Reform society. The Second Great Awakening

Unequal Treatment of Women

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Unequal Treatment of Women Even a fine education like Stanton’s did not mean women would receive equal treatment. When Lucy Stone graduated from Oberlin College in 1847, the faculty invited her to write a speech. But a man would have to give the speech, since the school did not allow women to speak in public. Stone refused. After graduation, she spoke out for women’s rights. Because women could not vote, she refused to pay property taxes. “Women suffer taxation,” she said, “and yet have no representation.”

Stone’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth Blackwell, wanted to be a doctor. She had studied mathematics, science, and history. Yet she was rejected by 29 medical schools before one finally accepted her. In 1849, she graduated at the top of her class, becoming the country’s first female doctor. Still, no hospitals or doctors would agree to work with her.

To overcome such barriers, women would have to work together. By the time Stanton and Mott left London, they had decided “to hold a convention . . . and form a society to advocate the rights of women.”

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