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Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Seneca Falls Keynote Address

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Transcript of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Seneca Falls Keynote Address

Counter arguments
Tone
Rhetorical Devices
Main-arguments / Sub-arguments / Implicit-arguments:
4th Paragraph:
Stanton concedes that men focus on fashion culture the same amount as women. However men earnestly believed that women solely cared for public appearance, so most men, such as those in government, were reticent to take females seriously. One key stereotype of the time held that women were not actually individuals, but mere reflections of their husbands or other male figures. Because of women's lack of individuality including them in political affairs seemed pointless.
Men were convinced that women were not capable of handling themselves. Actually most men felt it was their duty to protect women because they were seen as feeble creatures. The heads of government honestly thought what they were doing was best for the U.S. when leaving women out of politics, and never intended on imprisoning them. Because women were seen as intellectually inferior men felt that equality between the sexes could lead to some sort of disaster for the country.
The stereotype of the average women suggested that they had a very base life. Women were thought to only care for arbitrary aspects of life such as fashion and behavior, so they were never called on to make executive decisions. However, Stanton utilizes the trends of mens' fashion during the time in order to accentuate the profound irony of their masculinity. Men worried about their appearance just as much as women and were in no position to belittle women.
Stanton sarcastically mocked men because of their "philosophical experiments with stocks, pants, high-heeled boots, and Russian belts"(3). Most men took their clothing and other apparel very seriously. By describing the mens' experiments as philosophical the audience realized how hypocritical the men truly were because they too focused on their appearances. Men justified themselves by oppressing women because of their trends.
Mocking
She sarcastically makes fun of the men in the way they think and what they consider important. She states they do not want to annoy them in their "philosophical experiments," but instead she speaks sarcastically towards how highly they value their fashion. She explains her purpose is not to "molest" men in their ridiculous passions, but really she meant to mock them with her over exaggerated word choice due to how much she knew the topic meant to them.
3rd Paragraph
"No, we shall not
molest
you in your
philosiphical
experiments with stocks, pants, high-heeled boots, and Russian belts"
Stanton depicts woman as victims when stating that men have "the power to chastise and imprison his wife" highlights the little power women had during this time period. The word choice "chastise" and "imprison" evokes a sense of pity towards women's situation. Thus, Stanton successfully plays to the audience's emotions because she stirs their anger and encourages women to fight for their rights.
Stanton depicts woman as victims when stating that men have "the power to chastise and imprison his wife" highlights the little power women had during this time period. The word choice "chastise" and "imprison" evokes a sense of pity towards women's situation. Thus, Stanton successfully plays to the audience's emotions because she stirs their anger and encourages women to fight for their rights.
Paragraph 3 Main Idea:
Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Seneca Falls Keynote Address
Audience:
Paragraph 3:
The statement that "we shall not molest you in your philosophical experiments" demonstrates that the audience is a group of phantom men who are government officials since men are not actually present during the speech, but Stanton refers to them. The usage of the words "you" and "your" explains that the paragraph is aimed at the men and the word "we" is used for women.
Paragraph 4:
The statement that " we have met to uplifts woman's fallen divinity upon an even pedestal with man's...we now demand our right to vote" demonstrates that the audience are women since Stanton is using "we" and she is trying to inspire them by stating her main argument that women deserve to vote.

Allusion to Declaration of Independence
"But we are assembled to protest against a form of government existing without the consent of the governed"(Stanton).

Metaphor for women not being equal to men
"We have met to uplift woman's fallen divinity upon an even pedestal with man's" (Stanton).
Metaphor for men showing off
“No, we shall not molest you in your philosophical experiments with stocks, pants, high-heeled boots, and Russian belts. Yours be the glory to discover, by personal experience”.
Pathos
Logos
Paragraph three and four can be considered as the main openers for the overall speech. Paragraph three helps grab the attention of the reader by presenting a little humor and sarcasm towards the men, thus acting as the hook. In paragraph four, Stanton states for the first time her argument and what she is fighting for. She demands womens' rights.
Overall Speech Connection
Men are just as pretentious as women if not more so.
Paragraph 4 Main Idea:


Women are not given the same rights as men. They are seen as inferior to them. Women should be represented in a government in which they pay taxes to support it.
Paragraph 4:
Stanton references the Declaration of Independence while the women are assembled in order “to protest against a form of government existing without the consent of the governed”(4). In the Declaration of Independence, governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed; therefore, women should fight for the vote because they are subject to the government's laws. The document also allows the people to change the government if they feel that the government is not doing its job. The women reformers feel that they are poorly represented in the government, which is why they have chosen to hold this meeting.
Paragraph 4:
Throughout her speech, Stanton tries to encourage the audience into supporting her cause. She informs the audience that the women reformers “have met to uplift woman’s fallen divinity upon an even pedestal with man’s” in order to invoke an emotional response from the audience. She makes women seem like the victims in this situation by making it seem like women were equal to men at one point and then having all of their rights suddenly taken from them.
Paragraph 3:
Stanton attempts to justify giving women the right to vote by making men look unfit to lead the country. She tries to hide this message by saying “No, we shall not molest you in your philosophical experiments with stocks, pants, high-heeled boots, and Russian belts. Yours be the glory to discover, by personal experience” in order to logically connect with the audience. She makes men look bad by talking about how men are more focused on showing off for one another instead of being focused on improving the country.
Rhetorical Devices
Rhetorical Appeals
Main Idea (for overall speech):

Although women were seen as incapable of thinking and performing tasks for themselves, women demanded their rights granted by the Declaration of Independence.
"we now demand our right to vote"-Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Paragraph Three
Main-argument/ Sub-argument/ Implicit-argument

Most women were thought of as property: they did not have free will to fulfill their desires and only served their husbands. The laws which had governed the country only guaranteed rights to white men and eventually blacks in 1865. Stanton and many other women in the U.S. considered this a gross violation of their rights because they too were citizens who payed taxes.
Paragraph Four
Stanton declared the laws that governed them unjust, and demanded that they be "forever erased from [their] statute books"(4). This differs from her main argument in that she explicitly states that men and the government are responsible for the treatment of women.
3rd Paragraph
4th Paragraph
"It is to protest against such
unjust
laws as these that we are assembled today, and to have them if possible, forever erased from our statute books, deeming them a
shame
and a
disgrace
to a Christian republic in the nineteenth century."
Forthright
Immediately after joking around with the men she dives straight into why they are really there, she holds nothing back and speaks her mind. She deems the laws as a "shame" and "disgrace" to their country because of the government's disrespect towards the women and decision on not to take any action against their unfair rights. Therefore she openly disrespects the government in front of everyone no matter the cost.
Indignant
She dislikes how the women have been treated for so long and declares the "unjust" laws of freedom and property must be put to an end.
Counter Arguments
from mens' point of
view
Tone
Overall Speech Connection
Stanton argues that women are also subject "disgraceful laws" that "chastise and imprison" women. These laws also "take the wages which [they] earn, the property which [they] inherit" and her "children(4).
Full transcript