Biker Women

Women Who Shaped America

The Women's Rights Movement would not have been what it was -- and still is -- without Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. During an era in which women were thought to be their husband's property, Stanton and Anthony challenged the notion that women were not equal. America saw drastic change in civil rights in the 19th century, when freed slaves had been given the right to vote. Women, on the other hand, did not have the right to vote, or rights in a divorce, or the right to have custody of their children, or a fair share of their property. Women also did not have the right to their own bodies, being told it was their duty to have sexual relations with their husband whenever he wanted. Women were, in essence, slaves, and many the victims of abuse and rape. Stanton and Anthony's efforts worked to drastically improve the role of women in American society.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady was born on November 12, 1815 in Johnstown, New York. Cady was one of eleven children. Cady's father was federalist attorney and U.S. Congressman, which exposed her to the legal system at an early age. It was then she discovered the inconsistencies in legislation and the wording of the U.S. Constitution which tilted the scales in favor of men.

Some of Cady's ideology surrounding women's rights also stemmed from her abolitionist activism. Although it is confirmed that Cady's father owned at least one slave when she was a child, Cady never considered the man, Peter Teabout, a slave. Teabout remained employed by the Cadys after his freedom around 1827 to take care of the children. Like many who have made public statements against segregation, Cady reflected fondly of how she and her sisters sat next to Teabout in the back of the church on Sundays, rather than in the front with the white women.

Throughout her early years, Cady made some very bold statements in defending women's rights. When Elizabeth Cady married Henry Brewster Stanton in 1840, Elizabeth Cady insisted the vow that she would "obey" her new husband be removed from her wedding ceremony. Per Stanton, "I obstinately refused to obey one with whom I supposed I was entering into an equal relation." The newly dubbed "Mrs. Stanton" also refused to be called Mrs. Henry B. Stanton. Rather, she always signed her name Elizabeth Cady Stanton or E. Cady Stanton. Again, Stanton refused to accept the notion that she was now her husband's possession and not an individual. Stanton defiantly stated that the, "custom of calling women Mrs. John This and Mrs. Tom That and colored men Sambo and Zip Coon, is founded on the principle that white men are lords of all."

This "white men are lords of all" attitude that Stanton aptly described proved itself to be true. While attending an Anti-Slavery Convention in London, England in 1840, Stanton and abolitionist Lucretia Mott were told they would not be allowed to participate. Mott was nominated as the delegate of her abolitionist society, and was still denied access to the convention. After much argument, Stanton and Mott were allowed to attend the convention but were forced to sit in a section that was not only roped off, but also hidden from the men who were attending the convention. Despite support from William Lloyd Garrison, a prominent figure at the convention, the women were still sequestered with Garrison by their sides.

Although her husband, Henry, supported her views on abolitionism, he did not feel that women were discriminated against to the degree Stanton did. Some of her friends even criticized her for not being a more "dutiful wife." This did not stop Stanton who, with Mott and a number of likeminded women, formed the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, Stanton's hometown, in 1848. It was here Stanton drafted and presented the Declaration of Sentiments, a modern-day Declaration of Independence for women and their rights. Sixty-eight women and 32 men signed the Declaration of Sentiments at that first convention.

Stanton met fellow abolitionist and women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony in 1851. Anthony was single and did not have any children, which gave her the time to make appearances at women's rights conventions that Stanton could not attend. Stanton and Anthony forged a partnership that lasted 50 years until Stanton's death. Anthony credits Stanton as being the voice behind her many speeches; Anthony is credited as being the movement's tactician.

Susan B. Anthony

Susan Brownwell Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. Anthony was the oldest of seven children and her parents were Quakers. Anthony's mother, Lucy, was astoundingly independent, despite marrying into a rather strict faith. Two weeks after that first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, Lucy Anthony attended a second convention held in Rochester, New York. Lucy Anthony signed Rochester's Declaration of Sentiments, standing firm for women's rights and heavily influencing her daughter.

Anthony's mother was not the only supporter of women's rights in her family. Anthony's father, Daniel, pulled Susan out of public school and home-schooled her when he learned that she was not being taught long division because she was a girl. Another teacher within the home-schooling system, Mary Perkins, taught Susan about women's rights. Anthony eventually became a teacher herself, a job she took to help the family out during horrific economic times. It is worth noting that during this time, male teachers earned four times more than women teachers did at that time.

Upon meeting Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1851, Anthony and Stanton formed the Women's State Temperance Society as part of the first women's temperance movement. The society only lasted one year, but Anthony and Stanton's partnership had only just begun. Anthony first spoke at the third annual National Women's Rights Convention in 1852 in upstate New York. Anthony was invited back to speak each year, and also served as convention president in 1858.

Despite Anthony's desire to combine the abolitionist and women's rights movements, both she and Stanton fought the ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. While not opposed to the furthering of rights to African-Americans, both women were against what they viewed as a continuing of keeping the right to vote away from women, both white and black. Anthony took her objection all the way to the courthouse. On November 18, 1872, Susan B. Anthony was arrested because she voted. The trial was an embarrassment to the United States judicial system. The presiding judge never allowed Anthony to testify, and told the jury to render a guilty verdict and refused to poll the jury at the end of the trial. Anthony was given a $100 fine, which she never paid.

The arrest blew up in the unjust judicial system's face. Anthony received much-needed publicity from the ridiculous court case, which only furthered her and Stanton's cause. Anthony and Stanton formed the National Women's Suffrage Association three years prior to Anthony's arrest in 1869, and Susan B. Anthony took the United States and Europe by storm, giving countless speaking engagements on women's and civil rights. Anthony became president of the National Women's Suffrage Association in 1892.

Anthony worked tirelessly for women's rights until her retirement in 1900. Upon her retirement Anthony remained optimistic, but also realistic about women's rights. Anthony replied to the question whether women would ever be given the right to vote in the U.S., "it will come, but I shall not see it ... It is inevitable." Susan B. Anthony died on March 13, 1906, 14 years before Congress added the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony's legacy has been remembered in many honors, including being placed on U.S. dollar coins and the postage stamp.

The Fight for Women's Rights

Living the Legacy: The Women's Rights Movement 1848 to 1998 - History of the Movement presents a historical accounting of the Women's Rights Movement up to the end of the 20th century.

The Prism: The Path of the Women's Rights Movement - This historical timeline accounts for the key events surrounding the movement from 1848 to 1998.

National Park Service: Women's Rights Movement - A comprehensive discussion with various links beginning with the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York.

Women's International Center: Women's History in America - This Web page discusses the attitudes and laws that have historically stripped women of their equal rights. It also presents an accounting of the key events that have changed these attitudes and laws.

Digital History: Women's Rights - University of Houston's collaborative effort to provide the history of Women's Rights in America.

University of Virginia: The Women's Rights Movement - This website focuses primarily on the early history of women's rights and Elizabeth Cady Stanton's and Susan B. Anthony's role in beginning the movement.

Rutgers University: Women's Rights Law Reporter - Rutgers University presents the "oldest legal periodical in the United States focusing exclusively on women's rights law."

University of Missouri Kansas City: Exploring Constitutional Conflicts - This Web page focuses on the fight for the women's right to vote and the eventual ratification of the 19th Amendment.

City University of New York: Declaration of the Rights of Women, 1791 - Olympe De Gouges declaration of women's rights written prior to the 19th century movement in 1791.

University of Minnesota: The Human Rights of Women - This link provides a copy of the United Nations' documents and fight for women's rights worldwide.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

University of Wisconsin: Elizabeth Cady Stanton - University of Wisconsin's biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

University of Rochester: Elizabeth Cady Stanton - University of Rochester's biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Sweet Briar College: "Solitude of Self" by Elizabeth Cady Stanton - Sweet Briar College provides a copy of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Address, which she gave at the U.S. Congressional Committee of the Judiciary Hearing on January 18, 1892.

America's Library: America's Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony - Both women are highlighted on this Library of Congress Web page.

Smithsonian Institute: Seneca Falls Convention - The Smithsonian presents the first Women's Rights Convention orchestrated by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.

California State University Stanislaus: Perspectives in American Literature - CSUSTAN provides a comprehensive Web page with links to other resources surrounding Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her works.

Harvard University: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) - Harvard University's biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

University of Pennsylvania: Eighty Years and More - The University of Pennsylvania presents Elizabeth Cady Stanton's reminiscences from 1815 to 1897 in her own words.

Syracuse University: Elizabeth Cady Stanton - Syracuse student Christina Sudol provides an accounting of Stanton's life organized in easy-to-read factual blurbs.

Pomona College: Letter to Elizabeth Cady Stanton - This Web link provides a transcription of a 1855 letter written by Lucretia Mott to Elizabeth Cady Stanton. A scan of the actual letter is also available but hard to read.

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony House: Biography of Susan B. Anthony - The Susan B. Anthony House foundation provides Susan B. Anthony's biography.

University at Albany: The Journal for Multimedia History - This article discusses Ken Burn's documentary on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony entitled Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

National Archives: Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment - The National Archives presents a copy of Susan B. Anthony's petition to the U.S. Congress to have her $100 fine absolved from her 1872 court case.

Federal Judicial Center: The Trial of Susan B. Anthony - (PDF File) Complete coverage of the trial against Susan B. Anthony for voting in 1872. Included are historical documents of the court case and resulting decision.

Architect of the Capitol: Portrait Monument to Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony - This Web page contains pictures and a description of the marble monument to these Women's Rights pioneering women that is set in the Capitol's rotunda.

University of Maryland: Susan B. Anthony - University of Maryland's biography of Susan B. Anthony.

Fordham University Modern History Sourcebook: Susan B. Anthony Women's Right to Vote - Fordham University discusses Anthony's key role in obtaining women's right to vote.

Winning the Vote: Susan Brownwell Anthony - Rochester Regional Library Council presents a comprehensive biography on Susan B. Anthony.

University of South Florida: Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote? By Susan B. Anthony - USF presents a transcription of Anthony's 1868 speech on women's rights and suffrage.

University of California Los Angeles: Susan B. Anthony, Ernestine L. Rose, and Elizabeth Jones, Addresses to the Tenth National Woman's Rights Convention, New York City, May 10 to 11, 1860 - UCLA provides a transcript of this important report given during the 1860 convention.

Biker Women

Womens Health Resources

A woman’s health is a very delicate and intricate process that requires different types of care and treatment throughout the course of her life. The type of health issues and concerns of an adolescent teen vary greatly from a woman in her childbearing years. Additionally, the needs of the menopausal woman are vastly different from the woman who is preparing for motherhood. It is imperative that women at all stages of their life educate themselves regarding the health concerns, issues, and challenges they may face. From the young girl entering puberty, to the diet of a pregnant or nursing mother, to ensuring the strength and longevity of bones during a woman’s later years, each woman must ensure that she understands the various health needs associated with her age and individual situation. Women should also understand the various types of physicians that treat a woman throughout the stages of her life. This is the best way to ensure that a woman receives the best medical care possible. The following resources will help women, regardless of their life stage, in understanding the medical conditions they face as well as the treatments that are available.

General


Diet/Exercise

Adolescents


Pregnancy


Health Aging

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