"In a world that told them how to think, she showed them how to live.
In the movie Mona Lisa Smile, directed by Mike Newell in 2003, three eligible women have choices and what they chose grounds them to the roles they play in society and what inevitable leads them to feminism because of the choices they made.
Feminism began well before the 1960-70's to which most people regard as its beginning. The first hint of feminism was in 1792, when Mary Wollstonecraft released her book Vindication of the Rights of Women; however, nothing ever came of her fight for feminism. In 1848, in Seneca Falls, New York two women Elizabeth Cady Stanton , Lucretia Coffin Mott, and others in the women's convention pushed for the addition of women's liberation in the Constitution (Olin, 1). Women issued a declaration of independence, demanding full legal impartiality, full educational and commercial opportunity, equal compensation, the right to collect wages, and the right to vote. The movement spread quickly and soon extended to Europe. With a lot of work and dedication women's demands for higher education, entry into various lines of work, married women's rights to property, and the right to vote were approved (Unknown 1). After woman suffrage was won in 1920, women were divided on the question of equal standing with men.
In 1963, author Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, a critique of middle-class ways of life that aided millions of women in expressing their discontent. She argued that women often had no outlets for expression other than "finding a husband and bearing children." "Friedan encouraged readers to seek new roles and responsibilities, to seek their own personal and professional identities rather than have them defined by the outside, male-dominated society" (Unknown 1). .
It is now the year 2004 and women have come a long way from Mary Wollstonecraft. In 1966, 28 professional women, including Betty Friedan, created the National Organization for Women (NOW) "to take action to bring American women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now.