“Declaration of Sentiments” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1848)

“Declaration of Sentiments” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1848)

[Mirroring the language of the Declaration of Independence]

  • We’re at a time where we’ve got to start questioning if it’s right that half the population speak up & change its role
    • Natural rights & God’s will require it
  • Men & women are self-evidently equal & have rights given to them by God – life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness – & no one can alienate them of those rights
    • The government can only claim to be legitimate if it ensures these rights & if it doesn’t, the offended party owes it no allegiance & should work toward one that does
    • Revolution is not something to be taken lightly but when evil is suffered continuously, it’s time for a change
  • History is loaded with examples where men have injured & tyrannized women:
    • No voting rights for women
    • Making women obey laws they had no hand in writing & no voice in maintaining
    • More rights are given to “ignorant” & “degraded” men – both foreign & native than to women
    • Without representation in Congress, they’re subject to oppression
    • Once married, a woman is civilly dead
      • Husbands have rights over wives’ property & wages
    • Women aren’t considered moral beings, being compelled to fulfill the demands of their husbands in a master-servant relationship
    • Laws of divorce are devastating to women, including guardianship over children
    • If a single woman has property or wages, she pays tax to a government that doesn’t represent her
    • Most jobs bar women from them
      • Ones that don’t pay terribly
    • Men allow only “honorable” jobs for themselves – clergy, law, medicine
    • Colleges & universities are closed to women
    • Women are only in Church & State as subordinates to men
    • Men have arrogated power from God to decide what woman should & shouldn’t do, & decides the consequences of breaking those expectations
    • Men have put down women whenever they could
  • Women have had enough of being 2nd class citizens & being deprived of their natural rights
    • As citizens, they are entitled to them
  • The movement is ready to fight for rights & to be maligned
    • We’ll do what is right & whatever we can to get our rights

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