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The Declaration Of Sentiments V. Now’s Statement Of Purpose Essay, Research Paper

The Declaration of Sentiments and NOW

Both the Declaration of Sentiments and the National Organization for Women s Statement of Purpose are documents that represent women s fight for equality with men. The DOS, the first wave s list of demands for quality, came from radical women who did not have a voice within society while the Statement of Purpose shows the second wave s plan for the fight against discrimination.

In the Declaration of Sentiments, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the author, wrote women deserve their most sacred rights and privileges as citizens of the United States. The DOS concentrated on injustices caused by the legal status of women. Among these injustices included the fact that women were forced to obey laws made by men. They had no representation within the government and did not have the right to vote. Also, when married, a woman promised her obedience to her husband, making her his master. Furthermore, it the laws regarding property, custody, and divorce were unfair to women. In order to better their second-class citizenry, the Declaration of Sentiments was backed with the statement: We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and National legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press on our behalf. However, without the right to vote, their voices had no real impact. Since they could not elect

government officials, politicians did not listen to their complaints. Had they the right to vote women could have elected those who supported the fight against the subordination of women.

When the second wave came, the laws regarding women changed in their favor. However, the reforms did not bring about societal changes. NOW was organized in order to stop all the abstract arguments and work on concrete actions. NOW s Statement of Purpose declared its position of women in society, which is equality with men. Their demands had substance, because they had the right to vote. With this power, politicians had to listen. The women of the first wave had to write petitions and lobby for change. However, with the vote, NOW had more influence to make reforms.NOW was formed in order to enable women to participate in mainstream American society and exercise all the privileges and responsibilities in equal partnership with men. Their goals were to urge women to take part in political, economic, and social life. They organized to abolish discrimination in government, industry, and all other aspects of society.

Compared to the Declaration of Sentiments, NOW concentrated on reforming different aspects of society other than what was just on the law books. NOW listed their views on issues pertaining to women such as abolishing the special status women were given in society. Also, it rejected the idea of the woman s place is in the home. The submission of women by men as a wife, mother, needs to be abolished. It views marriage as a true partnership and should share the burdens equally. Furthermore, they demanded to be represented fairly in politics.

Both the Declaration of Sentiments and NOW s Statement of Purpose focused on gaining equality with men. The DOS focused on changing legal actions while the NOW used those legal changes to reform society s view of women. The first wave s accomplishments, such as gaining the right to vote, enabled NOW to use their influence

they gained to abolish women s dependence of men and sexual discrimination.


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