The Women’s Feminist Movement. The movement in which women started to gain rights to certain things. It had all started in 1960. Where in America at this time, women had limited rights in almost every aspect of life,leading not only from the workplace, but even to family life.
Women were supposed to follow one path in their life. This path had consisted of getting married while she was in her early twenties, start a family rather quickly then devote her life into the house making. At this time about 38 perfect of women had been working ,but were very limited on that, The women who worked were mainly limited to the jobs as teachers, nurses or secretaries. Most of the women were kept out of professional programs resulting in women being accounted for about 6 percent of American doctors in 1960. Three percent of women were lawyers and less than one percent were engineers. Even though this is true, women should have followed what Helen Keller had stated which would be “I fall, I stand still.
..I trudge on. I gain a little…
I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. Every Struggle is a victory.” In this quote it means that every struggle can be seen as a victory and you don’t always have to be held down if you don’t need to be or don’t want to be. This quote reflects a completely different outlook of the feminist movement then what Kate Chopin had infrared in her short story “Desiree’s baby.” Kate Chopin’s full name was Katherine O’ Flaherty at birth. Kate had been born on February 8 of 1850 in St.
Louis, Missouri. Kate had been a white women, in which started writing after her husband’s death. Women writers of this time period were unheard of mainly, but Kate made her way up to that point. Many things could have influenced her writing of her stories. Some of the reasons could have been the fact her father died in a train accident on November 1 of 1885. Kate had only been five years of age at this time, for, this time on she was raised by her mother, grandmother and great grand-mother.
Her great-grandmother who was known by the name of Victoria Verdon Charleville had oversaw her education and taught Kate, French, music and the gossip on St. Louis women of the past. Throughout Kate’s life, she had been researching women’s spiritual emancipation When she finally fund it, she decided to express it through her writing. Katherine’s poems, short stories and novels not only let her to assert her beliefs for herself,but it also gave her a way to question the ideas of individuality and autonomy during the turn of the century . Also unlike most female writers’ of this time, instead of trying to improve things for all women, Kate really only looked for self freedom.
Kate’s short stories show how women really didn’t have any rights, they mainly obeyed their husband’s rule. As said in “Desiree’s baby ” “He said nothing” “Shall I go, Armand?” She asked in tones sharp with agonized suspense. “Yes, go.” “Do you want me to go?” “Yes, I want you to go.” This shows that Desiree had no right whether she wanted to leave or stay, even though she wanted to stay, it was her husband’s decision. I believe this connects to the movement very well, because it shows how women had no right unless their husband stated they could do so.
Another story in which connects really well to this movement would be “Story of an Hour” also written by Kate Chopin. Mrs. Mallard who was the main character of the story had a heart disease which had killed her once she ended up being happy about her husband’s death. “When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her lips. She said it over and over again: “free, free,free.” This shows that yes she was upset about her husband’s death,but after the short realization of the fact that now that her husband died, she would be free for rule.
This happiness quickly fired back onto her when her heart disease took her life once she was happy, before finding out her husband was actually alive. Karma always finds its way back in. I believe that both of these short stories connect to my movement very well, because one shows that women have no rights and the other story shows that women were in the process of fighting for their rights. Kate Chopin had connected to this movement very well, because even though she was a white woman who had more right than women of color, when she was born women didn’t really have rights. Women in which Kate was had to follow a path in which she did. She couldn’t work as men, she couldn’t vote as men, really she couldn’t do anything that men did,but stay at home and attended to the house then bare children for her husband.
Now the working women of this time were paid relatively less than men and had denied denied of the opportunity to approve, because most thought they would soon get pregnant and quit their jobs and that unlike men had a family to support. The feminist movement was mainly based around the inequality of women in the workplace and discrimination to not get better jobs along with pay inequality. By 1964, Representative Howard Smith of Virginia had proposed that the Civil Rights movement to add a prohibition on by gender. This proposal had been under consideration. After being laughed at by other congressmen ,but with the leadership of Representative Martha Griffiths of Michigan, the law had passed with the amendment intacts.
It quickly became clear that the new equal employment opportunity would not enforce law’s protection of women workers, and so a group of feminists including Betty Friedan decided to found an organization that would fight gender discrimination through the courts and legislatures. This information can be found on (http://tavaana.org/en/content/1960s-70s-american-feminist-movement-breaking-down-barriers-women). As Helen Keller says “When one door of happiness opens, another closes but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Meaning never give up even if you have to fight for it.