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Women's Status as Secondary to Men's

WomenĘs status has also (and arguably still is) in many ways determined by their marital status and age, so that what is true for a woman when she is 20 and single may not be true for the same woman at 35 when she is married with three young children or when she is 75 and widowed.

And yet ū these very significant caveats aside ū some generalizations may be made about the changes in womenĘs status and the larger historical and cultural reasons behind these changes. WomenĘs status has changed along at least three major axes ū political rights, employment and health care, and cultural perceptions of the female body.

As Benson notes, womenĘs political status remained remarkably consistent from Colonial times through the Revolution and on through the last decades of the 19th century. The tenets of English common law that saw women as belonging to their husbands (or fathers or sons) were not fundamentally challenged until the agitation for broad political rights in the late 19th century.

Why women a century ago should have wanted equal political rights is in some ways an easy question to answer, for it makes good common sense that all groups (and individuals) in a representative democracy should wish to be represented ū a point perhaps most eloquently argued by Abigail Adams, who would live to see few enough reforms in her day. But the specific instigating forces towards political reform in the late 19th century are more compl


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Women's Status as Secondary to Men's. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:31, October 24, 2014, from
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