Sunday, September 4, 2011

You Gotta Fight for Your Right

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
I'm not a radical feminist, but I do believe in equality for the sexes. A 50/50 balance of power in any male-female relationship is important to its overall success. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one woman in United States history who believed in such a balance.

Born on November 12, 1815 in Johnstown, New York, Elizabeth Cady Stanton grew up knowing her father wished she were a boy. She decided at an early age to be just as good as any boy and excelled in school. In 1839, she met fellow abolitionist Henry Stanton and fell in love. The couple eloped and moved to London. During the ceremony, Elizabeth told the minister that she and Henry would be equal partners and she would not promise to "obey" him.

While in London, Elizabeth met Lucretia Mott and the pair spoke out about women's rights. They drew up a declaration of woman's rights and modeled it after the Declaration of Independence. Their points included that women had no right to property, even to the wages they earned, that only men had the power to divorce, that if a woman wanted to work, she had little choice of what she could do, and she wouldn't get much pay, that women were denied an equal education, and that women should have the right to vote. Sixty eight women and thirty two men signed a petition in support of the declaration.

Elizabeth met Susan B. Anthony in 1851, and together they continued the fight for women's rights. Elizabeth was president of the National American Women's Suffrage Association from 1869 until 1892. During the Civil War she spent time signing petitions for emancipation. She believed the only way to gain womens' suffrage would be to gain a constitutional amendment that would state the sex of a person wouldn't keep a person from obtaining the right to vote.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton died on October 26, 1902. She did not survive to see women get the right to vote nearly 20 years later, but her fight paved the way. She believed in her cause, spoke convincingly about it, and never backed down. She was a true woman of achievement.

My latest release from Whispers Publishing, Speak Easy to Me, takes place just before the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution giving women the right to vote.


Willa Hardwick doesn’t want to be an ordinary housewife, especially if the only available men work at Providence’s most notable speakeasy, The Fountain. She wouldn’t be caught dead in a place like that. Women should have choices, and Willa is willing to fight for those choices as well as the right to vote.

Grant Sterling hides behind his piano night after night, entertaining the guests at The Fountain. He knows the speakeasy’s owner, Ralph “Zinny” DiZinnia, is involved in shady dealings, but he’ll never tell. In fact, Grant would rather not speak at all.

When Willa’s brother, Tommy, double-crosses Zinny, Willa faces an uncomfortable proposition to save his life. How far is she willing to go for family, and can she trust the help of a quiet piano player?


The Fountain was packed tonight. Women in their short, fringed dresses and feathered caps giggled and flirted. Men in their fancy suits and winged-tip shoes talked politics and patted their laps when a pretty dame happened by.

Grant and the boys had been playing nonstop in their little corner of the bar, which was fine with Grant. He had no desire to set foot on the crowded dance floor, though the rest of the boys all had taken a turn. He was comfortable at the piano and that was where he intended to hide for the evening.

Until the door at the back of the speakeasy let in a real looker. Not anything like the Janes already filling the bar. No, something in the set of this gal’s shoulders told Grant she was not the usual customer. Some dark pencil outlined her eyes, some red lipstick rimmed her lips, but it was nothing compared to the circus look on most of the female patrons tonight.

Her skin glowed white and flawless while chestnut curls played about her jaw from under a tight-fitting, cream-colored hat. A single strand of small pearls graced her slender neck.

And the dress. Good God, the off-white dress wrapped around her figure, showing off an ample bosom, a trim waist, and a heavenly set of gams that went on for miles.

She was perfect, and yet, Grant picked up on her unease, a tension in her muscles. Her wide, chocolate eyes scanned the bar as if she were a small rabbit looking out for predators. When two men approached her, however, she smiled cordially, and Grant nearly oozed off his piano bench.

Buy Speak Easy to Me today from:

Whispers Publishing
All Romance E-books



Barbara Edwards said...

Your story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's accomplishments is wonderful. You included many details I didn't know. And I read a lot of history.
ps I added your story to my TBR pile.

Jannine Gallant said...

You gotta love women like Elizabeth who paved the way for us! Without them... (Shudder!!!)

Your book sounds like a super read, Chris.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Interesting and your book sounds great, too. Love stories of women who stand up for what they deserve.

Jerri Hines/Carrie James-Haynes said...

Sounds like a great read! Good luck with your release!

Alison H. said...

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was my kind of woman. (I don't even apologize for being a feminist if it means equality.) I think many women today forget the debt we owe these early pioneers of women's rights. I wish you great success with your new book!

Vonnie Davis said...

How nice and proper that women can now work where they want, earn (mostly) what they deserve, vote and own property. Can you imagine going through life as a shadow of your husband? We were all meant to shine, whatever our sex, race or ethnic background. Thank goodness for strong women who paved the way for us. Great post. Thanks for the lesson on this courageos lady.

Laura Breck said...

Great history lesson, Christine. I love the photo of Mrs. Stanton. She looks like someone who could make a stand for women.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Christine,
Great blog. Mrs Stanton sounds like a woman to be reckoned with, and certainly well ahead of her time. God bless her.