Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ida B. Wells Barnett and the Fight for Fairness and Equality for Undocumented Immigrants

2240 Words Feb 4th, 2013 9 Pages
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ida B. Wells Barnett and the Fight for Fairness and Equality for Undocumented Immigrants Kristin Fine

The women founders of sociological theory made it possible for women and members of other marginalized communities to gain access to the rights and privileges their white male counterparts enjoyed for centuries. In particular, the incredible lives of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Ida B. Wells-Barnett allowed new avenues of academia and social change that had not previously been conceivable. Although they used different approaches and their theories focused on different aspects of the society in which they lived, a common thread ties them together in the history of feminist thinkers: their passion for social and
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For example, in her autobiography, Wells-Barnett describes one incident which resulted in a lawsuit against the Chesapeake, Ohio and Southwestern Railroad. When she refused to leave the “ladies” car, two conductors had to physically remove her, during which she bit one conductor on the arm and refused to let go. She explains “"the white ladies and gentlemen in the car even stood on the seats so that they could get a good view and continued applauding the conductor for his brave stand."4Together with other theorists like Julia Cooper, Wells-Barnett developed a theory of domination that explained why white men of power continued to dominate American institutions and perpetuate the cycles of racism and poverty. Specifically, Wells-Barnett focused on the violent behaviors, such as lynching, that dominant members of society used when they felt their position of authority was being threatened by someone or some group they deemed subordinate in society. Historian Ula Taylor explains the many ways Barnett used these tools:
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Higgenbottom page 13—cite autobiography in footnote.

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“She challenged the myth that all White women were chaste, all Black women were without virtue, and all Black men were rapists by unleashing a massive

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