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Theatre / The Women of Trachis
After several years absence, Deianira is really starting to worry about her husband, Herakles. It was foretold that after he accomplishes his most recent task, he is fated to either die or lead a long happy life. She sends their son Hyllus to check up on him, and meanwhile a messenger arrives and announces Herakles' victory in his battle against Eurytus. Lichas, Herakles' herald, shows up shortly thereafter with the captured women of Oechalia and lies through his teeth about the situation.
Deianira takes particular pity on Iole, whom she discovers is Eurytus' daughter. Knowing something is not quite right, she persuades the first messenger to reveal Lichas' deception, and Lichas admits that the reason for the siege itself was Herakles' love for Iole. Deianira is upset but actually fairly understanding. She accepts Iole but doesn't want her family compromised by the situation, so she decides to smear a robe with a "love potion" that the centaur Nessus had given her as he lay dying by Herakles' bow. After she sends the clothes to Herakles, she realises the cloth she used has been eaten away by the so-called potion (just Nessus's blood, with a good dose of the Lernaean Hydra's blood, Herakles's venom of choice), and that Nessus had no reason to do her any favours. Hyllus comes back to accuse her of murdering Herakles, and Deianira kills herself off-screen.
The rest of the play follows Herakles as he very slowly and painfully dies, cursing his wife. Hyllus, who realized her good intentions after her death, tries to argue in her favour. Herakles forces Hyllus to immolate him, and promise that he will marry Iole. Unhappily Hyllus does as he asks.
One of seven surviving plays by Sophocles.
The Trojan Women features the following tropes:
- A Day in the Limelight: Women weren't given much space in The Iliad. Now they are the protagonists with their own huge Tear Jerker story.
- Adult Fear: Plenty of. To name some of them:
- Your city sacked and burnt down, to be never rebuilt
- Your children being slaughtered, even if innocent children, for the crime of being the king's blood,
- For the young women like Cassandra or Andromache, being taken away by a Achaean general as a glorified Sex Slave.
- She knows that she is going to die along with Agamemnon as soon as she lays her feet on Mycenae, but she's at least content with getting the final revenge on Agamemnon and being freed from slavery (no longer caring how)
- She also correctly predicts that her mother will die before she ever sails with Odysseus, and Odysseus himself spend the next years trying hard to go home.
- Ajax the Lesser assaulted Cassandra while she was seeking shelter in Athena's temple, an unforgivable act of hybris note Hybris is an ancient Greek term which describes extreme pride or dangerous over-confidence, leading to a behavior that defies the norms set by the gods or even challenges them. Such behaviour is always punished in Classical Mythology and the ancient works inspired by them
- Neoptolemus doesn't even let Andromache properly bury and grieve her son, because he wants to leave as soon as possible. Also, he made sure if Andromache ever curses her son's killers, said son wouldn't even get proper burial.
• Tituba born (Salem witch trials figure probably of Carib not African heritage)
• Elizabeth Key, whose mother was an enslaved woman and father was a White enslaver, sued for her freedom, claiming her father's free status and her baptism as grounds -- and the courts upheld her claim
A daughter of a free Negro Anthony Johnson, Jone Johnson, was given 100 acres of land by Debeada, an Indian ruler.
• Maryland passed a law making every person of African descent in the colony an enslaved person, including all children of African descent at birth whatever the free or enslaved status of the child's parents.
• Virginia House of Burgesses passed a law that a child's status followed the mother's, if the mother was not a White woman, contrary to English common law in which the father's status determined the child's
• Maryland passed a law under which free White women would lose their freedom if they married an enslaved Black person, and under which the children of White women and Black men became enslaved.
• Maryland became the first of the future states to pass a law making it illegal for free English women to marry "Negro slaves"
• Virginia passed a law stating that baptism could not free "slaves by birth"
• Virginia legislature declared that free Black women were to be taxed, but not White women servants or other White women that "negro women, though permitted to enjoy their freedome" could not have the rights of "the English."
• Virginia passed a law that "Negroes" or Indians, even those free and baptized, could not purchase any Christians, but could purchase "any of their owne nation [=race]" (i.e. free Africans could buy Africans and Indians could buy Indians)
• Aphra Behn (1640-1689, England) published the anti-enslavement Oroonoka, or the History of the Royal Slave, first novel in English by a woman
• The term "white" is first used, rather than specific terms like "English" or "Dutchman," in a law referring to "English or other white women."
• Tituba disappeared from history (Salem witch trials figure probably of Carib not African heritage)
“ A LADY ’ S ADIEU TO HER TEA-TABLE ”
In the months before the outbreak of the Revolution a short poem began to appear in colonial newspapers supporting the boycott of imported tea. The poem took the form of a tongue-in-cheek lament of a lady who preferred liberty to luxury. The poem portrays the tea table as the center of a social world.
Source: Rodris Roth, “ Tea Drinking In Eighteenth-Century America: Its Etiquette and Equipage, ” in Material Life in America, 1600-1860, edited by Robert B. St. George (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1988).
Urban Women . Wealthier women and those living in or near cities were not so much occupied with making cloth they could buy mass-produced cloth from Great Britain cheaper than they could make it themselves. Housewives in the cities did not by any means live lives of leisure. They still faced endless chores of sewing, baking, cooking, preserving, butchering and salting meat, child rearing, and cleaning. City households were held to much higher standards of cleanliness than those of farmers. But in 1765 many of these women took to the distaff, in solidarity with the boycott movement, and returned again to spinning in the early 1770s with the renewal of conflict with Great Britain.
Wartime Disorder . The war brought added hardship to women who were left alone while their husbands were in the military or refugees. Other women became refugees, fleeing before the approaching armies. The soldiers and the disorder they wrought brought on epidemics of dysentery and smallpox, which added greatly to the misery of wartime. Women in occupied areas also faced the threat of rape many female residents of Connecticut were assaulted by English and Hessian troops who passed through the area in 1779. British soldiers brutally and repeatedly raped women in New Jersey and Staten Island during several months of occupation in 1776.
Managing Farms . Women left in charge of households took on the business and legal affairs of their husbands, who often had little confidence that their wives could handle such matters. But most women rose to the occasion, selling crops and livestock and overseeing hired men and the harvests. Elizabeth Murray Smith Inman had to take over the management of her Cambridge farm when her husband Ralph was trapped in Boston during the American siege (1775-1776). Ralph was so frightened by the situation in Boston that he planned to immigrate to London. Elizabeth beseeched him to stay or to give her power of attorney so that she could sell the crop she had just harvested. Elizabeth Inman managed the farm during her husband ’ s absence and eventually convinced him not to flee the country.
Quartering Troops . Those women left alone to manage households often had the additional burden of quartering troops, American and British. Lydia Post, a Long Island farm wife with Patriot sympathies, was forced to quarter Hessian troops in her house. These soldiers lived in the kitchen, which was barred off from the rest of the house. They drank, gambled, and fought, dancing and playing music late into the night. The Hessians cut up fences for firewood, allowing cattle to stray into the woods. Post was most concerned for her children, of whom the soldiers, however, seemed fond. The Hessians made them baskets and taught her son German. She worried lest her children “ should contract evil. ”
Social Opportunities . Military occupation, even by friendly troops, was a trying circumstance, productive of many evils. However, some young women were delighted by the presence of soldiers and officers, whose presence provided opportunities for dances, parties, and socializing. Newport socialites gloried in the presence of “ the flower of the French army, some very elegant young men, ” whom they actively courted.
Loyalist Women . Loyalist women were in a particularly difficult position during wartime, faced with large and vigorous Patriot contingents within their communities. Unless they were protected by British military occupation, their situation was precarious. Former friends and neighbors shunned them and often seized their homes and property. A Virginia Loyalist, exiled to Canada, pined for her home: “ Poverty there would have been much more tolarable [sic] to us, we sincerely wish we had never left that Country. ” It was the lack of support that made the war particularly hard for Loyalists Patriots under similar circumstances could turn to a much larger and more sympathetic community. Friendless and alone, Loyalists were forced to take refuge with the British army and eventually to immigrate to Canada, the Caribbean, or England.
Civil Rights and Breaking Barriers
In the 1950s and 1960s, and into the 1970s, the civil rights movement took the historical center stage. Black American women had key roles in that movement, in the "second wave" of the women's rights movement, and, as barriers fell, in making cultural contributions to American society.
Rosa Parks is, for many, one of the iconic faces of the modern civil rights struggle. A native of Alabama, Parks became active in the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP in the early 1940s. She was a key planner of the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-56 and became the face of the movement after she was arrested for refusing to yield her seat to a white rider. Parks and her family moved to Detroit in 1957, where she remained active in civil and political life until her death in 2005 at age 92.
Barbara Jordan is perhaps best known for her role in the Congressional Watergate hearings and for her keynote speeches at two Democratic National Conventions. But this Houston native holds many other distinctions. She was the first Black female to serve in the Texas legislature, elected in 1966. Six years later, she and Andrew Young of Atlanta would become the first Black Americans to be elected to Congress since Reconstruction. Jordan served until 1978 when she stepped down to teach at the University of Texas at Austin. Jordan died in 1996, just a few weeks before her 60th birthday.
Famous Firsts in Women’s History
American women’s history has been full of pioneers: Women who fought for their rights, worked hard to be treated equally and made great strides in fields like science, politics, sports, literature and art. These are just a few of the remarkable accomplishments by trail-blazing women in American history. Here are 21 famous firsts in women’s history.
1. First women’s-rights convention meets in Seneca Falls, New York, 1848
In July 1848, some 240 men and women gathered in upstate New York for a meeting convened, said organizers, “to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of women.” One hundred of the delegates women and 32 men–signed a Declaration of Sentiments, modeled on the Declaration of Independence, declaring that women, like men, were citizens with an “inalienable right to the elective franchise.” The Seneca Falls Convention marked the beginning of the campaign for women’s suffrage.
2. Wyoming Territory is first to grant women the vote, 1869
In 1869, Wyoming’s territorial legislature declared that 𠇎very woman of the age of twenty-one years, residing in this territory, may at every electionst her vote.” Though Congress lobbied hard against it, Wyoming’s women kept their right to vote when the territory became a state in 1890. In 1924, the state’s voters elected the nation’s first female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross.
3. Californian Julia Morgan is first woman admitted to the Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Paris, 1898
The 26-year-old Morgan had already earned a degree in civil engineering from Berkeley, where she was one of just 100 female students in the entire university (and the only female engineer). After she received her certification in architecture from the Ecole de Beaux-Arts, the best architecture school in the world, Morgan returned to California. There, she became the first woman licensed to practice architecture in the state and an influential champion of the Arts and Crafts movement. Though she is most famous for building the “Hearst Castle,” a massive compound for the publisher William Randolph Hearst in San Simeon, California, Morgan designed more than 700 buildings in her long career. She died in 1957.
4. Margaret Sanger opens first birth control clinic in the United States, 1916
In October 1916, the nurse and women’s rights activist Margaret Sanger opened the first American birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Since state 𠇌omstock Laws” banned contraceptives and the dissemination of information about them, Sanger’s clinic was illegal as a result, on October 26, the city vice squad raided the clinic, arresting its staff and seizing its stock of diaphragms and condoms. Sanger tried to reopen the clinic twice more, but police forced her landlord to evict her the next month, closing it for good. In 1921, Sanger formed the American Birth Control League, the organization that eventually became Planned Parenthood.
5. Edith Wharton is the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, 1921
Wharton won the prize for her 1920 novel The Age of Innocence. Like many of Wharton’s books, The Age of Innocence was a critique of the insularity and hypocrisy of the upper class in turn-of-the-century New York. The book has inspired several stage and screen adaptations, and the writer Cecily Von Ziegesar has said that it was the model for her popular Gossip Girl series of books.
6. Activist Alice Paul proposes the Equal Rights Amendment for the first time, 1923
For almost 50 years, women’s-rights advocates like Alice Paul tried to get Congress to approve the Equal Rights Amendment finally, in 1972, they succeeded. In March of that year, Congress sent the proposed amendment–𠇎quality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex”–to the states for ratification. Twenty-two of the required 38 states ratified it right away, but then conservative activists mobilized against it. (The ERA’s straightforward language hid all kinds of sinister threats, they claimed: It would force wives to support their husbands, send women into combat and validate gay marriages.) This anti-ratification campaign was a success: In 1977, Indiana became the 35th and last state to ratify the ERA. In June 1982, the ratification deadline expired. The amendment has never been passed.
7. Amelia Earhart is the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane, 1928
After that first trip across the ocean, which took more than 20 hours, Amelia Earhart became a celebrity: She won countless awards, got a ticker-tape parade down Broadway, wrote a best-selling book about her famous flight and became an editor at Cosmopolitan magazine. In 1937, Earhart attempted to be the first female pilot to fly around the world, and the first pilot of any gender to circumnavigate the globe at its widest point, the Equator. Along with her navigator Fred Noonan, Earhart successfully hopscotched from Miami to Brazil, Africa, India and Australia. Six weeks after they began their journey, Earhart and Noonan left New Guinea for the U.S. territory of Howland Island, but they never arrived. No trace of Earhart, Noonan or their plane was ever found.
Did you know? The 15 states that never ratified the Equal Rights Amendment are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.
8. Frances Perkins becomes the first female member of a Presidential cabinet, 1933
Frances Perkins, a sociologist and Progressive reformer in New York, served as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor. She kept her job until 1945.
9. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League becomes the first professional baseball league for female players, 1943
Women had been playing professional baseball for decades: Starting in the 1890s, gender-integrated 𠇋loomer Girls” teams (named after the feminist Amelia Bloomer) traveled around the country, challenging men’s teams to games𠄺nd frequently winning. As the men’s minor leagues expanded, however, playing opportunities for Bloomer Girls decreased, and the last of the teams called it quits in 1934. But by 1943, so many major-league stars had joined the armed services and gone off to war that stadium owners and baseball executives worried that the game would never recover. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was the solution to this problem: It would keep ballparks filled and fans entertained until the war was over. For 12 seasons, more than 600 women played for the league’s teams, including the Racine (Wisconsin) Belles, the Rockford (Illinois) Peaches, the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Chicks and the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Daisies. The AAGPBL disbanded in 1954.
10. The FDA announces its approval of “The Pill,” the first birth-control drug, 1960
In October 1959, the pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle applied for a license from the federal Food and Drug Administration to sell its drug Enovid, a combination of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, for use as an oral contraceptive. FDA approval was not guaranteed: For one thing, the agency was uncomfortable with the idea of allowing doctors to prescribe drugs to healthy people for another, the young bureaucrat assigned to the case was fixated on moral and religious, not scientific, objections to the pill. Despite all this, Enovid was approved for short-term use in October 1960.
11. Katharine Graham becomes the first woman to become a Fortune 500 CEO, 1972
When Katharine Graham, known as “Kay,” took over leadership of The Washington Company in 1972, she became the first woman to be CEO of a Fortune 500 Company. Under her leadership, The Washington Post flourished and famously broke the story of the Watergate scandal to the world.
12. Janet Guthrie is the first woman to drive in the Indy 500, 1977
Guthrie was an aerospace engineer, training to be an astronaut, when she was cut from the space program because she didn’t have her PhD. She turned to car racing instead and became the first woman to qualify for the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Mechanical difficulties forced her out of the 1977 Indy race, but the next year she finished in ninth place (with a broken wrist!). The helmet and suit that Guthrie wore in her first Indy race are on display in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
13. President Ronald Reagan nominates Sandra Day O𠆜onnor to be the first woman on the Supreme Court, 1981
Sandra Day O𠆜onnor was confirmed that September. She did not have much judicial experience when she began her Supreme Court term—she had only been a judge for a few years and had never served on a federal court𠅋ut she soon made a name for herself as one of the Court’s most thoughtful centrists. O𠆜onnor retired in 2006..
14. Joan Benoit wins the first women’s Olympic Marathon, 1984
At the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, Joan Benoit (today known as Joan Benoit Samuelson) finished the first-ever women’s marathon in 2:24.52. She finished 400 meters ahead of the silver medalist, Norway’s Grete Waitz.
15. Aretha Franklin becomes the first women elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1987
Aretha Franklin, “The Queen of Soul” known for megahits like the feminist anthem “Respect,” became the first woman elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 3, 1987.
16. Manon Rheaume is the first woman to play in an NHL game, 1992
Manon Rheaume, a goalie from Quebec City, Canada, was no stranger to firsts: She was well-known for being the first female player to take the ice in a major boys’ junior hockey game. In 1992, Rheaume was the starting goalie for the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lighting in a preseason exhibition game, making her the first woman to play in any of the major men’s sports leagues in the U.S. In that game, she deflected seven of nine shots however, she was taken out of the game early and never played in a regular-season game. Rheaume led the Canadian women’s national team to victory in the 1992 and 1994 World Hockey Championships. The team also won silver at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
17. Madeleine Albright becomes the first female Secretary of State, 1997
In January 1997, the international-relations expert Madeleine K. Albright was sworn in as the United States’ 64th Secretary of State. She was the first woman to hold that job, which made her the highest-ranking woman in the federal government’s history. Before President Bill Clinton asked her to be part of his Cabinet, Albright had served as the country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In 2004, Condoleezza Rice became the second woman𠄺nd first African American woman to hold the job. Five years later, in January 2009, the former Senator (and First Lady) Hillary Rodham Clinton became the third female Secretary of State.
18. Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director, 2010
The American film director Kathryn Bigelow’s 2008 film “The Hurt Locker” garnered six Oscars on March 7, 2010, including the Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture. Written by Mark Boal, a former journalist who covered the war in Iraq, the movie follows an Army bomb squad unit as they conduct dangerous missions and battle personal demons in war-torn Baghdad. Bigelow, whose previous films include “Strange Days” and “Point Break,” was the first woman to take home the Best Director distinction. She triumphed over her former husband, James Cameron, whose science fiction epic 𠇊vatar” was another presumed front-runner.
19. Hillary Clinton becomes first female presidential nominee of a major party, 2016
On July 26, 2016, the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state was officially nominated as the Democratic nominee, becoming the first woman from a major party to achieve that feat. Clinton had previously mounted an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2008 (before losing to Barack Obama in the Democratic primary), and fought off a strong challenge by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016 before clinching the glass ceiling-breaking nomination.
20. Katie Sowers becomes first woman and first openly gay coach in Super Bowl history, 2020.
On February 2, 2020, Katie Sowers became the first female coach𠅊nd the first openly gay coach—to guide her team at the Super Bowl. Sowers, a former quarterback, was an assistance coach for the San Francisco 49s as they took on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. While her team didn’t win, Sowers broke records, saying: "Being the first, it is historic, but the most important thing is just to make sure I&aposm not the last."
In popular mythology, the 1960s were all free love and drugs and peace and mini skirts.
This defining piece of female fashion which has spanned the decades was invented by London designer and small business owner Mary Quant in 1962.
Women in pubs
While many pubs in Australia had a ladies lounge for the ladies who liked a tipple, women were banned from entering the public bar.
Often women were only allowed in the ladies lounge when accompanied by a man.
But the feminist movement was ready to take on this fight, and ladies defiantly left the lounge in pubs around the country, marching into public bars and demanding drinks.
At Brisbane's Regatta Hotel they even chained themselves to the bar to get their point across, and eventually government legislation allowed for women to drink in any watering hole they wished.
Fun fact: Merle Thornton, one of the women who chained themselves to the Regatta bar, is the mother of actress Sigrid Thornton.
The Female Eunuch
I'm sick of being a transvestite. I refuse to be a female impersonator. I am a woman, not a castrate.
Everybody's favourite feminist and pot-stirrer Germaine Greer became a household name with the publication of her book The Female Eunuch.
The book was hugely controversial and caused many an argument at the dinner table, with some women even complaining they had to keep it hidden from their husbands.
Reclaim the Night
The first Reclaim the Night marches were held in Europe to protest violence and sexual assault against women.
The movement created a worldwide stir and similar events were held across Britain and the United States.
Many of the protests were held in red light districts and focused particularly on violence against prostitutes.
The Iron Lady
Margaret Thatcher was elected British prime minister. She was the longest serving British PM and the only woman to hold the post.
Dubbed the "Iron Lady", her conservative financial policies won her no favours with workers and unions at home.
Her tenure was marked by major protests, notably the miners' strike in 1984, but to her critics both inside and outside the Conservative Party, she had just one message:
For those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase the 'U-turn', I have only one thing to say.
You turn if you want to. The Lady's not for turning.
We'd had Rocky and Skywalker, but when Sigourney Weaver burst onto the screen as Warrant Officer Ripley in Alien, she paved the way for Hollywood's female heroes.
Alien's producers decided to make the lead a female so the film would stand out in the otherwise male-dominated genre of science-fiction.
When she was voted in as Pakistan's prime minister in 1988, Benazir Bhutto became the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state.
Aged 35, the glamorous leader became known as Pakistan's Iron Lady and successfully portrayed herself as a refreshing contrast to the overwhelmingly male-dominated political establishment.
But she was plagued by claims of corruption and was twice dismissed as prime minister in 1990 and 1996.
After going into self-imposed exile, she returned to Pakistan in 2007 where she was assassinated at a rally for her Pakistan Peoples Party.
The Spice Girls
They were the biggest thing since The Beatles and remain the highest-selling female group of all time.
Ginger, Posh, Baby, Scary and Sporty helped define a decade and inspired millions of pre-teen girls with "Girl Power", platform shoes and Union Jack dresses.
Woman's Suffrage History Timeline
The below timeline is from the National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection Home Page on the Library of Congress website.
One Hundred Years toward Suffrage: An Overview
Compiled by E. Susan Barber
Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John, who is attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, asking that he and the other men--who were at work on the Declaration of Independence--"Remember the Ladies." John responds with humor. The Declaration's wording specifies that "all men are created equal."
1820 to 1880
Evidence from a variety of printed sources published during this period--advice manuals, poetry and literature, sermons, medical texts--reveals that Americans, in general, held highly stereotypical notions about women's and men's roles in society. Historians would later term this phenomenon "The Cult of Domesticity."
Emma Hart Willard founds the Troy Female Seminary in New York--the first endowed school for girls.
Oberlin College becomes the first coeducational college in the United States. In 1841, Oberlin awards the first academic degrees to three women. Early graduates include Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown.
Sarah Grimké begins her speaking career as an abolitionist and a women's rights advocate. She is eventually silenced by male abolitionists who consider her public speaking a liability.
The first National Female Anti-Slavery Society convention meets in New York City. Eighty-one delegates from twelve states attend.
Mary Lyon founds Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, eventually the first four-year college exclusively for women in the United States. Mt. Holyoke was followed by Vassar in 1861, and Wellesley and Smith Colleges, both in 1875. In 1873, the School Sisters of Notre Dame found a school in Baltimore, Maryland, which would eventually become the nation's first college for Catholic women.
Mississippi passes the first Married Woman's Property Act.
Female textile workers in Massachusetts organize the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association (LFLRA) and demand a 10-hour workday. This was one of the first permanent labor associations for working women in the United States.
The first women's rights convention in the United States is held in Seneca Falls, New York. Many participants sign a "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions" that outlines the main issues and goals for the emerging women's movement. Thereafter, women's rights meetings are held on a regular basis.
Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery. Over the next ten years she leads many slaves to freedom by the Underground Railroad.
Amelia Jenks Bloomer launches the dress reform movement with a costume bearing her name. The Bloomer costume was later abandoned by many suffragists who feared it detracted attention from more serious women's rights issues.
Former slave Sojourner Truth delivers her "Ain't I a Woman?" speech before a spellbound audience at a women's rights convention in Akron, Ohio.
Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom's Cabin, which rapidly becomes a bestseller.
The successful vulcanization of rubber provides women with reliable condoms for the first time. The birth rate in the United States continues its downward, century-long spiral. By the late 1900s, women will raise an average of only two to three children, in contrast to the five or six children they raised at the beginning of the century.
1861 to 65
The American Civil War disrupts suffrage activity as women, North and South, divert their energies to "war work." The War itself, however, serves as a "training ground," as women gain important organizational and occupational skills they will later use in postbellum organizational activity.
1865 to 1880
Southern white women create Confederate memorial societies to help preserve the memory of the "Lost Cause." This activity propels many white Southern women into the public sphere for the first time. During this same period, newly emancipated Southern black women form thousands of organizations aimed at "uplifting the race."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony form the American Equal Rights Association, an organization for white and black women and men dedicated to the goal of universal suffrage.
The Fourteenth Amendment is ratified, which extends to all citizens the protections of the Constitution against unjust state laws. This Amendment was the first to define "citizens" and "voters" as "male."
The women's rights movement splits into two factions as a result of disagreements over the Fourteenth and soon-to-be-passed Fifteenth Amendments. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony form the more radical, New York-based National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, and Julia Ward Howe organize the more conservative American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), which is centered in Boston. In this same year, the Wyoming territory is organized with a woman suffrage provision. In 1890, Wyoming was admitted to the Union with its suffrage provision intact.
The Fifteenth Amendment enfranchises black men. NWSA refuses to work for its ratification, arguing, instead, that it be "scrapped" in favor of a Sixteenth Amendment providing universal suffrage. Frederick Douglass breaks with Stanton and Anthony over NWSA's position.
1870 to 1875
Several women--including Virginia Louisa Minor, Victoria Woodhull, and Myra Bradwell--attempt to use the Fourteenth Amendment in the courts to secure the vote (Minor and Woodhull) or the right to practice law (Bradwell). They all are unsuccessful.
Susan B. Anthony is arrested and brought to trial in Rochester, New York, for attempting to vote for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential election. At the same time, Sojourner Truth appears at a polling booth in Battle Creek, Michigan, demanding a ballot she is turned away.
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is founded by Annie Wittenmyer. With Frances Willard at its head (1876), the WCTU became an important force in the fight for woman suffrage. Not surprisingly, one of the most vehement opponents to women's enfranchisement was the liquor lobby, which feared women might use the franchise to prohibit the sale of liquor.
A Woman Suffrage Amendment is introduced in the United States Congress. The wording is unchanged in 1919, when the amendment finally passes both houses.
The NWSA and the AWSA are reunited as the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) under the leadership of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. During this same year, Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr found Hull House, a settlement house project in Chicago's 19th Ward. Within one year, there are more than a hundred settlement houses--largely operated by women--throughout the United States. The settlement house movement and the Progressive campaign of which it was a part propelled thousands of college-educated white women and a number of women of color into lifetime careers in social work. It also made women an important voice to be reckoned with in American politics.
Ida B. Wells launches her nation-wide anti-lynching campaign after the murder of three black businessmen in Memphis, Tennessee.
Hannah Greenbaum Solomon founds the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) after a meeting of the Jewish Women's Congress at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. In that same year, Colorado becomes the first state to adopt a state amendment enfranchising women.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton publishes The Woman's Bible. After its publication, NAWSA moves to distance itself from this venerable suffrage pioneer because many conservative suffragists considered her to be too radical and, thus, potentially damaging to the suffrage campaign. From this time, Stanton--who had resigned as NAWSA president in 1892--was no longer invited to sit on the stage at NAWSA conventions.
Mary Church Terrell, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Margaret Murray Washington, Fanny Jackson Coppin, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Charlotte Forten Grimké, and former slave Harriet Tubman meet in Washington, D.C. to form the National Association of Colored Women (NACW).
Mary Dreier, Rheta Childe Dorr, Leonora O'Reilly, and others form the Women's Trade Union League of New York, an organization of middle- and working-class women dedicated to unionization for working women and to woman suffrage. This group later became a nucleus of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU).
The National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (NAOWS) is organized. Led by Mrs. Arthur Dodge, its members included wealthy, influential women and some Catholic clergymen--including Cardinal Gibbons who, in 1916, sent an address to NAOWS's convention in Washington, D.C. In addition to the distillers and brewers, who worked largely behind the scenes, the "antis" also drew support from urban political machines, Southern congressmen, and corporate capitalists--like railroad magnates and meatpackers--who supported the "antis" by contributing to their "war chests."
Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive (Bull Moose/Republican) Party becomes the first national political party to adopt a woman suffrage plank.
Alice Paul and Lucy Burns organize the Congressional Union, later known as the National Women's Party (1916). Borrowing the tactics of the radical, militant Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in England, members of the Woman's Party participate in hunger strikes, picket the White House, and engage in other forms of civil disobedience to publicize the suffrage cause.
The National Federation of Women's Clubs--which by this time included more than two million white women and women of color throughout the United States--formally endorses the suffrage campaign.
NAWSA president Carrie Chapman Catt unveils her "winning plan" for suffrage victory at a convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Catt's plan required the coordination of activities by a vast cadre of suffrage workers in both state and local associations.
Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first American woman elected to represent her state in the U.S. House of Representatives.
1918 to 1920
The Great War (World War I) intervenes to slow down the suffrage campaign as some--but not all--suffragists decide to shelve their suffrage activism in favor of "war work." In the long run, however, this decision proves to be a prudent one as it adds yet another reason to why women deserve the vote.
August 26, 1920
The Nineteenth Amendment is ratified. Its victory accomplished, NAWSA ceases to exist, but its organization becomes the nucleus of the League of Women Voters.
The National Woman's Party first proposes the Equal Rights Amendment to eliminate discrimination on the basis of gender. It has never been ratified.
Women of Trachis Timeline - History
Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are barred from attending the World Anti-Slavery Convention held in London. This prompts them to hold a Women's Convention in the US.
Seneca Falls, New York is the location for the first Women's Rights Convention. Elizabeth Cady Stanton writes "The Declaration of Sentiments" creating the agenda of women's activism for decades to come.
The first state constitution in California extends property rights to women.
Worcester, Massachusetts, is the site of the first National Women's Rights Convention. Frederick Douglass, Paulina Wright Davis, Abby Kelley Foster, William Lloyd Garrison, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth are in attendance. A strong alliance is formed with the Abolitionist Movement.
Worcester, Massachusetts is the site of the second National Women's Rights Convention. Participants included Horace Mann, New York Tribune columnist Elizabeth Oaks Smith, and Reverend Harry Ward Beecher, one of the nation's most popular preachers.
At a women's rights convention in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner Truth, a former slave, delivers her now memorable speech, "Ain't I a woman?"
The issue of women's property rights is presented to the Vermont Senate by Clara Howard Nichols. This is a major issue for the Suffragists.
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe, is published and quickly becomes a bestseller.
Women delegates, Antoinette Brown and Susan B. Anthony, are not allowed to speak at The World's Temperance Convention held in New York City.
During the Civil War, efforts for the suffrage movement come to a halt. Women put their energies toward the war effort.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony form the American Equal Rights Association, an organization dedicated to the goal of suffrage for all regardless of gender or race.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Parker Pillsbury publish the first edition of The Revolution. This periodical carries the motto “Men, their rights and nothing more women, their rights and nothing less!”
Caroline Seymour Severance establishes the New England Woman’s Club. The “Mother of Clubs” sparked the club movement which became popular by the late nineteenth century.
In Vineland, New Jersey, 172 women cast ballots in a separate box during the presidential election.
Senator S.C. Pomeroy of Kansas introduces the federal woman’s suffrage amendment in Congress.
Many early suffrage supporters, including Susan B. Anthony, remained single because in the mid-1800s, married women could not own property in their own rights and could not make legal contracts on their own behalf.
The Fourteenth Amendment is ratified. "Citizens" and "voters" are defined exclusively as male.
The American Equal Rights Association is wrecked by disagreements over the Fourteenth Amendment and the question of whether to support the proposed Fifteenth Amendment which would enfranchise Black American males while avoiding the question of woman suffrage entirely.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony found the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), a more radical institution, to achieve the vote through a Constitutional amendment as well as push for other woman’s rights issues. NWSA was based in New York
Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, Julia Ward Howe, and other more conservative activists form the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) to work for woman suffrage through amending individual state constitutions. AWSA was based in Boston.
Wyoming territory is organized with a woman suffrage provision.
The Fifteenth Amendment gave black men the right to vote. NWSA refused to work for its ratification and instead the members advocate for a Sixteenth Amendment that would dictate universal suffrage. Frederick Douglass broke with Stanton and Anthony over the position of NWSA.
The Woman’s Journal is founded and edited by Mary Livermore, Lucy Stone, and Henry Blackwell.
Victoria Woodhull addresses the House Judiciary Committee, arguing women’s rights to vote under the fourteenth amendment.
The Anti-Suffrage Party is founded.
Susan B. Anthony casts her ballot for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential election and is arrested and brought to trial in Rochester, New York. Fifteen other women are arrested for illegally voting. Sojourner Truth appears at a polling booth in Battle Creek, Michigan, demanding a ballot to vote she is turned away.
Abigail Scott Duniway convinces Oregon lawmakers to pass laws granting a married woman’s rights such as starting and operating her own business, controlling the money she earns, and the right to protect her property if her husband leaves.
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is founded by Annie Wittenmyer. With Frances Willard at its head (1876), the WCTU became an important proponent in the fight for woman suffrage. As a result, one of the strongest opponents to women's enfranchisement was the liquor lobby, which feared women might use their vote to prohibit the sale of liquor.
Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage disrupt the official Centennial program at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, presenting a “Declaration of Rights for Women” to the Vice President.
A Woman Suffrage Amendment is proposed in the U.S. Congress. When the 19th Amendment passes forty-one years later, it is worded exactly the same as this 1878 Amendment.
The first vote on woman suffrage is taken in the Senate and is defeated.
The National Council of Women in the United States is established to promote the advancement of women in society.
NWSA and AWSA merge and the National American Woman Suffrage Association is formed. Stanton is the first president. The Movement focuses efforts on securing suffrage at the state level.
Wyoming is admitted to the Union with a state constitution granting woman suffrage.
The American Federation of Labor declares support for woman suffrage.
The South Dakota campaign for woman suffrage loses.
The Progressive Era begins. Women from all classes and backgrounds enter public life. Women's roles expand and result in an increasing politicization of women. Consequently the issue of woman suffrage becomes part of mainstream politics.
Olympia Brown founds the Federal Suffrage Association to campaign for woman’s suffrage.
Colorado adopts woman suffrage.
600,000 signatures are presented to the New York State Constitutional Convention in a failed effort to bring a woman suffrage amendment to the voters.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton publishes The Woman’s Bible. After its publication, NAWSA moves to distance itself from Stanton because many conservative suffragists considered her to be too radical and, thus, potentially damaging to the suffrage campaign.
Mary Church Terrell, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Frances E.W. Harper among others found the the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs.
Utah joins the Union with full suffrage for women.
Idaho adopts woman suffrage.
Mary Dreier, Rheta Childe Dorr, Leonora O'Reilly, and others form the Women's Trade Union League of New York, an organization of middle- and working-class women dedicated to unionization for working women and to woman suffrage.
Washington State adopts woman suffrage.
The Women’s Political Union organizes the first suffrage parade in New York City.
The National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (NAOWS) is organized. Led by Mrs. Arthur Dodge, its members included wealthy, influential women, some Catholic clergymen, distillers and brewers, urban political machines, Southern congressmen, and corporate capitalists.
The elaborate California suffrage campaign succeeds by a small margin.
Woman Suffrage is supported for the first time at the national level by a major political party -- Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party.
Twenty thousand suffrage supporters join a New York City suffrage parade.
Oregon, Kansas, and Arizona adopt woman suffrage.
In 1913, suffragists organized a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The parade was the first major suffrage spectacle organized by the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).
The two women then organized the Congressional Union, later known at the National Women’s Party (1916). They borrowed strategies from the radical Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in England.
Nevada and Montana adopt woman suffrage.
The National Federation of Women’s Clubs, which had over two million women members throughout the U.S., formally endorses the suffrage campaign.
Mabel Vernon and Sara Bard Field are involved in a transcontinental tour which gathers over a half-million signatures on petitions to Congress.
Forty thousand march in a NYC suffrage parade. Many women are dressed in white and carry placards with the names of the states they represent.
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts continue to reject woman suffrage.
Jeannette Rankin of Montana is the first woman elected to the House of Representatives. Woodrow Wilson states that the Democratic Party platform will support suffrage.
New York women gain suffrage.
Arkansas women are allowed to vote in primary elections.
National Woman’s Party picketers appear in front of the White House holding two banners, “Mr. President, What Will You Do For Woman Suffrage?” and “How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?”
Jeannette Rankin of Montana, the first woman elected to Congress, is formally seated in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Alice Paul, leader of the National Woman’s Party, was put in solitary confinement in the mental ward of the prison as a way to “break” her will and to undermine her credibility with the public.
In June, arrests of the National Woman’s party picketers begin on charges of obstructing sidewalk traffic. Subsequent picketers are sentenced to up to six months in jail. In November, the government unconditionally releases the picketers in response to public outcry and an inability to stop National Woman’s Party picketers’ hunger strike.
Representative Rankin opens debate on a suffrage amendment in the House. The amendment passes. The amendment fails to win the required two thirds majority in the Senate.
Michigan, South Dakota, and Oklahoma adopt woman suffrage.
President Woodrow Wilson states his support for a federal woman suffrage amendment.
President Wilson addresses the Senate about adopting woman suffrage at the end of World War I.
The Senate finally passes the Nineteenth Amendment and the ratification process begins.
August 26, 1920
Three quarters of the state legislatures ratify the Nineteenth Amendment.
American Women win full voting rights.
Watch the video: Women of Trachis by Sophocles: A Summary (July 2022).