The Roots of the Feminist Movement
The Abolitionist and the Feminist movements were closely connected in the nineteenth century. More so, the connection between the Civil Rights movement and the Feminist movement did not cease to exist up to now. Women have strived for equal rights with men who often have tended to oppress or ignore women.
Of course, the root of the Feminist movement can be found in the nineteenth century. Feminist movement was inspired by numerous courageous women, many of whom were former slaves (Mayeri 1053). Sojourner Truth was one of the most inspiring feminists of the 19th century. Her famous speech Ain’t I a Woman has become one of the cornerstones of the entire movement.
The Historical Significance of the Speech
Sojourner Truth was not afraid of people’s disapproval or fear (“Ain’t I a Woman?” n.p.). She had a great gift as she could choose the right and really simple words to reveal really important and rather complicated issues. She could address even the most sophisticated objections in simple words. Therefore, each of her speeches has had a great significance for the development of the movement. As for the famous Ain’t I a Woman, it has made lots of people reconsider their views.
The short speech has become a potent tool to fight for women’s rights. Notably, the speech has been quoted for many decades (Mayeri 1073). The speech has been that influential because it addresses some of the central points of opponents of the Feminist movement. The former slave took courage to address social and religious issues.
She proved that there was no difference between men and women. What is more, she even claimed that women alone could change the world for better: “dese women togedder … ought to be able to turn it [the world] back, and get it right side up again!” (“Ain’t I a Woman?” n.p.). In several sentences Sojourner Truth managed to prove that even the most sophisticated arguments were empty words.
The Speech and Modernity
The specific clarity and precision of the speech has made it so influential. Even now it keeps changing minds. Those who have some ideas concerning men’s superiority inevitably reconsider their position when they come across the speech. It is necessary to note that the major points some men articulate to prove their superiority do not differ from those mentioned in the 19th centuries. Sojourner Truth provided comprehensive answers which addressed the opponent’s arguments.
It is possible to claim that the famous speech can be regarded as a kind of proclamation. It can be seen as a lively motto that has inspired millions of women to fight for their rights. The speech has inspired many in the middle of the twentieth century during the Civil Rights Movement. It is also referred to now.
On balance, it is possible to state that Sojourner Truth delivered the speech which has changed outlooks of many people. The former slave managed to provide simple but strong counter-arguments to address opponents’ arguments. Her brief but comprehensive speech has inspired many women to continue the struggle which has not finished yet.
Hopefully, the speech will help the contemporary women to make people (men as well as women) understand that equality is something like breathing. People breathe without paying attention to this vital process. Only those who cannot breathe can understand the importance of this phenomenon. Such inspiring speeches as Ain’t I a Woman can help people to become enlightened.
Ain’t I a Woman? n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2012.
Mayeri, Serena. “A Common Fate of Discrimination”: Race-Gender Analogies in Legal and Historical Perspective.” Yale Law Journal 110.6 (2001): 1045-1087. Print.