The 1964 Civil Rights Act

The 1964 Civil Rights Act
"We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" (Eisenberg, B. & Ruthsdotter, M). You may recognize the words from the Declaration of Independence; these words were also used by Elizabeth Cady Stanton as she drafted the Declaration of Sentiments that further outlined how women were downgraded and discriminated against.   Imagine yourself, a woman living in the 1950’s before the second wave of the Women’s Rights Movement. According to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a famous Women’s Rights leader:
Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law
Women were not allowed to vote
Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
Married women had no property rights
Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity
Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women
Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes
Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned
Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law
Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students
With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church
Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men                                                     -Eisenberg, B. & Ruthsdotter, M
In the 1950’s women were expected to be homemakers and those who chose to work were considered to be selfish. You were expected to marry young, have multiple children, wait on your husband hand and foot, cook, clean, and...