A Woman with Fighting Words Our government is based on the idea of natural rights for every citizen; every citizen means all citizens. It does say "all men are created equal", this mean men and women. Susan B. Anthony was a woman of great courage and dedication.
She exemplified these characteristics through out her life. She tears and pulls apart the Declaration of Independence, preamble of the Constitution, sex qualifications, and women's equal rights. She describes in clear detail her position on women's rights. She was the first women in our history to take a stand for women's rights. Anthony had many political and socially defiant views. Her argument was strong and forceful.
Her most powerful speech described the sexually discriminate laws put forth by our government. She started talking about our government and she ends by talking about the last two presidential elections. She picks apart the oldest laws that formed our government and makes them look and sound inconsiderate of all citizens. In the Declaration of Independence she focuses on the words "All men are created equal." Her argument to those words is that women are deprived of their divine right to a voice in the government. She said that by not letting women vote, they have no way of voicing their opinion. Anthony asked how a government can give natural and equal rights to every citizen when they enforce taxation without representation.
She claims that the government leaves half of the people making the important decisions while the other half of the people are at their mercy. She said women didn't see the United States as a democracy, but they see it as an aristocracy. Our founding fathers are thought of as good, pious, and just, all qualities we desire and look for in today's society. This shows that Anthony researched her argument and has a clear understanding if her constitutional rights. How strong and powerful she comes off as, is important because then people know she is serious. Anthony wants female's rights to be heard and put to good use.
She then talks about the preamble of the Constitution. She looks at the first three words which are "We the people." She argued that it didn't say white male citizen it said the people. During the time of her speech only white male citizens could vote, leaving her to argue the integrity of our constitutional rights. She spoke of the offensive nature of asking women how they like their liberty and freedom when they are denied their voice in the government. Their voice was the only means of security and true protection.
She is clearly stating that the government has given women their freedom but hasn't let them use it by voting. This is the heart of her argument, this shows that she wants the government to see the qualities in women and wishes that they will put them to good use. Anthony then talks about States making sex qualifications and how it is a violation of the supreme law of the land. Males have always dominated over the female species. Husband, brother, or son, they control any female whether it is there wife, sister, aunt, or cousin. This makes all men supreme which then make all women inferior, this will create conflict in every household of the nation.
She gives us a sense of enslavement and negligent. She put it in a perspective that no one had before, that way they could see where women were coming from. Anthony also said that only men were meant to be included in the making of the constitution and other laws. She pointed out that there weren't any feminine pronouns in any law. So if there aren't any feminine pronouns included in these laws, then the women should not have to pay taxes and they should be exempt from penalties for violating the law. She put this in her argument because it will open the government's eyes to see that they need to revise there laws.
Because if the government doesn't revise the laws then how can they convict a female of a crime. In conclusion Anthony stated that women were viewed as slaves in our country. She had an example of a married woman and her legal status. She described a married woman as a slave, a person who is subject to the will of another, which would be her husband. She explained how a married woman had no right and control of herself as a wife or as a person. The wife belonged to her husband and if she disobeyed him he could use moderate correction to control his wife.
If the wife was to leave her husband, he could use moderate coercion, which means the husband could do what ever he thought was a just punishment for her. Susan asked how a woman has freedom when her husband has the right to use force against her. The way this contributes is that it shows how much power the husband has over the wife. It shows how little power and freedom a women has in a marriage. This also shows how her freedom can't be use because of her husband's power over her.
Anthony ends her speech by asking the judges to render unprejudiced opinions and to give the other side the benefit of the doubt. She reminds them of the true rule of the National Constitutional Amendment which is, anything for human rights is constitutional and anything against human rights is unconstitutional. She said they will never give up until all American citizens are recognized as equals in the government.