The Work of 19th Century Feminists Essay example

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The United States, in the 19th century was a place that was only meant for men, specifically white men. To be a woman in the 19th century meant being someone’s property, someone’s responsibility and defiantly not able to make your own decisions. Nineteenth century feminists began to question the laws, and regulations that were placed by the government at that time. They began speaking up, quoting the bible, constitution and declaration of independence. “It was we the people, not we, the white male citizens, nor yet we, the make citizens; but we the whole people, who formed this Union” (Anthony 41). That they too were human beings, therefore citizens, which meant they were entitled to the benefits of what it meant to be a citizen not just…show more content…
These writers describe the bond between a mother and a child as something that is sacred, something that cannot be replaced, and the fact that a mother had no rights over her child was cruel and unjust. Stanton describes the love of a mother for her child as a bond that you can't compare to any other relationship, as the most important relationship a child and a mother could ever experience. “Look at the position of woman as mother. There is no human love so generous, strong and steadfast as that of the mother for her child; yet behold how cruel and ruthless are your laws touching this most sacred relation” (Stanton 23). She then goes on to say that a mother has no choice in what might happen to her children that the father of those children is to do as he pleases. The laws give a father full custody of any child under the age of 21 and that is unmarried. “A mother’s love can be no protection to a child…to save it from a father’s cruelty” (Stanton 24). Susan B. Anthony makes the same point that a woman has no rights concerning her child in most states that it is all up to the father, regardless if that man is able to be a good father. Regardless if that father has the best intentions for that child. “No matter if he were a brutal, drunken libertine, he had the legal right, without the mother’s consent, to apprentice her sons to rum sellers, or her daughter to brothel keepers”(Anthony 50). Charlotte Perkins Gilman makes a slightly different observation
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