The Handmaid's Tail Essay

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The Equal Rights Amendment and the Struggle for Women’s Rights The American women’s rights movement has come a long way in the last century. This branch of the civil rights movement worked towards achieving equality for women in various areas over the years, from voting to abortion. One of the goals of the movement since the beginning of the 20th century has been the addition of an amendment to the constitution protecting citizens from gender discrimination. This proposed amendment, commonly referred to as the equal rights amendment, is representative of both the success of the women’s rights movement and the conflict between conservative and liberal feminists.
The origins of the push for an equal rights amendment go back to the women’s suffrage movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Most American women of the nineteenth century didn’t want to be equal to men. They believed in the traditional gender roles and family structure, where the husband worked to support his family, and the wife was in charge of domestic affairs, such as cooking, cleaning, and raising the children. The early women’s movements for voting rights and temperance were parallel to this idea of the woman’s role in society, as they were intended to give women more control over household affairs such as …show more content…

The views of the society in the book reflect the ideas of conservatives who felt that maintaining traditional roles for women was more important than having equal rights. The character of Serena Joy in the Handmaid’s tail mirrors Phyllis Schlafly, who campaigned against the ERA, hypocritically arguing that women belonged at home taking care of household matters. The ideas of the ERA are contrasted by Atwood’s description of a society where women have are barely considered people, and the book warns of a future where women don’t have equal

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