Women’s Rights

On Wednesday evening, Wm. Lloyd Garrison presented the following series of resolutions to the Convention:— (¶ 1)

  1. Resolved. That the natural rights of one human being are those of every other; in all cases equally sacred and inalienable; hence, the boasted Rights of Man, about which we hear so much, are simply the Rights of Woman, about which we hear so little; or, in other words, they are the Rights of Humankind, neither affected by or dependent on sex or condition. (¶ 2)

  2. Resolved. That those who deride the claim of woman to a full recognition of her civil rights and political equaliy, exhibit the spirit which tyrants and usurpers have displayed in all ages towards the mass of mankind—strike at the foundation of all truly free and equitable government—contend for a sexual aristocracy, which is as irrational and unjust in principle, as that of wealth or hereditary descent—and show their appreciation of liberty to be wholly one-sided and supremely selfish. (¶ 3)

  3. Resolved. That for the men of this land to claim for themselves the elective franchise, and the right to choose their own rulers, and enact their own laws, as essential to their freedom, safety and welfare, and then to deprive all the women of all those safe guards, solely onthe ground of a difference of sex, is to evince the pride of self-esteem, the meanness of usurpation, and the folly of a self-assumed superiority. (¶ 4)

  4. Resolved. That woman, as well as man, has a right to the highest mental and physical development—to the most ample educational advantages—to the occupancy of whatever position she can reach in Church and State, in science and art, in poetry and music, in painting and sculpture, in civil jurisprudence and political economy, and in the varied departments of human industry, enterprise and skill—to the elective franchise—and to a voice in the administration of justice and the passage of laws for the general welfare. (¶ 5)

  5. Resolved. That to pretend that the granting of these claims would tend to make woman less amiable and attractive, less regardful of her peculiar duties and obligations as wife and mother, a waderer from her proper sphere, bringing confusion into domestic life, and strife into the public assembly, is the cant of Papal Rome, as to the discordant and infidel tendencies of the right of private judgment in matters of faith—is the outcry of legitimacy of the incapacity of the people to govern themselves—is the false allegation which selfish and timid conservatism is ever making against every new measure of Reform—and has no foundation in reason, experience, fact or philosophy. (¶ 6)

  6. Resolved. That the consequences arising from the exclusion of woman from the possession and exercise of her natural rights and the cultivation of her mental faculties have been calamitous to the whole human race—making her servile, dependent, unwomanly—the victim of a false gallantry on the one hand, and of tyrannic subjection on the other—obstructing her mental growth, crippling her physical development, and incapacitating her for general usefulness, and thus inflicting an injury upon all born of woman; and cultivating in man a lordly and arrogant spirit; a love of dominion, a disposition to lightly disregard her comfort and happiness, all of which have been indulged to a fearful extent, to the curse of his own soul, and the desecration of her nature. (¶ 7)

  7. Resolved. That so long as the most ignorant, degraded and worthless men are freely admitted to the ballot-box, and practically acknowledged to be competent to determine who shall be in office, and how the government shall be administered, it is preposterous to pretend that women are not qualified to use the elective franchise, and that they are fit only to be recognized, politically speaking, as non compos mentis. (¶ 8)