the initiators of the feminist movementsGrimke Sisters http: //188.8.131.52/emints/orange/images/grimke. jpgSojourner Truth http: //www. blackpast. org/files/blackpast_images/truth_sojourner. jpgHarriet Beecher Stowe http: //www. civilwarphotos. net/files/images/136.jpgthe onset of 19th century feminismhttp: //www. history. stir. ac. uk/img/site-images/FemaleDelegatestotheScottishTradesUnionCongressinApril1911.CopyrightNationalLibraryofScotlan. jpghttp: //us. history. wisc. edu/hist102/photos/assets/photos/1020.jpgfeminist movementshttp: //www. canadiandimension. com/issues/v40n4/quebec2.jpgIntroductionThere are many people, mostly women, who have been fighting for their equal rights – and we now commonly call this as feminism. Feminism started not merely on 19th century, but even during the 17th century. This is the very reason why feminists have gotten so much attention from well respected organization and government officials. With this idea in mind, many are now asking, what really are the women and sexuality issues highlighted during the Romantic to the 20th century (when things and concepts got more advanced and highly developed).
This paper is aimed at analyzing the gender issues related to the women’s lives, works and vision highlighted in the 19th century feminism. Specifically, this paper tackles about: The brief summary of feminism (to get the real picture as to why and how feminism started)The real definition of feminism (which includes various terminologies related to feminist’s views)The people who started fighting for women’s rightsHistory of FeminismFeminists’ ideas started during the time of the infamous Enlightenment, with Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Marquis de Condorcet who initiated championing women's education.
The first scientific society for women was founded in Middleberg, a city in the south of the Dutch republic, in 1785. Journals for women which focused on issues like science became popular during this period as well. Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is one of the first works that can be called feminist, although by modern standards her comparison of women to the nobility, the elite of society, coddled, fragile, and in danger of intellectual and moral sloth, does not sound like a feminist argument.
Wollstonecraft believed that both sexes contributed to this situation and took it for granted that women had considerable power over men. Indeed, it was during the late 17th century to the early 18th century that the earliest works on the so-called "woman question" criticized the restrictive role of women, without necessarily claiming that women were disadvantaged or that men were to blame (Ahmed, 2004). When 18th century came, the movement is generally believed to have begun as people increasingly came to believe that women were treated unfairly under the law.
The feminist movement is rooted in the West and especially in the reform movement of the 19th century. The organized movement is dated from the first women's rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848 (Ahmed, 2004). This feminism started not on one place or country, but coincidentally, a lot of women from various countries around the world fought for their rights as and equal and rightful members of the society. Emmeline Pankhurst was one of the founders of the suffragette movement and aimed to reveal the institutional sexism in British society, forming the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU).
Often the repeated jailing for forms of activism that broke the law, particularly property destruction, inspired members went on hunger strikes. Due to the resultant force-feeding that was the practice, these members became very ill, serving to draw attention to the brutality of the legal system at that time. In an attempt to solve this the government introduced a bill that became known as the Cat and Mouse Act, which allowed women to be released when they starved themselves to dangerous levels, then to be re-arrested later (Ahmed, 2004).