National women's hall of fame in Seneca Falls
PBS show on Stanton and the Women's Movement
A Recipe for Equal Rights
-- 2-5 women who work hard and never give up
-- ½ lb. of newspaper stories
-- A pinch of patience
-- A cup of courage
-- Hundreds of people
Mix all the women together. Next, add hundreds of people and the newspapers. At the same time, blend the patience and courage. Bake for at least 100 years (possibly more) at high temperature. Bake enough for all of America!
How to Find Ingredients:
First, let's visit Seneca Falls, NY - this is where the women's fight for equality. What does it mean to fight for equality? It means doing everything you can to make sure that all people have the same rights as others. This is the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She fought to make sure women were allowed to do anything men were allowed to do.
Back in 1848, women were not allowed to go to college and they could not buy a house or a piece of land. They were only allowed to have certain jobs, and they were not allowed to vote. To Elizabeth, it felt like the men had all of the power and got to make most of the decisions. How would you feel?
In 1848, Elizabeth and her friends planned a big meeting to talk about how women were being treated unfairly. They announced the meeting in two newspapers, and invited everyone to participate. About 300 men and women came to the meeting.
They wrote a list of demands and read them aloud for everyone at the meeting to hear. A lot of the people at the meeting started to agree with Elizabeth.
To win any fight, you have to find your allies-people who are on your side. Elizabeth joined together with many other women. She also joined forces with a group of people who were fighting to end slavery in America. Women wanted the right to vote, just like African-Americans wanted to right to live free. Now there were even more people demanding equality.
Soon, there were more and more meetings around the country and everyone was talking about equality for women.
How did Elizabeth become such a hard worker? How did she have so much courage? When Elizabeth was little, she heard her father say, "Oh my daughter - I wish you were a boy," but instead of letting other people put her down, she found strength in herself.
Making it even BETTER!
Not everyone likes the idea of equal rights. They didn't want women to change; they wanted everything to stay the way it had been. After the meeting, some reporters wrote angry stories in the newspapers about Elizabeth and her ideas. Instead of getting upset, Elizabeth was happy that people were starting to think about her ideas- this was the first step in changing the world!
Elizabeth also had a lot of patience. In 1860, 12 years after the Seneca Falls convention, Elizabeth and her allies finally helped to change a law in New York so that women could own land and keep their own money. The right to vote, however, wouldn't be ready until 1920, 18 years after Elizabeth died. How do you think Elizabeth would have felt if she had been alive to vote?
I've been driving through the Northeast for the past 3 weeks...
Equal rights are for everyone. If the recipe seems too hard, try cooking a smaller amount. If you need help, ask your neighbor or best friend - chances are, they're cooking the same thing.
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Links to Other Dispatches
Rebecca - Get out of the kitchen! It's time for equal rights! Or is it?
Teddy - Astronauts, judges, senators, truck drivers, TV producers - women rock!
Kevin - It's my last name and I'll keep it if I want to!
Rebecca - What's got 7 layers of clothes and a broken rib?