Women Reformers and the Suffragettes

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What positive impact did the Women's Rights Movement have on the U.S. society?

Gaining the right to vote was a major step for women in the US toward achieving all the liberties afforded to male citizens. The milestone eliminated one of the most important barriers that legally established women as inferior to men in the view of the American government. As a consequence of this new liberty, women could enjoy a sense of legally recognized individual worth and increased participation in civic life. Women's voting rights helped move the United States closer to equal standing under the law for all its citizens.

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Both of the previous answers have focused more on economic and legal impacts.  Therefore, I will focus on the way that the women’s rights movement has impacted us on more of a societal level.

Because of the women’s rights movement, more girls and women have come to think of themselves...

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Both of the previous answers have focused more on economic and legal impacts.  Therefore, I will focus on the way that the women’s rights movement has impacted us on more of a societal level.

Because of the women’s rights movement, more girls and women have come to think of themselves as the equals of men.  This has transformed our lives in many ways.  Where once it was odd for girls and women to play sports, it is now the norm.  The high school where I used to teach now even has a girls’ wrestling program.  This is a far cry from the days when few sports were available for girls and girls’ sports were considered to be much less important than boys’ sports.  In school bands, there are no longer instruments that are seen as off limits for girls.  Girls play saxophones and trumpets and trombones.  Among teachers, there are plenty of female science and math teachers now where once those subjects were a male preserve.  In marriages, more women are demanding greater equality.  This has led to a situation where men are more likely to marry women who are just as educated as they are instead of (as the stereotype goes) marrying their secretaries or other women who were clearly less educated and who would have a harder time feeling equal to their husbands.

All of these changes have been changes that affected our ways of thinking more than our economy and our laws.  Even so, they have been important (and in my view positive) impacts of the women’s rights movement.

 

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I would have to say that one of the most significant impacts that the Women's Rights Movement had on American Society was to provide a transformative element in how both genders saw one another and themselves.  The Women's Rights Movement was profound in the idea that there can be a normalization and an equalization in what it means to be "American."  Women began to see themselves as more equal to men, demanding "equal pay for equal work" as well as even being in the workforce, in general.  Women began to see themselves as possessing more in terms of options and opportunities.  The "path" for women began to be more varied and more diverse.  At the same time,  I would suggest that one of the strongest impacts that the Women's Rights Movement had on women was to broaden a struggle that sought to transcend issues of race and class.  This was significant because it provided another frame of reference to view American society.  It would be in these domains, those that provided transformative conceptions through which American society could be viewed, where the Women's Rights Movement has positively impacted American society.

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