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Tess Keating 9/21 Blog Post

Even though I feel I have learned a decent amount about the history of women’s oppression, reading the chapter “The Intimately Oppressed” in Howard Zinn’s A People’s History Of The United States made me feel as if I was hearing it all again for the first time. It will never not be shocking to me that women were treated so poorly and with such disrespect. Zinn explained it as being that half the population was invisible. Reading the quote from Julia Spruill when she says, “he was not entitled to inflict permanent injury or death on his wife” (Zinn 106) was horrifying. The fact that it needed to be outlined that it was not okay to kill your own wife is scary. Also something about that quote I found off putting was the word “permanent”, making it seem that types of injuries a husband could give to a wife that weren’t “permanent” were okay. 

 

Hearing about all of the details of women’s oppression makes me so thankful for the first female activists to stand up against this and rebel. Who knows what would have happened if there were never rebellions and protests for women’s rights. However, there are definitely still problems with gender inequality and there is still work to be done, making this history all still extremely relevant. In the last four years there have been plenty of feminists protests where women fight for their rights like wage gaps and their own bodies. I wonder if and when these (necessary) fights will ever stop. This is an issue with such deep roots, so can it truly ever be solved? Will there ever be a world where men aren’t seen as the most powerful and roles will be reversed?

 

On a side note, it is extremely coincidental that we are beginning to discuss gender inequality right after the passing of one of the most famous women’s equality activists, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I am sure we will be hearing much about her legacy and how her death may affect us in the future, because she was a Supreme Court Justice.

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4 Comments

  1. Madeline Orr Madeline Orr

    I also thought it was very coincidental that we are learning about the history of gender inequality at the same time as the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. It was very interesting reading about the different female activists that really pioneered and sacrificed for women’s rights. Women like Lucy Stone, who had been attacked by mobs and have objects thrown at her when she spoke out, should be talked about more in society today. There still are so many issues of gender inequality today and I think it is important to recognize women who have played crucial roles in the feminist movement.

  2. Sara Moushegian Sara Moushegian

    I think you bring up a great point about how our generation is beyond fortunate to be living in a society where brave, empowering women have fought for our rights before us. There is still so much reform that needs to be done, but having these women to look up to as role models and hear about effective rebellions is a blessing. If reading women’s rights history has taught me anything, its that persistence and passion can cause change. It may be a slow process, but giving up when the process is slow is how the dominant white male group keeps their power. RGB passing away is definitely going to take a toll on women’s representation in politics, but the last thing Ruth Ginsburg would want is for women to become discouraged.

  3. Pierce Kaliner Pierce Kaliner

    I too found it interesting and fitting how we are learning about gender equality right now. I wonder if RBG’s passing could start another revolution, as if we could be seeing a women’s rights movement happening right in front of our eyes. I think everyone knows the importance of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is and was to the women’s rights movement and people want to continue her legacy.

  4. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    I really like the quote you picked about a man injuring or killing his wife. I was equally as chilled by the idea that this even had to be said, and like you it makes me grateful for those first female activists. We definitely live in a new era where women actually have rights and respect that we didn’t before. We spend a lot of time praising men in history for the big events, but not as much time on women who changed the lives of future generations just as greatly, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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