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…)

Gift idea:  “Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom…” – You are Welcome!

Gift idea: “Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom…” – You are Welcome!

Black Friday has come and gone, but anyone still needing to pick up a gift for a woman they love is in luck.  Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom: Witty, Wicked and Wise Reflections on Well-Lived Lives by  Dr. Lois P. Frankel and illustrated by Lisa Graves is available as a paperback.

Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom

Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom

This gorgeous 182-page book collects advice, reflections, and memories from women of all walks of life. Dr. Frankel decided to focus the book on women from the age of seventy and up, including a few centenarians.  These woman encompass a wide range of human experience and come from a multitude of economic, religious, educational, and ethnic backgrounds.

In her introduction she lays out the guiding principle of the book:

Unfortunately most people tend to lump all older women into the same homogenous pile when nothing could be further from the truth.  They are as different in maturity as they were in their youth. … Social-minded young women become mature women who volunteer for hospice or teach immigrant women how to read… adventurous young women continue to seek challenges to conquer.  The stories I collected from women around the world reflect these differences in temperament, background, experiences, and interests.

These quotes appear alongside snippets of biographical information to provide context to what these women have to share with the rest of us.

The book itself is beautiful. The text is lifted and highlighted by Lisa Grave’s beautiful illustrations throughout the stories.  You can find more links to Grave’s work on her History Witch Facebook page.

The photos, typefaces, layout, and art come together as a lovely book that would make a great gift this year.  If I had my wish, Frankel and Graves would adapt this book into a daily quote calendar.  I would totally buy that.

And if you buy a copy for yourself… which you totally should… there is an added bonus in the form of 6 beautifully designed pages to record some wisdom from ‘an Ageless Woman in Your Life.’

Ageless Woman, Timeless Wisdom

Ageless Woman, Timeless Wisdom

(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)

Margaret Sanger: Woman Rebel

Margaret Sanger: Woman Rebel

Margaret Sanger, birth control crusader, feminist and reformer, was one of the most controversial and compelling figures of the 20th century. The first volume of “The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger,” titled “The Woman Rebel, 1900-1928,” documents the critical phases and influences of an American feminist icon and offers rare glimpses into her working-class childhood, burgeoning feminism, spiritual and scientific interests, sexual explorations, and diverse roles as wife, mother, nurse, journalist, radical socialist and activist.

In spite of the some perceived negative aspects of her determination to be a martyr for the birth control movement, Sanger was a positive social force in testing and denouncing the Comstock law. The law, named for Anthony Comstock, a postal inspector who had lobbied Congress to forbid the distribution of obscene materials throughout the United States, equated birth control and sex education with obscenity. (more…)