what has Feminism done for you lately?
In the 1800's when a woman married she lost any right to control property that was hers prior to the marriage. She had no right to acquire any property during marriage. She could not make contracts, keep or control her own wages or any rents, transfer property, sell property or bring any lawsuit. She could also not make a will.
Campaigning for Women's Rights has been labelled "Feminism" since the 1890's.
One of the main causes that the earliest Feminists were concerned with was the call to allow women to be able to vote. This movement was called "Suffrage" and many of the "Suffragettes" who led protests against the government were jailed and abused in the process of winning the right to vote.
Australian women got the vote in 1902. Some women (mature-aged home owners) were allowed to vote in England in 1918, and finally all women got the vote in 1928. In the USA women got the vote in 1919.
English women could not study at Oxford University until 1920. In the USA, Yale University did not go co-ed for undergraduates until 1969.
Women did not serve in the Army in the USA until World War II. In Australia women were not integrated into the regular Army until the 1970s.
Men could legally rape their wives up until the 1980s in the USA and the laws for Marital Rape did not change in England until 1991.
Feminism is not a dirty word and is still very relevant today.
If you are a woman who has enjoyed any of the following freedoms you have the Feminists that came before you to thank:
- equal access to education
- equal pay for equal work
- access to contraception
- reproductive rights
- the right to vote
- the right to own land and assets
- the right to have banking and credit accounts in your own name
- the right to enter a public bar
- the right to travel or socialise without a chaperone
Its not all about free-love, hairy legs and bra-burning!