. . . Having deprived her of this first right of a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation. . .
He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being . . .
In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband. . . the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty and to administer chastisement.
He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes, and. . . to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given. . .
. . . regardless of the happiness of women -- the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of man and giving all power into his hands.
After depriving her of all rights as a married woman. . .
. . . if single, and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.
He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments. . .
. . . from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration.
He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction which he considers most honorable to himself.
As a teacher of theology, medicine or law, she is not known.
He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education, all colleges being closed against her.
He allows her in Church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry. . .
He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women. . .
He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action. . .
He has endeavored, in every way that he could, to destroy her confidence. . .
to lessen her self-respect. . .
to make her willing to lead a dependent
and abject life. . .
is an excerpt from
You can read the entire document and more in the Women's History Collection, annotated primary source documents at this web site.
Less than twenty years ago, married women in some U.S. States did not have the right to manage their own property, and all household property was deemed to belong to the husband upon divorce. In 1981, the Federal Work Incentive Program, three out of four of whose participants were women, was required by law to give jobs preference to men, who also received jobs paying 34% more per hour. Husbands were by law defined as "head of the household." Hundreds of laws overtly discriminated against women, and thousands of laws discriminated in effect.
Think that by now it's all been "fixed?" Think again.
gained the vote in 1920 after 72 years