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Perceptions of Womens Rights - Case Study Example

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The paper 'Perceptions of Women’s Rights' presents history which has taken notice of the women who helped shape it.  Until the past 20 years or so, women such as Abigail Smith Adams were often thought of simply as the wife of John Adams, second president of the United States…
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Perceptions of Womens Rights
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Download file to see previous pages As the colonies were making their break away from England, Abigail pushed for women to break with their traditional roles in the home and gain access to the education and legal means of providing for themselves. She did this by arguing women’s current restrictions in society were limiting their ability to fulfill their God-appointed tasks of seeing to the spiritual and moral well-being of the country. Started by Abigail, this argument built through the years to eventually bring about much of the types of change Abigail had in mind. This can be traced throughout her life and as echoes of her ideas are found in future women’s activists.
During Abigail’s lifetime, only relatively few girls were taught to read. “In colonial times, formal learning had a low priority. Girls’ education typically took place at home, where they learned to perform household tasks and, occasionally, to read.” (Woloch, 2007). This is not to say that girls nationwide did not have access to any education. Many were taught to read as it was considered an important skill in the instruction of young children and reading from the Bible. This was the category of women Abigail fell into. While she did not attend school, growing up in a minister’s household enabled the intelligent and curious Abigail the ability to read and to learn according to her own wide interests and thus educate herself. Some very few girls were also permitted to attend the master’s schools for boys when and if there was room, which typically meant during the summer when the boys were out working (Comptons, 1995). When higher education was available, though, most women were offered selections of ‘accomplishments’ such as drawing, enameling, and fancy needlework rather than the practical, academic courses offered to boys that would enable women to obtain a profession outside of the home. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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