Matilda’s Mind

Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826-1898) fought alongside Stanton, Anthony and many others for women’s rights, the vote and full equality.  In the 1880’s she co-authored History of Woman Suffrage with Stanton and other women activists, then went on to publish her own book, Woman, Church and State in 1893.  Considered too radical by some of her former colleagues, Gage was particularly energized to expose the ways both religion and government hold back progress toward equality.

Gage concludes her book with these revolutionary words:

“Looking forward, I see evidence of a conflict more severe than any yet fought by reformation or science; a conflict that will shake the foundations of religious belief, tear into fragments and scatter to the winds the old dogma upon which all forms of christianity are based.  It will not be the conflict of man with man upon rites and systems; it will not be the conflict of science upon church theories …; it will not be the light of biology illuminating the hypothesis of the resurrection of the body; but it will be the rebellion of one half of the church against those theological dogmas upon which the very existence of the church is based …

During the ages, no rebellion has been of like importance with that of Woman against the tyranny of Church and State; none has had its far reaching effects.  We note its beginning; its progress will overthrow every existing form of these institutions; its end will be a regenerated world.”

Any wonder she was too radical for her time?!

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