History Of The Women's Rights Movement

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Can you imagine spousal abuse being defined as a tradition, rather than a serious crime? Or pregnancy was a fireable offense? How about being limited to certain professions because of society’s expectations? How about having to face difficulties obtaining credit cards due to marital status? What if you had grades to enter ivy leagues, such as Harvard or Yale, yet your gender kept you ostracized from those schools? Not too long ago, this was the reality for women. At the beginning of the sixties, women lived in a world of “constrained choices and belittling remarks (6).” Prior to the 1960s, women was restrained in almost every aspect, from the household to the workplace. Women were expected to conform to the expected path of marrying in …show more content…
This sparked the feminist movement of the 1960s. Which was not the beginning of the Women’s Rights Movement, a common misconception. This movement is often called the “second wave feminism” to differentiate it from the suffrage movement in the late nineteenth century (2). What occurred in the 1960s was a second wave of activism focused on dismantling workplace inequality, such as denial access to better jobs and salary inequity. In order to obtain equality, the way society thought of, spoke about, and treated women needed to be change. This wasn’t as simple as changing laws, this required a shift in all aspects of American society so that women and men would be considered equal. The sixties became a time of transition and …show more content…
After World War II, the American economy outpaced the available workforce, so it was necessary for women to fill the job openings. In the 1960s, two thirds of all new jobs went to women (4). The nation simply had no choice but to accept the idea of women in the workforce. Despite women’s participation in the workforce becoming more acceptable, they were still limited to low paying clerical and administrative work (1). This increased the dissatisfaction among women. However, the birth control pill approved in the 1960 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), opened the door for women to have more choices and freedom in their personal lives (3). Even so the legalization of birth control pill was only made available to married women, leaving millions of unmarried women denied of birth control. Activists began challenging laws which restricted contraceptives only to married couple, believing that all women, married or single, should be allowed to control their reproductive lives (2). As a result, the Supreme Court legalized birth control pills for all citizens in this nation, regardless of the marital status. This gave women the right to control her own body, giving them a choice to pursue studies and professions without being interrupted by unwanted pregnancy. Hence, a number of female students began applying to medical, law, and business schools in the early 1970s

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