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Feminism, Heroes, Inspiration, Mother-Right, Women's Spirituality

Moving Forward

nfoa-solitude“Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a defiant old lady.  The beginning of the 1890s coincided with the onset of Stanton’s old age…During the 1880s and 1890s Stanton had to contend with the symptoms of aging:  physical ailments, retirement, financial insecurity, death of friends, family estrangement and generational conflict.  But those factors did not define or dominate her old age…She had survived her husband, outlived most of her enemies, and exhausted her allies.  Her mind remained alert, her mood optimistic and her manner combative.

sba_ecs1_rc“In a period of anticipated and actual dependence for most older people, Stanton became increasingly independent.  Personally, she had established the kind of “associative household” she had long advocated and enjoyed her “matriarchy.”  Professionally, she supported herself by writing, completing her autobiography and The Women’s Bible in addition to numerous speeches, articles and newspaper columns.  Politically, she remained aloof from the merger of rival factions in the [women’s] movement…Psychologically, she shed the last vestiges of dependence.  She moved beyond her last confidante, Susan B. Anthony, and came to rely wholly on her own judgment and values…As an old woman, Stanton came into her own.  She was honored as a feminist foremother and as a grandmother.  She was self-supporting and self-sustaining.  Physically crippled, she was otherwise unfettered. …  She had internalized her own standard of independence and needed only her own approval.”– Elisabeth Griffith in In Her Own Right:  The Life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Chapter 11, Self Sovereign, 1889-1902



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