Four Centuries of Women in America
Historian Betsy Griffith – Not Old Better Smithsonian Associates
As part of our Smithsonian Associates Art Of Living interview series, we’re joined today with Elisabeth Griffith. Historian Elisabeth Griffith, a biographer of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leads a fast-paced series that examines the history of women in America from the colonial period through second-wave feminism. Each session covers approximately a century of American history, tracing the advances, setbacks, accomplishments, and complications of the nation’s diverse women.
Griffith will answer questions, such as:
- What about a new world benefitted women? Is American history a chronicle of women losing, rather than gaining, rights?
- How have we defined appropriate roles for women? And for which women— “ladies,” mill girls, slaves, or frontierswomen?
- Over a dynamic period of dramatic change, the idealized True Woman evolved into the New Woman. The shift ushered in an era of higher hemlines, shorter hair, great migrations, widening sexual freedom, and voting rights.
- Many historians consider that women’s rights stalled after suffrage was won, but black women civil-rights leaders, labor organizers, and finally, feminists would slowly advance social change…what about Eleanor, Rosie, Rosa, and Betty?
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