Declaration of Sentiments: Women's Grievances Against Men
In this Declaration of Sentiments, Stanton carefully enumerated areas of life where women were treated unjustly. Eighteen was precisely the number of grievances America's revolutionary forefathers had listed in their Declaration of Independence from England.
Stanton's version read, "The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world." Then it went into specifics:
Strong words... Large grievances... And remember: This
was just seventy years after the Revolutionary War. Doesn't it seem surprising
to you that this unfair treatment of women was the norm in this new, very
idealistic democracy? But this Declaration of Sentiments spelled out what was
the status quo for European-American women in 1848 America,
while it was even worse for enslaved Black women.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton's draft continued: "Now, in
view of this entire disenfranchisement
of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation, -- in view
of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States."