Womens Rights Movement/ Civil Rights Movement


1917whitehouse.jpg Definitions:

Human Rights: The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.
Women's Rights: A movement in support of socioeconomic, political, and legal rights for women equal to those of men.
Civil Rights Movement: The movement for racial equality in the U.S. that, through nonviolent protest, broke the pattern of racial segregation and achieved national equal rights legislation for blacks.
Sexism: discrimination or devaluation based on a person's sex, as in restricted job opportunities; esp., such discrimination directed against women. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.
Women's Suffrage: The right of women to vote in political elections.
Feminist: Belonging to movements and ideas which advocate the rights of women to have equal opportunities to those possessed by men.
Equality: a state of being essentially equal or equivalent
Discrimination: unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice
Male chauvinism- the belief that males are superior to females


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Introduction to the Civil Rights Movement:

Civil rights movement or also called the black freedom movement, the negro revolution and the second reconstruction was led by African Americans to gain their rights and to be treated equally. There were a lot of racial segregation and discrimination, so the civil rights movement people challenged with many different activities, such as protest marches, boycotts and refusal to abide by segregation laws. The civil rights movement started in 1955 and ended in 1968 with the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Some blacks say that the movement is not over yet, because they are not treated equally in some places. However, the civil rights movement acoomplished a lot of things. It desegregated the public education, blacks have the rights to vote, blacks are no longer subject to the humiliation of Jim Crow law, etc.

Blacks have been denied their civil rights more than any other group. Even though the Thirteenth Amendment set slaves free and the Fourteenth Amendment made all former slaves citizens of the United States, guaranteed their civil rights and gave blacks the right to vote, many Southerners did not want blacks to have civil rights. Therefore, the Southern states passed laws to restrict the rights of blacks and a small group of white people in the South organized secret organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize blacks. Then, during the 1950s the united States Congress and the Supreme Court began to pass laws and make decisions to protect the civil rights of minorities.

As a result of the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights activists, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for businesses such as restaurants and hotels to discriminate against people because of race, color, sex, religion or national origin. It also prohibited discrimination in hiring people for jobs. The Civil Rights Act gave the attorney general the power to end segregation in schools and the power to guarantee blacks the right to vote. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prevented states from denying the vote to blacks. These acts and other similar laws passed by Congress did not end discrimination. However, they made it possible for blacks to obtain rights they had been denied for many years. The success of blacks also encouraged other groups to work toward gaining their own civil rights.
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Most women in the movement played background roles, either by choice or due to bias, since being a women of color meant facing both racism and sexism.

Indroduction to Womens Rights (Social Roles)

Throughout much of the history of Western civilization, deep-seated cultural beliefs allowed women only limited roles in society. Many people believed that women’s natural roles were as mothers and wives. These people considered women to be better suited for childbearing and homemaking rather than for involvement in the public life of business or politics. Widespread belief that women were intellectually inferior to men led most societies to limit women’s education to learning domestic skills. Well-educated, upper-class men controlled most positions of employment and power in society.

Until the 19th century, the denial of equal rights to women met with only occasional protest and drew little attention from most people. Because most women lacked the educational and economic resources that would enable them to challenge the prevailing social order, women generally accepted their inferior status as their only option. At this time, women shared these disadvantages with the majority of working class men, as many social, economic, and political rights were restricted to the wealthy elite. In the late 18th century, in an attempt to remedy these inequalities among men, political theorists and philosophers asserted that all men were created equal and therefore were entitled to equal treatment under the law. In the 19th century, as governments in Europe and North America began to draft new laws guaranteeing equality among men, significant numbers of women—and some men—began to demand that women be accorded equal rights as well.

At the same time, the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America further divided the roles of men and women. Before the Industrial Revolution most people worked in farming or crafts-making, both of which took place in or near the home. Men and women usually divided the numerous tasks among themselves and their children. Industrialization led male workers to seek employment outside of the home in factories and other large-scale enterprises. The growing split between home and work reinforced the idea that women’s “rightful place” was in the home, while men belonged in the public world of employment and politics.

Organized efforts by women to achieve greater rights occurred in two major waves. The first wave began around the mid-19th century, when women in the United States and elsewhere campaigned to gain suffrage—that is, the right to vote . This wave lasted until the 1920s, when several countries granted women suffrage. The second wave gained momentum during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, when the struggle by African Americans to achieve racial equality inspired women to renew their own struggle for equality.

Important People in both Movements:

Jeanette Rankin - the first woman member of the United States House of Representatives
Frances Perkins - the first woman Cabinet member as secretary of labor
Rosa Parks- refused to give her seat to a white person in a bus
Martin Luther King, Jr. - leader of the civil rights movement
Thurgood Marshall - civil rights lawyer
The Little Rock Nine - the first black teenagers to attend all-white central high school
Elizabeth Cady Stanton- An active abolitionist
Mrs. Marie Ruoff Byrum- first woman to vote in the state of Missouri and the first woman to vote in the United States under the 19th Amendment
Ella Baker- Baker was one of the visionaries who created the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, and she drew the Martin Luther King, Jr. to it. She served two terms as the SCLC’s acting executive director but clashed with King, feeling that he controlled too much and empowered others too little. Starting with student activists at her alma mater, she founded the nationwide Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which gave young blacks, including women and the poor, a major role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Ku Klux Klan: a white, Southern secret society that employed terrorist tactics to suppress African-Americans
Susan : was a prominent American Civil Rights Leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century Women’s Rights Movement to secure Women’s suffrage in the United States.
Eleanor Roosevelt: An American Polictical leader who used her influence as first lady to enhance the status of working women.

Important events in both movements:


1961: President John Kennedy establishes the President's Commission on the Status of Women and appoints Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwoman. The report issued by the Commission in 1963 documents substantial discrimination against women in the workplace and makes specific recommendations for improvement, including fair hiring practices, paid maternity leave, and affordable child care.
1963: June 10
Congress passes the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job.
1964: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex. At the same time it establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate complaints and impose penalties.

The Womens Rights Movement and The Civil Rights Movement

Civil Rights is defined as equal treatment of all people with respect to protection of the law and to the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property. The Womens Rights movement is a Civil Rights movemet becasue women were fighting for equal treatment, which is the the same thing African Americans were fighting for. The Womens Right movement and the (African American) Civil RIghts movement is linked tied together in many ways. Due to their work in the Abolitionist Movement, many women first became aware of their own slavery. Ironically, the first Women's Rights Conventions at Seneca Falls in 1848 came about as a result of the anger felt by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton when they were denied seating at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in England in 1840. Today, women are beginning to move largely on the inspiration and force from the Civil Rights Movement in the Sixties. Because of the success of leaders from the Civil Rights movement such as Martin Luther King, and Rosa Parks women such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Eleanor Roosevelt were inspired to take a stand for their rights. Both movements took place in the 1960s and both started becasue of the fact that only white men were allowed to vote. Alot of the methods were the same in both movements also. The two movements used motivational speakers, martches, rallies and conventions to raise awareness and to get their points across. As I take a look at todays society I can really see the effects of these two movements, not only is their an african american running for president, also the United States has it's first female presidential candidate. This make Martain Luther King, Susan B Anthony, and all the people who fought so hard for equality very proud.
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