Woman's Rights; Change and Continuity Essay

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Ethan Illingworth
10-12-12
Class
Mrs. Amend
Women Rights: Change and Continuity
In the 1600’s, when the women's holocaust was in full effect, women were stripped of their basic rights. Their decisions were made by their husbands. Legally woman were men’s property, could not vote, hold office, enter a professional occupation, attend college or gain custody of their children after a divorce (The Women are Angry). Skip forward about 400 years later and now women have gained many more rights and independence. Women can now vote, hold office, have reproductive rights and attend college. In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed a Supreme Court Justice. Hillary Clinton, wife of our 42nd President, Bill Clinton, has served as a senator and today she is Secretary of State. Unfortunately, women still fight for equal representation and pay in all fields, from government to science, math, and other professional careers. Women's rights have overcome a lot of challenges but there's more progress to be made.

In the 1600’s, a woman’s role was to be a good Christian and live to serve your husband (Murkham). In the male-dominated world, a woman was to be a good housewife and take care of the kids. “Let our English housewife be a godly, constant and religious woman, learning from the worthy Preacher and her Husband.” In this short excerpt titled, “Countrey Contentments”, says the english woman should look up to the man and her religion (Murkham). Another example of a woman's role in the 1600’s is from the Scarlet Letter. In the movie, women get disciplined for riding a horse, having too many laces on her dress and get prosecuted for talking about the Bible without a male presence (Joffe). Also women were not allowed to live alone and widows were not allowed to remarry until seven years had passed. Then men took it a step further into witchcraft. During a span of 300 years, an estimated 300,000 people died (Amend). In another movie, The Burning Times, women were...
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