Is there any overlap between the abolitionism and feminism movements?

Expert Answers
belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most important overlap between the abolitionist and feminist movements is that they were both seeking equality for a social group that had been explicitly discriminated against in the past. Despite the social acceptance of slavery, women in society saw the parallels between a "slave class" of humans and their own positions as second-class citizens (at best). Abolitionists sought to make slaves into full citizens with all law-given rights, and feminists sought to make women into full citizens with the same law-given rights. The historic Seneca Falls Convention gave voice to woman who saw the men around them expressing abolitionist views, but thinking nothing of society oppressing women in similar ways. This shows the deeper connection between the two movements; women became a critical part of the abolitionist movement and were responsible for changing the minds of many through action, example, and even popular literature (Uncle Tom's Cabin being the most famous example).