Feminism In The Progressive Era

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The Progressive Era, lasting from about 1890 to 1920, was a period of social reform and adaptation to the new technologies and advancements of the Gilded Age. With the increase of railroads and other means of transportation, people in the Progressive Era had access to more goods and information than ever before. Society was adapting to new industries that required less man power and more machine power, and domestic life was no different. The technologies introduced into the homes of white middle-class women meant that the workload they adopted was much lighter. Women of this era arguably felt some of the most significant changes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. With more leisure time and less household responsibilities, many…show more content…
The social activism of the Progressive Era gave rise to the birth of the feminist movement and the idea of a “new woman” who could manage both domestic responsibilities and pursue other career-related and leisurely activities independent of her husband and…show more content…
Many women who were considered feminists in this era were also supporters of Jim Crow laws and believed that African Americans were part of society’s problems. Feminism throughout this time period was also exclusive to women of the middle-class because workingwomen and poor women did not have the luxury of technology and worked out of necessity rather than for autonomy. Another issue with this part of the movement was that once a woman had children, she was no longer considered worthy of the rights she had while she was unmarried and childless (Nolan, 370). The birth of the feminist movement in the progressive era paved the way for tackling complex women’s issues into the 1930s. Securing basic rights such as the right to work, vote, and participate in the public sphere were the essential goals of this generation. The early feminist movement ended with the 19th amendment and new issues of equal pay, birth control, and equal treatment were the introduced in the mid-twentieth century. Despite their downfalls, “…this generation of women… led the way in demanding that white women be treated differently than they had in the past” (Burge,
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