Matilda Joslyn Gage On Women's Suffrage

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In the late 19th century, woman’s suffrage was an extreme idea usually promoted by outspoken people on the outside of polite society. The beginning of the movement was weak and fragile, with supporters trying their best to push woman’s suffrage into the spotlight and onto the main party platforms. The movement could not afford to have supporters more volatile than the already radical idea of allowing woman the vote. In an effort to push support for woman’s suffrage in the 1880s, the National Woman’s Suffrage Association (NWSA) decided that they needed to portray themselves and their supporters as respectable and honorable women. Matilda Joslyn Gage was one of several woman whose contributions were downplayed by the history books and by …show more content…

While the three types are not designated to a specific era, they often follow a linear path with the history of woman’s suffrage and woman’s rights. Examples of rights feminists include early reformers like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Rights feminists believed that woman should be given suffrage because it was their right as citizens. Following these woman are difference feminists, like Frances Willard. These feminists believed that woman should be given the vote because woman would represent different ideas and beliefs in the polls. Finally, there are emancipation feminists who believe in the total and absolute freedom for woman.
Some feminists align clearly with one type, while others are a mixture of both, or even change later in their lives. Matilda Joslyn Gage was a rights feminist who believed that woman should be given their rights because off of their humanity and that woman needed to break free from the harsh social constructions of the Christian Churches. Gage’s beliefs can clearly be seen throughout her life and inspired from her childhood.
Matilda Joslyn Gage was born on the 24th of March 1826 to Dr. Hezekiah Joslyn and Helen Leslie in Cicero, New York. Gage was an only child and was raised in a reformist home. Dr. Hezekiah Gage was a well-known and open supporter of abolition and their family home was a stop on the famed Underground Railroad. Her childhood created a lifelong passion for civil rights

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