Ms. O’Connell’s presentation on the “Cult of Domesticity” and the history women acting in a manner that conflicts against progress towards equality or what would make sense for them was very interesting and tied into many different historical examples. Starting with the role of women in America as raising the kids of a revolution was a topic I had spoken about in many history classes, but the way it ends up being a part of American society to this day was eye opening. In the early 1900’s raising soldiers for the War and in the 60’s it is still about supporting men to be the best builders of society. Also, the contradictory nature of meeting at Seneca Falls to try to get the right to vote, then not wholly agreeing on it was startling. This concept came up in our reading and the discussion of the Equal Rights Amendment. In theory, this was the next step for equality and it would ensure women would have the rights they deserved in society, yet not all women were in support of this. As was evidenced by Steinem vs. Schlafly where a woman who saw the injustices against women was against a woman who was content and complacent with a woman’s place in society and did not want to change. This specific concept about the conflict of one group not being happy with one’s place in society and wanting to change versus a group who is happy with small progress and where they are is very reminiscent of a few things, the abolitionist movement and modern feminism.
The Abolitionist movement had a group of people who wanted to just free the slaves and that was enough change for society and that was a small change, and it would be enough. But, there was another group with leaders like William Lloyd Garrison who said that those who only wanted to free the slaves should be ashamed, because they should give them every right. Garrison would fall under Steinem and the other group would be Schlafly. In modern feminism, the group who wants an abundance of change is the Third Wave Feminists on college campuses who fight for every right and injustice even if it is minor, with political correctness and things of that nature. Then, the group who wants little change, is happy with current status, or wants no change is the group who says that American women have it better than most and they should fight for Muslim women under Sharia law are the Schlafly women, as she even argued the same point that American women have it great compared to most.