"Yankees" and women's suffrage

Steve Sailer, citing Wikipedia:
So it was not surprising that WASPy America was favorable ground for feminism in the early 20th century, as shown by the Yankee domination of the women’s vote movement. In contrast, the newer immigrants of the era, such as Sicilians and Jews, came from more patriarchal cultures.
The Wikipedia edit actually claims:
The woman suffrage movement was led by old stock women, especially Yankees and Quakers of English or German ancestry, whose families had been in North America for generations.
And, if this were completely accurate, it would hardly have been surprising that colonial stock Americans (still the majority of the US population in the mid-to-late 19th century and the overwhelming majority among the more educated) were the leaders of a particular intellectual movement in America (while noting that the comparable movements in Europe were led by Italian women in Italy, German and Jewish women in Germany, etc.). But if we scroll up in the same Wikipedia entry:
Agitation for equal suffrage was carried on by only a few individuals. The first of these was Frances Wright, a Scottish woman who came to the country in 1826 and advocated women's suffrage in an extensive series of lectures. In 1836 Ernestine Rose, a Polish woman, came to the country and carried on a different campaign so effectively that she obtained a personal hearing before the New York Legislature, though her petition bore only five signatures.
Polish woman?
Ernestine Louise Rose (January 13, 1810 – August 4, 1892) was an atheist feminist, individualist feminist, and abolitionist. She was one of the major intellectual forces behind the women's rights movement in nineteenth-century America. [. . .]

She was born on January 13, 1810, in Piotrków Trybunalski, Russia-Poland, as Ernestine Louise Polowsky. Her father was a wealthy rabbi and her mother the daughter of a wealthy businessman.

[. . .]

She traveled to Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and finally England. Her arrival in England was less than smooth, however, as the ship in which she was sailing wrecked. Although Rose did make it to England safely, all her possessions had been destroyed, and she found herself destitute. In order to support herself, she sought work as a teacher in the languages of German and Hebrew and she continued to sell her room deodorizers. While in England, she met Robert Owen, a Utopian socialist, who was so impressed by her that he invited her to speak in a large hall for radical speakers. In spite of her limited knowledge of English, the audience was so impressed that from then on her appearances were regular. She and Owen were close friends, and she even helped him to found the Association of All Classes of All Nations, a group that espoused human rights for all people of all nations, sexes, races and classes. [. . .]

In the 1840s and 1850s, Rose joined the "pantheon of great American women", a group that included such influential women as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis and Sojourner Truth and fought for women's rights and abolition. [. . .]

Although she never seemed to attach any importance to her Jewish background, in 1863 Rose had a published debate with Horace Seaver, the abolitionist editor of the Boston Investigator, whom she accused of being anti-Semitic. [. . .]

After 1873, her health improved, and she began to advocate women's suffrage in England, even attending the Conference of the Woman's Suffrage movement in London and speaking in Edinburgh, Scotland at a large public meeting in favor of woman's suffrage. She died in England in 1892.

From In Common Cause: The "Conservative" Frances Trollope and the "Radical" Frances Wright:
Chapter Seven

Wright, the American Suffragists, Mill, and Whitman

Rejected by the majority, Frances right's ideas nevertheless came to affect every level of American society. Those who have focused attention on her career have agreed on the paradox of her life, its electricity and color reduced to seeming paralysis and invisibility before her death. yet her ideas would have impact on the mainstream of American culture. In 1924 William Randall Waterman concluded his study of Frances Wright with these words:

Just how deeply she influenced American thought it is difficult to say.... Probably it would be safe to say that through her lectures and editorials she did much to popularize and stimulate the demand for a more liberal religion, more liberal marriage laws, the protection of the property rights of married women, a more generous system of education, and the abolition of capital punishment and of imprisonment for debt. Slavery she opposed as irrational, and obstacle to the progress of America.... Perhaps Miss Wright's greatest contribution was to the intellectual emancipation of women. A pioneer, she was scoffed at, hooted and reviled, but she showed what the feminine mind was capable of, and having blazed the way, other courageous women were not wanting to follow in her footsteps. (255-56)
[. . .] Frances Wright's ideas appeared everywhere in American society--as did unrelenting attacks against her.

Naming Frances Wright as especially offensive, the Reverend Parsons Cooke [New England ancestry] justified the prohibition against woman's speaking, explaining, "Even if it were true, that some woman in an assembly had more talents than all the men present, the excess of her talents so far from making a reason why she should display them, would make it a still stronger case of usurping authority over the man" (9-10). Despite attacks from the pulpit, Frances Wright's brilliance was attracting a growing, loyal following among all classes of women as well as of men. Margaret Fuller [New England ancestry] was one of those who took advantage of the new paths Frances Wright was opening for women, even though she wished to do so at as much distance from the embattled Frances Wright as safety seemed to require. [. . .]

Had she lived longer, Fuller might have acknowledged the incendiary Wright's influence as she matured and became herself more and more actively involved in politics. Urbanski concludes, "Frances Wright's type of revolutionary fervor came to Margaret Fuller later in Europe as her ideas developed under the tutelage of Adam Mickiewicz and Giuseppe Mazzini" (65). We will never know if Margaret Fuller might have returned to the United States as politicaly committed and outspoken as she had been in Italy (immediately prior to her death) durning the ferment of the Italian revolution.

In contrast, other leading women reformers of nineteenth century America went out of their way to recognize and praise Frances Wright's pioneering efforts for human rights. The first of these followers would be Ernestine Rose, the Polish-born reformer, "whose path often crossed" Frances Wright's as she petitioned and spoke for women's causes in the United States during the 1860 and 1840s (Neidle 40). [. . .]

In 1860, at the Tenth National Woman's Rights Convention at the Cooper Institute in New York, Ernestine Rose once more commemorated Frances Wright's heroic life struggle for justice in the United States, saying

Frances Wright was the first woman in this country who spoke on the equality of the sexes. She had indeed a hard task before her. The elements were entirely unprepared. She had to break up the time-hardened soil of conservatism; and her reward was sure--the same reward that is always bestowed upon those who are in the vanguard of any great movement. She was subjected to public odium, slander, and persecution. But these were not the only things she received. Oh, she had her reward!--...the eternal reward of knowing that she had done her duty; the reward springing from the consciousness of rights, of endeavoring to benefit unborn generations. How delightful to see the molding of the minds around you, the infusing of your thoughts and aspirations into others, until one by one they stand by your side, without knowing how they came there! That reward she had. It has been her glory, it is the glory of her memory; and the time will come when society will have outgrown its old prejudices, and stepped with one foot, at least, upon the elevated platform on which she took her position. (Stanton et al. 1: 692)
In "favorable to feminism" "WASPy America", it took immigrant from a "more patriarchal" Jewish culture Ernestine Rose 5 months to get 5 signatures on a petition to grant married women property rights.
After a good deal of trouble I obtained five signatures. Some of the ladies said the gentlement would laugh at them; others, that they had rights enough; and the men said the women had too many rights already. . . . I continued sending petitions with increased numbers of signatures until 1848 and '49, when the Legistlature enacted the Law which granted woman the right to keep what was her own. But no sooner did it become legal than all the women said: "Oh! that is right! We ought always have had that!" (Stanton, 1:99)

6 comments:

DJ said...

Early Wasp feminism

;)

Harold said...

from wikipedia regarding my own country, New Zealand:

"Sir Julius Vogel, KCMG (24 February 1835 – 12 March 1899) was the eighth Premier of New Zealand."

"He remains the only practising Jewish prime minister of New Zealand."

"During his political career, Vogel worked generally successfully for reconciliation with the Māori people. In 1887, he introduced the first women's suffrage Bill to Parliament, but suffrage was not granted until 1893."

"Vogel has a reputation as the first New Zealander to write a science-fiction novel: Anno Domini 2000, or, Woman's Destiny, published in 1889. It anticipated a utopian world where women held many positions of authority—and coincidentally New Zealand became the first country to give women the vote".

tom said...

amazing that they expected the vote without having any obligation to serve and uphold the state. they just viewed the state as an extension of all the other people who have provided for them throughout their lives, completely missing the connection between rights and costs.

I think women have been far too protected from the cost they incurr to the state and the economy. This is especially true when it comes to upper-middle class women who had no need to work and thought things like rights come from the sky. in reality rights are a contract, give and take. feminism only teaches women to take, totally ignoring what other people gave.

I think a big part of the issue comes down to wealthy women who dont work which results in them getting a parasitic sense of entitlement. Women need to experience the cost of their decisions, which includes financial, familial, and criminal, before society can work.

Unknown said...

It goes back earlier: there were women's movements in French Revolution France. Olympe de Gouges is a good example.

Not surprising to see atheist feminists get their crap going from rich daddies, Jewish or otherwise.

Dystopia Max said...

Yes, because what WASPy America and American women liked in the late 19th and early 20th Century, after the Civil War, after the Gilded Age, after the ascension of America as a world power, and after the crossing of the great urban-rural tipping point, after the great beginning of scale, was entirely identical to...

...what they liked when they were still a cohesive nation in the middle of the 19th century.

Events? Movements? Proportionality? Applicability? Unimportant in my role as CHIEF CRITIC OF THE NEFARIOUS MOLDBUG!!!

I'm for seeing guilty Jews hanged and non-guilty Jews warned, preferably through the energetic hanging of guilty Jews, as much as anyone, but this sort of weak third-rate rejoinder is unworthy of the legacy of the great Puritans.

n/a said...

What exactly is your argument? America is still to blame, regardless of the fact that cognate varieties of every sort of leftish radicalism appeared first in Europe?

To the extent that modernity was a factor, it was a similar factor in the non-backward parts of Europe.