Take it all in all a man has a certain chance to get
along in life.
A woman, on the other hand, has little or none. The
world's work is open to her, but she cannot do it. She lacks
the physical strength for laying bricks or digging coal. If
put to work on a steel beam a hundred feet above the ground,
she would fall off. For the pursuit of business her head is
all wrong. Figures confuse her. She lacks sustained
attention and in point of morals the average woman is, even
for business, too crooked.
Despite the conditions of today, during the first half of
the 20th century, women were considered second-class
citizens by law, as well as by custom. Viewed as different
from men in character, as well as by nature, many in the
male-dominated society viewed women as inferior to men. Motherhood was viewed as the highest
achievement of women, and it was assumed that every "normal"
woman wanted to have a family. For a woman to desire a
career outside of the home was considered strange, and many
who chose this path were viewed with suspicion.
Some people limit their definition of feminism to radical
feminism—women who rioted in the streets, destroyed
property, and tangled with police, or as the act of choosing
a career at the expense of marriage and motherhood. The
Famous 5 embraced both ideals, working inside and outside of
the home. All five women felt marriage and motherhood were
vitally important in addition to the pursuit of a career.
For that reason, modern feminists sometimes criticize them
as being "maternal" feminists.
Regardless of some definitions of feminism, the Famous 5
believed that women should have equal rights with men, and
not be treated as second-class citizens; they believed that
a woman should have the same career opportunities as men,
should receive equal pay for equal work; and that women
should be able to choose to have careers as well as families.
While anti-feminists argued that women's rightful place
was in the home, leaders of the women's movement countered
with a claim of women's moral superiority.