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Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Birth of Radical Feminism
Thanks to John Hand for sending us the following.
ACFC
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
BTW:  Most of us think that the suffragettes, as led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
bore a pure agenda.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  If anyone wants to know
where neanderthal radical feminist attitudes towards men were born, and where the
concept of the "unquestionable purity of womanhood" came from, they need not look any
farther than Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her understudy in hatred of men, Andrea Dworkin.
The political trickery has not changed one bit.  The game is to blame men for
all evils in society, even the ones women want and demand that men do for them.  For
example, it is well known that most wars came about because women wanted the resources,
and men went out to get them.  We all know a number of real famous women in history
who were brutal rulers, despite the historic paucity of them -- but of course
radical feminists refuse to own up to reality.
It is 140 years later, and we still haven't separated the good from the bad and
the ugly. It is time that the media and all politicians unearth the deeply-rooted sexist
attitudes driving the radical feminist movement, and walk away from any and all agenda
bearing the ugly watermark driving the majority of human rights violations in western
civilization today.
JH
--------------------------------------------
         Elizabeth Cady Stanton - The Destructive Male
I urge a sixteenth amendment, because 'manhood suffrage,' or a man's
government, is civil, religious, and social disorganization. The male
element is a destructive force, stern, selfish, aggrandizing, loving war,
violence, conquest, acquisition, breeding in the material and moral world
alike discord, disorder, disease, and death. See what a record of blood and
cruelty the pages of history reveal! Through what slavery, slaughter, and
sacrifice, through what inquisitions and imprisonments, pains and
persecutions, black codes and gloomy creeds, the soul of humanity has
struggled for the centuries, while mercy has veiled her face and all hearts
have been dead alike to love and hope!
The male element has held high carnival thus far; it has fairly run riot
from the beginning, overpowering the feminine element everywhere, crushing
out all the divine equalities in human nature, until we know but little of
true manhood and womanhood, of the latter comparatively nothing, for it has
scarce been recognized as a power until within the last century. Society is
but the reflection of man himself, untempered by woman's thought; the hard
iron rule we feel alike in the church, the state, and the home. No one need
wonder at the disorganization, at the fragmentary condition of everything,
when we remember that man, who represents but half a complete being, with
but half an idea on every subject, has undertaken the absolute control of
all sublunary matters.
People object to the demands of those whom they choose to call the
strong-minded, because they say 'the right of suffrage will make the women
masculine.' That is just the difficulty in which we are involved today.
Though disfranchised, we have few women in the best sense; we have simply so
many reflections, varieties, and dilutions of the masculine gender. The
strong, natural characteristics of womanhood are repressed and ignored in
dependence, for so long as man feeds woman she will try to please the giver
and adapt herself to his condition. To keep a foothold in society, woman
must be as near like man as possible, reflect his ideas, opinions, virtues,
motives, prejudices, and vices. She must respect his statutes, though they
strip her of every inalienable right, and conflict with that higher law
written by the finger of God on her own soul.
She must look at everything from its dollar-and-cent point of view, or she
is a mere romancer. She must accept things as they are and make the best of
them. To mourn over the miseries of others, the poverty of the poor, their
hardships in jails, prisons, asylums, the horrors of war, cruelty, and
brutality in every form, all this would be mere sentimentalizing. To protest
against the intrigue, bribery, and corruption of public life, to desire that
her sons might follow some business that did not involve lying, cheating,
and a hard, grinding selfishness, would be arrant nonsense.
In this way man has been molding woman to his ideas by direct and positive
influences, while she, if not a negation, has used indirect means to control
him, and in most cases developed the very characteristics both in him and
herself that needed repression. And now man himself stands appalled at the
results of his own excesses, and mourns in bitterness that falsehood,
selfishness, and violence are the law of life. The need of this hour is not
territory, gold mines, railroads, or specie payments but a new evangel of
womanhood, to exalt purity, virtue, morality, true religion, to lift man up
into the higher realms of thought and action.
We ask woman's enfranchisement, as the first step toward the recognition of
that essential, as the first step toward the recognition of that essential
element in government that can only secure the health, strength, and
prosperity of the nation. Whatever is done to lift woman to her true
position will help to usher in a new day of peace and perfection for the race.
In speaking of the masculine element, I do not wish to be understood to say
that all men are hard, selfish, and brutal, for many of the most beautiful
spirits the world has known have been clothed with manhood; but I refer to
those characteristics, though often marked in woman, that distinguish what
is called the stronger sex. For example, the love of acquisition and
conquest, the very pioneers of civilization, when expended on the earth, the
sea, the elements, the riches and forces of nature, are powers of
destruction when used to subjugate one man to another or to sacrifice
nations to ambition.
Here that great conservator of woman's love, if permitted to assert itself,
as it naturally would in freedom against oppression, violence, and war,
would hold all these destructive forces in check, for woman knows the cost
of life better than man does, and not with her consent would one drop of
blood ever be shed, one life sacrificed in vain.
With violence and disturbance in the natural world, we see a constant effort
to maintain an equilibrium of forces. Nature, like a loving mother, is ever
trying to keep land and sea, mountain and valley, each in its place, to hush
the angry winds and waves, balance the extremes of heat and cold, of rain
and drought, that peace, harmony, and beauty may reign supreme. There is a
striking analogy between matter and mind, and the present disorganization of
society warns us that in the dethronement of woman we have let loose the
elements of violence and ruin that she only has the power to curb. If the
civilization of the age calls for an extension of the suffrage, surely a
government of the most virtuous educated men and women would better
represent the whole and protect the interests of all than could the
representation of either sex alone.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton - 1868
[Many of Ms. Stanton's writings can be found at:
http://readroom.ipl.org/cgi/i/ipl/ipl.books-idx.pl  or
http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/stanton/years/years.html ]

 

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