Matilda Joslyn Gage

Joslyn_Gage

Woman is learning for herself that non self-sacrifice, but self-development, is her first duty in life; and this, not primarily for the sake of others but that she may become fully herself – Matilda Joslyn Gage

So a friend recently posted a link to a pretty cool quiz/infographic Which Badass Woman In History Are You? I saw that a lot of people were getting results of my past Woman “Crushin’ it” Wednesday submissions. I jumped in and lo and behold, my result was a badass that I had not yet highlighted: abolitionist, Native American Rights activist, and suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage.

Gage was one of the founders of the National Woman Suffrage Association and served as president from 1875 to 1876. In 1881 she, with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, wrote the multi-volume History of Woman Suffrage (added to my Goodreads list). Over time, Gage and Stanton found themselves at odds with Anthony, feeling that the suffrage movement was becoming more and more conservative in order to unite the many different groups. Critical of Christianity, Gage believed that the religion overly oppressed women and strengthened patriarchy systems.She eventually left the NWSA to be founder of the more liberal Woman’s National Liberal Union, where she felt better equipped to push back on a government she believed to be actively trying to create a Christian state and corrode the idea of separation of Church and State. She wrote Woman, Church, and State in 1893 (also added to my list) detailing her position.

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