Equality for Woman

Lucy Stone was one of the most important workers for suffrage and other women's rights. Born in 1818 on a farm in Massachusetts, Lucy grew up with an overbearing father that ruled the house and her mother "by divine right." She was disquieted by her mother's lowly role in the family. Lucy hungered for knowledge but was told by her father that was out of her sphere. Education was for men!

Lucy did get her education. She was the first woman in Massachusetts to earn a degree. In 1855, she married Henry Blackwell but only under public protest to the laws detrimental to the woman who would become a wife. The protest was read and signed by both Lucy and Henry at the wedding ceremony. She was the first woman to refuse to take her husband's name. This was also in protest to the law that gave a man complete ownership of a wife.

In 1855 Lucy attended a national Woman's Rights Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. After hearing a speaker there allude to the Women's Movement as being a rally of a few disappointed women, she responded full force with the speech Disappointment is the Lot of Woman . In this speech, she laid out the many disappointments she had strove to overcome "in education, in marriage, in religion, in everything...” In closing she asked women to come together. "The widening of a woman's sphere is to improve her lot. Let us do it, and if the world scoff, let it scoff..."

Bibliography

Schneir, Miriam Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings. New York: Vintage Books, 1972, p.108.

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