Feminist Fight Club: Susan B. Anthony


graphic by Yasmin Haq

For the first feminist I write about on this blog, I thought we should go back to who started it all – Susan Brownell Anthony. 

The question here is, what didn’t she do? The most important right earned for women, the right to vote, was because of her dedication and relentless fight for it. Anthony grew up as a Quaker who believed everyone was equal under God. She actually didn’t attend the convention at Seneca Falls, which was the first women’s rights convention in America. Later, when she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, another leading activist for women, the two became fast friends and began working together for women’s rights. 

Anthony traveled around the country encouraging women to stand up and speak their opinions instead of hiding in the shadows of  men’s voices. She raised money to publish newspapers, and many people admired her while others hated her. 

Along with women’s suffrage, Anthony gave speeches about ending slavery. She was a very successful leader in both movements due to her discipline, energy and ability to organize events.

Forget what the world thinks of you stepping out of your place; think your best thoughts, speak your best words, work your best works, looking to your own conscience for approval.

— Susan B. Anthony

At one point Anthony was arrested and fined $100 for trying to vote. Still, she refused to pay saying it was her right. This brought national awareness to the suffrage movement. However, she kept pushing and traveling – getting thousands of signatures on petitions, giving a speech called the “Declaration of Rights” and combining the two largest suffrage associations at the time into one, the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association, in 1888. 

In 1906 Anthony died at the age of 86, 14 years before the 19th amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote.

In her lifetime, Anthony accomplished a lot. She was selfless and never thought about what others must have thought of her. In fact, she even fought for women’s dress reform by wearing ridiculous outfits for a year. Women have the right to vote and participate in elections along with the jobs we weren’t allowed to have before such as opening our own business or having a high position in a big company. She inspires me to fight for what I want no matter what anyone says.

Something we should all take away – yes, guys too – is that you should never hide in someone else’s shadow. Everyone has a voice and that should be known to everyone. Fight for what you believe in and don’t give up until you’ve given it your best.