I just watched Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. This is an excellent documentary, again by Ken Burns, that explores the lives of these two very important feminists. I would say it is a must see documentary.

It is nearly four hours long, so there is just no way I can tell you all the facts, except for this: These are two astounding and accomplished women who deserve more of our respect and admiration.

I also watched the much shorter Biography DVD entitled Susan B. Anthony: Rebel for the Cause. It is decent, but if you only watch one, watch Not For Ourselves Alone.

Here are two excerpts from wikipedia.com. As usual, at the bottom of each page you'll find useful links to other websites.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was an American social activist abolitionist, and leading figure of the early woman's movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the first women's rights convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized woman's rights and woman's suffrage movements in the United States.

Before Stanton narrowed her political focus almost exclusively to women's rights, she was an active abolitionist together with her husband, Henry Brewster Stanton and cousin, Gerrit Smith. Unlike many of those involved in the women's rights movement, Stanton addressed a number of issues pertaining to women beyond voting rights. Her concerns included women's parental and custody rights, property rights, employment and income rights, divorce laws, the economic health of the family, and birth control. She was also an outspoken supporter of the 19th-century temperance movement.

After the American Civil War, Stanton's commitment to female suffrage caused a schism in the women's rights movement when she, along with Susan B. Anthony, declined to support passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. She opposed giving added legal protection and voting rights to African American men while continuing to deny women, black and white, the same rights. Her position on this issue, together with her thoughts on organized Christianity and women's issues beyond voting rights, led to the formation of two separate women's rights organizations that were finally rejoined, with Stanton as president of the joint organization, approximately 20 years later.


Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She traveled the United States and Europe, and gave 75 to 100 speeches every year on women's rights for 45 years.

Susan B. Anthony was born and raised in West Grove, near Adams, Massachusetts. She was the second oldest of seven children, Guelma Penn (1818), Susan Brownell (1820), Hannah E. (1821), Daniel Read (1824), Mary Stafford (1827), Eliza Tefft (1832), and Jacob Merritt (1834), born to Daniel Anthony and Lucy Read. One brother, publisher Daniel Read Anthony, would become active in the anti-slavery movement in Kansas, while a sister, Mary Stafford Anthony, became a teacher and a woman's rights activist. Anthony remained close to her sisters throughout her life.

Anthony's father Daniel was a cotton manufacturer and abolitionist, a stern but open-minded man who was born into the Quaker religion.[1] He did not allow toys or amusements into the household, claiming that they would distract the soul from the "inner light." Her mother Lucy was a student in Daniel's school; the two fell in love and agreed to marry in 1817, but Lucy was less sure about marrying into the Society of Friends (Quakers). She was not a convinced Quaker and claimed that she was “not good enough” for them. Lucy Anthony was a progressive-minded woman. She attended the Rochester women’s rights convention held in August 1848, two weeks after the historic Seneca Falls Convention, and signed the Rochester convention’s Declaration of Sentiments. Lucy and Daniel Anthony enforced self-discipline, principled convictions, and belief in one's own self-worth.


Elizabeth Cady Stanton Quotes

Human beings lose their logic in their vindictiveness.

The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation.

Surely the immutable laws of the universe can teach more impressive and exalted lessons than the holy books of all the religions on earth.

The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing one young soul with the superstition of the Christian religion.



Susan B. Anthony Quotes

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.

The fact is, women are in chains, and their servitude is all the more debasing because they do not realize it.

It would be ridiculous to talk of male and female atmospheres, male and female springs or rains, male and female sunshine.... how much more ridiculous is it in relation to mind, to soul, to thought, where there is as undeniably no such thing as sex, to talk of male and female education and of male and female schools. [written with Elizabeth Cady Stanton]

No man is good enough to govern any woman without her consent.

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.



Useful Links
Married Women's Property Act

Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions
Woman's Rights Convention, Held at Seneca Falls, 19-20 July 1848

Solitude of Self, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The Woman's Bible, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The Woman's Bible is a two-part book, written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a committee of 26 women, and published in 1895 and 1898 to challenge the traditional position of religious orthodoxy that woman should be subservient to man. By producing the book, Stanton wished to promote a radical liberating theology, one that stressed self-development. The book attracted a great deal of controversy and antagonism at its introduction.

Tags: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, feminism, suffrage, voting rights, women's rights

Views: 220

Replies to This Discussion

These two women are great inspirations to me (in fact, my first child's middle name is "Cady" - a nod to my and my husband's feminism.) Thank you for posting this.

When I have a chance, I'll be back to post about Ernestine Rose
Thanks. Yes, please do. I don't know her at all.

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