Without the industrial revolution, would the feminist movement be at the point it is today?
It's long been thought that the industrial revolution has only benefited feminism, however this is not precisely true. The industrial revolution created jobs which were sexually segregated and gave employers opportunities to pay women less money. The unions which were developed due to exploitation have benefited feminism (female equality). The reaction to companies' treatment of women in the 19th century spurred further rights development. If the revolution had occurred later or not at all, women might have even less power in the workplace.
While the industrial revolution contributed to the women's rights movement, it was not the only driving force behind why women are where they are today. When women got the right to vote in the 19th Amendment, it was a right that was long overdue. Women in the West had long had the right to vote in states like California, independent of their contributions to the industrial revolution as factory workers in Eastern cities, thus I believe that women's rights and the feminist movement would be just as far, if not farther along were it not for the industrial revolution.
Although over 100 years passed between the industrial revolution and the beginnings of feminism, there is a correlation between the two. The industrial revolution saw women working outside the home for the first time leading to the fight for equal working rights and pay. So there is a connection between the industrial revolution and the emergence of the feminist movement, but a very long time passed between the two.
The only reason is because people wouldn't know anything. The working conditions, children not going to school and working long hours would also still be how they are now. So, without the industrial revolution we wouldn't be getting an education and working in very nice conditions. So, thank you industrial revolution!
While the industrial revolution did provide a forward movement for the working masses, it really didn't have anything to do with feminism. The industrial revolution simply changed the way that work was being accomplished, which can't be connected to feminism in any way that I can imagine.
The industrial revolution helped to put forward the ideals of feminism, but it is not the only factor to contribute to their success in the modern world. With the abolishment of slavery, the humanistic movement was beginning and people began to put value on other human beings. Much of the work done in the early 1900's is the main factor that pushed forward the ideals of feminism.
The Industrial Revolution was, in part, fueled by the economic necessity of many women, single and married, to find waged work outside their home.
I think the causative link would be that industrial advancements took a lot of the time and drudgery out of housework, thus freeing women to enter the workforce. Also, the industrial revolution opened up job opportunities away from farms as had been the rule during the agricultural era, and created a need for more employees - including women.
The industrial revolution created jobs that anyone could do, whether they were a man or a woman. If it had never occurred, women would have kept doing "women's work", and men would be doing the jobs that required harder labor. Jobs that didn't require a certain gender definitely leveled the playing field for women in society.
With the industrial revolution came the big increase in jobs in factories. As more women joined the workforce, their needs had to be taken into consideration to give them more equality in the workplace. There came a need for women to speak out about their own rights, and this led to the feminist movement, I think. Strong women were needed to represent other females and to voice the needs they had which were different than those of men in the workplace.
If you look at rural, agrarian societies, you will find a traditional society. Within a traditional society, men's and women's roles are highly defined. A man is supposed to carry out specific tasks, and women are supposed to carry out other, specific types of tasks. In many parts of the world, women take care of interior or domestic concerns, and men take care of exterior concerns, or those outside of the house. There is often overlap in gardens and small-scale farm work. After the industrial revolution, women's and men's tasks could often be interchangeable, except for the heaviest factory work, and women had separate income that allowed them to live independently and begin to be in charge of their own lives -- hence the feminist movement was needed to help change systems that would not let them make decision over their lives or hold jobs that they could physically carry out.
No society has ever valued women equal to men (or greater) than when their work was equal to that of a man. In the few matriarchal societies, women did all of the agricultural work while men did limited hunting or travelled away to work. In those cases, women produced most of the food and thus were more valuable than men. In the rest of the world, women only had value when their work earned as much as men, at the mechanical loom or assembly floor. Only when their economic value was equal did they come to be valued in other areas.
Due to the industrial revolution, women became a necessity in the workforce. Starting with textile factories and the like, women began to have a place working, and began earning their own wages. Soon after, workers began to unionize, creating a feeling of unity amongst them. Women became to realize that they were indeed needed and necessary, and deserved to be treated equally.
I believe the industrial revolution at least gave a chance for women to take on much more challenging roles than their traditional ones of home and hearth. A pre-industrial woman normally was pushing out babies in good part to have extra hands on a farm. There were far fewer opportunities to get out of the dwelling. Clearly, a greatly expanded workforce and burgeoning capitalism created opportunities for all, and showed that women can be a vital part of the revolution. Women playing their just role is the essence of feminism.
Without the industrial revolution, the need for woman workers would not have happened. Meaning, woman would not be in the work place. I am not against this, by any means. I am just saying, they would have continued on doing what they were doing.
The industrial revolution was extremely important in getting the feminist movement to the point it is at today. The industrial revolution provided factory jobs for women in an era in which they may not otherwise have been able to find work outside of the home. This gave women financial freedom from their husbands.
A class struggling for equality can never start out at the top. And without the industrial revolution, that is what women would have had to do. Instead of being able to find work in factories, especially the sewing field, women would of never been able to earn their equal rights. There is no way that the first women to look for work would have been accepted as a high-end cooperate executive. Women had to work their way up, and that meant the low-end jobs that the industrial revolution made available.
If it were not for the Industrial Revolution creating new jobs in factories that needed to be filled by women, they would have been forced to work domestically. However, women who were allowed to work held more power and were able to demand more rights and better conditions. Also, they were able to prove that they could perform the same jobs as men, which strengthened their belief in equality. Without working at these jobs, the general female population would not have been able to fight as they have for their rights and equality.
I don't believe that feminism would be nearly as widespread or advanced as it is today, without the Industrial Revolution. Leaving aside notions of technology, the mere message of feminism would have been harder to disseminate without it. And, prior to the Industrial Revolution, women were not employed in factories, thus proving their worth as employees, and enlightening them as to labor concerns. So, no, I believe the feminist movement would be nowhere, without the Industrial Revolution.
The Industrial Revolution gave women an important place in the male-dominated work force, and, as a result, I do believe that led to the greatest advancement in the feminist movement.
The industrial revolution, and the innovation it produced, gave women more freedom, as traditional chores of women were greatly reduced through new technology. For instance, women no longer needed to spend great amounts of time making clothing, as it could be bought for little from factories. Also, new ovens and washing tools made chores take less time. This gave women more free time, which could be used working one of the many new factory jobs, for instance.