STATE: “May we now safely prophesy justice, liberty, equality for our daughters ere another centennial birthday shall dawn upon us.”EC Stanton
Gage: “A proper self-respect cannot inhere in any person under governmental control of others. Unless the person so governed constantly maintains a system of rebellion in thought or deed, the soul gradually becomes debased and the finest principles of human nature suffer a rapid process of disintegration.”
Oh, how history repeats itself. We now in 2016 just witnessed the death of the lead conservative woman Phyllis Schlafly who attacked the ERA, Equal Rights Amendment, to the US Constitution in the 70s.
Matilda Joslyn Gage, Fayetteville, NY and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s, Seneca Falls, NY institutional analysis of oppression of women in the 1850s was based on the four-fold bondage of woman—Church, State, Capital and Society.
CHURCH: Stanton: “Every form of religion that has breathed upon the earth has degraded women.”
Gage: “the laws, civil and social, each equally burdensome, are of church origin, and not until the church is destroyed will women be freed.” (This was when women were not allowed to speak in church or public.)
CAPITAL: Stanton: “Married women are upper servants without wages. . .. It is impossible to have ‘equal rights for all’ under our present competitive system…The few have no right to the luxuries of life, while the many are denied its necessities.”
Gage: “ In European countries and in the US we find her everywhere receiving less pay than man for the same kind and quality of work…the church teaching that woman was made for man still exerts its poisonous influence, still destroys woman…not alone employers and male laborers oppress woman but legislation is frequently invoked to prevent her entering certain occupations.”
SOCIETY: Stanton: “Society as organized today under the man power is one grand rape of womanhood.”
Gage: “Although our country makes great professions in regard to general liberty, yet the right to particular liberty, natural equality, and personal independence, of two great portions of this country, is treated, from custom, with the greatest contempt; and color in the one instance, and sex in the other; are brought as reasons why they should be so derided; and the mere mention of such natural rights is frowned upon, as tending to promote sedition and anarchy.”
All quotes from Sisters in Spirit by historian Sally Roesch Wagner.