Feminism In American History

The struggle for women throughout American history has always been a substantial battle, from as early as the suffrage movement, to more recent fights such as the wage gap and the right to choose. It would seem that in light of these issues, women of all backgrounds would present a more unified front in utilizing activism to combat inequality. The reality is that the rift between women has existed in various forms, such as women who fought to have a place in the workplace being criticized by women who felt that they should stay in the home as housewives. Or the basic fight of women who disregarded feminism in its entirety fighting against radical feminists.
The core expression and ideology of feminism is simple at its very root, feminism defined
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When describing the history of the feminist movement she speaks of an event at which Susan B. Anthony brought up Robert Purvis, a Black activist who had waited twenty years from the time of the 14th and 15th amendments to vote until his wife and daughter were also able to vote (Newman 3). During the early stages of the American feminist movement, white feminists fought for freeing slaves, as they empathized with those in slavery as they compared their struggles of being lesser than men to the bondage of slavery. While this was altogether a just comparison, it was enough to rally white women to the side of abolitionists for a short time. With the passing of the 14th and 15th amendment which granted African American men the right to vote, but still barred women, white and otherwise from those same rights, this created a distilled bitterness in white women for the Black race, as despite their support of African Americans, it was a shot to early suffragists that Black men might get the franchise to vote before white …show more content…
With this in mind, the “double minority” effect must be considered. A minority group is a group of people differentiated from the social majority, the majority are those with the most social influence and power. Thus, historically, men have a social majority over women, and whites have social power over blacks. The consequence of this leaves Black women as a double minority; lesser than white women, and lesser than men who are both Black and white. In her book, Feminism is for Everybody, bell hooks, explains the dynamics of Black and white women during the 1970’s, “ In those days white women who were unwilling to face the reality of racism and racial difference accused us of being traitors by introducing race. Wrongly they saw us as deflecting focus away from gender. In reality, we were demanding that we look at the status of females realistically, and that realistic understanding serve as the foundation for a real feminist politic.” (hooks,

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