Minorities in America Series: Women in America: Early Industrial Era Through Women's Suffrage
Date: June 2006
Duration: 0 hours 56 minutes
Expanded role of women. End of the Civil War sets the stage for 19th century industrialization. Need for factory labor force. New immigrants from east and south Europe include low skilled Catholics and Jews. In Italian families women kept at home but may do piece work at home. Jewish women go out in the workforce in the needle trades but work under abominable conditions. The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire is a tragic example. Immigration dominated by men, have negative attitude toward women in the workforce. Unions. Women become active in unions, and rise from the ranks. New occupations open to women including clerical work and sales in department stores, secretarial work. Upper class women remain at home, may be better educated, form their own social organizations. Black women work as domestics. (10.31.00) = Birth control and the issue of women's control of their bodies in the early 20t century. Upper class women decrease number of their children to four Margaret Singer's role in promoting birth control. There is also a dark side to this because of attitude of wanting to limit children of lower class women who are considered inferior. The Eugenics Movement. (14.21.00) = Women's Voting Rights. The states' rights approach. Some states allow women to vote in state and local elections, state by state, west of the Mississippi. Women's Rights Amendment to the constitution passes after President Wilson's wife prods him to support it. Following this, the alliance between classes and racial groups supporting women's rights breaks down. (2111.00) = African-American Women are the heroic family wage earners doing domestic work for white families and double duty caring for their own family. Black men remain largely unemployed in face of discrimination. (23.44.00) = Farm Women live a very difficult and lonely life. They lack education and are unable to improve their lives. (28.55.00) = Religion. The official churches are run by men. Long history of religious revival movements to return to core values. The Great Awakening. These movements have greater emotional content. Some women take leadership roles, an access to a kind of power. Men accept the inferiority of women who are believed to be emotional and irrational, unlike themselves (31.56.00) = Impact oSlavery on Women. While social attitudes hold that their women have no sexual urge, exist just for procreation. Slave masters often force sex on slave women as an outlet for their own sex urges, with no social stigma. White women find black men to satisfy their own sexual urges, placing both in danger. Slave marriages performed by jumping over a broom, and are respected as monogamous. (40.13.00) = 19th Century. Some Occuptions Open, including elementary school teaching, later secondary school. Status of education declines when women dominate. Clerical and secretary work also decline in status. (44.59.00) = Issues of the Women's Rights Movement. Divorce, its access, who will have the children in divorce. Contracts, citizens rights, the right to vote. Some issues are highly controversial and are not opened publically. This includes abortion, and infanticide by usually desperate women in poverty. Number one issue is the right to vote. Ideals of the Constitution are invoked, women not to be excluded. Another argument is that it will result in better political action. After the Civil War the 15th Amendment is passed which gives black males the right to vote but excludes all women. This is a devastating disappointment for the Woman's Rights Movement. Often anger is directed to black males. Women remain excluded from the right to vote for many decades. (47.38.00) = The Temperance Movement. Record of failure in American history, including Prohibition in the 1920s. Negative image of women in temperance movement marching down the street smashing liquor bottles. The meaning for women is the family dire circumstances from the man's drinking his wages, or drinking and abusing his wife.