The History Of The Shirtwaist Strike Of 1909

1760 Words 8 Pages
Going back into ancient times, a woman’s role in society was always centered in the household. Tending to the children, keeping the house clean, making dinner for her husband and children, etc. were typical roles. It was not until the passing of the 19th Amendment that women were given their rights and their voice was heard. Women should not have been abused and tortured in the early 1900’s but they were. During the Shirtwaist Strike of 1909 women were beaten and ridiculed for wanting change; but it was because of their fight, that the women of today have the many benefits that have. From the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s, women had always been “portrayed as delicate, demure, and silent, confined to a domestic world that cocooned …show more content…
It “changed the perception of women’s abilities following World War I” . In late September of 1909, the workers at the shirtwaist factories decided to go out on strike for shorter hours and better wages. While striking, the women were met with many obstacles. When management found out about the women’s strike they responded by sending thugs and prostitutes out to attack the strikers, and were assisted by the police in arresting the strikers on the slightest of pretexts or none at all . The girls were beaten and raped by the thugs, thrown into jail, and were tried for crimes they did not commit. These women should not have been treated this way for peaceful striking. As the strike went on, a meeting was called at Cooper Union, Local 25. There, a unanimous vote was cast for a “general strike against all of the shirtwaist factories in the city” . With only a day passing after the vote, twenty to thirty thousand, out of the thirty-two thousand that worked in the shirtwaist factory, showed up to support the strike. Following the general strike of the shirtwaist girls, they encountered powerful manufacturers’ association, such as Great Universal Stores and Burton. They also faced a corrupt government, and a hostile police and court system, which included bribery and secrecy. However, these trials and tribulations that the strikers faced got the attention and unexpected support of women of …show more content…
They believed that because they had authority over the women, that it gave them the right to call them names and abuse them if they chose to. After they had been beaten and thrown in jail, the women tried to tell the jury what had taken place; but of course, no one believed them. When they were released they decided to address the president about the issues that were taking place and he stated that congress would “focus on currency revisions and tariff reforms, which are issues that affect the people of America and must take priority over special interests” . Not even the president considered women to be a part of “the people of America”! This was one of the biggest influences of the women’s fight. If the men of our country had believed the women to be a part of their society, not as something below them, then the women would have not needed to fight for anything; they would have already had what they were working so hard for. Thanks to their brave fight, women now hold important titles in our society. In 1916, “Jeannette Rankin from Montana becomes the first woman elected to Congress” . ”In Wyoming, Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the first woman elected as a governor in the United States” . In 1981, “Sandra Day O’Connor is named the first woman justice of the Supreme Court” . Finally in the present day, Hillary Clinton has now decided to run for president in the year 2016. America would

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