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Blog Post 9/21

As I was going through the readings, what stuck out to me the most was how long women have been fighting for equal rights. For the most part, I believed the fight for gender equality to be a more modern concept (late 1800’s), I did not realize that women had been fighting for an equal say since they arrived in the New World. Before reading the latest chapter of PHUS, I would have never compared the treatment of women to the treatment of slaves. However, after learning the sad truth about their treatment and conditions, women were not far off.

Similar to slaves, women were essentially treated as property and their master was their husband. Anything they accomplished or earned was their husband’s achievement. I also found it interesting that men tried to censor the content women were allowed to intake. They would allow them to read books, but only the ones that cemented the teachings they wanted women to abide by. Thankfully there were brave women such as Anne Hutchinson, who fought for women’s rights knowing fully that she would be punished severely.

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  1. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    I also found it very interested that information that women were allowed to learn was censored. Zinn stated how women were only allowed to read books about dance, music, the arts, homemaking, etc. I find this astonishing, because in many cases the women are also in charge of teaching children. How can a women who is only allowed to read certain things and learn certain ideas able to teach her son or daughter? I suppose maybe, she could relay what she has learned to a daughter (because the daughter’s life will be censored as well, and all she needs to know how to do is be a wife), but what about the son? How does a women who is blocked from getting a proper education, educated her children?

  2. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    I also didn’t realize that women had been fighting for rights since the colonies were first founded. I just assumed that women accepted their roles as inferior to men because that was what it had always been. It is disheartening to learn that women were treated as a vessel only alive to make men’s life easier and more pleasurable. It is also upsetting that as you said anything a women did was attributed to her husband or not recognized at all. For example, women’s (specifically middle class) role in the Revolutionary War was completely dismissed and overlooked. When in reality we might not have won the war if it weren’t for women’s efforts.

  3. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    Likewise, I didn’t really how long the fight for equal rights took to accomplish from its origins; however, I believe it’s important to understand that the “fight for equal rights” only meant the fight for equal rights for women from Europe. As Zinn notes, many communites of Native American women treated women with much more respect than their European counterparts. In Native communities, women often were granted rights to ownership of property and were permitted to do more than domestic chores.

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