Jane Addams' concept of "true womanhood"

Essay by junglegrl2002 February 2003

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The concept of "true womanhood" put forth by Jane Addams and other women suffrages fulfills the promise set forth by the New Women. These ideas of the women suffrages was to keep women in her own separate sphere, but to allow her sphere to grow outside of the home and into the surrounding world. Jane Addams and the other women suffrages wanted to fight in order to keep their status as a wife, a mother, a nurturer, and a keeper of cultured traditions in their society while the New Women wanted to gain their own independence, the desire to remove themselves from previous roles such as raising children was never instated.

The promise of Jane Addams and other suffrages of the time fought to give women the right to vote in order to allow women the right to clean up politics with the concept of "social housekeeping" and the idea that women were the moral ones and that women would bring morality into politics.

By stating this idea in no way was Jane Addams stating that women should receive the right to vote because they were equal to men, but instead they she was claiming that the right to vote would help her take care of the children by voting for what would be best for them. Addams argument states "In a crowded city . . . if the street is not cleaned by the city authorities no amount of private sweeping will keep the tenement free from grime; . . . a tenement house mother may see her children sicken and die of diseases from which she alone is powerless to shield them, although her tenderness and devotion are unbounded. She cannot even secure untainted meat for her household . . . unless the meat has been inspected...