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Feminism can be
defined as the belief in which the political, social, and economic arenas should
withstand equality of sexes. Activist Feminism is the activity aimed
towards ending sexism and patriarchy, in support of women’s rights. In EFR, “Two
Speeches” written by Sojourner Truth would represent activist feminism. She was
a free slave who was not afraid of the criticism, yet one of the few activists
of her time fighting for the equal treatment of women, although illiterate. As
she presented this speech at the 1851 Ohio Women’s Rights Convention, her strength
and endurance to bring passion to the issue at hand paved the way through the
crowds of many men and women who was in attendance.

During her speech, Sojourner
Truth emphasized the points of abolition (slavery) and women’s rights
movements. She discussed how slavery was starting to diminish, and how black
women should be entitled to the same fundamental rights as a free black man. In
her two speeches, she made comparisons of women to men, both mentally and
physically which served as a warning to the audience of her logic behind her
ideology. She expressed that she cannot read, but can hear (Truth 64). This
meant that although through the challenges of not having an education, she was
still aware of the unfair treatment happening at the time, and was willing to
be a part of the change. It is she that stated, “I
have been forty years a slave and forty years free and would be forty years
more to have equal rights for all” (Truth 65). This meaning that she has
already experienced the worse throughout her time, hinting that it can only get
better from this convention. Truth explained what she believed in (equality for
all) with commencement that she is to be taken seriously. She argues that God
was the one who makes “him,” yet it was to be sure that a woman is the one who
bore “him.” Adding onto this, she throws gabs at the audience (full of men) by
asking the question, “Man, where is your part?” (Truth 64). This is her determination
to question society as a whole leaning for the equal rights of men and women.

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Feminism focus’ on the study of what is happening to women and investing and assessing
the situations. The piece that took a stand with literate information and
knowledge was “Letters on the Equality of the Sexes” by Sarah Grimké. Expressed
in her writings, Sarah was educated and knew what she was talking about. In a
letter to her sister, she was responding to Catherine Beecher’s Defense of the subordinate
roles women had and there sexually exploitation to society. The idea that women
had to abide by their “appropriate sphere” (Grimké 48) is what she focused her
piece of writing on, in hopes of demolishing this concept. Instead, she argued
that God is the one who made sexes equal, but the presence of men is who
created the inferiority complex between the two.

            With the
depth of knowledge Sarah Grimké
withheld, she insisted that women were given the same rights, privileges, and
duties as men. This would also include standing a chance at having full participation
in education, choice of work, religion, and politics (Grimké 49-51). Opening up
the case for the convention regarding women’s equality, she demonstrated great
passion and radicalizing her work, representing great intellectual feminism. 

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