The Women's Fight for Freedom and Equality in Society

Categories: Politics

As many historians know, the nineteenth and twentieth century encompassed a period of time when women were very much struggling for the right to have a say in what their government was doing. Society had several strict ideas on what a true ‘lady’s’ role in society would be, and those ideas had no room for voting or political wonderings; women were expected to take care of the children, make the room, keep the house clean, and many more ‘feminine’ associated tasks.

Despite the societal pressure heaped on women, many felt as though they were being treated as a second class citizen with that restriction and decided to fight for the right to vote. Lectures, marches, poem, and many, many more means of mass communication have risen out of this period and though a select number of states had approved women’s involvement in voting, legislature to allow women to vote on a federal level was regularly struck down from 1880 onwards.

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Despite the many setbacks, many women, from Helen Keller to Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Jane Addam included, continued to fight for what they believed in. However, it soon became apparent that this was not a battle each individual woman could fight on her own; any immediate change would require women from every ethnicity, social ladder and background pushing.

As such, Jane Addam focussed her skill on one specific target to write one of her greatest pieces yet. It was January of the year 1910 when The Ladies’ Home Journal made the decision to publish Jane Addams controversial article, “Why Women Should Vote,” which directly challenged the many women who believed voting was a privilege they did not need.

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Her claim was how is a women to properly look after her children, husband and home when she has no say in the country, state and even city around her? How is a mother suppose to keep her children well educated when she has no say in the education being taught in schools? How is she suppose to keep her children safe when she has no voice in the child labor laws movement? A wife can not feed her children and husband when the very food being sold at markets is rotten and diseased due to no laws protecting customers. In Jane Addams words herself ” In short, if woman would keep on with her old business of caring for her house and rearing her children she will have to have some conscience in regard to public affairs lying quite outside of her immediate household. The individual conscience and devotion are no longer effective…”2 To fulfill the role society has casted women in this life, women would need to vote.

As mentioned before, the only way women could every had made a change is if they presented a united front with one determined, focal goal: giving all women the ability to vote, nationwide. Jane Addam was more than well aware of this. Her critique on the mindset of women not needing to vote had a very important impact on the social movement as a whole. “So what she is trying to do is to appeal to women who are anti-suffrage. “Summaries the Director of Women’s Studies at Purdue University, TJ Boisseau, as to why Jane Addams article was something worthy of teaching on a national scale. “…if you could show that most women either didn’t consider it relevant to them or felt uncomfortable with it or openly opposed it the idea was why should suffrage be granted, women don’t even want it for themselves.” By the dawn of the twentieth century, well over a million women were regularly receiving copies of the Ladies’ Home Journal. That is over a million women reading the words written by Jane Addam and either having their resolved hardened by the words of confirmation or their views challenged by the application of common sense. Overall, it was an uphill political malee to reach where we are right now. It was combined efforts of hundreds of thousands of women dedicating their time and determination for one shared goal.

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The Women's Fight for Freedom and Equality in Society. (2022, Oct 24). Retrieved from

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