Friday, January 30, 2015

Women are Warriors

In the mid 19th century people had many tough and some unrealistic expectations for women. Luckily, today in the society of the 21st century the expectations for women aren't not as intense. Though, there is still inequality between men and women, the work women did in the 19th century to gain equality has greatly impacted the rights women do have today.

“The Sphere of Woman” illustration from Godey's 
Lady's Book, March 1850 Found at: http:// whw/workshop/ 
Women had one main job in the 1800's and that was to stay at home to raise children and maintain the house. As many people know, this is not an easy task for one woman to handle all by herself. It was expected that the mother kept a quiet and relaxed home environment while she made and cleaned clothes, bared children, fixed things, cooked and cleaned. All of that had to be done in a private manner. And on top of it all, in the 19th century, as described in The Rights of Women: Laws and Practices, from the Seneca Falls Convention women could not own property, sign contracts, vote, or even claim custody over their children in the event that her spouse died. It was considered improper for women to speak in public, both verbally and in written word, therefore when women joined together at events such as the Seneca Falls convention is was rather outrageous. Women had never had a say in anything before, and all these women came together to share their opinions about equality. With hard work and dedication these women made a difference for themselves and all generations of women to come.

Today, women have many more rights than they did in the 19th century. Women can vote and speak publicly. Women can own property, sign contracts, and hold custody of their children. Women we call feminists, are still fighting for more equality. It is common for women to be degraded when in comparison to a man, and men are often praised while women are being put down for doing the same task. This video is a great representation of this in today's society. In comparison to conditions and expectations for women in the 1800's, women today have it easy!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Self Reliant Sourcing

“There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a transcendentalist in the mid 19th century. He wrote "Self-Reliance" to teach people about the transcendental idea of self-reliance. Emerson wrote the essay about his beliefs during the mid 19th century. We know this is a trustworthy source because it was written during the early transcendentalism movement by a transcendentalist himself. Ideas of the Mexican and Indian War and the end of slavery were brewing at the time this essay was written. Emerson, being against slavery and war, wanted people to think for themselves, and stand up for moral decisions. This document teaches us that Transcendentalists wanted to instill trust in oneself, and personal belief. We are limited to seeing the whole of Transcendentalism by this excerpt because there were other main ideas of Transcendentalism that can be found in writings by Henry David Thoreau. Transcendentalists also believed in simple living and living deliberately. Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that everyone should accept themselves for who they are, not copy or be jealous of the lives of others. In this excerpt he states, "... envy is ignorance... imitation is suicide... he must take himself  for better, for worse, as his portion." Emerson uses powerful metaphors to persuade the readers to believe his ideas. 
  • Waldo Emerson, Ralph. "Self-Reliance Quotes." By Ralph Waldo Emerson. Accessed January 9, 2015.