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.
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:
- 9 tips for public speakers from the WomenWhoTech Telesummit;
- strong conversation and community for small business owners from Women Grow Business;
- a tribute by Shonali Burke with more on Oxfam’s eCards and eAwards to give to the women you value;
- Socialcam’s great mobile video app for the iPhone and Android (which published this video above).