A Champion Lost in History

Posted: March 19, 2009 by krystieyandoli in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,
Women's History Month, know it, celebrate it...

Women's History Month, know it, celebrate it...

In the spirit of discussion about gender, politics, and women’s history month, I thought a throwback to the birth of it all would be appropriate. If you think ya’ll know the truth about the women’s suffrage movement, I’m about to school you.

This semester I made one of the best decisions of my life—accidentally. In order to fulfill a requirement for my Women’s Studies major as well as my Honors core, I enrolled in WSP 200: The History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement through Matilda Joslyn Gage. It appealed to me from the start, but I had no idea I was going to be learning about such fascinating details of the women’s suffrage movement that I was completely unaware of.

I was unaware because they were intentionally left out of our history books. What’s even more shocking is the fact that women are responsible for this. WOMEN! Wouldn’t you assume that such a historical struggle would cause great closeness between the primary individuals involved? Although it’s wishful thinking, it’s NOT the case.

Matilda Joslyn Gage was a female suffragist who was a part of a close friendship trio between herself, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony. The three were an unstoppable combination when it came to “fighting the man.” They wrote editorials, created political parties, and organized an entire movement that eventually led to my ability to vote in the 2008 Presidential election.

Forced out by other women fighting for suffrage as if she stole Heidi's boyfriend on the Hills...

Forced out by other women fighting for suffrage as if she stole Heidi's boyfriend on the Hills...

Without all three of those leading ladies, none of that would have been possible. Inevitably, however, the other two women betrayed Gage by “forcing her out.” They befriended a group of women who were too seeking the vote, yet they were doing so in order to vote against more progressive laws in support of women’s rights.

Hundreds of years later, Gage is nowhere to be found in the history books because she was edged out by her own kind. Ouch, right? My brilliant professor, Sally Roesch Wagner, has become a Gage historian and knows the entire truth about the situation through Gage’s personal documents and interviews with family members. Three books and one classroom later, a group of SU students (who call themselves “Gage Groupies” on Facebook) are responsible for educating others about Gage.

I thought I would honor the Mother of the women’s suffrage movement who was a born writer through and through by writing about her in as many forums possible (if anyone has any other ideas for where I could write please comment below!). It is such a shame that her effort was put to good use, yet her name is in the shadows.

Find out more about Matilda Joslyn Gage, the foundation, and then it’s your turn to spread the word. After all, isn’t it scary that we don’t know the truth about our own history?

–Krystie Yandoli

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Comments
  1. Katie says:

    Interesting. Just wondering, but why exactly did they all of a sudden decide to kick Gage out?

  2. john mccrory says:

    I was wondering the same why did they shove her aside…Money>>?????

  3. john mccrory says:

    I was wondering the same why did they shove her aside…Money>>?????

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