01.05 19th Century Foundations of Americans
English and Literature
Submitted By mia19perez
Prompt Two -- "Ain't I a Woman" (1851) by Sojourner Truth (historical document)
In the 1900's, men were the ones who went out and worked and the women stayed home and cooked and cleaned. Also, in the 1900's, there were big issues about women's rights. Women didn't have access to a lot of things as men did during that time – some examples are working, voting, and even education. "The Declaration of Sentiments" is written by a white woman and "Ain't I a Woman" was written by a black woman so they may differ or they may not.
American culture in the 19th century definitely had two distinct purposes for men and women. Men were meant to work and women were meant to stay home and take care of the house. In "The Declaration of Sentiments" she's writing about inequality and how the country is in only the men's favor. She says, "He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes and, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given, as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women-the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of man and giving all power into his hands." She's saying that women aren't protected enough from men and that the law needs to be more equal. She also wants there to be more equality in women employment.
In "Ain't I a Woman", she is also talking about sexism but the difference between these two documents is that Sojourner Truth is also talking about racism. She says that black women are stereotyped as whores and white women as virgins. This justified the rape of black women, which is horrible. She says that most of the "feminist movement" were white middle class or upper class women. That's another way that these two documents differ because of the classism black women...