Is a women’s job only to please her husband? To care for her children, household and have food ready on the table? Is she not qualified to do anything more than be a housewife? In the 50s it was not the women’s job to worry about finding work or what’s going on in the world, that type of activity was always reserved for the man of the house. The only thing that a woman contributed was to care for the household and every member in the family. One of the conflicts in history is women’s rights and the idea of them having the same privileges as men. This situation has taken the form of the women’s rights movement, their right to vote, and their right for equal pay. The battle for equal rights between genders still continues on to this day and the generations before have showed determination for this cause; so women should not have to keep fighting to even out the playing field. As time continues, women have gained more opportunities to succeed but still face challenges against them. One methodology used to advocate their voices is through protests like the Women’s March that speak about many issues including women’s rights. History has shown that the best technique used to test against unfair treatment that the women face on a daily basis are through protests and organizations that can help voice their opinions on being treated properly.
Being a woman in the 50s was no walk in the park. They had to obey their husband and be perfect for him in every way otherwise, they would be considered a horrible housewife. There were even articles written in magazines like The Good Wife Guide and it gave women guidelines on being the ideal wife. Some of these tips included, “ Children are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet” and “Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax” (littlethings). This was what humanity labeled women as and they weren’t suited for anything more. Women can be so much more than just simple and ordinary if they were given the same chances and support as men. These women should be able become what they want and dare to challenge the standards.
Betty Friedan, the author of The Feminine Mystique, writes in her book about the certain standards women had to live up to but created an identity crisis for the average American women. Society has given them limitations and basically restricted them from thinking beyond the status quo. Even if they do more than what is expected, there are still challenges to be faced. Betty Friedan states, “In almost every professional field, in business and in the arts and sciences, women are still treated as second-class citizens. It would be a great service to tell girls who plan to work in society to expect this subtle, uncomfortable discrimination–tell them not to be quiet, and hope it will go away, but fight it. A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex, but neither should she “adjust” to prejudice and discrimination”. Susan B Anthony was not one to follow the rules and wanted to make a change for herself and every woman after her. She was an American writer, lecturer and abolitionist who was the face of the women’s right to vote movement. Wanting to make a difference, Susan B Anthony founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association with the help of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was also an abolitionist and a figure during this movement. Taking charge of her own destiny, Susan voted illegally in a presidential election and was arrested for what seemed to be a crime. Then she was later fined a hundred dollars but never got around to actually paying the price. Never being able to see what a development she had made, fourteen years after her death, the 19th amendment was passed and women were finally given the right to vote.
The women’s march movement has been around for decades, but in the recent years with the fight for gender equality and pay equality, the women’s march movement has come to light. This movement is a chance for women all across the world to express how they feel about being put into a box and expected to act a certain way based on history. The times have changed, the rate of living has changed, and most certainly the women have changed. For centuries, women have been told what to do, when to do it and how to feel about it. The movement is about “providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists & organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs and events” (womensmarch). Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect. However, with any great movement comes lots of hate and backlash towards the participants. Anyone who is a woman and agrees with the fundamentals of the women’s march can risk being called “ a feminazi.” Because in modern 2018 we want to bring back harsh words like this for a movement to empower the other sex that for so long has the seen as a less towards men. However, this hasn’t stopped people from marching forward, and hopefully never will.
Holding events that question the higher authority can be the most effective way to get a point across and it is something we should be doing more of. If these protests and organizations worked in the past and were able to make a difference in women’s lives, then it must be a good strategy that should be continued. The capabilities of a woman can compliment those of a man in the workfield and should be given chances to showcase their talents. Women should not be limited to these expectations that society has labeled for them, instead they should exceed them. This is why more protests should take place in order to continue this fight, to continue on with the marches and create more organizations because the more people involved, the closer we are in creating equality for all.
Article May Graellos & Video Olivia Helbling
Chang, Angel. “This 1955 ‘Good House Wife’s Guide’ Explains How Wives Should Treat Their Husbands.” LittleThings.com, www.littlethings.com/1950s-good-housewife-guide/. 20 March 2018.
“The Feminine Mystique Quotes by Betty Friedan.” By Betty Friedan, www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/809732-the-feminine-mystique. 8 March 2018.
Hartocollis, Anemona, and Yamiche Alcindor. “Women’s March Highlights as Huge Crowds Protest Trump: ‘We’re Not Going Away’.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Jan. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/womens-march.html. 8 March 2018.
“Our Mission.” Women’s March, www.womensmarch.com/mission/. 8 March 2018.
“Susan B. Anthony.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 27 Feb. 2018, www.biography.com/people/susan-b-anthony-194905. 8 March 2018.