Friday, November 12th, 2010

Writing Prompt – Suffragettes

Elizabeth Cady StantonHappy Birthday, Elizabeth Cady Stanton! She was born on November 12, 1815, and is often cited as initiating the first organized Women’s Rights Movement in the United States.

What’s special about Ms. Stanton is that she wanted more for women beyond the right to vote. Her concerns included women’s parental and custody rights, property rights, employment and income rights, divorce laws, the economic health of the family, and birth control.

Stanton’s outspokenness on many of these issues caused a split in the Women’s Rights Movement, especially after she and Susan B. Anthony declined to support the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. (The 14th broadened the definition of citizenship to include former slaves and the 15th provided the right to vote).

Her opposition was not a manifestation of racism, but of fairness. Despite their passage, the 14th and 15th Amendments did not give women (black, white or other) the right to vote.

Twenty years passed before the two groups were united again under the Presidency of Stanton. She fought for women’s rights her entire life, and died October 26, 1902 – nearly twenty years before women were granted the right to vote.

Here’s Your Prompt: Create a world in which there is inequality to a specific group of people and how rights are restored to all. (It’s too easy to make this schism based on race, religion or gender, so be more creative and try for something different. )

Pay more attention to the reasons why one group of people sees another group as a threat of some sort. Think about how people react to those who are different and incorporate these incidents into the theme. Who are the suffragettes in this instance? Are those looking out for the rights of others from the “normal” group or the “different” group? Or are they from both? Keep in mind this shouldn’t be a story celebrating the differences but one about the struggle to understand and embrace differences as well as to alleviate any injustices manifesting from them.

In other words, don’t write me a heart-warming story about “people with differences” with a little politics on the side… I want the story to be about the struggle.

2 comments to Writing Prompt – Suffragettes

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>