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Wgss101 the Impact of Feminism

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Jessica Rakow

Professor Deer

WGSS 101

30 January 2019

The Impact of Feminism

Throughout the centuries women have consistently been undervalued and overlooked due to discrimination, perception, and perhaps to lacking the Y chromosome. However, there has been significant progress in changing this perception as a result of tenacious women striding for drastic change. Feminism has greatly changed the lives of women, including myself, worldwide. The initial feminist wave began the push for the advocacy of equality between both genders. The impact of the first feminist wave, occurred in 1848, victoriously achieving women the ability to vote in the United States. At this point in time, feminism began to spread like a wildfire throughout a plethora of countries in Asia, Europe, and eventually worldwide. More female activists began joining the movement in hopes of securing upward opportunities for the workplace and reproductive rights. Without the drive of these women, within the feminist movement, I would not have nearly the same amount of freedom and opportunity as is currently constituted. The feminist movement has given women a chance to fight to seal the gender gap as well as push for the rights and respect that females deserve. Although it is said, women have broken the glass ceiling of oppression, we are far from terminating the gap between genders, leading many people to concur that the glass ceiling is cracked but not broken. Woman as a community must continue the feminist movement in order to achieve that breakthrough.

 Decades ago, women were kept confined in their homes, caring for the children, and seen as property. As a result of feminism, females have been given the opportunity to evolve into individuals that can primarily focus on themselves as equal. The feminist movement continues to alter the lives of women. While reading the Historical Case for Feminism by Estelle Freedman, she begins to discuss the achievements that have occurred due to female activism, “...feminist

movements have transformed law and politics, from divorce reforms in Egypt and sexual harassment cases in Japan and the United States to the nomination of equal numbers of male and female candidates by French political parties.” (Freedman). We have seen a significant progression in the acceptance of women candidates running for positions in the government. “During the 1990s, 90 percent of the world's nations elected women to national office, and women served as heads of state in more than twenty countries.” (Freedman). We will continue to see the growth of equality between the genders. Feminism has transformed my life, as I will be given equal opportunity under the law, whether that be in the workplace or with basic human rights. Recently, in the United States, we’ve witnessed 107 women elected to Congress, composing twenty percent of the seats. From the halls of the Senate, we have five determined women who have formally announced their presidential campaign. Lastly, as a conscious example of this progression, I cast a vote for a victorious congresswoman in my very first opportunity to vote. Generationally, the feminist achievements have resulted in providing me with a choice that the females in my family clearly did not have when it was their moment to cast their very first vote.  

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