Final Exam Review
What was the notion of “separate spheres” and how and why did women begin adopting
new roles in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? How did the suffrage
movement evolve and what impact did it have on women’s lives?
According to National American Women’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA),
Separate spheres was the idea that men and women held different roles in life.
Women were to occupy the Home Sphere which meant that they were to raise the
children, take care of house chores, while the men were occupying the Public
Sphere; which included business and politics. They were the ones that worked and
supported the family and they were also made decisions within the household.
This idea motivated their want for women’s voting rights because they believed
that women were different from men, and that women represented more than just
a house wife because they had a major responsibility in raising the children and
taking care of the house affairs. If they could clean up the home, they could clean
Women began realizing that in them helping the civil rights movement, they were
not getting any benefits out of it. They were fighting for a cause without any self
benefit; they were African American Civil Rights. In 1890, NAWSA was founded
by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B.Anthony, and Carrie Catt became
president. These women were more moderate and willing to negotiate with
government supporting suffrage laws and eventually the national amendment,
motivated by the notion of separate spheres. In addition, Catt used the fact that
women started playing a role in the War efforts by helping out in hospitals as
nurses; therefore, putting pressure on Woodrow Wilson (current president) by
emphasizing the fact that he could deal with the war he could take care of
domestic affairs such as the women’s suffrage. Later in the 1920, a new
organization is derived from NAWSA to support voter education, named The
League of Women Voters. National Women’s Party was founded to support the
women’s enfranchisement, and believed in men’s and women’s equality. This
party was founded by Alice Paul, who became a heavy protestor to the point of
having hunger strikes, getting encarcerated for six months, etc. She was definitely
a radical and was followed by many women who were willing to protest in the
same manner, never giving up despite the conditions in which they were kept in
jail: force fed, isolated, given rotten food, and even hand-cuffed all night. These
women were so determined that they were not afraid of even insulting the
president, by name calling him with phrases such as “Wilson Kaiser,” and making
derogatory remarks about the government intervening in foreign affairs yet not
being able to take care of domestic ones such as Women’s suffrage.
Did Feminism die in the 1920s?