NOW: Statements for Change

Generating a document for the creation of new purpose and change was necessary for women in the mid-nineteenth century. Men and women, constituting themselves as the National Organization for Women (NOW), vouched for a new movement towards equality in America and beyond the national borders. Women weren’t able to enjoy their freedoms as their fellow country men were able to. With that as a catalyst for change, NOW created documentation of various purposes that would revolutionize the way in which women were seen throughout society. In order for this to happen, patterns of sex discrimination had to end, the creation of social institutions that benefit women would be enacted, the proper education would be given to women so that they too can reach their full potential, and last representation in politics as the voice of women need to be heard.

Traditionally women were shunned from attaining any form of high paying or high positioned job. Although they make up nearly 51% of the entire population, women did not have representation politically nor socially. Women faced discrimination, sexism, and acts of inequality on a day to day basis, and it was the job of NOW to take a stand for women who seemingly had no voice in the world, and create a platform for all women to flourish. Their task: “to win women the final right to be fully free and equal human beings.”

French politics and culture

The arrival of a new political philosophy in France which resulted from the revolution and the changes in France’s popular culture in the 1790s were heavily interrelated. Nearly every aspect of France’s new influx of culture was influenced by the contempt for the old French monarchy. The people made concerted efforts to move as far away from the oppression of the previous regime as possible and into an era of reason and rationality. Deism grew vastly in popularity, at least partially to repudiate the monarchy’s claim of divine right rule, by which a king could exercise his power by claiming to have been administered it by God himself. Deism proclaimed a separation between God and humans, that God created humans and then left them to their own devices, which directly contradicted the claim of divine right rule. In addition to their religion, the French made many other attempts to erase any evidence of the past monarchy. In chess and card games the kings and queens were discarded and forgotten; street names were altered if they contained any reference to the monarchy; and old festivals and flags were replaced. The old calendar was completely revamped in favor of a more logical date-keeping system, with 10 day weeks and holidays like Reason Day and Genius Day. These drastic changes in French culture were caused primarily out of a desire to leave behind the forced acquiescence imposed by the monarchy and into a society where reason, rationality, and justice held supreme. As the political system and ideologies changed, so did the culture of the French people, proving the profound interconnectedness of the two.