Monday, March 31, 2008

Susie B and Friends

March was Women's History Month, and I think I'll take this as an opportunity to share a few quotes from our American Foremothers. Many of these early feminists fought not only for women's rights, but also for the abolition of slavery, the plight of the poor, and the rights of children (both born and unborn). Feminists for Life, a group of which I am a member, highlights the fact that linking the legalization of abortion with the fight for women's rights was not in the spirit of what these pioneers intended. They knew that abortion degrades rather than empowers. That's my soapbox for today--now here are some quotes from those improper troublemakers.

Susan Brownwell Anthony: February 15, 1820-March 13, 1906

"Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences."

"Men their rights and nothing more; women their rights and nothing less. "

"Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these."

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: November 12, 1815-October 26, 1902

"Nature never repeats itself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another."

"The best protection any woman can courage."

“Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility."

On abortion: "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."

Jane Addams: September 6, 1860-May 21, 1935

“The essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of myself."

“America's future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live.”

Alice Paul: January 11, 1885-July 9, 1977

"I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.”

"Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women."

Sojourner Truth: Unknown, 1797-November 26, 1883

At the Ohio Women's Rights Convention of 1851, on being a woman in slavery: "That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?"

“If women want any rights more than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it."

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