Eighty Years and More Essay

Published: 2019-10-10 12:24:29
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It took a very long while before Elizabeth Cady Stanton was able to cover enough ground for womens rights in her lifetime but she did. In her writing entitled, Eighty Years and More, she reflected on her past experiences and how much things had changed even if people cared less about her issues. Although the right for women to vote came in 1920, seven decades since she started fighting for it, there were still many other small issues that showed how women were marginalized in society. These issues are considered subtle because they are so woven into the cultural lives of people that they go unnoticed or ignored.

Some of the small issues she mentioned were regarding fashion, leisure, faith reflections and even event celebrations. Stanton mentioned that after the Declaration of Sentiments, a friend, Amelia Bloomer, designed the famous dress that took after the latters name. It was far from the usual long skirted designs that women were used to being seen in. It was comfortable and allowed women to have more freedom in movement. It was also considerably more healthy to womens spinal cords because it was also lighter than the gowns that wasted heavy yards of textile.

Women who wore the bloomers, however, were ridiculed and the bloomers faded into the history of fashion too soon for ladies comforts. Stanton also mentioned that she wanted to see if women were really treated unfairly in the Bible and so she and eight others decided to study it. They realized that less than ten percent of the teachings on such a Holy Book referred to women and decided to make their own reflections and studies on it. However, even in the matters of faith, the clergy chose to attack their work saying that it was written by Satan. The Church was clearly a very strong factor that went against womens rights.

It became a central issue even on the subject of women riding bicycles. Stanton received questions asking if God really allowed women to bike and what should they wear or if it is permissible to do on Sundays! Stanton merely believes that any gender can use the bicycle for as long as he or she does not step on another persons rights. There were also events that marginalize women in society even if it did not seem harmful. One of these was Forefathers Day which did not allow women to participate in the activities. It took seven years before females were able to establish the Foremothers day wherein men were also not allowed to participate.

Although Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought specific issues like divorce for physically abused women and right to vote, the subtle daily indignities that subject women to having less opportunities for freedom still abound. Fashion, societal events and even faith played subtle roles in marginalizing women in the 19th century. I believe that Stanton was not exaggerating the plight of women and makes a credible case. Although considerably physically weaker than men, women have other capabilities that were considerably important in establishing a better society.

Traditions and faith can be very powerful tools for prejudice because these are woven within the culture and beliefs that are taught from generation to generation. These little things are like grains of rice that go against women. Grains can be very small and insignificant but when collected, it can be very heavy and need more attention. The small ignorable traditions and mindset of the people were like the grains that were heavy enough to deter women from gaining full freedom to develop themselves well.

Stanton had to use all efforts necessary to help people understand how these subtle indignities to women were actually prejudicial and can still be changed. I believe that women having the right to vote make a very big difference in society in general. First, the right to the electoral process accords women the proper respect from men who consider the feminine gender inferior. Secondly, the power to vote allows women to voice out their needs. It gives women the chance to show and say what they need. It allows women to find ways in amending other laws that can be hurtful to their sex.

It also prevents men from abusing women in society whether physically, emotionally or spiritually. I believe that Elizabeth Cady Stantons fight for women to vote was very necessary because the power to vote is a very good protector of womens other rights. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a great woman who used all her possible resources to ensure she was fighting for the right causes. She used reflections about her life, her observations on other peoples behaviors and beliefs, and her own intellectual knowledge of the law and morality. She is definitely a woman who was able to bargain for more.

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