Creator: Skinnell, Ryan
Description: This article discusses Elizabeth Cady Stanton's 1854 "Address to the Legislature of New York." Elizabeth Cady Stanton is widely regarded as one of the most important women's rights orators of the nineteenth century. She is credited with opening new rhetorical spaces for women through brilliant rhetorical appeals. In her 1854 speech to the Legislature of New York, however, her brilliant rhetorical appeals were also appeals to the racist, classist, and paternalistic biases of her white male audience. A paradox of social reform is the need to simultaneously assert difference and sameness with the dominant classes, and Cady Stanton's efforts to negotiate this paradox ultimately reinforced the social hierarchy she hoped to undermine.
Contributing Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences