American women have come a long way to achieve the current status they enjoy. The contemporary American woman can pride in having equal treatment like any other American citizen. However, this treatment was different especially during the pre revolutionary era in the United States. During the colonial period, men referred to women as objects of reproduction, hence women were not men’s equals. In fact, men compared pregnant women to agricultural metaphors such as flourishing, breeding, and fruitful. Women did not enjoy legal rights and especially the married class. A married woman was not considered independent in economic and political matters, as she was supposed to be dependent on her husbands in such matters and thus she was not expected to make any decisions without her husband’s word.
As time passed by, the American women became enlightened, which made them realize that they were faced with a plight that made them appear inferior to men. They learnt of values such as liberty and equality, after which they realized that something needed to be done in order to change their plight. The Revolution came with increased awareness on matters surrounding freedom and fairness, since its core cause hinged on emancipation touching on political issues.
Some women volunteered to champion the rights of their fellow women during the period of revolution. A woman like Abigail Adams advocated for the rights of women during these early times of fighting for gender equality of the American women. However, women could not be allowed to take part in the formation of the federal government, and thus the best Abigail could do was to “encourage her husband John Adams to remember the ladies when drafting the constitution” (Weil 53).
Susanna Haswell Rowson also played a key role in pioneering the equality of women in the American society. She did so by educating the American women. Through her book, Charlotte Temple Susanna Rowson, she educated women across the United States and consequently increased their literacy levels. Susanna was among the earliest American women elites who made contact with other parts of the world. As a result, they were more knowledgeable on the kind of discrimination that the American women were undergoing by then.
She was among the first women to create awareness amongst the American women concerning their plight by writing books aimed at the female audience. Such books were usually written using examples of women who were suffering in a world dominated by males due to discrimination. In fact, Susanna Rowson dedicated her book Charlotte Temple to “the many daughters of misfortune” (Weil 84).
The contemporary United States has not achieved complete gender equality. There are still areas in which women are experiencing inequity based on gender. The number of men in employment in sectors such as engineering far outnumbers that of women. Research has also shown that women are not pushing for equality as much as they did in the past. All they want is an opportunity to be allowed to pursue their careers. The anti feminists are happy about this unfolding scenario because they see that women are not concerned with pushing the issues of gender equality too far. In addition, women still consider men as the main decision makers in their homes as well as bread winners. However, it is true to say that women in the modern United States are treated in a much better way than they were treated in the 17th century.
Weil, Dorothy. In defense of women: Susanna Rowson (1762-1824), Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976. Print.