ELIZABETH CADY STANTON
WOMAN SUFFRAGE LEADER
(1815 – 1902)
Whenever people talk about how women got the vote, or you read about women marching for the right to vote, they see my name, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Those of us who worked hard for the right to vote were called suffragists.
The word “suffrage” means the right of voting. It makes me think of the word “suffer,” because "to suffer" means to feel and put up with pain. Believe me, when it came to changing the laws of our states so that women could vote along with men, the suffragists experienced a lot of pain and suffering.
What we were talking about was equal rights. When you have to share a special dessert with others, you want to have the same share as everyone else. You probably really want a bigger piece, but in your heart, you know that’s not fair. Well, that’s what equal rights is about: wanting your share of life’s opportunities and the right to share in decisions that affect your life. One of the ways we can share in decisions is by voting. It’s probably hard to imagine a time when women were not allowed to vote. It would be like my asking you what game you would like to play today, and then saying only the boys could decide. Would that be fair or right? Of course not!