“Now We Can Begin”
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The women’s fight for the right to vote lasted for seventy-two years, namely from 1848 to 1920 (LeGates 238). However, after the right to vote was officially granted to female population, the real fight for freedom only began. With years, one can observe that the limits of women’s freedom broadened and nowadays, the gender equality is closer than it was in 1920, but not as close as they supposed it to be. Crystal Eastman in her article “Now We Can Begin” demonstrated the goals feminists set up for further development. Nowadays, in almost eighty-five years perspective one can say that these aims were (and are) adequate and rational but, unfortunately, not approved by the word’s society. The ideas of Crystal Eastman are successful and interesting, and they deserve to be taken into account by modern society since she introduces four steps towards real gender equality.
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The main argument of Eastman is that the right to vote did not provide a real freedom for not only American but also all women, and the struggle for this freedom is only beginning. The argument is quite successful since from the time perspective one can see that women keep striving for freedom. Eastman claims that the right to vote does not give the emotional freedom, economic independence, and the freedom of having or not having children among others. Apparently, these factors are real attributes of freedom. The evidence and examples provided by Eastman make her position even more solid. For example, she says that man cannot accept that two women can build a successful partnership and that despite a woman has the same working day, she still has her domestic duties. In addition, to support her argument, the author uses a very confident tone. It is obvious that this woman is sure in her position and knows what to do to improve the situation. Eastman uses problem-solution structure to make her argument clearer and, thus, more successful. For example, it is a woman who gives birth to children, and this ability cannot be transferred to men, but one can introduce family planning (or “birth control”) to give a woman the right to choose whether to have children or not. Another example is the problem of unequal distribution of domestic duties, which Eastman proposes to solve by early education in order to share the duties and educate children from the early age that these duties should be performed by both men and women. There are many examples in the text, which not only support the author’s argument, but also create the ideas to evaluate and think over to a reader. Eastman often uses questions in her article. In fact, this adds pathos to her speech, which appeals to the reader’s mind and emotions, making them believe the author and form the same point of view. In addition, the questions in the text could make the reader answer them by themselves and after that compare the answer with the one provided by the author. When reading her article, one can notice the abundance of “nots” and “cannots” in the text. It creates the negative image of the world without woman freedom and makes the problem more acute. Therefore, understanding that the problem has negative outcomes, the reader could realize that actions should be taken toward its solution. Finally, what makes the issue successful is the consistence and logical representation of thoughts in the text. The author’s ideas are in chronological order and the argument develops from the beginning to the end of the article, becoming more and more evident with every paragraph. In addition, the steps proposed by Eastman are numbered, which also adds consistence to the article and simplifies the further reader’s argumentation when reviewing the argument.
In conclusion, it should be said that Crystal Eastman’s ideas are relevant to these days since the revolutionary ideas, which she represented, were not completely implemented. The issue of women freedom is still acute and her article “Now We Can Begin” could become a useful reading for those who are interested in the feminist ideas and the history of feminist movement. It is a very steady and interesting article, which creates a base for further theoretic research toward the solution of gender inequality problem. The argument presented by Crystal Eastman is successful and relevant to the current state of society.
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