“Declaration of Sentiments” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

For Stanton’s piece, I picked “Uprising” by Muse because I thought it captured the theme of resistance that is present. The lyrics don;t really need much explaining, but there were specific lines in the piece that I thought correlated better than others.

The first quote that I noted reads,

¬†“Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness,” (2478).

This reminded me a bit of the previous reading where Grimke warns people not to fall into the trap of conformity and blind obedience in regard to the government or any other form of leadership. I think it’s also effective that this speak mimics the Declaration of Independence. It triggers that familiarity yet forces new ideas at the same time. Ideas that shouldn’t be new but are in the light of race and women’s rights. I actually remember covering the Seneca Falls Convention in my History 17 class my Freshman year. My professor explained how it was the first women’s rights convention and became extremely important for women’s suffrage at that time.

I think the fact that Stanton is asserting that it is the right of sufferers to refuse allegiance to an oppressive government is important because for women, this had never been an option before. Of course they all wanted equal rights with men, but it took this convention and these speeches to really spark action. The author states that the new government depends on their ideals and their principles because they should have a voice in America where it is said that everyone should be equal. This speak emphasizes how the Declaration of Independence states that men and women are equal and yet they are clearly not. But it is up to women to change that.

She also writes,

“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world,” (2478).

Stanton blames history’s problems on man’s treatment of woman. After this quote she lists a number of examples which contribute to her argument. She says how women have had no voice in the making of laws, how women have been deprived the right to be a citizen, and how women have been seen as “civilly dead” after marriage. As is seen with other feminist pieces, women are often seen as the object of little importance except for what she can contribute to the house and to the husband. Stanton points out these examples to show how, time and time again, women have come second to man. It’s interesting to see how all these examples have had lasting impacts on the country.

Stanton continually calls women deprived. It is for these reasons that she encourages other women to stand against the government which really isn’t in favor of them like it says it is. This speak was the first of many in which women stand up for their rights within a nation of men who rule.

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