What has been difficult about using these sources to answer your research question?

Assignment 2: Thinking Critically About Your Historical Topic

Ashanti Hardy


Professor Leslie Ruff

May 16, 2021



Step 1: Knowledge


Research question: What lessons from women’s struggles for equality in the past can help inform current and future women’s rights issues?


What are some focused questions that will help you find the information you need in your sources?

· What various struggles women went through in 1800’s and early 1900 to attain some equalities that women enjoy currently for instance voting right?

· Why is it that some female behaviors that were noted in 1890s recurring in the present times with the millennials and what does this means to women equality in the present and future?

· What are some of the challenges that women faced during women equality struggle and what were the results of the challenges?

· How was female equality issue handled and presented in the political arena to attain the current equality being enjoyed by women?


Step 2: Comprehension


What have you learned from your primary sources about the historical challenges or social changes that relate to your research question?

The two selected primary sources share important information about the challenges and social changes that took place between 1800s and early 1900s. The articles bear live speeches given by two great women that were in the front line to attain female equality. It might seem like the movements would only impact America since this is the country that the actions against female inequalities were intense. The reality is that the actions and boldness of the movement during that time made a global impact. Nevertheless, the two sources shares critical historical challenges as well as social changes that are important to learn. One of the important lessons learned is that women struggle for women’s right was a demanding journey that caused torment and a lot of personal challenges to those directly involved. For instance in the article by Anthony Susan, (1873); she took the bold step of voting which was an illegal act for women at the time and action that made her to be charged in court and be fines approximately $100. Being taken through the justice system is a demanding task especially for women who are also mothers and this means forsaking their comfort zone for the same of others. The second important lesson is that women were being mistreated because they were not allowed to air their views on political and social issues. They were not considered like they were part of the society and in most cases could be treated like outcasts. Thirdly, in the article by Shirley Chisholm, there is an important lesson being learned that in the in the 1800s and early 1900s, women would not be allowed to handle higher ranking and well-paying jobs. They would only be allowed to handle typing jobs and other menial jobs like being librarians, secretaries, and teachers. According to the speech, the women were denied a chance to earn decent earning through which they could improve their lives.


What have you learned from your primary sources about how these challenges were addressed by society or how these changes affected society?

From the primary sources, it is evident that the historical challenges that women could face while fighting for women rights are being addressed by the society. It is a fact that from the bold moves that women would make from the challenges they faced, a lot has changed making the life of women better across the globe. From the fact that many women were exposed to a lot of dangers including being jailed and other life hardships, these issues were addressed in parliament and other political gatherings. It is a good thing that constant talking about female inequalities opened a lot of people eyes and this made the movement supporters and activists to increase in number. The government also started amending the constitution and replacing some clauses that could discriminate against women to clauses that could treat all people equally. Secondly, the issues were addressed such that unlike the early days when some of these issues could not be addressed in pubic, it was allowed that any person can speak about issues affecting women without intimidation from men. This action has affected the society positively because it has become a norm for women to engage men and desire to learn from them why gender inequality has been promoted and maintained for long. As a matter of reality, the constant engagements are said to have made men a part of solution development that currently women across the globe enjoys with the case expected to get better in the future.


How does the information you learned from your primary sources connect to the current issues mentioned in your research question?

In this case, the research question states “What lessons from women’s struggles for equality in the past can help inform current and future women’s rights issues?” The selected primary sources connect with the lessons from women’s struggles for equality in the sense that they clearly communicate a message uttered in person by some of female activists that fought for women rights. for instance, the articles through the words uttered in both speeches demonstrates all the challenges women were going through at the time and expresses how women felt about these challenges. hence, it is up to the modern day women to review the speeches and other sources addressing the issue to understand historical injustices they were exposed to, analyze current situations, and work towards making sure they do not get back to the past situation but rather towards making their position better in the society.


What are some pieces of evidence (like facts or examples) from your secondary sources that support what you’ve learned from your primary sources?

From the secondary sources, an important lesson learned is that even the women had to change their behavior so as to change with time. As proven by Linda Simon’s article; the women had to change a lot in terms of their behaviors as a way of embracing social change to show how ready they were from women equality. The secondary source also communicates an important message that the attainment of women equality did not come without challenges for instance being treated unjustly but women had to remain focus and ignore the obstacles.


What evidence (like facts, data, or examples) is missing from your secondary sources—what else would you still like to learn about your topic that these sources didn’t tell you?

From the flappers secondary source, the total behavior in women had been at first rebuked and used against women and why they should not been granted the equality they were fighting for. Nevertheless, the persistent is making use of free personal decisions without fear of intimidation was addressed first by older women and gradually by men where female liberty to determine how and where she will leave was purely left on individuals


Step 3: Application


What connections or similarities do you see among your sources? Consider aspects like their time period, the type of information they contain, and the perspective they offer on events.

The four selected articles despite some falling under the primary and others secondary categories have some connections. The information in the articles complements each other and hence they are narrating the history that women movements went through to attain the current women equality and rights that women enjoy across the world. Though written from different perspectives, all the articles handle the same issue from the specific direction that the author has chosen of focusing. For instance, the Constitutional Rights Foundation 2004 article lays a perfect foundation and history of all the moves female activists engaged in from 1800 to early 1900. The article mentions individuals’ names and the role they played in attaining women right to vote. The article by Linda Simon on “The Flappers Took the Country by Storm, but Did They Ever Truly Go Away” addresses the issue of women rights from the specific actions that women in the society started to embrace when the activists were fighting for women rights. The article connected with the other sources because it demonstrates how women in the society started embracing the change that was being fought for first by dressing the way they wanted and not the way they could initially get dictated to dress. The speech by Shirley Chisholm on “Equal Rights for Women” (1969) shares specific and clear challenges that women at the time were facing. In this article, the speaker states specific reasons to the House of Representatives why it was necessary for the women to fight for equality as they were discriminated in all aspects of life for instance, employment, owning properties, voting, mode of dressing, and roles in the family as well as society. Lastly, the speech by Susan Anthony directly connects with the Constitutional Rights Foundation by showing some of the challenges women went through in efforts to attain voting rights. In this article, the author shares personal painful experience on voting and how she had to remain bold and strong on her stand in order to make the necessary impact. All the articles feature period from 1800s to the early 1900s


What discrepancies or differences do you see among your sources? Think critically. Are their perspectives different? Do they offer different explanations about how or why something happened? Do any of your sources disagree with each other?

There are some notable differences that can be noted in the selected sources first from the perspectives in which the articles are written from. For instance, the Constitutional Rights Foundation addresses the issue from specific actions taken by women from 1800s to early 1900s. The article only deals with the issue of voting rights. The article by Linda addresses the issue from some wayward moves that some young women started embracing that are even said to have shocked the older women. The article hence shows how women depending on their ages viewed and handled freedom. The speech by Shirley addresses the specific challenges that women would face focusing in general life. For instance she could mention how women only handle menial jobs like secretary and front office jobs while men get to take the major and corporate jobs. She could also mention how women are not considered important as they are denied chances to speak while such opportunities are granted to men. The article by Susan addresses the issue of voting right and the difference is that in the article, she shares a personal encounter and how she handled the situation. The speech sounds more of a motivational or inspirational to the women of the time to maintain their stand.


Step 4: Analysis


In your own words, describe your strongest evidence. Which pieces of information from your sources are most helpful for answering your research question?

In this research, the main idea was to determine the lessons learned from the women struggles for equality in the past that can help in informing the current and future women rights issues. From the four selected sources with two being primary sources and two secondary sources, there is a lot of information that has come as very helpful in answering the research question. In the Constitutional Rights Foundation (2004) there is important information on the specific things that women in the past did to attain equality in the line of voting. According to the information shared, initially women could not vote and the source narrates specific actions that women in the past undertook as individuals and other times as groups to compel the government to grant them the right to vote. The information is very helpful because it provide tips to women on how to handle an issue they need equality currently or in the future. It is a source that shows the power of women as individuals and as a group as well as the power of being committed and focused to the course irrespective of the challenges.


In your own words, describe your weakest evidence. Which pieces of information from your sources don’t connect as easily to your research question?

The information in the source by Linda Simon has important information but does not easily connect with the research question. The author addresses some of the absurd actions that women in the past started engaging in while other were fighting for women equality. For instance, the change in dress code and overall individual behaviors are described. The issue of flapping does not clear show how and what women should learn such that in the case female inequality current and in the future might occur it can come in to address the situation. The more reason is that the information in the source shows some sort of confusion that women in the past that were fighting for equality could not understand why the flapper did what they did.


What has been difficult about using these sources to answer your research question?

As a matter of reality, the three sources with most helpful information has not been difficult to use since the information is clear and precise. The information shares all the things women in the past went through and hence easily answers the research question. The three sources as a matter of reality shares a lot of lessons that women ought to learn and the good thing is that the lesson can be applied on an individual levels and group level proving that actions can be taken by women at any time and level in life.


Step 5: Synthesis


Summarize your argument.

Women in the past faced a lot of discrimination challenges for instance being denied a chance to get educated, employed to hold good positions, voting, owning properties, and speaking out publicly. Massive efforts were put in place by women as they suffered from discrimination intensely leading to creation of movements. There was reluctant from the male gender to listen and attend to female cries but focus, attention, and commitment to fight inequalities gradually attained them liberty and equality. Historical actions that women took in the past leading to current women equality status that women enjoys provides insights and lessons that can help in handling similar scenarios currently or in the future.



1. Constitutional Rights Foundation. 2004. How Women Won the Right to Vote. https://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-20-2-a-how-women-won-the-right-to-vote

2. Linda Simon. 2017. The Flappers Took the Country by Storm, but Did They Ever Truly Go Away. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/flappers-took-country-storm-ever-go-away-180964412/

3. Susan B. Anthony. 1873. Women’s Right to Vote. https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/1873anthony.asp

4. Shirley Chisholm. May 21, 1969. Equal Rights for Women. https://awpc.cattcenter.iastate.edu/2017/03/21/equal-rights-for-women-may-21-1969/

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