|Click Pic to Read "The Declaration of Sentiments"|
As we carry on through the 16 sentiments made in this document, which is obviously based upon the United States' Declaration of Independence itself (since its preample is almost a word for word copy of it) we are presented with the 4th sentiment:
4 - Having deprived her of this first right as a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.
When I looked at this point, I struggled a bit whether to include it in the last section, which was about the nature of the State and the difference between inalienable rights and legal rights, or whether it should be included in this section - which will deal much more with the notion of "equality" in society. It belongs in both because we first must clarify what is exactly meant by this statement.
Although the first three points of the Declaration of Sentiments are in regard to the vote, and this is what Elizabeth Cady Stanton is referring to as the "first right of a citizen," it's already been shown that voting is not an inalienable right, but a legal one.
The phrase "a stopped clock is right twice a day" comes to mind here, because although she was wrong about the vote, she actually is right to say "the first right is equality" - and in fact, she is perfectly valid when, in the beginning of her drawing off the Declaration of Independence, she only makes the single alteration of inserting "and women" into it:
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; -- The Declaration of Sentiments.
Our "first right" is that we are all created equal, but this is not the kind of "50-50 quota system" of equality we think of today. No. This equality is another of those "unalienable" rights which exist outside of the State.
"While natural rights are innately part of being human, and exist prior to any culture or society, legal rights are those that are acknowledged and protected by a given government. So, in the Founders’ understanding, natural rights would include the right to life itself, the right to think for oneself, the right to self-defense, and the right to keep what one has worked honestly for, among others. Legal rights would include the right to vote, the specific methods by which fair trials are conducted, and copyrights and patents–all of which might be defined and protected in different ways in different countries or states, based on their particular customs and beliefs." -- Documents of Freedom
|Click Pic for "The Suffragettes versus The Republic"|
You are not guaranteed any other equality than that of: before the Creator, we are all seen as equally human... because he created us. Therefore, all the things that are part of being human, the government is prohibited from trying to control, for it is not their right to do so - but only the Creator's.
It is not, however, an unalienable right to have civil and legal equality. If it were, five year old children would be permitted to drive their cars to the voting polls. We don't allow that because they obviously are not capable of doing such things. A five year old child is, however, as equal before "The Creator" as any other human being.
Phew! I'm glad we got that out of the way!
As we carry on through the 16 sentiments made in the Declaration of Sentiments, you will see that points 5 to 12 are in regard to women's position in marriage, the workplace, and education. While a lot of these points seem reasonable to us in the modern day, things were different back in 1848 when the sentiments were written and under closer examination, it was not entirely unreasonable for people to be opposed to their demands.
The Declaration of Sentiments:
5 - He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
6 - He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
7 - He has made her morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master - the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.
Point five declares women were civilly dead in marriage. This was no doubt true, since all the legal titles went to the husband and even the woman's last name changed to show she was now part of a new family. The point of marriage is to become "one flesh" - to become a family unit - the only system of "from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs" that has ever worked! The family is pure Socialism, but aside from perhaps extended family, it has never worked at any level higher than this. You'll notice that Socialist countries also don't adhere much to individualism. Private property is appropriated in Socialism for "the Greater Good" - if the concept of private property is present at all. The same thing happens in the family unit.
|Click Pic for "Woman: The Most Responsible Teenager in the House?"|
It's been a long time since arranged marriages were the norm for anyone but royalty in our culture - and it certainly wasn't the case in 1848 that women were brought kicking and screaming to the altar by their evil fathers, forcing them to marry ugly frogs.
It's the same as volunteering for the army means you agree to submit to the authority of your commanding officers. You are willfully entering into a hierarchal system. The private cannot lead the general. The employee cannot lead the employer. The wife cannot lead the husband, and the child cannot lead the parent.
Point six - that he has taken from her all rights to property, even to the wages she earns - is something that benefited women in marriage far more than men. As has already been discussed, the point of marriage is to become "one." If wives would be allowed to keep their property and wages outside of the marriage, then logically it extends that husbands should be permitted to do so as well.
|Click Pic for "Sex Sells (Hypergamy Explained)"|
Also, keep in mind that in 1848 society had not yet been propagandized into believing "Gender is a Social Construct" and they pretty much acknowledged there were innate differences between the sexes. (It's pretty hard to live on a farm and believe anything but!). As has been pointed out before - both in Rome because of their dowry laws, and in Sparta because of dowry and inheritance laws, when their cultures allowed women to hold property outside of marriage, divorce rose, birthrates plummeted, and the culture collapsed. Obviously there is something about structuring marital holdings under the male that works!
Point seven can hardly be made into a case for the oppression of women at the hands of men. Let me get this straight. You breaking the law and me doing the time in jail for it is me oppressing you? Have a look at how this man oppressed his wife:
Sends Husband To Jail To Aid Suffrage Cause -- The Milwaukee Journal, Sept. 21, 1912
Mrs. Mark Wilks, whose husband is in jail because she refuses to pay her taxes, is credited with discovering a new and formidable weapon for the suffragettes. The suffragettes are generally women of property and they will follow Mrs. Wilkes example immediately, it is said.
The plan will work only in cases of husbands whose wives have independent incomes. Nor will it work in cases where the husbands pay taxes on their wives' incomes. Some husbands, like Wilks, haven't enough money to pay their wives taxes. Suffragette husbands who can pay are counted on to refuse to do so. Thus will a large portion of the Englishmen with suffragette wives be in jail shortly.
Under the married women property act a husband has no jurisdiction over his wife's property and income. Under the income tax he is responsible for her taxes. If the taxes are not paid, the husband, not the wife, is imprisoned. Mrs. Wilks refused to pay her income tax - $185 - and her husband was locked up. He will spend the rest of his life in prison unless his wife pays or the law is changed. When at liberty he is a teacher in Clapton.
|Click Pic for "A Woman's Right to Choose"|
As you can tell, I agree with Elizabeth Cady Stanton - that women are considered morally irresponsible beings and shouldn't be allowed to break laws with impunity, then have her husband blamed for it. But society just doesn't work this way - and it never has!
Society bends over backwards to try and lay blame at the hands of men rather then women - even today:
- If a man cheats on his wife he's a lout for betraying her, but if the wife cheats on the husband, he's a lout for not keeping her happy.
The Fraud of Feminism) but it still occurs today. Canada, for example, has been tripping over itself lately to "help prostitutes" by increasingly laying the blame on men for using their services. We do this nowhere else but when men and women are together. For example, we don't consider drug dealers to be the innocent party, and lay all the blame on the college kid trying to score a joint. But we actually do this with prostitution, and have been ever since the government stuck its nose into the oldest profession.
- We've had several cases over the last few years where men have been charged with rape for having sex with a woman who is intoxicated, even though she consented at the time. The exact same excuse, that he was intoxicated when they had sex too, is not a justifiable defense on his part, but instead he is held fully responsible for his actions. Furthermore, if this same woman got behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, she would not be excused from her actions but considered to be responsible for them. But whenever it comes down to doling out justice between men and women, the blame is nearly always shifted to the man. Belfort Bax noted already a century ago in The Legal Subjection of Men that the only time it appears the legal system is capable of delivering justice to a woman is when she has harmed another woman.
"Nature has given women so much power that the law has wisely given them little." -- Samuel Johnson
This is not so much a legal or social problem as a biological one rooted deep within us. We are naturally inclined to blame men over women - just as we naturally tend to blame parents when a child does something morally improper. Women are not only prosecuted for committing crimes less than men, when they're convicted they aren't held equally to account either:
"Men receive sentences that are 63 percent higher, on average, than their female counterparts. females arrested for a crime are also significantly more likely to avoid charges and convictions entirely, and twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted."
Mike Nifong, all bent over backwards to blame men rather than examine where the fault actually was - with the woman. Even after it was shown she had committed several crimes and innocent men were purposefully being railroaded, she was hardly held accountable - in fact, she was offered assistance to help her out of her situation.
It happened this way in Sparta too:
...in those states in which the condition of the women is bad, half the city may be regarded as having no laws. And this is what has actually happened at Sparta; the legislator wanted to make the whole state hardy and temperate, and he has carried out his intention in the case of the men, but he has neglected the women, who live in every sort of intemperance and luxury.
"...But, when Lycurgus, as tradition says, wanted to bring the women under his laws, they resisted, and he gave up the attempt." -- The Politics of Aristotle, The Spartan Women
|Click Pic for "The Rule of Thumb for Wife-Beating Hoax"|
This is the simple logic of hierarchy, the same as in the army. The general has authority over the colonel and the lieutenant has authority over the enlisted men. But the reverse is also true: the officer is held accountable more than the subordinates he commands.
Furthermore, unlike children, women seem to get enjoy getting a few smacks on the rear - so be it, as long as he doesn't use a rod thicker than his thumb.
8 - He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of the women - the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of a man, and giving all power into his hands.
The eighth point is the one which undermines the ancient contract of marriage entirely. It is, in my opinion, THE most significant thing the suffragettes did - and it wasn't a good thing.
“I would die before I will give up the child to its father.” -- Susan B. Anthony, Quoted in Phyllis Chesler, Patriarchy: Notes of an Expert Witness (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p. 38.
The ancient contract of marriage is not about romantic love - as Elizabeth Cady Stanton insinuates when she says divorce laws give no regard for women's happiness.
|Click for "The Wife of Noble Character (Would Make Me a Sandwich!)"|
I will be going into this again later in this chapter, so I will keep this short here.
Women have a natural right to have children - it's "unalienable" because it's part of what it is to be human. Women do not require society for it - nor the concept of marriage.
All they really need is a six pack of beer, a clearing in the bushes, and a sultry look in their eyes. Even if it was frowned upon in the past, it was still entirely possible for women to choose to have children outside of wedlock.
|Click Pic for "The Fraud of Modern Marriage"|
A brief history of what happened is as follows: The (British) Custody of Infants Act of 1839 already gave judges some power to over-ride a father's custody rights in certain instances, particularly in establishing mother-custody for children under seven years old. By 1873, Parliament extended the age of mother-custody to sixteen years, effectively undermining father-custody altogether. (In some states, the age was thirteen). This is known as the Tender Years Doctrine, and although it was first established in Britain, it spread around the world fast as the British Empire was at its peak in the late 19th Century. The Tender Years Doctrine was similarly used in the USA as a principle in the courts to establish the arguments of parental custody. This is the beginning of the "Best Interests of the Child Doctrine," (something which is purely relative, whereas custody laws are exact and absolute) and we have been dealing with it ever since.
Also, while Elizabeth Cady Stanton claims this practice of father-custody was built on the presumption of the supremacy of man, this is another obfuscation of the truth. The reason why ancient marriage was structured that way is because of the hierarchy of how "love" works. It kind of goes like this:
|Click Pic for "The Legend of the Selkie"|
When children are placed in the position of 100% presumed custody of the father, it strengthens the weakest bond in the family - that between father and children. Fatherhood mostly doesn't exist in the animal world, while motherhood is positively everywhere. By attaching fathers and children directly to one another, the mother now equates her children with the father. If she divorces the father, she knows she will lose access to her children. Therefore, in order to maintain her love with her children she must also maintain her love with their father.
If one believed that men and women were the same, one might project the female behaviours of the present day, where women leave their husbands simply to "Eat, Pray, Love" whenever they please, as how men abused such rights in the past. However, this was not the case. Men's greater love for women than women have for men made it so the vast majority of men never tried to remove their wives from the children. However, after presumed custody was shifted from father to mother by around the 1870's, divorce rates began rising... and kept rising right up until the present day.
|Click Pic for the free online book, "The Case for Father Custody" -- by Daniel Amneus|
“Between 1870 and 1920 the divorce rate rose fifteenfold, and by 1924 one marriage out of seven ended in divorce" -- James H. Jones, Alfred Kinsey: A Public/Private Life (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997), p.292.
Probably the one single largest problem of marriage and divorce today stems from the custody changes the suffragettes introduced a century and a half ago, when they undermined the ancient contract of marriage which had held marriages strong and divorce rates low throughout the West's long history. This was far more significant than anything the second wave feminists did with "no-fault divorce," but this will be explored in depth later in this chapter.