Elizabeth Cady Stanton: More Than a Suffragist
When discussing women’s rights in the 19th and early 20th centuries, many textbooks and school lessons may sometimes focus on early feminists’ fight for the right to vote. But while this may have been the over-arching goal for many women of the time, it was by no means the only one. Stanton, for one, was not only determined to achieve political rights for women but also true equality for them in all aspects of society—above all, in religion.
Among women in her era, Stanton was radical in every sense of the word. When she wed, she had the word ‘obey’ struck from her vows. According to religious studies and American studies scholar Maureen Fitzgerald, Stanton attributed women’s inferior position in the world to patriarchal interpretations of religious texts and the erroneous belief that the Bible was divinely written and therefore not open to criticism; she believed women would only be able to achieve true equality when sexist religious beliefs and traditions were fully eradicated.