First-wave feminism refers to a period of time in the women’s movement that took place during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many scholars cite the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention as the official beginning of first-wave feminism. The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 came about due to Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton being refused seating in the main hall during the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840. They were forced to sit behind a curtain simply because they were women, even though they were U.S. delegates at the convention. Both women realized experiences like this necessitated a women’s movement that could address issues of gender inequality. At the Seneca Falls Convention, approximately 300 activists, including a small handful of men, Deborah Siegel ...

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