Elizabeth Cady Stanton quotes by a historic heroine to empower the next generation of women.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a Women’s Rights champion. She worked alongside Susan B. Anthony in the late 1800s as a driving force in the women’s rights and abolition movements. She spoke out against the oppressive teachings of the church and challenged the patriarchal structure in society.
As a strong and outspoken woman, Stanton published several works speaking power and value into the lives of women. Some of her best-known books are History of Woman Suffrage Vol. 1-3 and The Women’s Bible. Read on to hear some of our favorite excerpts.
Don’t forget to also check out these Susan B. Anthony quotes on life, change, and failure.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Quotes to Empower Women
1. “I thought that the chief thing to be done in order to equal boys was to be learned and courageous. So I decided to study Greek and learn to manage a horse.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
2. “The best protection any woman can have… is courage.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
3. “Put it down in capital letters: SELF-DEVELOPMENT IS A HIGHER DUTY THAN SELF-SACRIFICE.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
4. “I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives, but as nouns.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
5. “The strongest reason for giving women all the opportunities for higher education, for the full development of her faculties, her forces of mind and body… is the solitude and personal responsibility of her own individual life.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
6. “The right is ours. Have it we must. Use it we will.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
7. “The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls. Every truth we see is ours to give the world, not to keep for ourselves alone, for in so doing we cheat humanity out of their rights and check our own development.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
8. “Women of all classes are awakening to the necessity of self-support, but few are willing to do the ordinary useful work for which they are fitted.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
9. “We come into this world alone, unlike all who have gone before us…Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Quotes to Take Down the Patriarchy
10. “It was just so in the American Revolution, in 1776, the first delicacy the men threw overboard in Boston harbor was the tea, woman’s favorite beverage. The tobacco and whiskey, though heavily taxed, they clung to with the tenacity of the devil-fish.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
11. “Men think that self-sacrifice is the most charming of all the cardinal virtues for women, and in order to keep it in healthy working order, they make opportunities for its illustration as often as possible.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
12. “To-day the woman is Mrs. Richard Roe, to-morrow Mrs. John Doe, and again Mrs. James Smith accordingly as she changes masters, and she has so little self-respect that she does not see the insult of the custom.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
13. “Women degradation is in man’s idea of his sexual rights. Our religion, laws, customs, are all founded on the belief that woman was made for man.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
14. “Whatever the theories may be of woman’s dependence on man, in the supreme moments of her life, he cannot bear her burdens. In the tragedies and triumphs of human experience, each mortal stands alone.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
15. “There would be more sense in insisting on man’s limitations because he cannot be a mother than on a woman’s because she can be.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
16. “We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men, and if we were free and developed, healthy in body and mind, as we should be under natural conditions, our motherhood would be our glory. That function gives women such wisdom and power as no male can possess.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton quotes about women’s rights, freedom and equality
17. “Because man and woman are the complement of one another, we need woman’s thought in national affairs to make a safe and stable government.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
18. “Woman will always be dependent until she holds a purse of her own.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
19. “It requires philosophy and heroism to rise above the opinion of the wise men of all nations and races.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
20. “So long as women are slaves, men will be knaves.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
21. “To develop our real selves, we need time alone for thought and meditation. To be always giving out and never pumping in, the well runs dry.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
22. “No privileged order ever did see the wrongs of its own victims …” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
23. “Our ‘pathway’ is straight to the ballot box, with no variableness nor shadow of turning.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
24. “To think that all in me of which my father would have felt proper pride had I been a man, is deeply mortifying to him because I am a woman.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Quotes for the Historian
25. “The history of the past is but one long struggle upward to equality.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
26. “The prolonged slavery of women is the darkest page in human history.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
27. “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, of credit in the marketplace, of recompense in the world of work, of a voice in choosing those who make and administer the law, a choice in the jury before whom they are tried, and in the judge who decides their punishment.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
28. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
29. “To make laws that man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
30. “When we consider that women are treated as property it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
31. “We cannot accept any code or creed that uniformly defrauds woman of all her natural rights.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
32. “The woman is uniformly sacrificed to the wife and mother.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Quotes That Embrace Womanhood
33. “The heyday of woman’s life is the shady side of fifty.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
34. “In a word, I am always busy, which is perhaps the chief reason why I am always well.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
35. “Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
36. “There is a solitude, which each and every one of us has always carried with him, more inaccessible than the ice-cold mountains, more profound than the midnight sea; the solitude of self. Our inner being, which we call ourselves, no eye nor touch of man or angel has ever pierced.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
37. “The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their own souls, but did their utmost to mitigate the miseries of others.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
38. “Woman’s discontent increases in exact proportion to her development.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
39. “One would think that potential motherhood should make women as a class as sacred as the priesthood. In common parlance we have much fine-spun theorizing on the exalted office of the mother, her immense influence in molding the character of her sons; “the hand that rocks the cradle moves the world.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
40. “With age comes the inner, the higher life. Who would be forever young, to dwell always in externals?” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
More Elizabeth Cady Stanton quotes on women’s suffrage
41. “Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
42. “To live for a principle, for the triumph of some reform by which all mankind are to be lifted up—to be wedded to an idea—may be, after all, the holiest and happiest of marriages.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
43. “Human beings lose their logic in their vindictiveness.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
44. “The more I think on the present condition of women, the more I am oppressed with the reality of their degradation.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
45. “I poured out the torrent of my long-standing discontent and I challenged them to do and dare anything.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
46. “It is impossible for one class to appreciate the wrongs of another.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
47. “The more complete the despotism, the more smoothly all things move on the surface.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
48. “Think of the inconvenience of vanishing as if it were from your friends and correspondents three times in one’s natural life.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
49. “Dress loose, take a great deal of exercise, and be particular about your diet and sleep sound enough, the body has a great effect on the mind.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
50. “Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
What did you learn from these Elizabeth Cady Stanton quotes?
The messages sent by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in her writing challenge women to see and value themselves outside the bounds placed on them by the patriarchy. She emphasized that womanhood is not a limitation but a strength.
As we continue to push forward the gender equality movement, let us not forget to look back on, appreciate, and learn from the teachings of those who came before us. The foundation laid by these women’s generations helped bring us to the place where we are today. Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these Elizabeth Cady Stanton quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.
June 2, 2021 7:00 AM EST