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Gender and Equality

Selected and introduced by Sarah A. Morgan Smith


This collection of documents continues the Ashbrook Center’s extended series of document collections covering major periods, themes, and institutions in American history and government. It is the second volume in the series to focus specifically on the history of women in the United States. Gender and Equality is focused on the contested meaning of gender equality, examining that question in the realms of home, education, work, and participation in civic and political affairs. Then too, the collection considers the additional complication of race, both before and after emancipation. Indeed, one of the most powerful themes of the collection is the intersection of race and gender in the lives of women, and the sometimes conflicting demands each placed on the practical application of the principle of equality. 


Table of Contents

Documents Include:

  • Judith Sargent Murray, “On the Equality of the Sexes,” 1790
  • Lowell Factory Girls Association, Constitution, 1836
  • Sarah G. Bagley, “The Ten Hour System,” 1845
  • Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell, Marriage Protest, 1855
  • Elizabeth Packard, Marital Power Exemplified … , 1870
  • Clara Foltz, “Should Women Be Executed?,” 1896
  • Margaret Sanger, “Voluntary Motherhood,” 1917
  • Mary Church Terrell, “The Black Mammy Monument,” 1923
  • Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1963
  • Shirley Chisholm, “For the Equal Rights Amendment,” 1970
  • Sonia Sotomayor, “A Latina Judge’s Voice,” 2001
  • Phyllis Schlafly, “‘Equal Rights’ for Women: Wrong Then, Wrong Now,” 2007
  • Joseph Biden and Barack Obama, Remarks at the Signing of the Violence against Women Act, 2013