Women's Rights-The Good Fight

Submitted By lizzym7770
Words: 797
Pages: 4

Elizabeth Monaghan
Prof. P. Woodworth
2, March 2015
Women’s Rights-The Good Fight What defines a person? The ability to think? The ability to act? Or is it the ability to evaluate what is and is not best for the preservation of a rewarding life? Our forefathers described in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and are endowed with unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, prelude to this passage, Thomas Jefferson writes, “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them”. (U.S. Declaration of Independence, Paragraph 1 1776) Human events, not events only pertaining to men, but to all humans. In 1848, at the first convention held for women’s rights, Elizabeth Cady Stanton valiantly inserted in her speech, Declarations of Sentiment, that these valued rights not only belong to men, but to women as well. Stanton’s speech combined hard truth and heart felt sentiment. It brought much needed clarity to a sympathetic audience and she emerged as a catalyst for an entire movement. Because of Stanton’s strength, leadership, political influence and unprecedented authoritative presence she was able to persuade women to pursue life and freedom as passionately as their male counterparts and change the course of American history. What was it that made Stanton such a passionate advocate for fairness and equality? Her fight began at a very young age. As the daughter of a prominent lawyer and judge, Elizabeth was often reminded by her parents that they would have preferred sons and this resentment was pivotal in forming her sense of justice. She earned an education at Emma Willard’s Troy Female Academy in Troy, New York, which played a vital role in her future endeavors and later married Henry Stanton, an abolitionist and reformer and her most significant ally. Elizabeth realized her destiny as an activist when she and her husband traveled to England in 1840 to attend the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London. It was here that she first met Lucretia Mott, a Quaker minister and progressive. Because they were women, they were unable to fully participate in this convention along with their husbands. Stanton clearly acknowledged that the road paved for women was bleak based and felt compelled to launch a fight against the injustice that was looming over the existence of women. As a woman, Stanton was automatically bias to the unfair treatment of woman and was not alone in her sentiment. As an educated woman, knowledgeable in law and armed by personal experience, she was able to persuade men and women to join her efforts. “He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise. He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men—both natives and foreign”. (Declaration Of Sentiment Paragraph 4 and 6 1848) Stanton had no need to embellish the The state of