The lives of these beginning feminists are pretty remarkable. If you really think about it they could have been killed for standing up for the rights of women. Back in the day of women such as Wollstonecraft and Stanton women had a very rigid stereotype that they lived within and they had no option to stray away from that. Most women didn’t understand that they were being oppressed because it was all they had ever known, the world had been that way for their mother and their grandmother and her mother before her. It was something they were born into and I imagine something that they thought they could never change. If I lived in this era I would definitely be in this movement with these women, honestly I would be right in the middle of it. It would be a scary thing standing up for something that was completely opposite of anything you had ever known, but not being to even walk alone without a man would be a little extreme to just sit back and take. What I took from the reading about the history was that the stereotypes were so extreme that walking or speaking without permission of a man was frowned upon, I never realized it was to that measure. It is one of those things that you know existed but it still blows your mind when you get down to the nitty gritty of how bad it truly was.
There are definitely modern connections to the oppression women faced back then. Even here in the USA women still don’t make the salaries the men do, in the same job titles with the same credentials. There still has yet to be a female President. Women are just now being able to join the infantry in the military. In the military the women are held to a lower physical standard than the men. All these restrictions are all around us, they just aren’t as extreme so they are overlooked. In the book reading a particular quote caught my eye, it reads ” as the Chinese proverb has it, the fish are the last to discover the ocean”(page 25 paragraph 2: Men and Women’s Studies: Premises, Perils, and Promise, Michael Kimmel). These stigmas are still present in modern life because all men still don’t understand that gender is a huge issue. As a woman I am defined by my gender. Our culture is catered to the middle class white male. As far as they are concerned they are genderless because ” gender privilege affords us(men) the luxury of ignoring the centrality of gender” ( page 25 paragraph 6: Men and Women’s Studies: Premises, Perils, and Promise. Michael Kimmel). You sit down and think well women have the right to a job, to vote, and to make their own decisions without the consent of a man, but in the end do women pay for these choices because of the conditions of society? If you are a male that is raised in a traditional household, with “traditional” gender roles and you marry a feminist. She then decides that after she has children she doesn’t want to be a housewife but a successful career woman with a family, will you think less of her for pursuing her dreams?
Women make up over half of the work force but still are not viewed to be as competent as their male counterparts. Males are seen to be dominant in the math and sciences, because that has been conditioned into the school systems for as long as I can remember. Does this mean that a female can’t equal the intellectual ability of a male? No, the can’t because they aren’t afforded the same opportunities. As much as I resent the gender roles that are expected of me because I am a woman, some of them are overlooked because they are what I have always known. ” Women’s studies has demonstrated that gender is one of the axes around which social life is organized, one of the most crucial building blocks of our identities”(page 24. Men and Women’s Studies: Premises, Perils, and Promise. Michael Kimmel). Our gender has defined us since birth by color, little girls must love pink and little boys must love blue. Personally I love green which apparently is gender neutral. Gender lines are drawn all around us, it seems as if gender equality is something that can never be reached.
I found an article that shows how women still live just like Stanton did in the 1800s, shocking to think that in our modern world some women still don’t even has basic freedoms that some women here in the USA think nothing of. Click on “women” to read the full article. This article relates mostly to women of the middle east, countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Afghanistan. These women are not allowed to drive, leave the country, ask for divorce, bare their face, they are still victims of constant violence. It is shocking that these women still face the gender inequalities that Mrs. Stanton faced so long ago. These women have lived this way their entire life and can not escape it because they fear their family will disown them, that their husbands will leave them stranded, or even worse be killed for disobedience. These women live in constant fear but have no way of fighting for their rights.