Social, Economic, And Political Advancement Of Women Essay
In what ways did Adams work for the social, economic, and political advancement of women, and how did she maintain her own independence in a time when married women legally had none?
Holton details how Adams rebelled against societal norms and laws that limited women, both within her family, and publically. He seeks to avoid defining Adams in terms of the men in her life, particular her husband and her son. He emphasizes the fact that Abigail’s rebellions were often in opposition of her husband, despite the fact that she is often portrayed as agreeing with and supporting John in practically everything. He demonstrates her rebellions especially through her “Remember the Ladies” speech and her financial endeavors. Holton portrays Abigail Adams as a free-thinking woman who advocated for herself and for other women.
Holton immediately informs the reader that first names would be used whenever John and Abigail Adams were mentioned in the same context, rather than calling him “Adams,” and her “Abigail,” as is often done, so that he might not “perpetuate an ancient patriarchal practice that classified women with children (XXV).” In doing so, he makes it clear that he will define Abigail Adams by her own actions and beliefs, not those of her husband, John Adams.
In 1776, Abigail wrote her letter, “Remember the Ladies,” to John Adams, as well as to the rest of the Continental Congress. In it, she urged the men who would shape the new nation to…