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This primary source document, “Susan B. Anthony- Social purity,” discusses the importance of social purity, which means equal rights for men and women. In this document, she discusses how men keep women restraint and dependent on them. She then discusses that women should also have the same rights as men such as voting and being able to hold office to help better the world. In the beginning, Susan B. Anthony opens her argument by expressing that men more likely to engage in intoxication and corruptness than women are.
She proceeds to point out that women and children end up suffering much more from this than men, and they will continue to be in misery because of the incompetence of men and the present state of mind society shares. She expresses that the government is also causing problems for women in this same sense.
The government does not use their political powers for the morals of women. She additionally discusses the enormous measure of instances of homicide of prostitutes throughout the country and calls it the “holocaust of womanhood.
” From this, she then goes into the issue of dead infants being scattered over parks and vacant lots. She explains how men have been completely insufficient in redressing this major issue. Men alone cannot make society better. She proceeds to discuss how women’s jobs have changed in society. Women longer work around the house, cooking and cleaning, like they did before. Although it is great for women to have the opportunity to work along with men, their opportunities are very limited and men continue to look down upon them.
It is difficult for them to find a decent job while also getting a decent pay. This makes living on your own for women very difficult.
Ms. Anthony states the only answer for these social burdens is balance between genders. In order to achieve this balance, there needs to be equality in education, equal job opportunities, reasonable salaries, and most importantly women must have all of the same rights men have. This means women need equal rights when it comes to governmental concerns such as voting. Women need these rights to become independent. She strongly states the importance of independence; “Independence is happiness.” With what little rights women have, Ms. Anthony gives several examples how women better society everyday, “…you find the best women, in and out of the churches, all absorbed in establishing or maintaining benevolent or reform institutions; charitable societies, soup-houses, ragged schools, industrial schools, mite societies, mission schools—at home and abroad—homes and hospitals for the sick, the aged, the friendless, the foundling, the fallen; asylums for the orphans, the blind, the deaf and dumb, the insane, the inebriate, the idiot.” These examples show that women are capable to do many good things.
These women are capable to help society, and these women are capable of doing more. She concludes this by expressing that the government will never get better if society sticks to its ways, “As the fountain can rise no higher than the spring that feeds it, so a legislative body will enact or enforce no law above the average sentiment of the people who created it.” Women make up half the population, so they should have the same rights as men. They want to rid the evil within society and the only way to do this is by having fair wages and rights to vote.
I chose this article because Susan B. Anthony made a big impact for women. If it wasn’t for her, I may not have the same rights I have today. In this article, she describes men as monsters, which I though was a bit harsh, but considering what was going on at the time it’s understandable why she felt this way. Men made women feel the need to be dependent of women, which can easily fustrate anyone. What I liked most about this essay is that she gave numerous examples for each statement she made or she used them to prove a point. I could feel the anger and hurt in her words as I read this. She clearly dicusses her argument and what she thought would fix the problem. I knew women were treated poorly during this time period, but I never knew the depth of it. I learned it was hard being a women during this time. It was hard to be independent, and it was hard to help society.
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