Elizabeth Cady Stanton: The Argument Of The Women's Rights Movement

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Elizabeth Cady Stanton was, no doubt, one of the most important activists for the women’s rights movement in the nineteenth century. Not only was she the leading advocate for women’s rights, she was also the “principal philosopher” of the movement . Some even considered her the nineteenth-century equivalent of Mary Wollstonecraft, who was the primary British feminist in the eighteenth century . Stanton won her reputation of being the chief philosopher and the “most consistent and daring liberal thinker” of the women’s right movement by expounding through pamphlets, speeches, essays, newspaper and letters her feminist theory . However, despite being an ardent abolitionist during the Civil War who fought for the emancipation of all slaves , her liberal feminist theory was tainted by a marked strain of racism and elitism that became more conspicuous as she started pressing for women’s suffrage . This marked strain of racism within Stanton’s rhetoric for women’s suffrage can be exemplified by quotation from a letter of hers to the editor of the National Slavery Standard. In this letter, Stanton claimed that “the representative women of the nation” had done their best to free “the negro”, but “as the celestial gate to civil rights is slowly moving on its hinges, it becomes a serious question whether [the representative women of the nation] had better stand aside and see ‘Sambo’ walk into the kingdom first .” Sambo was used as a derogatory term for African American
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