Women's Rights Movement

3386 WordsMay 5, 200114 Pages
Not ago, In the nineteenth century, the words that our forefathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence, "that all men were created equal," held little value. Human equality was far from a reality. If you were not born of white male decent, than that phrase did not apply to you. During this period many great leaders and reformers emerged, fighting both for the rights of African Americans and for the rights of women. One of these great leaders was Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton dedicated her entire life to the women's movement, despite the opposition she received, from both her family and friends. In the course of this paper, I will be taking a critical look at three of Stanton's most acclaimed speeches "Declaration of Sentiments",…show more content…
Their base of argument was no longer on "universal suffrage", rather the suffrage of women, based on the actual grievances of women's lives. Stanton brought into attention the sexual exploitation of women, the nature of marriage, and the need for divorce reform (DuBois 94). She made the connection between these exploitations and the need for political equality in a speech that she delivered in 1875, "Home Life". Again, I will be addressing this speech in greater detail, later in my paper. Elizabeth Stanton was no stranger to criticism. Later in the movement she introduced many controversial beliefs that many critics would say discredited her accountability as a great leader (Banner 159). Stanton believed that organized religion had a conservative impact on society, which led women to tolerance and submission to authority, which counteracts the movement's belief in equality. Stanton made her opinions public that she felt the church is was major cause of women's oppression. This belief was not popular among many of the followers, thus causing them to turn against her. The later part of the nineteenth century was not an easy time for Stanton. She was heralded as being a radicalist in a time were conservatism was dominant. Stanton, realized that her time as a key leader of the movement was running out. In her most famous speech, "Solitude of Self",
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