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The most effective way to secure a freer America with more opportunity for all is through engaging, educating, and empowering our youth. And the most effective way to achieve that is through investing in The Bill of Rights Institute. We contribute to teachers and students by providing valuable resources, tools, and experiences that promote civic engagement through a historical framework.
You can be a part of this exciting work by making a donation to The Bill of Rights Institute today! Make your investment into the leaders of tomorrow through the Bill of Rights Institute today! Learn more about the different ways you can partner with the Bill of Rights Institute. The Bill of Rights Institute engages, educates, and empowers individuals with a passion for the freedom and opportunity that exist in a free society. Second, that it is contrary to the first charter of human rights given to Adam, and renewed to Noah.
Third, that the fact of slavery having been the subject of prophecy, furnishes no excuse whatever to slavedealers. Fifth, that slavery never existed under the Jewish dispensation; but so far otherwise, that every servant was placed under the protection of law, and care taken not only to prevent all involuntary servitude, but all voluntary perpetual bondage.
Seventh, that slavery is contrary to the example and precepts of our holy and merciful Redeemer, and of his apostles. But perhaps you will be ready to query, why appeal to women on this subject? We do not make the laws which perpetuate slavery. No legislative power is vested in us; we can do nothing to overthrow the system, even if we wished to do so. To this I reply, I know you do not make the laws, but I also know that you are the wives and mothers, the sisters and daughters of those who do and if you really suppose you can do nothing to overthrow slavery, you are greatly mistaken.
You can do much in every way: four things I will name. The letter was addressed to Mary S. There are few things which present greater obstacles to the improvement and elevation of woman to her appropriate sphere of usefulness and duty, than the laws which have been enacted to destroy her independence, and crush her individuality; laws which, although they are framed for her government, she has had no voice in establishing, and which rob her of some of her essential rights. Woman has no political existence. With the single exception of presenting a petition to the legislative body, she is a cipher in the nation; or, if not actually so in representative governments, she is only counted, like the slaves of the South, to swell the of law-makers who form decrees for her government, with little reference to her benefit, except so far as her good may promote their own….
Here now, the very being of woman, like that of a slave, is absorbed in her master. All contracts made with her, like those made with slaves by their owners, are a mere nullity. Our kind defenders have legislated away almost all of our legal rights, and in the true spirit of such injustice and oppression, have kept us in ignorance of those very laws by which we are governed. They have persuaded us, that we have no right to investigate the laws, and that, if we did, we could not comprehend them…. The law thought it reasonable to entrust him with this power of restraining her by domestic chastisement.
The courts of law will still permit a husband to restrain a wife of her liberty, in case of any gross misbehavior. What a mortifying proof this law affords, of the estimation in which woman is held! She is placed completely in the hands of a being subject like herself to the outbursts of passion, and therefore unworthy to be trusted with power. And farther, all the avails of her labor are absolutely in the power of her husband.
All that she acquires by her industry is his; so that she cannot, with her own honest earnings, become the legal purchaser of any property…. The various laws which I have transcribed, leave women very little more liberty, or power, in some respects, than the slave. He can possess nothing, nor acquire anything, but what must belong to his master.
I do not wish by any means to intimate that the condition of free women can be compared to that of slaves in suffering, or in degradation; still, I believe the laws which deprive married women of their rights and privileges, have a tendency to lessen them in their own estimation as moral and responsible beings, and that their being made by civil law inferior to their husbands, had.
Mott first delivered this speech criticizing the restrictions on married women, and later published it. What is she seeking to obtain? Of what rights is she deprived? What privileges are withheld from her? She is seeking not to be governed by laws, in the making of which she has no voice. She is deprived of almost every right in civil society, and is a cypher in the nation, except in the right of presenting a petition. In religious society her disabilities, as already pointed out, have greatly retarded her progress. Her exclusion from the pulpit or ministry—her duties marked out for her by her equal brother man, subject to creeds, rules, and disciplines made for her by him— this is unworthy her true dignity.
In marriage, there is assumed superiority, on the part of the husband, and admitted inferiority, with a promise of obedience, on the part of the wife. This subject calls loudly for examination, in order that the wrong may be redressed. It is with reluctance that I make the demand for the political rights of woman, because this claim is so distasteful to the age. Woman shrinks, in the present state of society, from taking any interest in politics.
But … remember that the age was marked with extravagances and wickedness in men as well as women. Indeed, political life abounds with these excesses, and with shameful outrage. Who knows, but that if woman acted her part in governmental affairs, there might be an entire change in the turmoil of political life. It becomes man to speak modestly of his ability to act without her. Far be it from me to encourage woman to vote, or to take an active part in politics, in the present state of our government.
Her right to the elective franchise however, is the same, and should be yielded to her, whether she exercise that right or not. Would that man too, would have no participation in a government based upon the life-taking principle—upon retaliation and the sword. It is unworthy of a Christian nation. But when, in the diffusion of light and intelligence, a convention shall be called to make regulations for self-government on Christian, non-resistant principles, I can see no good reason, why woman should not participate in such an assemblage, taking part equally with man.
Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. 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! Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! I could work as much and eat as much as a man — when I could get it — and bear the lash as well! Where did your Christ come from?
From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him. If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them. Upcoming Events Explore our upcoming webinars, events and programs. View All Events. Invest In Our Future The most effective way to secure a freer America with more opportunity for all is through engaging, educating, and empowering our youth.
Support now Make your investment into the leaders of tomorrow through the Bill of Rights Institute today! Make a Donation. Learn More. About BRI The Bill of Rights Institute engages, educates, and empowers individuals with a passion for the freedom and opportunity that exist in a free society. : Resources Library Arrow icon. Curriculum: Votes for Women Arrow icon. Lesson: A Movement Arises Fourth, that no such system existed under the patriarchal dispensation. You can read on this subject 2d. You can pray over this subject. You can speak on this subject.
You can act on this subject. My Dear Sister, There are few things which present greater obstacles to the improvement and elevation of woman to her appropriate sphere of usefulness and duty, than the laws which have been enacted to destroy her independence, and crush her individuality; laws which, although they are framed for her government, she has had no voice in establishing, and which rob her of some of her essential rights.Single married women Akron Ohio
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