1884 that the feminist movement began at the Seneca Falls Convention. There, abolitionists and feminists of the era, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, authored a Declaration of Sentiments modeled after the Declaration of Independence, which asserted fundamental rights often denied to women, including the right to vote. As a group, women were able to voice their grievances and monument the foundation of a union. It is important to recognize female abolitionists were prepared to support feminism as well. Throughout all of history, feminism protestation was largely based on paralleling liberations. Thus, during the beginning of the 20th century, women suffrage movement resurged during the progressive era, and as millions of men served as U.S. troops in World War I, women were employed in jobs that were once held by men. As a result, through female unification, 72 years after the Seneca Falls Convention, the United States ratified the Nineteenth Amendment. Women were granted suffrage in 1920.
World War II gave birth to the second wave of American feminism. When 16 million men were shipped away to fight, women proved capable of maintaining the United States economy. “Rosie the Riveter” thrived within six million American women as they worked in military factories. The clarity of female capacity had become too crystal to continue to be ignored post-war, and the women’s liberation movement gained clout. Feminism no longer revolved around gaining suffrage, but gaining respect. In 1963, Betty Friedan wrote, The Feminine Mystique, and addressed ‘the problem that has no name’. Friedan wrote about the cultural gender roles, workforce regulations, government discrimination, and everyday sexism that had left women overpowered at home, at church, in the workforce, in educational institutions, and in the eyes of their government. Prior to the second wave of feminism, the movement had only dealt with the public sphere, but as it expanded and the union grew stronger, women were able to tackle domestic problems—ones that were hidden behind closed doors. Friedan co-founded the National Organization for Women in 1966. NOW is the embodiment of women unity, and as a result has accomplished the most significant successes for females all over the country.
The third wave of feminism has existed since the 1970’s and initiated the breakdown of female unity. The division was first instigated during Roe v. Wade, when abortion rights were challenged. Abortion laws had been under state legislature, and feminists urged each state to legalize it. However, in most of the country, abortion had remained illegal, until the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional during the Roe v. Wade. As a result, “the national press began to perceive the entire feminist movement as being concerned primarily with abortion,” and feminists gained numerous enemies, including women themselves. Moreover, in 1923, Alice Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment, “as a logical successor to the Nineteenth Amendment…[and it] would have prohibited all gender-based discrimination at the federal level” if congress had not ignored it until 1972, when it was finally ratified by 35 of the 38 states necessary. However, an opposing group consisting of women, the Religious Right, had resisted the ratification of the amendment because they had opposed abortion and women involvement in the military. Consequently, “five states rescinded ratification, and in 1982 the amendment officially died.” Because women had personal value disagreements, their opportunity for political equality was entirely lost.
Feminism is the advocacy for women’s rights. Since the beginning of time, women have been mistreated by society, and without reproduction, most likely would have been viewed as entirely valueless. Instigated by the subjection of women, three waves of feminism were born. Tom Head, in his article, “Feminism in the United States,” attributed English philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft’s publication, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792 as representing, “the beginning of first-wave American feminism…philosophy.” Her book signified the modification of female ideals, and women like Abigail Adams supported her. However, it was not until