Some of us, unfortunately, were unable to attend the National Women’s Convention in Detroit, Michigan this week. It was the first gathering of its kind in 40 years and, in my opinion, just as important as the first. The mission drew a generation of justifiably worried women from all over the country for a three-day event with goals worth repeating: voting rights, health care, pay equality, reproductive rights and sexual harassment. These same issues had early women and men reformers campaigning tirelessly from the early 1850s until the final day of their lives.
Thankfully, I, we, live in the cradle of social equality so it’s easy to feel hopeful. Upstate New York and border states make sure to preserve the history of victories with museums dedicated to pioneers like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Speaking of cradles, I stopped by the Susan B. Anthony’s birthplace museum in Adams, Massachusetts on Saturday. I already knew about Susan’s Quaker family upbringing but it was enlightening to learn about the homestead timeline. November 6, 2017 marks New York State’s centennial suffrage anniversary. Sadly, at 86 years of age, Anthony never got the opportunity. On her deathbed, she said: To think, I have had more than 60 years of hard struggle for a little liberty, and then to die without it seems so cruel.”