Parity of Gender and the New American Identity
The American identity was transformed and revolutionized by many cultural, political, and social changes between 1877 and 1920. The Progressive era introduced national recognition of reform and change for many minority groups. In particular the women’s rights movement swept the nation and became one of the most important catalysts for a new American identity; one that gave women the equality that was constitutionally entitled to them. The nation was transforming before the public eye and the identity of the American people grew in distinction leaning toward a revolution in equal rights. It was the women’s rights movement that became the phenomenon of the United States that announced to the world the identity of parity between both genders and a preservation of the rights that were entitled to them by the constitution.
The equality of women and men is a controversy that has been prevalent since the very first civilizations and governments. The roles of women was defined for such time as a domestic figure, being forced to isolate themselves in a sphere that has been developing over centuries. The Cult of Domesticity, emerging between the 1820s and the Civil War during the growth of new businesses, industries, and professions, helped create a new ideal of womanhood and a contemporary ideology of the home arose out of the new attitudes about work and family. This was the very apex of female degradation; although viewed as a sensible position for women, it completely isolated them and evoked the most widespread disapproval among radicals of the progressive era. (Lavender)
The cult of domesticity directly facilitated an important part of the modernization of the female social class. Women activists saw it as a direct threat to the equality of women and many rose up to denounce the cult of domesticity. These people that took the initiative to stand up for gender equality lead to some of the most drastic...