Timeline of the Women's History Project
Worcester Women's History Project
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice?
The women's rights movement had a strong start with the first national Women's Conference. This conference was held in 1850 in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Women's Rights Conference has been held for the past 150 years since it began in 1850. The conference allowed women to gather together to discuss their treatment in society. At that time, women were treated unfairly because it was believed that women were unequal in ability and intelligence to men. In fact, women were not even allowed to speak in public, so can you imagine the risk they took in holding this conference?
Women were not just involved in the women's rights movement. They also made big contributions to the anti-slavery movement. The women were brave and made many sacrifices. They continued to fight for what they believed even though they were threatened and discouraged. These women were considered to be ahead of their time and had little support from their families and communities.
One of the trekkers, Kevin Chambers, attended this year's Women's Conference. He was impressed by the play featured at the conference called Angels and Infidels. This play is about the beginning of the Women's Rights movement. One of the key characters in the play was Lucy Stone. She was the national leader in the woman's rights movement. She refused to change her last name after she got married which was unbelievably bold at the time. Lucy attended Oberlin College in Ohio during a time when women did not attend college. Lucy Stone defied the belief that women could not become public speakers and became one of the organizers of the Women's Conference. Another key character was Sojourner Truth, who was a crusader against slavery and a traveling preacher and author. During the first Women's Conference she gave a spirited speech that highlighted the inequality faced by black women.
Today we can see many successful and independent women. We can find them in the women closest to us and in the women we see on television and read about. These women owe their opportunity to study, work and travel to the brave women that organized the Women's Conference so many years ago, and to the women that continue to support women's rights today.
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Links to Other Dispatches
Rebecca - Get out of the kitchen! It's time for equal rights! Or is it?
Teddy - Astronauts, judges, senators, truck drivers, TV producers - women rock!
Daphne - Stirring the cauldron of equality
Rebecca - What's got 7 layers of clothes and a broken ribs?