Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Celebrating Women's Equality Day

Tomorrow, August 26th is the anniversary of national woman suffrage. Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified as law. We at Cosimo are celebrating by reading up on women's history and learning more about suffrage and voting rights with these titles:

Mill puts forth the radical notion, one still unaccepted among many to this, that women are not inherently inferior to men but that male dominance has molded a certain kind of behavior in them, and calls for the full equality of women not only before the law but in cultural and social reality as well. Written in 1861, not published till 1869, and still not fully heeded in the early 21st century, this is must-reading for anyone striving to understand the biases and inequities of Western culture.

A Short History of Women's Rights by Eugene A. Hecker
The fight for women's rights, particularly with regards to the right to vote, made such enormous strides between 1910, when the first edition of the book was published, and 1914, when its second edition was released with an update on the effort, that within the space of those few brief years, it became almost a historical document, not a rundown of current affairs. But that second edition-of which this is a replica-remains an important document for understanding the struggle of women in the early 20th century. Its survey of older history is still significant, exploring the surprisingly liberated state of women in ancient Roman, the inferiority of women under Christian doctrine, and the condition of women's person-hood in more recently English and American eras.

A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft
One of the earliest works of protofeminist thought, this startling prescient 1792 book is the first published argument advocating for the societal elevation of women as the intellectual and emotional equals of men. Well received in its day and still an important resource for anyone wishing to understand the history of feminism, this extended essay demolishes the sexual double standard of the day, offers a rational defense for the education of girls, and demands merely that women be treated as people.

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