The Seneca Falls convection was the first official convection ever held in the United States (US) that later led to the development women rights. This was because they believed men and women were created equally and had rights that were considered equal and they included the right to life and the right to pursuit happiness among others. The convection was majorly recognized for advocating for women’s right to vote, and it also had other sentiments which covered a wide area, and the primary focus was the aspect of equality in every area of life such as jobs, religion, politics, and morals among others. The convection was attended by about three hundred people among them a group of men and women signed a separate list to support the movement. An important feature that was signed in as an agenda was the disfranchisement which is the revocation of right of suffrage or it can also be defined as the right to vote. This paper provides an essay providing a critical evaluation and analysis on Seneca Falls Woman’s Right Conventions with respect to its humble origin among other relevant aspects and its consideration as the most prominent event that began the women’s right movement.
In the early times following the revolution, it was suggested by the reformers that women were equal to men both intellectually and in their abilities. Local groups were formed, and they spoke in favour of abolitionism which is a movement to end slavery and legal reform which provided a platform for the women rights movement in the late 1980s. There were several arguments that were brought forward that supported the movements and these included letters from Sarah Grimke who declared that whatever was morally right for a man to do was also morally right for a woman to do. This was supported by several other sentiments.
The Seneca convection is believed to have spearheaded and brought to nationwide attention the subject on women’s right and all these efforts is attributed to the founders Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott after they witnessed American women delegates being debarred from attending the World Anti-Slavery Convention (WAC) of the basis of gender. This motivated them to organise a convention which although took quite a long time to plan; the outcome was the Seneca Falls Women Rights Convection. The trigger ignited at the Seneca Falls convention did not produce wars or revolutions but brought about a more powerful tool which was the change and empowerment of the humankind.
The place where the convention was held was especially suited for attracting an audience and more so the radical thinkers and so this also contributed to its success. The place had for a long time been a site for reforms and utopian movement which tried to work in the same spirit as other reform movements and all this can be attributed to the economic activity of the place. The audience were mostly abolitionists.
There were several arguments in which the convection was based and one of this was that all men and women were created equally. They also employed religious arguments that as intended by the Creator, woman was man’s equal. The complaints brought forward in the convection included she had no voice in the making of laws, she was denied other rights of citizenship, was declared civilly dead upon marriage, was deprived of property and wages, was discriminated against in cases of work and payment among other complaints.
There were other grievances that were not mentioned although were clearly on the mind of the participants and these included grievances such as sexual oppressions like marital rape. Abusive marriages were such kinds of topics that were later on talked about keenly and later on women were also encouraged to leave suck kinds of abusive marriages.
A lot of progress has been made in the status of women since the convention was held. The demands made by women can be grouped into two sets of needs and these include women’s rights and women’s emancipation. Women’s rights are the civil rights for example right to vote, the right to education among much more. These are the rights that are to be enjoyed by each and every citizen whether it is a man or woman. Women emancipation, on the other hand, is the freedom from oppressive limitations that are executed because of gender. They include both biological and social constraints.
Women emancipation further entails self-determination and autonomy. Self- determination is whereby one is free to decide their own destiny and to define their own social role. Autonomy, on the other hand, refers to earning one’s status and not necessarily being born into it or marrying it, and it encompasses the freedom to choose one’s interests and independences, both financial and cultural.The movement that was started at Seneca Falls later called itself the women rights movement. By the nineteenth century, the movement matured although there were still some wrangles among the advocates as several advocates became available, some concerned with the legal aspects for example legal and property rights while the other handling the social aspects for example sex reformers.
In the twentieth century, the plural word women were adopted to imply togetherness in the movement. There were however still some distinctions as the groups were divided into two. One group had their attention mainly on women’s right, specifically the civil rights while the other group began as a radical women’s liberation but was later on divided into several specific groups dealing with specific issues for example abortion rights and lesbian groupings. This however did not separate the group but however has tried to strengthen them into different constituencies.
The demands made at the Seneca Falls convection has so far been realised in the United States. Although the progress has been uneven, the demands have been partially achieved for the working class women and the women of colour. This unevenness can, for example, be observed between the infant mortality and survival rates between the whites and the African American women. Some demands like the equal right to divorce which was almost impossible in the previous years before the convection have also become possible have men and women both have equal rights right now.
There has been a lot of cultural transformation since the emergence of the women rights and this can be seen in instances where for example female police and fire personnel are usually accepted in the United States without question and are accorded the same responsibilities and trainings as their male counterparts. Women leaders are also elected freely and they have a right to vote. Other demands like the treatment of lesbians as normal people and the acceptance of single motherhood which seemed almost impossible before the revolution is now widely accepted.
The convection fulfilled its objectives because of the methods employed. They managed to achieve their demands and sentiments because of the methods that it employed in the process. Peaceful methods were employed for example peaceful reform, persuasion and education. It was one step per time process, and they had to achieve earn the gains as nothing was given to them freely. Actions like demonstrations and lobbies were tools that they employed in their mission.
The Seneca Falls can be used as an important tool today to show that a small group of people with apparently held ideals and a persuasive analysis of grievances is able to work hard together and create a transformative movement. Although it takes a long time to realize these efforts, the benefits are usually more overwhelming.
In conclusion, the grievances listed at the Seneca Falls have been dealt with or sorted although new grievances keep on coming up with each generation. Seneca Falls can therefore be considered as a long-standing myth by the United States social movement because children are taught about it and the site for the convection is also used as a national park. Men and women have also got equal representation. It is, therefore, important to note that all men and women are equal and have been endowed with certain inalienable rights such as the right to life. The Seneca Convection is therefore an important event that leads to the realization of women’s rights that are now being realized and enjoyed by all.