регистрация / вход

Margaret Sanger Essay Research Paper The early

Margaret Sanger Essay, Research Paper The early twentieth century was a turning point in American history-especially in regards to the acquisition of women’s rights. While the era was considered to be prosperous and later thought to be a happy-go-lucky time, in actuality, it was a time of grave social conflict and human suffering (Parish, 110).

Margaret Sanger Essay, Research Paper

The early twentieth century was a turning point in American history-especially in regards to the acquisition of women’s rights. While the era was considered to be prosperous and later thought to be a happy-go-lucky time, in actuality, it was a time of grave social conflict and human suffering (Parish, 110). Among those who endured much suffering were women. As Margaret Sanger found out, women, especially those who were poor, had no choice regarding pregnancy. The only way not to get pregnant was by not having sex- a choice that was almost always the husband’s. This was even more true in the case of lower-class men for whom, ‘sex was the poor man’s only luxury’ (Douglas, 31). As a nurse who assisted in delivering babies, Margaret Sanger was very aware of how unwanted pregnancies affected lives. She witnessed the affects of self-induced abortions, the transferring of diseases from mother to child, and the deaths of mothers and children due to poor health conditions. Feeling strongly about the problem unwanted pregnancies, Sanger devoted her life to acquiring the right for women to prevent pregnancies through the use of contraceptives. After years of dedication and hard work, Margaret Sanger not only accomplished what she had hoped for-making people understand the importance and necessity of birth control, but also accomplishes something greater by extending women’s rights as well.

In a society where it was considered inappropriate for girls to know about their anatomy and its functions, let alone talk and read about it, Margaret Sanger realized that she must create literature that informed girls about their bodies. She produced a pamphlet titled What Every Girl Should Know. In it, she discussed subjects like physical growth, mental development, puberty, menstruation, sexual impulses, reproduction,

hygiene of pregnancy, and various venereal diseases (Sanger-Girl, 1). While her book was considered “obscene, lewd and lascivious material” (Gray, 43), Sanger was convinced that education about these topics were necessary. Through the publishing of What Every girl Should Know, Margaret Sanger demonstrated to common women, to her adversaries, and to the government that women deserve the right to learn about and understand their bodies.

In addition to What Every Girl Should Know, Sanger created other propaganda, which informed women that they deserved the right to prevent births. The purpose of her first publication of this type, a magazine called The Woman Rebel, was to inspire women to demand rights. She wanted “to stimulate working women to think for themselves and to build up a conscience, fighting character” (Douglas, 50). In each issue of the “Rebel”, she discussed topics such as child labor, women and children in industry, health and cultural opportunities. She believed that women must determine her own maternity-“This was the most precious freedom” (Douglas, 50).

Following The Woman Rebel, Sanger wrote a pamphlet called Family Limitations. In this pamphlet, Sanger discussed such topics as the use of condoms, the importance of douches, and the practice of “coitus interrupts” or withdrawal (Whitelaw-Every, 50). For this informational writing, Sanger called a “heinous criminal who sought to turn every home into a brothel” and it was denounced as “indecent, immoral and a menace to society” (Douglas, 85). By writing these works of propaganda, Sanger was trying to inform women that there were ways of preventing births. She wanted to lower the birth rate for several reasons. Doing so could improve the quality and health of their lives.

Lower birth rates could also prevent the transfer of disease to their children and would not require their young children to work in factories in order to earn money (Whitelaw-Every, 54). Sanger advocated contraceptive devices and practices saying, “Birth Control will make parenthood a voluntary function instead of an accident as it is today. When motherhood and children are free, we then can go hand in hand toward the emancipation of the human race” (Sanger-Fight, 40).

Another one of Margaret Sanger’s contributions to women’s rights was her demand that women and men have equal treatment and conditions. This demand was brought on by the knowledge that men and women did not have equal access to condoms. Sanger knew that they were being used in various other countries as methods of birth control and that they were available for purchase within the United States. Although condoms were legally available, they were not to be used between married couples. Their only legal use “was to protect the male from venereal disease” when engaging with prostitute, “and not to protect the female from contraception” (Douglas, 69). This did not make sense to Sanger-“Contraception was only legal if its purpose was to promote male promiscuity” (Douglas, 101). The men who wrote and voted for this law barred women from protection that might save a mother’s life. It seemed that “Their only tolerance was for “phallic frolics” (Douglas, 101). Sanger made the public aware of this inequality in an attempt to encourage women to work to change the laws and common practices of society.

One of Margaret Sanger’s most important contributions in her demand for woman’s rights was he physical demonstration that their rights were important and that woman

could not be overlooked. Throughout her life, Sanger fought the law many times. She was tried for breaking post office laws and for illegally running operations-providing birth control contraceptives and information without being a physician (Sanger –Fight). For these penalties, she was fined and imprisoned. Margaret Sanger was a woman in the public arena fighting for the public. People watched her for years. They saw that she never gave up on her cause. Margaret Sanger proved to people that she was powerful-that women could not be ignored and that their rights must be recognized.

The longer Sanger worked on her cause, the greater the number of her supporters grew. Her supporters varied from poor workers to physicians and public figures. While the number of influential supporters of birth control grew, the number of supporters of woman’s rights grew along with it. When Sanger started out advocating birth control she had no support. However, her researching in Europe was where she gained many allies for her cause. One particular supporter was Dr. Marie Stopes. Securing the signatures of nine of England’s most famous authors, she wrote an open letter to President Wilson urged him to use his influence “not only for the benefit of Mrs. Sanger, but of humanity”. This well publicized message called for an end to criminal prosecution for circulating material which would be allowed in every country except the United States (Douglas, 90).

People were impressed by this English appeal and were eager to help. Included this group of people was, “A group of experienced suffragists who gave Sanger what she had

never had before, support from New York’s top social register” (Douglas 90). Another of Sanger’s most influential supporters was Noah Slee-a millionaire whom she later

married. In addition to help by particular persons, Sanger also gained support from various groups. For example, she gained support from the New York League of Women voters which had “endorsed repeal of the state Comstock laws” (Douglas, 200). The increase in supporters of birth control directly correlated with the increase in supporters of women’s rights. In recognizing the right for women to use birth control, people were recognizing the fact that women deserved rights.

While Sanger had many contributions to women’s rights in the early twentieth century, they are extremely obvious today in the 1990’s. Contraceptives are readily available. With a quick trip to the nearest supermarket, drug store, or gas station a person can obtain condoms, sponges, contraceptive jellies and foams. Through an appointment with a family physician or genealogist a woman can get a birth control pill prescription, fitted for a diaphragm, birth control injections, and birth implants. Surgeries are also available as a way to prevent pregnancy-take for example hysterectomy or a vasectomy. Additionally, abortions are now a legal method for ending unwanted pregnancy. Although there is still much opposition to abortions, there are clinics in nearly every large city in the United States. All of these things are direct results of Margaret Sanger’s work. Without her determination, our way of life now might be very different and much closer to the fundamentalist society of the 1920’s. Not only would women not have the legal availability of birth control, but they would not the have rights that are taken for granted today.

Margaret Sanger’s work has had a great impact on America’s last eighty years of history. She produced many important works of propaganda which informed women

about their bodies, about their need to stand up for their rights, and about ways to prevent pregnancy and, in doing so, control the quality of their lives. She demanded equality of treatment and conditions and demonstrated the need for public recognition of these rights. As Sanger struggled to provide women with these rights. She also increased the number of supporters of woman’s rights. Although Margaret Sanger began fighting for the right for birth control, she was also and perhaps more importantly, fighting for woman’s rights. Her contributions to women’s rights are priceless. She was a woman rebel who became a women hero.

Works Cited

Douglas, Emily Taft. Margaret Sanger: Pioneer of The Future. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970.

Gray, Madeline. Margaret Sanger: A Biography Of The Champion of Birth Control. New York: Richard Marek Publishers, 1979.

Parrish, Michael E. Anxious Decades: America in Prosperity And Depression, 1920-1941. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992.

Sanger, Margaret. My Fight for Birth Control. New York: Ferris Printing Company, 1931

Sanger, Margaret. What Every Girl Should Know. 1914

Whitelaw, Nancy. Margaret Sanger: “Every Child a Wanted Child”. New York: Dillon Press, 1994..

Douglas, Emily Taft. Margaret Sanger: Pioneer of The Future. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970.

Gray, Madeline. Margaret Sanger: A Biography Of The Champion of Birth Control. New York: Richard Marek Publishers, 1979.

Parrish, Michael E. Anxious Decades: America in Prosperity And Depression, 1920-1941. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992.

Sanger, Margaret. My Fight for Birth Control. New York: Ferris Printing Company, 1931

Sanger, Margaret. What Every Girl Should Know. 1914

Whitelaw, Nancy. Margaret Sanger: “Every Child a Wanted Child”. New York: Dillon Press, 1994..

ОТКРЫТЬ САМ ДОКУМЕНТ В НОВОМ ОКНЕ

ДОБАВИТЬ КОММЕНТАРИЙ [можно без регистрации]

Ваше имя:

Комментарий