Starting from 1848 to 1920, many women in the US fought to have the same rights as men The goal was to attain the same civil and political respect as that which was given the men who represented supposedly the dominant gender. Women were suppressed to such extent that they were not even allowed to vote and had many issues that were working against them. General feeling, therefore, was that women were inferior to men with some arguing that the size and shape of the female skull was an indication of weaker brainpower. Some of the women such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony struggled for the equity of rights. It was unfortunate that they died before they could have realized the dreams they had been fighting for. Before reading more you can read those essays on women rights for more information on this topic.
In many ways, it has since been established that the abolition movement was a precursor to the women suffrage movement. The common feature for both is that there were similar movements in England and in France. The American one was given more emphasis. The abolitionist movement empowered women greatly as they were able to gain a voice and in the process they began to define their character better. They ended up having the capacity to organize tools, hold political rallies, enhance their public speaking skills and improve the knowledge of useful allies (U.S. Department of Interior). The effect was that the women ended up being more empowered in the process. The primary motivation and impetus for the initiation of the suffrage was the US delegation at the anti-slavery convention that was held in London in 1840. As it was expected, there were no women delegates among the members present. The overall perception in the fighting races thought was that woman’s rights were not much better than those of a slave (Brooks and Gonzalez). There was no legal right and the wages a female was getting were unaccounted for. She was not allowed to own property under her name and was basically there to be seen, noticed and regarded. She was even not allowed to travel when the husband was not accompanying her. She was also not allowed to have an education among many other restrictions (Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History).
The two movements, however, had one major distinguishing feature. At the core of all such movements were-wide radicalization characteristics of the society and a system where those persons were defined and classified separately. The outcome was that there was a need to redefine the classing of people and the nature in which they were perceived. The effect was that the array of light that came in the process had to be changed. As a result of the complications related to race relation played a huge role in the later part of the movements with other issues highlighted including the race relations, job opportunities, pay equity and child care issues (Brooks and Gonzalez).
A critical issue in the discussion of suffrage and women rights movements has, however, been the reality that it was divided on racial lines. While one could imagine that it was all women’s business, the white women were more of a priority and almost no attention was given to the black women. Some of the activists proved this by demonstrating against the behavior. For example, The Pluralism Project (2016) quotes one of the writers, Ida B. Wells, who once said “I am in Great Britain today because I believe that the silent indifference with which she has received the charge that human beings are burned alive in Christian Anglo-Saxon communities is born of ignorance of the true situation. America cannot and will not ignore the voice of a nation that is her superior in civilization” (The Pluralism Project). The case presents an instance where Ida Wells was trying to sway the public by delivering a sober message to Britain regarding the racial violence that was apparent. The killing of women was at a peak with 161 women reported murdered in 1892. This awful occurrence may be considered as manifest that the lynching of women appeared among the Southern white mobs. It was affirmed that even though there is oppression on the part of the female gender, the fights for equality did not factor the freedom of the black women (Brooks and Gonzalez).
An outlook of the conditions that African women lived in and the conditions upon which the White American women lived proved that there was a racial issue. The Black women’s clubs were established in parallel to those of the white women because the white women did not allow the black females to be part of their community. It has also been argued that the reason was due to the lack of priorities on the part of the black women. Within the white community, the attitude of the women’s suffrage movement had shifted from socially conservative to radical. The Woman’s Era was published at this time with a majority of editors being strong advocates of women’s rights. Ida Wells, Josephine Silone Yates, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Barrier Williams, and Margaret Murray Washington were among those. (Pruitt). In particular, Terrell was an advocate who encouraged the black women and the black men to support the women’s suffrage movement because it was perceived to create a sense of justice (Brooks and Gonzalez).
As a result of the rampant oppression against women, there were calls for the women to leave the cities. It became even more critical that the women had to be salvaged after three black businesswomen were hanged. One of them was Ida Wells’ close friend. As a result, many responded to the call and left the city. Despite these, it still became necessary that the problem was addressed in a more direct fashion. As the nation approached the 20th century, the spate of injustices that were on the women became critical. Mary Church Terrell thus represented a majority of women and was a key member of every National American Woman Suffrage Association meeting that were held in London. She was among those who fought tirelessly. The efforts paid off but it took a considerable amount of time (Pruitt).
In summary, it is worth noting that two movements shared the element of having been initiated at virtually the same time and holding out on the same principle. They became popular when the female gender was undergoing extreme oppression hence the need for equity. However, the result was that the women’s suffrage was a fight for the black women rather than the white women who were not as opposed as the black population. A range of issues became apparent thought as the African American Community appeared to have fought for the rights in the women’s suffrage movement to save their race as opposed to the white race. Feminists’ efforts, particularly, of Ida Wells and Mary ChurchTerrell played a huge role in the realization of the dream of racial and gender equality.