so few.
The rest of the article goes into detail about the struggles of human life and how they adapted in the 19th century. Women in the movement believed they could not change these atrocities, unless they got the right to vote. This is an eye-opening paper for everyone that reads it.
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