The fight for equality


When people think of the civil rights movement most think of the rights African Americans fought for. However, African Americans were not the only ones fighting for equal rights. Many other minorities including Mexicans, Asians, and Women were all fighting for rights that belonged mainly to white men. Woman fought to have more control over there lives and their bodies. Rather than be the average house wife they wanted to go out and enjoy the world as their male counterparts did. They wanted to experience casual sex and have contraceptives so they didn’t have to fear become pregnant afterwards. Other minority groups wanted the same rights as white Americans. Such as the right to vote and equal job opportunities. Despite being met with violence throughout their peaceful protests, rarely did the minority retaliate. Most groups implemented non-violence methods such as sit ins,speeches, or public displays.

The Women’s Movement was an important stride for women’s rights; however, it took away from the Civil Rights Movement. The Women’s Movement cause a fracture between men and women. Women started to leave the Civil Rights movement to join the Women’s right movement. Two women’s influenced they women’s movement with there books. They were Helen Gurley Brown (author of Sex and the Single Girl) and Betty Friedan (author of The Feminine Mystique) they both offered competing views of how to empower women. Browns view was to have women explore their sexuality and use their looks to there advantage till they fade. Friedan’s view was women never had the chance to be anything other then housewives and deserved to take part in careers, hobbies, and politics like men. They protested their gender discrimination by creating National Organization for Women (NOW) no seek equal rights in male dominated domains. Further more they would take bras, high heeled shoes, and play boy magazines put them in a trash can (To protest the Mindless Sex Object Image they represented)but never lighted it due to a local ordinance. In the end women rights improved and revived may equal rights as men. Although even today women’s rights are not 100% equal to men (i.e. wage gap) and it’s still something they strive for every day.

One of the most iconic Civil rights leaders for African Americans was Martin Luther King Jr. A Baptist minister whose view on how to obtain civil rights was though non-violent direct action. Organizations like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) took part in many nonviolent forms of protest such as the boycotting and sit ins that took place in the Birmingham campaign. However, hard battles were still fought most ending in violence against African Americans who were blasted with fire hoses and attacked by dogs. In the end African Americans got what they wanted they were given equal rights under the constitution. They gained the most, going from no rights to having many equal rights.However, like women racial minorities may have been given the right but are still discriminated by the majority.

Overall, all the groups that took a stand in the civil rights era fought long and hard to change their way of life. Each made great strides to get to where they are today and now the country is that much better than it used to be. It’s not a perfect system or prefect country; however, there are still many fighting to make everyone 100% equal under the eyes of the constitution.

Source:

Keene, Jennifer D., et al. Visions of America: a History of the United States. Pearson, 2017.

6 thoughts on “The fight for equality

  1. I like how you mentioned some women left the civil rights movement to join the fight for women’s rights. It’s sad that this has to be a choice for them. Fight for one group or another when all should be equal. I agree it is not perfect today but these people started paving the way for a better life for all.

  2. Today, in many cases the late 1900s were viewed as a time laced with Civil Rights movements. When the term Civil Rights movement comes up many people’s minds go straight to thinking that the people involved were African Americans. According to the blog post, “African Americans were not the only ones fighting for equal rights. Many other minorities including Mexicans, Asians, and Women were all fighting for rights that belonged mainly to white men.” During this time period, many women wanted to find themselves and began taking on new lines of work. In some cases, people think of the Civil Rights movement as a time of violence and protest. According to the blog post “despite being met with violence throughout their peaceful protests, rarely did the minority retaliate.”

  3. I certainly agree that people instantaneously think of the African American part of the civil rights movement whenever civil rights is mentioned. I suppose it might have been because they were the most influential with their demonstrations and protests, or perhaps there. It would be better if more people also included the women’s side, and other minorities sides, as well as the more recent LGBT side, when they hear the words “civil rights.”

  4. You are so right! A lot of time when people think of Civil Rights, they only think of African Americans and forget about the rest that were also part of it. Overall, everyone wanted to be equal to the white man. I cannot imagine living in an era where all humans, minus white men, were treated completely different! Even though today it still is far from perfect we still have came a long ways. Good post!

  5. Life wouldn’t be the same today if it weren’t for those that fought for equal rights. Who knows where we would be now if all the change didn’t occur. There were many different groups that fought for different rights and races, but they all made irreversible changes to society. There were many changes that took place, and some of these were even related to what movement a person was in. Most women had to choose between the civil rights movement or the women’s movement. Overall, there were many different groups that fought for rights, and each of them began the change that society needed.

  6. I also agree that the civil rights movement gained the most during the time era, but every group gained some sort of freedom or policy during the era. Without the influence from Martin Luther King Jr., I don’t think the civil rights movement would be where it is right now. I do feel some sort of movement would have been created, but I don’t feel it would have had such a great impact.

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