Remembering rhetoric in DC, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and International Women’s Day

Posted: March 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Public speaking, Rhetoric Relived, Speaker reviews, Speechwriting, Videoblogging, Women leaders, tech, public speech | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Washington, DC offers rich archives about oratory, rhetoric, and the power of ideas.

It’s all gone down here: presidential inauguration addresses, worldwide movements (& the voices who marched them forward), and states of the union that comprise our nation’s history. I love this city so.

When near the US Capitol today:
I was a few hundred meters from where Elizabeth Cady Stanton first delivered her Solitude of Self speech to Congress back in 1892.

With it being Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8th, it was exciting to reflect on Stanton’s bold remarks so close to where they first went public.

Her persuasive ideas and what stood out:
There’s ample room to analyze this speech (her ultimate appeal for women’s suffrage to the Senate hearing committee). What keeps coming to mind is her focus on ‘individuality of the human soul’ and a pointed focus on the nature of self-dependence.

A favorite excerpt:

“The strongest reason why we ask for woman a voice in the government under which she lives; in the religion she is asked to believe; equality in social life, where she is the chief factor; a place in the trades and professions, where she may earn her bread — is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty. Because as an individual she must rely on herself. To throw obstacles in the way of a complete education is like putting out the eyes; to deny the rights of property is like cutting off the hands. To refuse political equality is to rob “the ostracized of all self-respect…”

What voices have influenced your thinking about access to opportunity and self-reliance?

Happy Women’s History Month!

And here’s to self-dependence, self-assertion, and celebration of progress.

More resources and ways to celebrate International Women’s Day:


3 Comments on “Remembering rhetoric in DC, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and International Women’s Day”

  1. 1 7 Ways For Men and Women to Celebrate International Women’s Day Together #iwd #wgbiz - Women Grow Business said at 4:15 pm on March 8th, 2012:

    [...] Ask a friend who they admire most as a leader of women. I’ll leave you with a video from the founder of Women Grow Business, Jill Foster, sharing her thoughts about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. (There are some additional great thoughts on her corresponding blog post at Live Your Talk.) [...]

  2. 2 7 Ways For Women and Men to Celebrate International Women’s Day Together #iwd #wgbiz said at 5:03 pm on March 8th, 2012:

    [...] Ask a friend who they admire most as a leader of women. I’ll leave you with a video from the founder of Women Grow Business, Jill Foster, sharing her thoughts about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. (There are some additional great thoughts on her corresponding blog post at Live Your Talk.) [...]

  3. 3 Aika said at 1:44 pm on April 17th, 2012:

    When did I first know I had the power?I’ve pondered that qoeutisn a lot, and I have come to the rather painful conclusion that I have lost much of my power.I had the power to do anything when I just started my career as a journalist. Doors opened, my work had an impact, I was appreciated (and rewarded) for my abilities.But now, I am faced not only with a crumbling economy, but also with the fact that my profession is collapsing all around me. To top it all off, I am held back by middle age: I am loosing the battle competing with younger, much cheaper writers and editors, who are eager to receive a byline and little pay as they crash with their parents.This is my half-empty cup.I do, however, also possess a half-full cup (which keeps me going, although it feels at times more like trying to run underwater). My career-deep-freeze has caused me to find the power to think outside the box, dare I say, see myself as my own brand, as an entrepreneur who can rely on no one but herself.Even though I often feel like a deer caught in the headlight (and sometimes even like an old, pathetic looser), I have met incredible women along the way. Women like you, Gloria, whom I consider my mentors, my sisters in arms. You give me the strength to go on; even though you all have set the bar very, very high.I thank you for that.


Leave a Reply