Elizabeth Cady Stanton became the first woman to testify before Congress on January 20, 1869. In an appearance on WYPR’s Humanities Connection, Gender and Women’s Studies Lecturer Kate Drabinski reflected on Stanton’s position in history and vision of women’s rights.
When Stanton testified before Congress, she was speaking out against the Fifteenth Amendment which guaranteed the right to vote for African American men. Drabinski commented that Stanton fought for abolition during the Civil War, but for her, “suffrage was about all people, not just men, and she refused to support an amendment to the Constitution that expanded rights for some while leaving others out in the cold,” Drabinski said.
Drabinski further commented that Stanton had a broader vision of women’s rights beyond suffrage that inspires women’s activism today: “Stanton was a lifelong activist agitating against slavery and sexism, demanding the natural rights of women not just to vote, but to hold property, file for divorce, inherit, and more,” she added.
You can listen to the full appearance by Kate Drabinski on Humanities Connection here.