Woman's Rights Essay

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Women's Rights

In her personal "Letters" Abigail Adams begged her husband John Adams to remember the contribution women had made to the founding of the new Republic when constructing the laws of the land. However, President Adams, although he placed a great deal of credence in his wife's opinion on a personal level, did not listen to his wife in this instance. He believed women's influence was best channeled through their male relations, and women were not suited to direct participation in political affairs. It was many years before equality for women was acknowledged within the legal framework of the nation.

Today, no one would seriously consider taking away any woman's right to vote and to be an articulate participant in the American political process. A woman has made a legitimate effort at securing the White House herself, and a woman is running for the office of Vice President of America. The institutional concerns and the 19th century advocate of women's rights, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, are no longer a preoccupation of the nation. Stanton desired that women be able to vote, to inherit property, and not to disappear as a legal person upon marriage. These technical questions of equal rights under the law no longer seem to impact women's lives, but that hardly means that women have no more legal wars to fight.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Woman's Rights Assignment

Women still bear the burden of caring for children and the elderly. This means that a lack of affordable childcare and eldercare hampers their ability to earn money in the workforce. Women may not be able to be formally discriminated against in the workplace, but they often face informal legal types of discrimination, which may be as indefinite as simply 'not fitting in' to a particular corporate culture. Even on the public stage, commentators on the left and right seem to have trouble talking about women as political leaders. What is seen as strong in a man is seen as irritating and aggressive when encapsulated in the persona of a woman like Hillary Clinton. Women are afraid to show emotion and humor, the qualities that contribute to electability, but seem to make a female candidate appear less serious. An attractive woman who has children like Sarah Palin may provoke sexual innuendos when her policies are criticized.

These types of attitudes can be discouraging for young women contemplating entering the political discourse. The idea of how a woman can 'hold' power is still in debate. Mary Wollstonecraft noted in "A Vindication of the Rights of Women" that if women seem to conform to the stereotypes they are subjected to, it is because of their lack of education and the fact that society awards female appearance and flirtatiousness more than it does power and strength. A postmodern view might add that women lack role models to effectively fill the role of commander-in-chief, other than imitating men, which makes them seem like inferior male copies, or being conventionally feminine, which is seen as antithetical to the qualities needed to exercise power.

Not all women want to be professionals or politicians, of course, a possible criticism of Virginia Woolf's essay on "Professions for Women." Empowerment means more than voting or working for money. It means valuing what has been traditionally constructed as feminine, including female bodies and traditionally female roles like bearing children, and not limiting female aspirations into the public sphere. But viewing the history of these various authors illustrates that a lack of dignity has been given to female political… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Woman's Rights.  (2008, October 19).  Retrieved November 29, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/woman-rights/7617228

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"Woman's Rights."  Essaytown.com.  October 19, 2008.  Accessed November 29, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/woman-rights/7617228.