Feminism pt 4: Suffrage & Birth Control

“Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.” ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton

As women in America were extended more and more opportunities for higher education, there arose a group of educated, middle class women who felt strongly about the need for women’s suffrage. For Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the right for women to vote was simple, clear and vital. She dedicated her life to raising her 7 children, and putting in whatever work was necessary to see suffrage for women realized. She, and other key figures like Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul played important roles in this fight. 

In the meantime, other women like Jane Addams, Dorothea Dix, and Florence Kelly were working for the poorer and ignorant classes to improve their living conditions and opportunities. As part of an attempt to improve the conditions of the lower class, Margaret Sanger, a trained nurse, felt that birth control was the best answer. Control the population, she believed, and give the women the ability to choose when they have children, and living conditions, jobs and wages would improve for all. She devoted herself and all her energy to realizing this ambition–founding the first Planned Parenthood clinics and forming the group of  philanthropists, doctors and scientists who would develop the first birth control pill. 

In this podcast, Audrey sweeps across the history of women’s issues in the last two centuries. She quickly covers key events, people and issues to create a backdrop for the modern Feminist movement that defines the way women think and talk about themselves today. Tune in next month when Betty Friedan and The Feminine Mystique take hold in the minds of women across the U.S. and change the framework of relations between men and women forever!

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast. 

2:00      The Vote – The Next Big Thing After Education
7:30      Elizabeth Cady Stanton – First Public Figure in American Suffrage
8:47      Susan B. Anthony

10:33    The Woman’s Bible: A Classic Feminist Perspective
11:25     Alice Paul
14:09    The National Women’s Party
18:28    The Woman’s Era
20:53    Florence Kelly
22:48    Margaret Sanger – Birth Control

26:46    Margaret Sanger’s Reasons for Birth Control

29:45    Planned Parenthood
33:47    Margaret Sanger’s Reasons for Birth Control
35:05    Margaret Sanger’s Personal Life
37:39    The Mike Wallace Interview
41:47    Roe vs Wade

Quotes from this episode:

“To live for a principle, for the triumph of some reform by which all mankind are to be lifted up—to be wedded to an idea—maybe, after all, the holiest and happiest of marriages.” ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives, but as nouns.” ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.” ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“The best protection any woman can have … is courage. ” ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls. Every truth we see is ours to give the world, not to keep for ourselves alone, for in so doing we cheat humanity out of their rights and check our own development.” ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“To think I have had more than 60 years of hard struggle for a little liberty, and then to die without it seems so cruel.” ~Susan B. Anthony

“I do not demand equal pay for any women save those who do equal work in value. Scorn to be coddled by your employers; make them understand that you are in their service as workers, not as women.”  ~Susan B. Anthony

“The true republic: Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”  ~Susan B. Anthony

“I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.” ~Susan B. Anthony

“There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.” ~Susan B. Anthony

“Forget conventionalisms; forget what the world thinks of you stepping out of your place; think your best thoughts, speak your best words, work your best works, looking to your own conscience for approval.” ~Susan B. Anthony

“I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me, there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.” ~Alice Paul

“When you put your hand to the plow, you can’t put it down until you get to the end of the row.” ~Alice Paul

“It was shocking that a government of men could look with such extreme contempt on a movement that was asking nothing except such a simple little thing as the right to vote.” ~Alice Paul

“Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.” ~Florence Kelly

“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” ~Florence Kelly

“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” ~Jane Addams

“Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.” ~Jane Addams

“True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice.” ~Jane Addams

“It is well to remind ourselves, from time to time, that “Ethics” is but another word for “righteousness,” that for which many men and women of every generation have hungered and thirsted, and without which life becomes meaningless.” ~Jane Addams

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