Shirley Chisholm Analysis

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Critical Analysis: Shirley Chisholm Speech Equal Rights for Women In her famous speech “Equal Rights for Women,” addressed to The United States House of Representatives in Washington D.C, May 21, 1969, Chisholm addresses the assumption about women in society being treated unfair. She expresses how women are viewed in society and the prejudice against women that’s being accepted daily and sought out to secure equal rights for women by introducing a proposal “that has been before every Congress for the last 40 years and that will sooner or later must become part of the basic law of the land..”(1), as the Equal Rights Amendment. In her speech she not only expresses and highlights how women are viewed differently in many aspects of life but she refutes common arguments and shows how gender discrimination is harmful for both men and women in society. Early in her speech, Chisholm relied on her personal experience to persuade her case for Equal Rights. Chisholm stated, “Prejudice as a black person is becoming unacceptable...” (1) While she then states “Prejudice against women is acceptable” (1). Although race prejudice is unacceptable even though eliminating it would take years, prejudice against women is being accepted and allowed in where she believes both should not be allowed. She then comes to the House of Representatives with a more logical appeal stating, “As a black person, I am no stranger to race prejudice. But the truth is that in the political world I have been far oftener to discrimination against because I am a woman than because I am black.” (1). Chisholm wanted to prove from personal experience how society is more prejudice over gender than race itself. Not only in her eyes is it hard to be black but it was even more hard to be a woman as well. Throughout the speech she uses her own experiences justifying her proposal for equal rights. After
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