Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How Does the Christian View of God Compare to that of Other Religions?

Are there any similarities between how God is viewed by Muslims and Christians? How about between Hindus and Christians? What about between Animists and Christians? Are there any similarities between Jews and Christians?

There is an endless list of religions, cults, and worldviews. The interesting thing is that many of them point to some form of a High God. In fact, many of the beliefs and attributes of gods of various religions actually point towards the true God, the God of the Bible. Various religions talk about God being personal, all powerful, compassionate, eternal, and all knowing. Most consider God to be the creator of the world and many consider Him to be the final judge.

Those who adhere to the Islam faith believe in one God who is the creator of the universe. He is all powerful and has spoken to the world through many means including prophets, written word, and angels. He knows the thoughts and deeds of people and someday will judge all the evil of the world (Halverson, 110). All these views align with what the Bible teaches. In Genesis 1:1 it says that God created the heavens and the earth. The Bible constantly speaks of the power of God and throughout it He can be found speaking through prophets and angels. Psalm 139:2 affirms the idea that God knows our thoughts and deeds when it says “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” The Bible also confirms that God will judge the evil of the world in many verses including Ecclesiastes 3:17 which says “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed."

Hindus believe in millions of Gods. In fact, in Death of a Guru Rabi says that to him God is everything and everything is God (Maharaj, 24). Still, they also hold some views of God that are similar to Christians. Although they believe that God is impersonal and has no moral distinctions (Halverson, 89), they do believe God is extremely powerful just as it says He is in the Bible. Psalm 147:5 says “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit”. In Artharva Veda it says “most humbly we bow to You, O Supreme Lord. At Your command moves the mighty wheel of time. You are eternal, and beyond eternity.” Hinduism and Christianity are said to be complete opposites but they still have at least one thing in common.

The various branches of Judaism all have different views of God. Orthodox Jews believe that God is personal. Orthodox Jews believe He is compassionate, which the Bible affirms in Psalm 145:8 and Matthew 6:26. Psalm 145:8 says “the Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy”. Then Matthew 6:26 says “look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them”. They, just like Hindus and Christians, also believe God to be eternal and powerful. Conservative Jews believe that God is impersonal and Reform Jews do not have a firm set of views (Halverson, 125).

Animists believe that “God exists but He is beyond our abilities to know Him or to communicate with Him” (Halverson, 44). Christians have beliefs that are very different from Animists beliefs in that sense. Christians believe that we can know God and communicate with Him. So what similarities can be found between the two religions? Well, Animists have strong beliefs in spirits and Christians believe in the supernatural as well. Adherents of both religions believe that even though God exists there are also other forces in the world, even if the kinds of spiritual forces described by adherents of the two religions would be different.

Of course, not all religions’ views of God can point to the God of the Bible. Buddhists believe either that there is no God or that He is an impersonal being (Halverson, 242). Followers of the New Age Movement worldview believe in an impersonal God without moral distinctions (Halverson, 167). Shintoists believe there are many gods which may be helpful or hurtful (Halverson, 207). Still, many different religions do indeed point to the God of the Bible.

However, at the same time it is important to acknowledge the many differences between the viewpoints of God among various religions and the God of the Bible. For example, while many similarities can be found between the God of Islam and the God of the Bible there are also many glaring differences. In the book I Dared to Call Him Father Bilquis says the idea of lowering God down to our level and calling Him father is preposterous to a Muslim (Sheikh, 46-47) yet scripture says God is a “father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). Many other religions would think Christians calling God ‘Father’ would be ridiculous as well, especially religions like Hinduism because they see God as an impersonal being.

The idea that God forgives us would also shock many adherents of other religions. Most people of other religions believe in karma and that there is no forgiveness for sins – we must pay for our wrong doings. However, in the book The Case for Christ it says that Jesus forgave sinners just as God forgives sinners (Strobel, 157-158). Not only do they not believe in God’s mercy many, like the Muslims, do not think that He loves sinners (Halverson, 110). Christians know that while God hates sin, He loves the sinner. In Romans 5:8 it says “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

Even Muslims who believe in a personal God do not believe it is possible to know God (Halverson, 242). Christians would disagree. Many followers of other religions would disagree that there is a trinity. Some like the Hindus would argue there are millions of gods while Muslims would say there is only one God and He has no partners. While the term ‘trinity’ is not used in the Bible there are many verses that suggest it. For example, Matthew 28:19 says “therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Then again the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are mentioned in 2 Corinthians 13:14 when says “may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”. While certain similarities between the God of the Bible and the gods of other religions it is clear that there are also a fair amount of differences.

While how followers of other religions view God is very important, it is also important how they view Jesus. The unfortunate news is that all religions except Christianity do not see Jesus as the Savior. According to Relevant magazine’s article “What Other World Religions Think About Jesus”, Muslims agree that Jesus was a prophet, should be revered, was born of a virgin, ascended to heaven, and will come again (Wallace). Still, they do not believe Jesus to be the Messiah. Neither do Jews who believe Jesus to be a miracle worker, one who should be respected, and a man who was crucified but not the Savior (Wallace). Some religions like Hinduism even consider him to be a god but certainly not the only one or the Savior of the world (Wallace).

Didn’t think similarities could be found between Animism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Christianity? Well, there are. Many religions have similar views of God as Christians do. Quite a few agree that God is powerful, compassionate, the creator, personal, eternal, and all knowing.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

My Top 10 Favorite Fiction Books

This post is extremely informal. Essentially it is just a quick (or not so quick) look at my book shelf. Anyone who knows me knows I am a reader and knows I have a full book shelf. So whether you are a reader yourself or you haven't read a book for pleasure in years I just wanted to tell you about a few fictional books I would highly recommend to you. Also, if you feel like returning the favor then feel free to share your favorites with me and with everyone else - there is a comment section below where you can do that (if I figure out how to approve comments).

10. Fearless by Elvira Woodruff
Admittedly it has been seven years since I read this book but when I did I absolutely loved it and for many years I thought of it as my favorite book. The story is historical fiction and it is set in the 1700s, which is a very interesting time to learn about. A character the reader encounters is Henry Winstanley. I found him to be an absolutely fascinating character and at the end of the book I learned that he was a real person, which made him that much more interesting. Fearless is fun yet sincere. Adventurous yet heartbreaking. I think readers of any age would enjoy the story but especially younger readers (around elementary school age).

9. Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M. M. Blume
I read Cornelia for the first time seven years ago and then again last year. You know what? It still holds up as an incredibly fun and adventurous tale that will satisfy readers of all ages. It is a unique book in that there are several stories that are to be found in the one book. It is very fun to hear about adventures the Somerset sisters go on in different countries. Don't get me wrong it is sad too. While targeted at readers who are in middle school, it can absolutely make a 17 year old girl want to cry and I am pretty sure it could make my mother cry too. Now don't skip this book just because I said it was sad - read it. I have two copies for no apparent reason so borrow it from me.

8. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
So I went to go to see the movie with my mom when it came out. We were both equally excited to see it. She had read the book and enjoyed it. I hadn't but I was in middle school and Robert Pattinson was in it so of course I had a countdown to when we were going to see it. I rather enjoyed the movie - for more than just the sheer fact the RPatz was in it. Therefore, I decided to read the book and I was glad that I did. The book held my attention and there were many times I found it nearly impossible to put down. I easily fell in love with Jacob and was captivated by the circus. I would recommend it to a mature reader because there are certainly a few scenes in there to prepare yourself for. Still, the book is wonderful and definitely worth your time.

7. See You At Harry’s by Jo Knowles
I picked up this book about 6 months ago for little more than a dollar. I was browsing the Scholastic Warehouse sale and was drawn to it (admittedly because there was a delicious looking ice cream sundae on it and it was cheap). I read the back and decided it was worth the four quarters. It was at the Scholastic Warehouse sale and the main character was a 12 year old girl so I thought it would be a book for middle school students. Therefore, I was completely unprepared for the emotions that this book evoked in me. The feelings that these characters feel are all different and how they deal with the tragedy they face are so deep it was surprising. While not what I expected, I loved this book and would highly suggest you pick it up.

6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Where to begin? For starters, you should read this book simply for the fact that this book is a classic. Second, you should read it because Fitzgerald can write like few authors I know of. I can't begin to count the number of quotes I love by him. Seriously, just look up "Fitzgerald Quotes" you'll see what I mean. Third, the story evokes emotion in you. Half the time you don't know what to feel. It makes you want to laugh then cheer then cry then shout then rinse and repeat. Once again, I will borrow it to you. Side note: the movie (in my opinion) is amazing. Usually I have a lot of problems with book-to-movie adaptations but the newest Gatsby really followed the book closely, which I must applaud.

5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
This book is extremely underrated in my opinion. I first read it in 4th grade and loved it immediately. I have read it since and it certainly kept its high standing on my list after the second read. That is because the characters in it are absolutely phenomenal and I think everyone can identify with at least one of them. During the times I have read it, I have found myself constantly cheering on the characters with every trial they faced. Speaking of which, the story is incredibly unique and I found it extremely refreshing. The rest of the series and the movie never reached the beauty of the original book but that is understandable considering the expectations that A Wrinkle in Time set. It is also quite interesting to compare the principles and characters of this book to the Bible. They have quite a bit in common, which is interesting to see. Anyway, I would definitely suggest it to any and all readers.

4. Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn
This is a pretty unheard of book but there is absolutely no logical reasoning for that in my mind. I loved this book. It has everything - Nikola Tesla, the Titanic, time travel, mystery, romance. Now, take into account if Nikola Tesla or the Titanic are written on something I knock people down to get it. Still, even if you don't like Tesla (which you should) or the Titanic there's still lots to love. The romance and mystery alone are worth the read. It is definitely not like anything I have ever read before but in the best way possible. I would recommend this book to anyone but especially lovers of the Titanic, Tesla, mystery, and romance.

3. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Reason #1 to love this book: John Green wrote it. John Green is not only funny, he is also an outstanding author. This was the first book I read by him and I was amazed. I had seen the trailer for the movie and thought "that looks pretty good, maybe I should read it before it comes out". Good decision? YES. It is an amazing book with characters who are strong, super funny, kind, and overall incredible. The book teaches us a lot - about life, about love, about death, about family. While the movie is great, the book is even greater. I would definitely recommend the book to anyone. Just try not to read it in public or people will most likely think your crazy if you are not good at keeping things in because you'll be laughing one moment and crying the next.

2. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
For years I refused to read The Hunger Games series. The premise of the book turned me off. But last summer my mom finally convinced me to read them (and if I am honest I really wanted to know what was going to happen to Peeta after Mom dragged me to see Catching Fire). Wow. I read the trilogy in about 6 weeks, which is fast for me. I know I am not introducing many to a brand new series but if you haven't read the books then you absolutely should. I know a lot of people skate by with just watching movies (I admit I was guilty - kind of, Mom really just wanted a companion and I agreed) and while the movie series stays quite true to the books there is certainly a lot more depth to be found in the books. The books are filled with action, developed characters, and strong values (family, strength, hope, etc.). Even if you have already seen the movies I still encourage you to read the books and even if the premise still is something you are unsure about I would encourage you to at least try it.

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
For a long time I also fought reading the Harry Potter series. I didn't open myself up to it because of the witchcraft and wizardry aspect, which is what pushed me away for a long time. However, once I started reading I realized how much I had been missing out on by not giving it a chance. I would like to point out that I have never personally met anyone who read it and didn't like it (though I have no doubts there are individuals who feel that way). The movies are alright but cannot begin to compare with the books so don't cheap out and just watch the movies. Read the books! I wrote an entire essay for a college class on why the books are better than the movies. Anyway, to wrap up the Harry Potter books are my favorite books and I would definitely recommend them.The adventure, deep characters, and complicated plot lines are worth the read alone - not to mention the incredible life lessons to be found in it.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Home Team: What it is & why everyone needs one

What it is?
A home team is a group of people who have your back in good times and bad. They could be your parents, your coaches and mentors, your friends, your siblings, your grandparents, your pastors, or your small group leaders.

Where can you get one?
Your home team could consist of people from any part of your life. They could be people from church or school or work or home.

When should you get one?
You should find yourself a home team before life takes a turn for the worst because that is when you will need one.

Why do you need one?
We were made to be in relationships. We need companionship - even us introverts who may sometimes beg to differ. As the saying goes, no man is an island. Life is much more meaningful when we have a home team by our side. They are the people who will cheer us on and celebrate with us when we finish that marathon, ace that test, get into college, get that promotion, and finally receive the adoption paperwork. But they are also there when we are in the hospital, a person close to us dies, we don't get the job, and find out we can't have kids. We need people there with us no matter what we are going through.

How do you get one?
You don't have to ask people to be on your 'home team'. Frankly, that would probably sound weird. Just take a look at who you know in life and make a list of people you know you can count on. If you find you don't really have that many people then maybe it is time to make some new friends and discover who could be on your team.

How many people should be on your home team?
There is no set number of people you should have on your team. Your home team may have three people on while another person may say they have eleven on theirs.

Personal Notes
We talk about home teams in church on occasion and one occasion came up recently. It got me thinking about who is on my team. I'd always absorbed the message (yep, we need people - got it) but never took a look at my own life. So I decided to sit down and write out my list. I came up with 13 people. The interesting thing is that eight of them have been there for me since I was a little girl and the other 40% were people who came into my life less than 3 years ago and get this - all five of them I have added to my list in the past 3 years I met through being involved at church. Being involved in a group (whether its sports, clubs, youth group, or tech team at church) is one nearly guaranteed way to meet some people who will be there for you and take their places on your home team.

Two Challenges
Now for the challenge part. I want to make two challenges for you. Number one - make a list of the people on your home team and find some way to thank them for being there for you. Literally write down the way you plan to thank them and post it somewhere. I would really love to hear if you did this. Secondly, I want to challenge you to take a look around at your life and think about whose team you may be on and whose team you could be on.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Seneca Falls and Beyond: The Impact a 1848 Conference Has on Women Today

In my very first post I made a nod to the 1848 Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention. A nod, however, is not nearly enough to make towards this event and the women who made it happen. The women of Seneca Falls set an incredible example for us today and they should not go unnoticed or unrecognized. I wrote a paper about the First Women's Rights Convention for National History Day back in spring of 2014. Cutting the paper down or even condensing it would (I feel) only cut down the power and importance of the convention itself so I left the paper untouched. Long as it is, I hope you enjoy it and come away from it feeling proud and empowered.

Every revolution starts with a decision. In 1848 five women made a very important decision at the tea table; a decision that sparked a movement among women to fight for their rights and gender equality, which were not secured to them by the Declaration of Independence. The fire that burned for women’s rights did not begin in 1848, but it was refueled when they decided to hold a convention to discuss the rights of women. According to Ellen Carol DuBois’s book Feminism and Suffrage “the Seneca Falls Convention was consciously intended to initiate a broader movement for the emancipation of women” (23). It inspired generations to continue their work.  The Seneca Falls Women's Convention was the most critical event of the 19th century Women's Rights Movement because it called awareness to the unequal treatment of American women, determined a set of rights for which to fight, and made people realize the unfulfilled responsibility of the government to its citizens.

Reform in the early 1800’s
According to an article published in the newspaper, Oneida Whig, the early 1800s were the prime time to demand reform. People of all ethnicities and economic classes were trying to change industries, institutions, laws, and mindsets. It is stated on the W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. website that 100 utopian communities were set up in the early 1800s alone because they all thought they knew the key to a perfect world. Everyone had different ideas for reform. New religions were started; jails, poorhouses, asylums, and orphanages were created; people wanted the school system altered; masses protested against slavery; the temperance movement was in full swing. Men were not the only ones fighting these changes; women fought too. Among them were Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, two adamant supporters of abolition. Soon these women and others realized that women’s rights needed updating as well.

The 1848 Seneca Falls Convention
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott were responsible for the idea of the first women’s rights convention. The idea was planted in their heads when they met at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. Stanton and Mott could not speak at the convention as women were not allowed to speak publicly at events attended by men. At the slavery convention Mott and Stanton spent a lot of time together and talked a lot about women’s rights. Before they left London, they promised they would start a women’s rights group.
Their idea did not take flight for eight years due to Stanton’s ever-changing home life and Mott’s continuous anti-slavery work. It took until the Stantons moved from busy Boston to sleepy Seneca Falls that Stanton fully turned back to her women’s rights group promise. Stanton sat down with Mott and four other ladies to discuss the idea of holding a convention for women and that night they drew up an advertisement. According to their advertisement “Seneca Falls Convention”, which was printed in the local newspaper Seneca County Courier, the purpose of the convention was “to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman”. These women were not ones to be kept waiting; the advertisement was printed the next day and the convention was held five days later.
According to the Encyclopedia of New York State the convention was held on July 19-20 at Wesleyan Methodist Church. Two hundred women and forty men gathered to hear speeches given by organizers and the reading of the Declaration of Sentiments ( The National Women’s History Museum website exhibits the Declaration of Sentiments, a document written by Stanton alluding to the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Sentiments contained 12 resolutions about equality and unfair laws against women. The next day all the resolutions passed  including the controversial 9th resolution which called for the women to have the right to vote. According to the Huffington Post the ninth resolution passed narrowly even after speeches by Stanton and famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass defended it. Sixty-eight women and thirty two men that signed the The Declaration of Sentiments (National Park Service). The Seneca Falls Convention was held in a local church and the only advertisement was in a local newspaper, but that small meeting caught the attention of a whole nation (Burgan, 9).

Calling Awareness to Inequality
The Seneca Falls Convention called  awareness to the unequal treatment of women because women were able to discuss their unfair treatment in a public place. Most men and, surprisingly, a lot of women did not see women’s rights and equality as something to even think about. In her speech at the Seneca Falls Convention Stanton said “the most discouraging, the most lamentable aspect our cause wears is the indifference, indeed, the contempt, with which women themselves regard the movement”. Women gave up their rights because most of them had believed for their whole lives they did not have any power and that they did not deserve any; therefore, any women who actually believed in the fight for rights and dared speak to anyone else about such thoughts would more often than not be ridiculed by others. “They [supporters of women’s rights] did all this against an avalanche of hostility and ridicule that today’s young militants can scarcely imagine. Every institution - government, church, press, school - was angrily or scornfully against them “ said Miriam Gurko in her book The Ladies of Seneca Falls (8). The convention gave women a team of people that felt the same way they did about women’s rights.
According to the paper “The Birth of the Women’s Rights Movement in Seneca County”, 43% of newspaper articles were critical of the convention and 29% supported these women (28% were neutral). While supporters were not impossible to find, the critics often spoke louder. Newspapers like Mechanics’ Mutual Protection put down such notions as women’s equality calling them “ridiculous” and “scandalous”. One newspaper called the convention “ [a] mass of corruption, heresies, ridiculous nonsense, and reeking vulgarities which these bad women have vomited forth the past three days” (Gurko, 10).  Despite these negative comments it says on the National Portrait Gallery website Stanton was happy for the publicity because it drew attention to women’s rights.
By having met people who also supported women’s rights, suffragists were able to battle back. “In the face of such obstacles, the major resource on which women’s rights activists drew to support themselves and advance their cause was one another” (Lasser and Robertson, 28). When attending Oberlin College two women’s rights activists Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown turned to one another and supported each other against harassment by teachers and other students (DuBois, 29). Other newspapers like Oneida Whig and The North Star supported the convention and women’s rights. The North Star called the convention “one of the most interesting events of the week”. According to the National Park Service, groups like the Quakers also took part in the convention. In fact, twenty two Quakers signed the Declaration of Sentiments (National Park Service).
Having supporters inspired attendees. In response, two weeks later another meeting was held in Rochester, NY and in the next few years conventions spread across the country. Many women also started campaigns and raised money to support their cause (Gurko, 107,179-180). In the words of Gurko, “one by one these horrifying propositions [about women’s equality] gradually seemed less outrageous” (206). The Seneca Falls Convention united women to fight together for a wonderful cause: the rights of their mothers, their daughters, and themselves.

A New Set of Rights to Fight For
The Seneca Falls Convention determined a set of rights to women to advocate for. Previously women wanted to fight for many different rights; the convention solidified what social and political rights women wanted to fight for the most. Many women wanted rights, but they didn’t know how much to demand or what to ask for. At the time women couldn’t sign contracts, make a will, or sue in a court of law. Women could have their property sold without consent, their wages could be kept, and their own children could be taken from them. Preaching, speaking in public, and pursuing higher learning were all unacceptable (Gurko, 8-14). Everyone had different ideas about what to ask for first.
The Seneca Falls Convention solved this issue with the Declaration of Sentiments. In fact, the Huffington Post called the Declaration of Sentiments “the nation's most important historical documents advocating women's rights”. The document set twelve standards to advocate for. One resolution said men could not claim superiority over women . Another declared the same amount of delicacy and virtue required of women should be required of men. Women also demanded to be recognized as equals under God, acknowledge the injustices done to them, and not be satisfied with their current condition. The most controversial resolution said that it’s the duty of women to participate in voting (Declaration of Sentiments). The passing of the 9th resolution caused some of the ridicule about the convention, but it ended up being the cornerstone that led to the 19th amendment (Britannica School High). Together women went after these standards and they started to see results. “In the mid-1850’s state legislatures began to respond favorably to women’s lobbying and petition efforts for reforms in property law. By 1860, fourteen states had passed some form of women’s property rights legislation.” (DuBois, 41). In 1869, Wyoming gave women the right to vote followed by Utah. Without the Declaration of Sentiments, women wouldn’t have made the progress they did because they wouldn’t have had those common goals they had established back in 1848.

Unfulfilled Responsibility
The Seneca Falls Convention made Americans realize the unfulfilled responsibility of the government to its citizens because the Constitution did not give equality and freedom to all as promised. In colonial times, women were treated with respect. The modern conveniences of the mid 1800’s had not been invented yet. Men needed all the help they could get; women were vital to making the colonies run properly. Women were not thought fragile and helpless. They couldn’t be those things when they were needed to help produce food, clothing, soap, and candles. Women often did the cooking, cleaning, laundry, caring for and teaching the children, preparing machines, canning food, doctoring, baking bread, and spinning or weaving materials. Women were highly respected back then; in some colonies, women could even vote. This changed in 1776 when America gained independence. Countrywide laws were now put in place and rights for women were not brought up (Gurko, 22-24). Women could not have a trial by jury of peers because women were not allowed to serve on juries. The government expected them to follow the laws but they had no part in creating them. The government denied them the right to control their property or earnings. The colonies fought taxation without representation in the Revolutionary War, but once they won independence, they did the same thing to women, who made up half the country’s population. In 1776, Abigail Adams said in a letter to her husband John Adams “I cannot say that I think you are very generous to the ladies; for while you are proclaiming peace and good-will to men, emancipating all nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over wives” (Gurko, 24-25).
The Seneca Falls Convention inspired women to fight back against the limits set for them by the government. These limits had been accepted by men and most women for 72 years. With all the conventions and campaigns occurring in the late 1840’s and early 1850’s people started to hear about women’s rights regularly. Many scoffed at such an idea, but others recognized the unfulfilled responsibility of the government to its women and they fought for rights. The founders of America claimed they wanted democracy, equality, liberty, rights, and opportunity and they had provided that… to white property-owning men, but not to their mothers, sisters, and daughters. The Seneca Falls Convention created an uproar that made people realize how unequally women were treated under the Constitution of the United States of America.

How Far Women’s Rights Has Come
Since 1848 American women have been able to become lawyers, doctors, police officers, and pastors. Not only have more positions become open to women, but women received the right to vote, own property, control their own money, sign contracts, sue in a court of law, and make a will. In 1963, the Equal Pay Act, which assured that females would receive the same pay as males would receive doing the same work, was passed. The following year sex discrimination was banned in the workplace. Title IX passed in 1972 stating that students would not be denied participating in any school activities because of their gender. Two years later women were permitted into U.S. Military Academies. This state of women’s rights is a drastic change from the conditions women faced in the mid 1800’s and the Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls initiated it.

The Ongoing Fight
Despite these changes women are still fighting injustices. In the documentary Miss Representation it is described how women are treated like objects in the media; therefore, they start to see themselves that way. Women are portrayed as the same basic archetypes in most TV shows and movies. Females are rarely protagonists; only 16% of protagonists in films are women. Media and advertising aren’t the only places injustice can be found; just look at the government. Women are 50% of the population, yet they only make up 17% of Congress. While there have been 34 female governors, there have been 2,285 more male governors. Countries like China, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Cuba have more women in government than “the land of opportunity”.
Women have also seen injustice when it comes to wages. On average, women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn. While women are able to obtain many more jobs than they did 165 years ago, they are rarely found at the top of a company. The fact is only 5.8% of TV stations and 6% of radio stations are owned by women. Women only hold 3% of clout positions in telecommunications, entertainment, publishing, and advertising. While there are many actresses out there, only 7% of directors and 10% of writers are females (Miss Representation). So while a lot of progress has been made since the first women’s rights convention, there is still a lot more progress to be made before women reach equality with men.

Want to know more? Check out these sources...

  • An Incredible Book - I would seriously LOVE to borrow it to you
    • Gurko, Miriam. The Ladies of Seneca Falls. New York: Schocken Books, 1974. Book.
  • The Most Mind Blowing and Thought Provoking Documentary I Have Ever Seen - it's on Netflix so check it out
    • Miss Representation. Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Virgil Films, 2011. Film.
  • Blog Post
    • MacNamara, Elisabeth. “165 Years Since Seneca Falls: Continuing to Organize for Equality.” Huffpost Women., 17 July 2013.
  • Historical Documents and Reports
    • "Address Delivered at Seneca Falls." Ashland University.
    • “Declaration of Sentiments.” National Women’s History Museum. National Women’s History Museum, 2007.
    • “Report of the Woman’s Rights Convention.” National Park Service. National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.
    • “The Rights of Women.” The North Star [Rochester, NY], 28 July 1848. Print. Found on Library of Congress website.
    • “Women out of their Latitude.” Mechanics’ Mutual Protection [Albany, NY] n.d. Print. Found on Library of Congress website.