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History of Gender Commons

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2011

Selected Works

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Elizabeth Cady Stanton And The Notion Of A Legal Class Of Gender, Tracy A. Thomas Feb 2011

Elizabeth Cady Stanton And The Notion Of A Legal Class Of Gender, Tracy A. Thomas

Tracy A. Thomas

In the mid-nineteenth century, Elizabeth Cady Stanton used narratives of women and their involvement with the law of domestic relations to collectivize women. This recognition of a gender class was the first step towards women’s transformation of the law. Stanton’s stories of working-class women, immigrants, Mormon polygamist wives, and privileged white women revealed common realities among women in an effort to form a collective conscious. The parable-like stories were designed to inspire a collective consciousness among women, one capable of arousing them to social and political action. For to Stanton’s consternation, women showed a lack of appreciation ...