Among the socio-political movements that managed to change the world we live in, feminism can be fairly called one of the most revolutionary and influential. Before its rise, few believed women were capable of achieving something outstanding in fields other than housekeeping and motherhood. However, feminists managed to break this stereotype, resulting in the world where both genders are recognized to have equal rights and privileges; what we take for granted nowadays is the long and solid effort of women all over the world to expand their possibilities to be active within business and government.
Modern feminism can be traced back to the 19th century, when the suffragists—women who fought for the equality of men’s and women’s rights—achieved their first victory; in 1869, in Wyoming, women were given a right to vote during elections—or, women rather struggled and won to gain this right. In the 1890s, women won the right to vote in several other states. After decades of intense struggle, the Nineteenth Amendment to the American Constitution was adopted; this Amendment is also known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. It became a law in August, 1920; it states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” So, one of the most important accomplishments of the feminist movement is that women can now freely participate in the political life of American society and to an extent, global society (The Development of Women’s Rights).
Many women are physically weaker than men; men also tend to be more aggressive. Combined with certain psychological and environmental factors, this fact has become one of the causes of domestic violence. According to the statistics, the vast majority of people know about the suffering of women due to domestic violence. Although men can also suffer from domestic abuse, there is a huge disproportion between the number of males and females subjected to violence at home. The feminist movement has not only drawn public attention to this issue and founded numerous organizations aimed at protecting women from their violent spouses, but also helped create legislative and legal mechanisms that would protect victims of domestic abuse (A Guide to Understanding Feminism).
Ensuring that every woman has the ability to make the best decisions for herself and her family regarding reproduction is a big issue in the feminist community. This does not mean every feminist wants free abortion parties for all women, but instead being able to consider all available options without restriction from the government or anyone else. The Center for Reproductive Rights, for example, is one group that is working to advance reproductive rights for women nationally and internationally (A Guide to Understanding Feminism).
Yet another positive accomplishment made by the feminist movement is that it has helped millions of women around the world regain self-confidence. Nowadays, a woman is not just a housewife or mother; women are recognized to have equal capabilities with men, and are able to achieve as much as men in professional and self-realization fields. Even the entertainment business is now promoting pro-feminist ideas; in particular, supermodel Tyra Banks organized a campaign titled “So What,” which aimed at helping women accept themselves and their imaginary or real imperfections (Divine Caroline). Other celebrities such as Beyonce, Ashton Kutcher, Joss Whedon, and Emma Watson also support and promote the ideas of feminism, helping millions of women feel proud about themselves.
Feminism—in a period slightly longer than 100 years—managed to completely change the way global society saw women; not only they gained an opportunity to participate in political and social life on the rights equal with men, but also gained legal protection from different kinds of abuse, and achieved confidence in their capabilities. These are outcomes truly worth the effort.
Latnie, Kezia. “Lasting Effects of Feminism.” Divine Caroline. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2015.
“Effects of the Women’s Suffrage Movement.” The Development of Women’s Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2015.
“Causes, Concerns and Movements.” A Guide to Feminism. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2015.
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