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Feminism, Equality and Contemporary Interpretation

Southerners and the Ideology of Domesticity

Despite the fact that the issues associated with women’s rights, as well as the prerequisites for the development of a gender equality concept, were on the agenda of the social life of the 19th-century America, the ideology of domesticity slackened the path of the progress significantly. By definition, the concept of domesticity implied that women’s societal roles were restricted to a very rigid set that did not involve the participation in the social, political, or economic life of the state and implied mostly chores and childbearing (Hollitz 259). The identified tendencies were especially strong in the South seeing that the Southern philosophy served as the foundation for the domesticity principles since the latter were “articulated by the South” (Hollitz 261).On the one hand, the concept of domesticity had an evidently negative effect on the social progress, preventing women from fighting for their rights. On the other hand, because of the scale of the social changes that could be witnessed at the time, the philosophy of domesticity became obsolete and ridiculous. Thus, it could be argued that the reinforcement of domesticity could have spurred a social change.

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Declaration of Sentiments: What Stood out

While the Declaration of Sentiments itself as a legal document was an incredible achievement in the battle for equality, there are a few things that make it truly significant. It is remarkable that the regulation focused on providing women with legal rights in every domain, including not only social but also political, economic, and financial aspects of life. However, when it comes to pointing at the issues that are especially outstanding, one must address the effects that the declaration has had on religion in the American society. While previously, the religious perspective allowed viewing women as inferior to men, the declaration created prerequisites for promoting equality in Christian communities as well. Despite the fact that religious beliefs are often very rigid and hardly changeable, the Declaration of Sentiments made it possible to introduce the principles of equality even in the identified domain of people’s lives, therefore, making a spiritual embodiment of equality a possibility. As a result, women gained advantages in the Christian community as well (Stanton 1).

The Videos: What Stood out

Although the narration by Miller, Brinkley, and Masur addresses social issues occurring during the Civil war, whereas that Emma Watson mentions current gender issues in her speech, the two videos render the same issue of social justice and make a similar impression on their audiences. Nevertheless, each of the videos has its own charm and unique moments. For instance, Miller, Brinkley, and Masur’s narration allows viewing the gender conflict as a part of the social struggle that engulfed America at the time. Therefore, the magnitude of the changes that could be witnessed in the American society becomes all the more impressive. The incorporation of the social, economic, religious, technological, and political factors into the analysis makes it very compelling: “every battle counts towards social policy” (Miller et al. 00:00:45). Emma Watson’s performance, in its turn, revolves around the issue of gender equality and social justice, i.e., “social, economic, and political equality of the sexes” (Watson 00:03:07-00:03:10). Emotional and convincing, it also strives to advocate for the rights of people all over the world, no matter what their gender, age, or religion is. Therefore, both videos should be deemed as essential in developing an understanding of social changes and the driving forces behind them.

Works Cited

Hollitz, John. Thinking Through the Past. Vol. 1. Cengage Learning, 2014.

Miller, Donald L., et al. “Program 11: The Civil War/Vicksburg.”, 2000. Web.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. Declaration of Sentiments. Seneca Falls Convention, 1848.

Watson, Emma. “Emma Watson UN Speech.” YouTube, 2014. Web.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Feminism, Equality and Contemporary Interpretation." December 20, 2020.


StudyCorgi. "Feminism, Equality and Contemporary Interpretation." December 20, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Feminism, Equality and Contemporary Interpretation." December 20, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Feminism, Equality and Contemporary Interpretation'. 20 December.

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