"A People's History of the United States" Ch. 19 Reflection

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A People’s History of the United States: Reflection Chapter 19 Surprises This chapter goes back to the early 1900s to the times of advocacy for women. Zinn sums up the attitude fairly well: “Each time practicality pulled the woman out of her prison—in a kind of work-parole program—the attempt was made to push her back once the need was over, and this led to women’s struggle for change,” (zinn 504). Indeed, WWII brought out more women than any other cause, and it was here that women began to demand a change. And change occurred. “Women took the place they customarily took in social movements, in the front lines—as privates, not generals,” (Zinn 504). Women organized movements and became the most enthusiastic about their cause, and by 1969, women were 40% of the labor force in the U.S. Other things that sprung up in the 1900s were multiple women’s unions, acts put in place that aided women, and literature aimed at women. Perhaps the biggest issue that began to be addressed was the subject of abortion, and the 1970s were a roaring time for this debate. It was for this right that women fought harder than ever before, and continue to fight. I really enjoyed reading this chapter; that is my reaction. I like seeing the smaller man (in this case, woman) rise up and fight for what they believe in. Zinn details many cases and trials by women and it’s amazing how many pages he fills up with these recollections. At the beginning of the chapter, we read a quote by Hellen Keller about the significance of women’s right to vote. Yet by the end, we read about women’s prisons coming into effect and a brutal push for the right to have an abortion. This kind of juxtaposition, seen in only a dozen pages, tells of decades of history and the never-ending struggle for equality, and it made me proud to say that this is where my kind has started to believe in themselves. This

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