Monday, April 29, 2013

A Friendship That Changed the World by Penny Coleman

In a world where so many young girls are "against feminism" without thinking of just how priviledged they are because of feminist movements, this book is an important reminder.

I've done my own fair share of research on these two women and their fight for women's suffrage, and the story of their friendship and struggles is inspiring and something young girls everywhere should know about. We have all heard a little something here and there in grade school about Susan B. Anthony, but Elizabeth Cady Stanton is just as important a contributor.

Quaker woman who grew up in an environment where girls and boys were educated equally, Anthony soon found that the rest of the country didn't share this same view on equality. Educated, sharp, and intimidating, she could command attention in a room filled with men in power. Stanton grew up in a more conservative society, getting married and having kids, but she felt somewhat trapped by this predetermined lifestyle and had some (at the time) radical views on women's equality. Luckily, her husband supported her. While more controversial and opinionated than Anthony (as she wanted to fight for more than just voting right, Anthony reminded her that they need to go one step at a time to be heard), she experienced difficulty delivering her speeches while commanding respect with her docile appearance, much to her frustration.  Anthony doing the majority of the speaking worked well for their cause and Stanton's family obligations.

They made the perfect team, and it's fascinating to see it closely examined. They pushed each other further, and made each other better, their weaknesses and strengths fitting together wonderfully. One of biggest and earliest achievements of the feminist movement, women's suffrage was a long fight and this story is a shining example of progress in our country's history.  These two fought for more than just that, however, and paved the way for the next century's feminist movements.  They were also major supporters of civil rights.

My own feminist interests aside, this book provides some quality insight into the relationship and work of these two women. Having the story neatly gathered together in one book makes learning about them easier for teens, since there is minimal effort needed on their part. There are other books on these two, to be sure, but for this book to be on a list of nominees provides great incentive for us to read about them.  If you are at all interested, read it.  A bit of history can only be good for you.

1 comment:

mkorkmaz said...

Sounds good. I really want to read this book because reading these kinds of books gives to me the passions, and makes me strong as a woman.I can not wait to read.