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Struggle for Womens Vote - Essay Example

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Summary
There were two faces to the 20th century, which is remembered as the era of unprecedented innovation, transition and change. One side of that era had been variously called the Jazz Age, 1 Roaring Twenties, the Gay Twenties, which all referred to the phenomenon of the young casting aside their parents' values and living their lives in new and more daring ways…
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Struggle for Womens Vote
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Struggle for Womens Vote

Download file to see previous pages... P. 15, John Smart (2001). "20th Century British Drama," Cambridge University Press,UK.
The other side of that era had come to be known as the Great Depression in the US. This was brought on by the Wall Street crash of 1929 which swept the world's financial markets. P. 17 As economic conditions deteriorated, coal
mine owners reduced miners wages to trigger a massive strike of coal miners. In England, the Labour Party itself and the Trade Union Congress joined 4 million workers in supporting the widespread protest of miners. Hunger marches were later held in London and elsewhere.
While the world economy went into a tailspin, a crisis of ideology came along with it. Many begun to doubt the capability of capitalism, already found difficult to defend morally as it were, to deliver jobs and prosperity. Many thinkers saw in the crisis the fulfillment of Marx's ideas that capitalism was doomed. They began to look at communism as one that offered a fairer and more efficient system.
Against this backdrop of unfilled needs and prevailing mood for protest, women picked up the fight for suffrage with greater determination and, after a long and hard struggle, won it. "The developing sense of women's rights and their roles in society is a major theme of the 20th century" Smart,p.8 The protest movement began and ended in Britain such that the coining of the term
"suffragette" was attributed to London's Daily Mail. Ruth Rasnic (2006) "The 20th Century - The Century That Made an Impact," Jewish Women International, Vol. 1, Issue 5. It was coined in a derisive vein, which reflected the general attitude towards the movement.

Why - Reasons for the protest

As far back as the Edwardian era in the 19th century British women had rebelled against their condition as the largest underclass of that time. P.7, Smart. The more educated women became, the sharper their awareness grew on the discrimination they had suffered in a male-dominated world. This was among the topics taken up by the "Blue Stocking" ladies in England, who had counterparts in the US, France and other countries in Europe, as they gathered regularly for tea and literary, intellectual or entertainment discussions.

Ruth Rasnic (2006) believes schooled women actually begun to vocalize their concern over their stifled rights during that era. Calmly at first, they started calling attention to the fact that for so long, women had been relegated to an inferior position in all cultures, societies and religions. By tradition, the man was lord and master for women to love, honor and obey. Women are given away in marriage, sold on dowry like cattle. Only the husband can divorce his wife and never the other way around. In some cultures, women cannot choose their spouses and female castration was a popular custom. In China, women were subjected to "foot-binding" as girls so that they would be controlled by men in their lifetime.3

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3 In this custom, the girls' feet are bound in cement in childhood to make movement painful.
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