What rendered modern women's rights possible?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,692
Florania
Most (if not all) women and girls will welcome the current relative equality between the sexes; they can aspire to be almost any people they want to be.
Even during the early twentieth century, this was hardly possible. Mary Wollstonecraft might have opened the literary and ideological door; then, it would
take until the Post WWII era for realization of such rights.
During my childhood, sexism persisted to a degree; we assumed mothers to be housewives at that point.
Today, two income families are the norm.
What happened during the 20th century that raised women's rights unprecedentedly?
What increased women's rights even further during the later half of twentieth century? We can still stay within the 1991 cutoff line.
 
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Jun 2017
547
maine
Assuming that you mean in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand and limiting consideration to the 20th century, I'd say that it was women's suffrage (which was instrumental in bringing about universal male suffrage in Britain). The development was further fueled by the two world wars during which women had to assume a greater war. Economics was largely behind the rise of the 2-income family: as women played a greater role in the paid workplace, costs rose to meet the amount of money available.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,458
SoCal
Assuming that you mean in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand and limiting consideration to the 20th century, I'd say that it was women's suffrage (which was instrumental in bringing about universal male suffrage in Britain). The development was further fueled by the two world wars during which women had to assume a greater war. Economics was largely behind the rise of the 2-income family: as women played a greater role in the paid workplace, costs rose to meet the amount of money available.
Agreed with this. Also, I've heard a theory that women in the Western US got their suffrage first due to the fact that the shortage of people in the Western US often required women to do farm work and thus allowed women to be seen by men as their equals earlier on than in the Eastern US.
 
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Nov 2013
726
Texas
Most (if not all) women and girls will welcome the current relative equality between the sexes; they can aspire to be almost any people they want to be.
Even during the early twentieth century, this was hardly possible. Mary Wollstonecraft might have opened the literary and ideological door; then, it would
take until the Post WWII era for realization of such rights.
During my childhood, sexism persisted to a degree; we assumed mothers to be housewives at that point.
Today, two income families are the norm.
What happened during the 20th century that raised women's rights unprecedentedly?
What increased women's rights even further during the later half of twentieth century? We can still stay within the 1991 cutoff line.
Birth control, western society being structurted pretty different during the cold war than it was prior; overzealous concern with the proper treatment of women and equality in general. Just a few guesses.

I also wonder if zeitgeist plays a role (some generations just happen to be more keen on women's rights than others), or that part of it is there will always be sexism, just different types of it.
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,832
If you generally have a process in society where citizenship, civic rights, suffrage etc. is being expanded – at some point half of humanity will enter the discussion for inclusion.
 

GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,478
Wirral
In addition to the above - changes in the type of work - far fewer jobs that required physical strength.
 
Jun 2017
547
maine
Birth control, western society being structurted pretty different during the cold war than it was prior; overzealous concern with the proper treatment of women and equality in general. Just a few guesses.

I also wonder if zeitgeist plays a role (some generations just happen to be more keen on women's rights than others), or that part of it is there will always be sexism, just different types of it.
While not wishing to break out of the constraints of the 20th century, I point out how old the development of women's rights is. In its organized form, women's suffrage dates back before the Civil War. Usually developments don't just spring forth: they have roots and precursors. History sometimes is more of a snowball than a linear progression.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,630
Dispargum
Increasing social investment in education during the 19th century. When there were few teachers and schools available the tendency was to educate only boys. As more teachers were trained and schools were built girls started going to school. An early argument in support was female education was that educated women would be better wives and mothers, but of course, it didn't stop there. Educated women started to work outside of the home, they learned about and practiced birth control, etc.

Female suffrage was linked to the government's growing influence in everyday life. When the government's role was limited to national defense, delivering the mail, enforcing the laws, and providing a stable currency, these were all masculine activities. Women had little interest in these activities or so was the assumption so there was no need for women to vote. But when the government started mandating education for all children, that's when women had to be allowed into the democratic process. Society could not tell mothers how to raise their children while denying those mothers a voice in how those laws were made.

The experience of WW2, when women were encouraged to work in factories while so many young men were in the military, demonstrated that women could do most jobs. The invention of so many household appliances freed women from domestic chores. The increasing use of birth control reduced the number of years that each woman spent in childcare. Many women entered the workforce after 1970 because they were bored - they no longer had housework and childcare responsibilities to occupy their time. Stagnating wages after 1980 also necessitated two household incomes. By then the economy had grown to the point that there were too many jobs available to be filled by just the men in society.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,257
Sydney
The right to vote , absolutely !
and a sense of fairness from the men ,
they fought , suffered and died for centuries fighting for their voices to count
denying it to women didn't seems right somehow