November 12th is Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s birthday, and it’s my mother Wilma’s birthday as well. And don’t forget my friend and collaborator Olivia Twine who weighs in with November 12th as her birthday. November is heavily weighted with women’s birthdays, and the National Women’s History Project does a great job of pointing this out.
After a trip to the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States this fall, we stood witness to the places that percolated with activity and risks during the 19th century. And these free thought activists experienced their share of criticism as well. Each year we promote travel to Seneca Falls, NY and the national park there with a virtual birthday party for Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Join us this year!
But not everyone is taking a seat at the virtual birthday party. Blogger Mikki Kendall believes that Elizabeth Cady Stanton is a skeleton in the closet of feminism. Listen to her audio. Lori Ginzberg, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s biographer, expresses what it was like to write a biography of Stanton, the first serious biography in decades, and she doesn’t spare any words about Stanton’s mixed history in the suffrage movement.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Stanton caused waves on many levels. And the purpose of studying any period of history is to draw a circle around it and examine the details, the warts, the high and low points. The suffragists were as varied as any group of women voters today, and we continue to build on their strong shoulders. Here at Suffrage Wagon News Channel we rock the cradle by embracing the suffrage movement as an important part of American history.
Visit Seneca Falls, New York: Historic gateway to the Finger Lakes. Seneca Falls has an insider’s guide. Women’s Rights National Historic Park. National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY. Find out about other historic sites to visit in the “Cradle” of the suffrage movement near Seneca Falls, NY. A one-hour documentary about Seneca Falls, NY and nine teenage girls who visited there to discover themselves and their history. Ideas for teachers. Review of novel about Seneca Falls by Tara Bloyd.
Follow the Suffrage Wagon with twice-weekly posts of news and views of the suffrage movement.
I’ve always wondered why, to be worthy of our admiration, women have to be perfect. Men don’t seem to have a problem studying/celebrating/memorializing men of the past who accomplished great things though they were, perhaps, racists or sexists. The founding fathers come to mind. Martin Luther King was unfaithful to his wife, does that mean we don’t celebrate his birthday? Frankly, I see the rejection of women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Carrie Chapman Catt as a kind of double standard — where women are expected to be morally above reproach. Does this mean we sweep their less admirable characteristics under the rug? No! But we will never have a genuine women’s history if women can’t be just as bad as men.