A Complex Community: The Ladies Library Association and Young Women's Christian Association in Kalamazoo, 1900-1940.
Badra, Rachal J., 1983-2012
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Since the "Woman Question" was first asked more than a century ago, questions as to the nature of woman and the place of women in society have been frequently asked, but not easily answered. Suffragists toiled for more than fifty years before they finally gained their right to vote, because there were so many questions to tackle first: Is woman physically and mentally capable of enduring life in the public sphere? Should she be allowed to make such important political decisions? How will her new role in politics affect her traditional role as .wife and mother? In fact, most women's Movements Progressivism, suffrage, reproductive rights, for example - have often been socially controversial and provocative, due to the other issues that have been intrinsically tied to societal notions of women's gender roles: sexual purity, subservience, motherhood, and domesticity. Though these notions have certainly changed and progressed throughout the years, they are still present in many ways in today's society, and thus it is important to continue asking questions about those roles. The questions women within those movements asked themselves are also very complicated and challenging to answer: if a woman chooses to embrace the role of housewife, is she disrespecting or negating the hard work that so many others gave to create new opportunities for women? What does a feminist believe, support, challenge? Such issues are complex, and may be difficult to resolve.
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