Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Happy Birthday

Perhaps I should say
"Happy Belated Birthday"
because the anniversary of
Susan B. Anthony's birth was yesterday.

She was born February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts
to Daniel and Lucy Read Anthony, 
both of whom were Quakers with an activist bent.

Though many girls were poorly educated in that era,
Daniel Anthony was an ardent supporter of quality education
for both boys and girls, so the four girls in the family
were as well-educated as their brothers.

As an adult, Susan Brownell Anthony
dedicated her life to the woman suffrage issue.
Though she died on March 13, 1906 without having secured
the passage of a constitutional amendment
securing voting rights for women,
others carried on the quest.
The 19th amendment was passed in 1920.

Does it amaze you that women have had voting rights
for less than 100 years in the United States?

That women were considered

less than
too emotional to make rational decisions
too delicate in constitution to practice law

Oh me, oh my!

Susan B. Anthony was far too smart
to believe that nonsense
and worked tireless to promote women's equality.

Are we there yet?
No. . . 

but as she is quoted as saying:

So kudos, kiddo.

You're one of my heroines.

All photos from the Library of Congress Photo Collection.


Mike Burnett said...

She looks a strong-willed women. I cannot see her being too emotional to make rational decisions.

With the blessing of hindsight it is apparent that neither men nor women in power make rational decisions. They're normally immorally expedient, self-seeking and of the knee-jerk kind.

Alex Daw said...

Failure is impossible. Love it. I'll be using that from now on. Just saw Lincoln yesterday - ouf - that thirteenth amendment sure took some pushing through. I was exhausted at the end of the movie. And we're talking the nineteenth here...frankly it's a wonder it ever happened if it was anything like the 13th.

Brett Payne said...

Given the early start of the women's suffrage movement in the US, it is sad that it took so long for women to get the vote, and even sadder that you're "not there yet." A luta continua, as they say.

Jackie van Bergen said...

I wonder if her efforts had any impact in Australia as some of our states allowed women to vote as early as 1894, and all states by 1908. Ashamedly, there was no voting rights for our Indigenous people until 1962.

Postcardy said...

Now it seems ridiculous that women were considered so delicate and irrational.

Norma Ruttan said...

thank you for sharing more of Susan B. Anthony's life than I had known, or maybe not remembered. she had such courage! I am thankful for her hard work; too bad she didn't live long enough to see it to fruition.

Meri said...

Hi Norma -- she lived to a ripe old age. . . had she lived to ratification, she would have been 100.

Karen S. said...

Mine too, she was quite the determined woman. That first photo clearly captured her strength! Nice informative post.

Bob Scotney said...

"too delicate in constitution to practice law" - tell that to my daughter who is an attorney in the USA. I can still remember what she said when she was locked in for the first time with prisoners whom she was advising.

Boobook said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I hadn't heard about her.

Little Nell said...

It's always a pleasure to read of strong and determined women in history and this lady was unknown to me previously. Thank you.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

It's difficult to imagine that in the late 19th century, it was considered shameless for a a woman to give a lecture or speak in public. But then, they were putting little skirts on their piano legs - the idea of a bare leg, even one on an inanimate object, was unthinkable.

Wendy said...

A woman to be celebrated every day.

Tattered and Lost said...

Imagine how sad she'd be to see such a large segment of government still going after women's rights. It's as if the current crop of representatives never read any history books.