That OTHER Mrs. Stanton – An ECS Story

That OTHER Mrs. Stanton – An ECS Story

An Incident Which Shows That
One Should Not Talk Too Much.

Here is an incident which, to be appreciated, needs a glance at the sweet womanly face of the young Mrs. Stanton.

Mrs. Stanton was summering at Saratoga, eagerly enjoying the delights of that fascinating young watering place half a century ago – a merry young mother, in great demand for her agreeable manners and sparkling conversation, as well as for her talented performances upon the guitar.

Chatting with a friend one day, the woman question – that bugbear of the moment – was brought up.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“Isn’t it dreadful,” he remarked, “to think of a woman so unsexing herself as actually to appear before the legislature at Albany?”

Naturally enough, the heroine of this very shocking procedure protested against this interpretation of woman’s sphere; yet, amused by her friend’s faux pas, mischievously she led him on.

“What kind of a woman is this Mrs. Stanton?” she inquired.

“Oh, a dreadful kind of a woman!” was the reply. “Just the kind of woman one would expect would do such a thing.”

“Do describe her,” pleaded his tormentor. “Tell me more about her.”

And he, nothing loath, went on: “Well, she’s a large, masculine-looking woman, with high cheek-bones and a loud, harsh voice don’t you know just one of those regular woman’s rights women.” (more…)

Alva Belmont: Women as Dictators (1922)

Alva Belmont: Women as Dictators (1922)

By Alva Belmont for
Ladies Home Journal, September 1922

TWENTY-FOUR hours after the dedication of the Woman’s Parliament in Washington a representative of THE LADIES’ HOME JOURNAL asked me what I really meant when I said that henceforth women are to be dictators. She was the fortieth or fiftieth person who had put the same question to me in that very limited space of time.

I meant then, and mean now, exactly what I said.

The end of the dictatorship of the world by men alone is in sight. We women have lived long enough in the cramped confines of a misfit social structure. We have been forced to sit still too long. We have been powerless for such an endless time that we have accumulated enough stored-up energy to shape any structure to our will.

We know we can manage the house. We can reconstruct it. We can put on a left wing and a right wing. We can add a sun porch to let in the light. We could even tear the house down if we liked-and I think men know that too.

The time has come to take this world muddle that men have created and strive to turn it into an ordered, peaceful, happy abiding place for humanity. In its present condition, the world is its own worst indictment against the sole dictatorship of men. Men have always obstructed and suppressed the intellect of one-half of the human race. They have always worked for themselves. That is not sufficient. The error lies here. (more…)

School For Suffragets (1910)

School For Suffragets (1910)

The suffragettes are planning to start a college course to teach the youth of America the value and justice of votes for women.

The course as outlined will include instruction on the evolution of womankind; of the wooing with rocks in the Stone age; of the chattel days of the Middle ages; of her present condition in most states where, equipped with learning, finish, brains, integrity and conscience, she is denied a vote.

The idea is fine. It should be broadened, the course widened, with every woman an instructor.

The greatest crusaders to the real cause of woman’s rights will not be found in the school room.

(more…)

Happy Birthday Elizabeth Cady Stanton!

Elizabeth_StantonOn November 12, 1815, the pioneering American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in Johnstown, New York. Stanton was a leader in 19th century activism for women’s suffrage. She often worked with Susan B. Anthony as the theorist and chief writer for the movement while Anthony acted as the public spokesperson for women’s rights.

Holding fast to her belief in true equality, when Elizabeth Cady married abolitionist Henry Brewster Stanton in 1840 she insist that the word obey be dropped from the ceremony.

While she is is best known for her lifelong contributions to the woman suffrage struggle, she was effective in winning property rights for married women, equal guardianship of children, and liberalized divorce laws that all helped to make it possible for women to leave marriages that were harmful to the wife, children, or economic health of the family.

Mrs. Stanton died in New York on October 26, 1902 – 20 years before American women won the right to vote.

I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives but as nouns.

-Elizabeth Cady Stanton

In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object.

Declaration of Sentiments,
Seneca Falls Convention (July 19-20, 1848)

Our “pathway” is straight to the ballot box, with no variableness nor shadow of turning… We demand in the Reconstruction suffrage for all the citizens of the Republic. I would not talk of Negroes or women, but of citizens.

Letter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Women have crucified the Mary Wollstonecrafts, the Fanny Wrights, and the George Sands of all ages. Men mock us with the fact and say we are ever cruel to each other… If this present woman must be crucified, let men drive the spikes.

Letter to Lucretia Mott

I have endeavored to dissipate these religious superstitions from the minds of women, and base their faith on science and reason, where I found for myself at last that peace and comfort I could never find in the Bible and the church.

– “The Degraded Status of Woman in the Bible”,
Free Thought Magazine, September 1896

To make laws that man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt.

-Address to the Tenth National Women’s
Rights Convention on Marriage and Divorce,
New York City, May 11, 1860

To deny political equality is to rob the ostracised of all self-respect; of credit in the market place; of recompense in the world of work; of a voice among those who make and administer the law; a choice in the jury before whom they are tried, and in the judge who decides their punishment.

Addressing Committee of the
Judiciary, January 18, 1892

Men think that self-sacrifice is the most charming of all the cardinal virtues for women, and in order to keep it in healthy working order, they make opportunities for its illustration as often as possible. I would fain teach women that self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice.

The Woman’s Bible (1898)

Anti-Suffragists Caught Forging Telegrams

Anti-Suffragists Caught Forging Telegrams

There were women and men who opposed the suffrage movement for different reasons and by different means, but are collectively referred to as Anti-suffragists, or just “Antis” in newspapers and magazines.

Many ‘Antis’ based their opposition on the idea that women’s natural role, or womanly duty, was to exercise influence and reform through other means – through the example of her behavior and her gentle influence on men for the greater good.

But sometimes they took things too far and got caught:

ANTIS CHARGED WITH USING FORGED NAMES

Telegrams’ Protesting to White House
Denied By New Jersey People.

The Washington Times, October 07, 1915Opponents of woman suffrage In New Jersey, forging the names of prominent persons of Trenton and other cities, are sending telegrams to the White House protesting against the President’s (Wilson) announcement in favor of votes for women in his home state.

These telegrams signed with the names of Richard Stockton, and other prominent New Jersey people were received at the White House last night. Secretary to the President Tumulty replied and received indignant denials from the persons whose names had been signed to the original telegrams protesting that they had sent no messages of any kind whatsoever.

Hundreds of other telegrams from persons favoring woman suffrage have been received at the White House.

Source: The Washington Times, October 07, 1915