Women’s rights movement, also known as the women’s liberation movement, largely based in the United States. It sought equal rights and opportunities and personal freedom for women. It is recognized as part of the “second wave” of feminism. The first-wave feminism of the early 20th century focused on women’s legal rights, especially the right to vote. The second-wave feminism of the women’s rights movement was broadly on women’s experiences, including politics, work, the family, and sexuality.
The US Women’s Rights Movement had its Roots in the Abolition Movement.
Anti-Slavery Society, led by William Lloyd Garrison, provided women opportunities to speak, write, organize, and leadership roles. Prominent women abolitionists included the sisters Angelica and Sarah Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the former slave Sojourner, whose “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech earned her lasting fame.
After the Civil War, Women’s Rights Activists Parted Ways Over Women’s Suffrage
The agenda of the women’s rights movement included much more than just the right to vote. The broad agenda included access to education and employment, equality within marriage, and control over her own body.
The grant of citizenship and suffrage to African-American men inspired many women’s rights activists to focus their efforts on the battle for female suffrage. Some prominent female figures, like Stanton and Susan B. Anthony campaigned against any suffrage amendment that would exclude women.
Susan B. Anthony Illegally Voted in Presidential Elections
Susan B. Anthony led a group of 16 women in demanding to vote in Rochester, New York. All 16 females were arrested, but only Anthony was tried for violating the 14th Amendment, which guaranteed “the right to vote to all the male inhabitants” of the USA over 21 years of age.
The Women’s Movement Paved a way to Set Fashion Trends.
The early fashion rebellion helped women claim the freedom to wear what they wanted and highlighted their movement. In 1851, Elizabeth Smith Miller of Geneva debuted a radical new look: a knee-length skirt with Turkish-style pantaloons gathered at the ankle. She urged other women to shed their heavy, bulky hoop skirts in favor of the new style.
Women ran for Political Office before they got the Right to Vote.
Victoria Claflin Woodhull was the first US woman to run for political office 50 years ago before the women got the right to vote. Victoria won tremendous respect from women’s rights activists when she argued on behalf of female suffrage in front of the House Judiciary Committee in early 1871. In the following year, the Equal Rights Party nominated her for president of the United States. Woodhull spent Election Day in jail after publishing an article accusing the popular preacher Henry Ward Beecher of adultery. Eventually, she was acquitted of all charges, moved to England, and married a wealthy banker.
The Women’s Rights Movement set the stage for gender equality and individual freedom of the females.