How did The Women Rights Movement strengthen the Civil Rights Movement?  

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The Women's Rights Movement of the 19th and 20th centuries challenged the idea that a person's value was determined by their biology. One of the major changes resulting from the Women's Rights Movement was with regard to the attitude of what was "natural" for a man or woman and what their capabilities in life were. Traditionally, woman's place was "in the home," and this attitude was supported by a belief that biology prevented women from doing good work outside of the home. The opinions and efforts of women were valued less than those of men, and any agency a woman had was seen to come from her relationships with the men in her life. 

Suffragettes like Elizabeth Cady Stanton challenged the governmental and societal structures which served to oppress women and devalued their personhood. Women and People of Color faced similar limitations on their rights and lives-- both were discriminated against in the types of work available to them, both were considered to be biologically inferior (to a white-male archetype,) and depending on the location may not have had a right to vote. The Women's Rights Movement began to challenge the status of the white-male as an ideal form of personhood and agency. Much of the work done by women fighting against sex- or gender-based discrimination laid the way for racially or ethnically motivated discrimination to be challenged and outlawed.

Though great strides have been made, neither the Women's Rights or Civil Rights Movements are finished. Even in the present-day in the United States, people are discriminated against on the basis of their biology. For example, Women of Color earn significantly less in the work place as compared to their white-male counterparts. In 2013, Latina and Hispanic women earned, on average, only 54% of what a white man earned for performing the same job. We must not fool ourselves into thinking that just because we talk about the Women's and Civil Rights Movements as having occurred in history that equality, regardless of biology, has been achieved.

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