Anna Shaw On Women's Rights

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Amiah Terrell Walls 3 Gifted World Literature 13 March, 2016 Inconsistency in Strongly Held Beliefs Four years after Anna Howard Shaw gave her famous speech, "The Fundamental Principle of a Republic", women gained the right to vote everywhere in the United States. Suffragists, women’s rights activists in the early 20th century, worked to gain this fundamental right for years through speeches, protests, an events, but any bill that would bring progress to their movement had been shot down by the supreme court or other U.S government branches every time. Individual states granted some voting rights to women, but they would have only been able to vote in state elections previous to 1919. Anna Shaw was on the cutting edge of the suffragist’s…show more content…
In doing this, she can prove that not only are they wrong, but that she is right. In context of the topic of young adults being sent off to war, she declares their deaths to be part of "the horrible crimes perpetrated against women by the blood drunken men of the war" (Shaw). Through logical reasoning, she pinpoints the root cause of violent war and says that it is men. She has the ability to run unopposed on this statement because it is simply true, as the whole of the U.S. military was male at that time. Any anti-suffragist denying this to be true would be going against their cause. She takes two issues and forms them into one powerful statement that provoked thought and truth. Her use of the words horrible and blood drunken evoke a kind of incarnate anger humans have towards things that are threatening to them, inducing an empathetic response on the listener’s part. For example, the issue of losing a child may not apply to everyone, but the concept of unnecessary death does apply to everyone. In addition, she points out the "same line of inconsistency" (Shaw) being used by anti-suffragists time and time again. This inconsistency is spoken of by Anna Howard Shaw in a very clear and factual manner, stating that the men had hardly established their new country "before they began to practice exactly the same sort of persecutions on others…show more content…
In Anna Howard Shaw 's speech to the suffragists and anti-suffragists of America, she is easily identifiable as a skilled orator and it makes sense that Susan B. Anthony sought her out. She easily handles the bias against anything she says as a woman by dissecting opposing arguments and pointing out their flaws. Her use of clean cut logic and ability to sway a crowd enabled her to create the persona of a man in the eyes of anti-suffragists. Through her speech at New York and its recanting at other locations in the U.S., her efforts and the efforts of others were not in vain when women gained the right to vote in 1920, five years after her speech. The main factors that contribute to this goal were her well thought out uses of ethos through emphasizing the most important or thought provoking point, and her establishing her credibility by proving her gender does not define her intelligence. Although the success of completing the main goal of the suffragist movement came five years later, the efforts of Anna and others were rewarded, but they continued to work for the collective betterment of women in America despite
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