The Feminist Movement is a series of campaigns on issues such as reproductive rights (including abortion), domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.

The history of feminist movements has been divided into three “waves”. Each is described as dealing with different aspects of the same feminist issues. Feminism reached the popular consciousness in the sixtieth with the passage of the Civil Rights Act prohibiting employment discrimination, and a lot of media exposure. Some primary issues of this time were equal pay, equal education access, freedom from sexual harassment, and the right to safe, legal abortions.

Shirley Chisholm is a black congresswoman, who took an active part in processing Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) liked many women did. But she realized even where the law was helpful it is helpful only if people put it into an action. She said “the law cannot do it for us. We must do it for ourselves. Women in this country must become revolutionaries. We must refuse to accept the old, the traditional roles and stereotypes… We must replace the old, negative thoughts about our femininity with positive thoughts and positive action…”In Zinn’s opinion that “this meant the rethinking of roles, the rejection of inferiority, the confidence in self, a bond of sisterhood, a new solidarity of mother and daughter.” Zinn disclose that feminist is the main propellant of this movement instead of law. Once we put the law into action, the law becomes meaningful and useful. Moreover, it also shows that this movement is a movement to wake up the self-awareness of women. More and more women realized that they are not an accessory of men, and family isn’t a prison to restrict their right of freedom. Instead of hating men, most feminists believe equality between the sexes will benefit men by unshackling them from traditional expectations. This movement is not only a movement for the social, political, and economic equality of men and women, but a “consciousness raising” of women to the entire society as a whole.

There is another movement incurred by prisoners, which made prisoners no more put out of sight and behind bars. A man in Walpole prison Massachusetts wrote: “every program that we get is used as a weapon against us. The right to go to school, to go to church, to have visitors, to write, to go to the movie. They all end up being weapon of punishment. None of the programs are ours, everything is treated as a privilege that can be taken away from us. The result is insecurity-a frustration that keeps eating away at you.” Zinn include this case in the book because he wants to show the reality of prison falters. At that time the prison was based on hard labor, prisoners were not only suffered with various punishments but lack of basic human right. Such as their letter would be read or tear up by guards, and all visits were not permitted. Moreover, Zinn in his book indicates that “the prison in the United States had long been an extreme reflection of the American system itself: the stark life differences between rich and poor, the racism , the use of victims against one another, the lack of recourses of the underclass to speak out, the endless ‘reforms’ that changed little.” The poorer you were the more likely you were to end up in jail because the law was always on the rich’s side. In result, the jails end up full of poor black people. The movement of prison is not only a movement for the human right of prisoner, but it is movement for people to re-examine the law system and hear the voice from people in the lowest level of society.

So far, never in American history had more movements for change been concentrated in so short a span of years. That is why Zinn called this time of period as a SURPPRISES.

“Get Rid of Nixon, but Keep the System”

“The underlying causes of the gross misconduct in our law–enforcement system now being revealed are largely personal, not institutional. Some structural changes are needed. All the rotten apples should be thrown out. But save the barrel.” –Theodore Sorensen

Prior to Watergate scandal, everyone in America believed that politicians truly have the people’s best interest in mind. There was never any questions as to why politicians do what they do, or how they do it. Basically everyone trusted the government. However, after Watergate, Americans began to realize that politicians can be corrupt. This realization leads to people did not believe their public officials and the public want to know more of what politicians are doing “behind the closed doors.” However, even thought Nixon destroyed people’s trust of government, but he was still great in some way.

The quote in the beginning of this blog was written at the time of Watergate by Theodore Sorensen. He was best known as president Kennedy’ special counsel, adviser, and legendary speechwriter. He believes authorities should keep the positive attributes of Nixon, while removing the negatives (scandal). Indeed, Nixon did a remarkable contribution on American foreign policy. For example, Nixon opened relations with China in 1972 and he also traveled to Moscow to sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty which is used to reduce stockpiles of nuclear weapons and froze deployment of intercontinental missiles. Thus, Zinn includes this quote disclose that a good system can be maintain not matter who build it.

Should the Chinese Be Excluded? By Robert G. Ingersoll(1893)

“This law is contrary to the laws and customs of nations. The punishment is unusual, severe, and contrary to our Constitution, and under its provisions aliens-citizens of a friendly nation-can be imprisoned without due process of law. The law is barbarous, contrary to the spirit and genius of American instructions, and was passed in violation of solemn treaty stipulations…After all, it pays to do right. This is a hard truth to learn-especially for a nation. A great nation should be bound by the highest conception of justice and honor. Above all things it should be true to its treaties, its contracts, its obligations. It should remember that its responsibilities are in accordance with its power and intelligence.”

The Chinese started coming to California in large numbers during the Gold Rush in the mid 1800s, hoping to strike it rich and return home. Many stayed and more came, working in the mines or taking other jobs. In 1882, they were made the targets of the United States’ first law limiting immigration based on race or nationality, the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Chinese Exclusion Act, approved in 1882 in Congress and lasted for 60 years, was the first and the only federal law in US history that excluded a single group of people from immigration on no basis other than their race. It explicitly banned Chinese workers from immigration and existing residents from naturalization and voting.

There are two reasons for accelerating the speed of this Act. 1) With the completion of the process of U.S. industrialization, labor shortages problem has gone, so they were no longer welcome those uneducated and unskilled Chinaman who earn their living just by doing manual work. 2) In the 1880s, Chinese worker were restricted themselves on making garment, leather, and matchstick for living. Therefore, Chinese worker was of no consequence in the development of American industrialization.

In the 1776, US Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson set in writing the people’s unalienable right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. American are treated  with the so call human right, however Chinese were not protected under the human right even though they are human being as many other people too. In this case, the Chinese Exclusion Act against the sprint and genius of American Constitution.