the long road to equal rights
To glance at the timeline of the Women’s Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement is to see paths that diverge and connect in large and small ways throughout history. As their predecessors were in the early days of the Abolitionist Movement, Women’s Rights activists of the 20th century were largely inspired by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, including activist Bobby Francis. For many, it was the starkness of inequality and inequity highlighted by the Civil Rights Movement that made clear exactly how few protections women still had at work, in the home, and in the world at large. “[It’s] the feeling of what’s fair and not fair, especially in a country that purports to believe in justice and equal rights under the law,” Because women have been waging wars for the right to live their lives since the beginning of civilization, not in isolation, not without backward movement, not without their own internalized discrimination, but a war nonetheless. It is entwined with the Abolitionist and Civil Rights Movements, the Gay Rights Movement, Prohibition, the economy and advances in sciences, industry, art and literature. A timeline for the Women’s Rights Movement is not, in fact, a timeline for the Women’s Right Movement at all. It is simply history.-R. S.