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The Struggle for Equal AdulthoodGender, Race, and the Fight for Citizenship in Antebellum America$
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Corinne T. Field

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469618142

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469618142.001.0001

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The Voyage of Life and Equal Opportunity

The Voyage of Life and Equal Opportunity

(p.96) Chapter Four The Voyage of Life and Equal Opportunity
The Struggle for Equal Adulthood

Corinne T. Field

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the contention by women's rights activists that every individual should be given an equal opportunity to navigate his or her own voyage of life. It considers the temporal idea of maturation and womanhood that challenged the spatial metaphors of separate spheres for the sexes and segregation for the races, as well as the use of chronological age to define the rights and duties of older Americans. More specifically, it analyzes the argument that age twenty-one must become a transition to full citizenship for all Americans. Finally, it discusses the views of Frances Harper and Sojourner Truth regarding the moral maturity of black women.

Keywords:   women's rights, equal opportunity, voyage of life, maturation, chronological age, full citizenship, Frances Harper, Sojourner Truth, moral maturity, black women

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