Why Was the Declaration of Sentiments Based on The Declaration of Independence: Analytical Essay

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A struggle is a subject that many individuals are challenged with on if they want to deal with it or not, whether it's African Americans, immigrants, or women. Depending on the group of individuals each definition of struggle is different. Looking back on many generations who struggled for a change or difference was not a problem for those who really desired it. The thought of wanting better for yourself and those around you is the main motivation to want to struggle no matter what if it means getting the change that is wanted. Though it takes a while for the change to actually occur, the fight tends to continue by focusing on the possibilities and depending on hope. Women are a huge example because of their history and present behavior of trying to make a difference. Women are the source of struggle for the change they want, from the topic of women’s suffrage to the topic of sexism, women fight for change and will not take no for an answer.

With the Women’s Rights Movement making its mark on July 13, 1848, its humble beginning was five women on a sweltering summer day having tea. Within the next two days of the discussion of the treatment of women, a date was set for the Seneca Falls Convention, an event that struck a spark in the revolution. Elizabeth Cady Stanton created a thirteen-point document titled the “Declaration of Sentiments” using the Declaration of Independence as the framework. Within the document was a list containing “areas of life where women were treated unjustly”, including things such as not having the right to vote, having property rights, and more (Bonnie and Mary). The backlash began and conventions were started to be held regularly. Women began to march, petition, and lobby causing pain and suffering from being arrested, evicted from company houses, and far worse. Such as during the Colorado strike of 1913-14 “National Guardsmen and mine guards (acting for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company owned by John D. Rockefeller) fired machine guns into miners’ tents and then set them on fire” (McDonough). This was only one of the many violent acts upon the women who were set on making life better for the American woman for generations to come. Although change came it also took a long time to actually happen, women went through almost 72 years of suffering to get at least one ounce of change.

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Women’s suffrage was one of the biggest historical events in America because of their continuous fight for the right to vote through the violence that was shown towards them. The campaign for women’s suffrage, of course, began being spoken upon at the Seneca Falls Convention where “Most of the delegates to the Seneca Falls Convention agreed: American women were autonomous individuals who deserved their own political identities” (Editors History.com). In 1869, the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) were formed to fight for a universal-suffrage amendment to be included in the U.S. Constitution. After years of struggling to reach momentum and bigger audiences, the two associations decided to merge and work together declaring themselves the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). At first, the women’s approach was that women and men were “created equal” so they deserved the same rights and responsibilities as men, but later as they merged together their mindsets changed to the fact that women deserved to vote because their views were different from men. According to Megan Gibson, one of the suffragists’ largest protests was the day before Woodrow Wilson was to be inaugurated into presidency the year of 1913. Between 5,000 to 8,000 women marched down Pennsylvania Avenue and many of them were assaulted by those who opposed women’s suffrage with attacks ranging from spitting and throwing of objects to straight physical assaults. Through the many protests, the violence towards these women outraged the public and opened wider support for women. Nearly twenty years later western states began to extend voting rights to women, but finally, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified giving women all over America the right to vote.

Although women were now viewed equally politically there were still issues with viewing them as sexually equal. Sexism was still a lingering issue that was soon to be addressed. Sexism is discrimination that undervalues, belittles, and/or treats those of the opposite gender differently. Intentionally or unintentionally sexism can affect the way someone dresses, behavior, work ethic, and more. Unfortunately, “Sexism is embedded in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence, for example, states that “All men are created equal” with no reference to women” (“Everything”). There was even a point in time when women were considered their husband’s property and not their own. Sexism includes catcalling, double standards such as women having to be docile but men are able to express their anger freely or the expression “boys will be boys”, and also degrading comments such as comments that support women as either smart or pretty. Organizations such as the #MeToo Movement, the annual Women’s March, and the SultWalk fights against hope for equality between genders. One of the most controversial events is the annual SlutWalk led by Amber Rose. This movement is focused on fighting for an end to victim blaming and slut shaming of sexual assault victims. The movement was created because of the comment of a Toronto police officer stating that “ women shouldn't 'dress like sluts' if they wanted to avoid being assaulted” (Gibson). This is linked with sexism because men are not assaulted, judged, and degraded by the way they dress so why should women be? Sexism is still a topic being fought today, although making progress women still have a long way to go.

Through the many violent protests, women created change and made a difference for the generation of women living today. Without the pain and suffering experienced in the past women would not be able to voice their opinion politically and physically today. Suffrage and Sexism are just two of the many struggles women fought against and the fighting has yet to finish. This is only the beginning of struggling for change.

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Why Was the Declaration of Sentiments Based on The Declaration of Independence: Analytical Essay. (2023, September 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-was-the-declaration-of-sentiments-based-on-the-declaration-of-independence-analytical-essay/
“Why Was the Declaration of Sentiments Based on The Declaration of Independence: Analytical Essay.” Edubirdie, 19 Sept. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/why-was-the-declaration-of-sentiments-based-on-the-declaration-of-independence-analytical-essay/
Why Was the Declaration of Sentiments Based on The Declaration of Independence: Analytical Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-was-the-declaration-of-sentiments-based-on-the-declaration-of-independence-analytical-essay/> [Accessed 23 Jun. 2024].
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