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View Diary: History for Kossacks: American Women's History 1820-1860 (Special Guest Edition) (70 comments)

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  •  Frederick Douglas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kilo50, Luetta, epppie

    sold women out big time when it mattered.  He got on board in the beginning when feminists were important to the abolitionist movement, but after slavery was abolished he changed his tune completely and withdrew his support.  He argued (with a lot of other men) that Constitutional amendment granting everyone equal rights under the law should not be applied to women.  Feminist abolitionists had believed women would get their rights as well, only be betrayed by Douglas and others.  Douglas believed that rights for the black man should be secured first, and that including women jeopardized equal citizenship for black men.  Whatever Douglas' other achievements, he does not deserve any credit for supporting women's rights.  It was easy to espouse the rhetoric in 1848; when his support mattered most it wasn't there.

    There is more to truth than increasing its spin

    by hearthmoon on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 07:09:09 PM PDT

    •  actually.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kilo50, Unitary Moonbat, SeekCa, epppie

      Douglass worked hard for women's rights after the point you mention. On the day he died he was on his way to a women's rights convention. You're certainly right that he did let the movement down during Reconstruction, but he was not alone in deciding that trying to get the black man's vote and the female vote together would not succeeed. Stanton was  understandably furious with him, but her opinionwas not universal.

      He spent a great deal f time in the rest of his life working for women's rights, and was respected for it. Let me offer as an example of how well many post-Civil War feminists thought of him--Victoria Woodhull's Equal Rights Party put him as her V.P. on their 1872 presidential ticket. It was  a symbolic gesture, but a telling one.

      "He that knew all that learning ever writ/Knew only this - that he knew nothing yet"

      by aphra behn on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 07:13:25 PM PDT

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