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Iron Jawed Angels Essay

  • Date Submitted: 03/30/2011 12:28 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.6 
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Iron Jawed Angels: Challenging Societal Norms
Alice Paul and Lucy Burns are not just characters in Iron Jawed Angels; they were real people who fought against all odds to give women in the United States the opportunity to have their voices heard through the right to vote and run for office. The movie focuses on the changing role of women in American society during the 1920’s. All the women who took part in the suffrage movement challenged established societal norms. From little things like learning to drive and smoking, to larger roles such as not being a housewife and working to earn a living independently from a husband, these women changed how society viewed their gender. Women sacrificed their health, marriages, and the little freedom that they had to fight for what they knew was right.
The suffragettes objected to how women had to obey laws that they had no part in making, and put their own lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote. They had to show how women were no different than men, and therefore deserved the same treatment as men. They achieved this goal by doing things that had previously been done only by men, ultimately acting more like men. In the beginning of the movie, the women dressed in long dresses, had their hair up, and mostly kept to themselves. As the movie progressed and time went on, women changed not only their physical appearance but their mental attitudes as well. They started wearing dresses that had hemlines at the ankle and wore makeup. When Doris went out trying to gain support for the National Women’s Party, she was smoking and checking out the attractive males on the street. Women had become more confident in themselves. Critics, such as Carrie Chapman Catt of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association, thought that women shouldn’t be parading themselves around. NAWSA thought that the radical techniques of the NWP were unnecessary, but in the end the NWP got the results they wanted, a constitutional...


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