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    The Women’s Suffrage Movement (830 words)

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    The movement that I have chosen for the final paper is The Women’s Suffrage Movement. Women have made great strides towards equality, but, it wasn’t always that way. American law in the 1700’s declared, “by marriage, the husband and wife are one person in the law. The very being and legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated into that of her husband under whose wing and protection she performs everything” (Appelrouth & Edles, p.314, 2007).

    The mission of the Women’s Rights Movement was to gain equality in their social, political, and financial life. Women sought to gain equality and create laws that would protections against gender discrimination (Women’s Suffrage, 2009). The Women’s Rights Convention marked the first documented action towards the suffrage movement. The convention was organized and led by Elizabeth Stanton and held in New York. In 1850, Lucy Stone, a leading advocate for the suffrage movement organized the National Women’s Rights Convention. During this time the suffrage movement was gaining momentum but came this came to a halt after the civil war.

    Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton met in 1851, became great friends, and paired together for the next 50 years with the common goal of Women’s Suffrage. Directly after the ending of the war, the 14th and 15th amendment was proposed which raised issues similar to the suffrage movement. The 15th amendment proposed voting rights to African American males. Anthony and Stanton refused to support the 15th amendment because they believed that this was the optimal time to push for universal voting rights and other suffrage advocates disagreed. Anthony and Stanton co-founded the American Equal Rights Association and created a publication for the association coined, the Revelation. This outlet helped the two to share their ideas of equality (Women’s Suffrage, 2009). In 1869, this pair created the National Women Suffrage Association, based out of New York.

    In 1890, Wyoming was the first state to grant women the right to vote (Women’s Suffrage, 2009). The year of 1890 also marks the beginning of the Progressive Era when female roles expanded, and women of many socioeconomic status enter the public. This era attracted many persuasive, educated, and affluent women. Women’s suffrage received increased political and public attention and increased funding. In 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified to the United States Constitution giving women the right to vote (Women’s Suffrage, 2009).

    Intersectional Theory

    The Women’s Rights Movement has vastly been told from the perspective and experiences of Caucasian, middle-class women (Hawk, 2016). It has been quoted that women earn 78 cents the males earned dollar, however, this is only true for Caucasian women. Minority groups earn even less with African American women earning 64 cents, and Hispanic women earning only 56 cents. These various dynamics are important factors to consider when exploring a topic such as Women’s Suffrage (Hawk, 2016).

    Intersectional theory is a concept that takes into consideration the important, various dynamics associated with gender discrimination (Hawk, 2016). Intersectionality focuses on discriminative and oppressive factors such as race, class, age, and gender and attempts to understand how marginalized groups are interrelated (Bond, 2003).

    Feminist Theory

    Feminists theory seeks to understand the female life through issues that are unique to the female gender (Brabeck, & Brown, (1997). This theory aims to understand the nature of gender inequality through the focus of the many aspects of gender and social roles that are at times misunderstood without a gender specific approach. This theory draws from many disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, and philosophy (Brabeck & Brown).

    National Association Opposed to Women Suffrage

    Just as there were groups organized to support Women’s Suffrage there were also groups with the mission to oppose the right for women to vote (Lang, 2015). Suffragist advocate groups date back to 1869, but the National Association Opposed to Women Suffrage was not founded until 1911. This is interesting because during this time the popular viewpoint among males and females was anti-suffrage. It was common for the newspapers to include cartoons mocking suffrage advocates or to hear officials or clergy speak out against the suffrage movement (Lang, 2015).


    1. Appelrouth, S., & Edles, L. D. (2007). Sociological theory in the contemporary era: Text and readings. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
    2. Bond, Johanna E. “International Intersectionality: A Theoretical and Pragmatic Exploration of Women’s International Human Rights Violations” Emory Law Journal 2003, Vol. 52 71-186.
    3. Brabeck, M., & Brown, L. (1997). Feminist theory and psychological practice. In J. Worell & N. G. Johnson (Eds.), Psychology of women book series. Shaping the future of feminist psychology: Education, research, and practice (pp. 15-35). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.
    4. Hawk, T. (2016, July 20). What is ‘Intersectional Feminism’ Article. Retrieved January 26, 2019, from
    5. History Chanel (2009, October 29). Women’s Suffrage. Retrieved January 27, 2019, from
    7. Lang, A. (2015). Opposition to Suffrage. Retrieved January 26, 2019, from
    8. Sandeen, Loucynda Elayne, ‘Who Owns This Body? Enslaved Women’s Claim on Themselves’ (2013). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1492. 10.15760/etd.1491

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