Ohio Woman's Rights Convention Meets in Akron
Are not the natural wants and emotions of humanity common too, and shared equally by both sexes? Does man hunger and thirst, suffer cold and heat more than woman? Does he love and hate, hope and fear, joy and sorrow more than woman? Does his heart thrill with a deeper pleasure in doing good? Can his soul writhe in more bitter agony under the consciousness of evil or wrong? Is the sunshine more glorious, the air more quiet, the sounds of harmony more soothing, the perfume of flowers more exquisite, or forms of beauty more soul-satisfying to his senses than to hers. To all these interrogatories every one will answer, No!”— Opening Address of the Convention
The convention's Report on Labor noted the following statistics: the average seamstress earned between $.75 and $1.50 per week for 15-18 hours of daily labor; domestics earned an average of about $6 per month; and a female teacher in Ohio was paid on the average of $21.49 per year, about half that of her male counterpart.
The convention resolved to work for gradual change urging religious groups, the press, and legislatures to discuss and support women's rights. Mothers were instructed "to teach all children the principles of natural justice which should govern the whole subject of Human Rights…" Women, particularly seamstresses, were urged to form "Labor Partnerships" to strengthen their ability to attain just and equitable wages.
The trades and professions are all open to us… As merchants, postmasters, silversmiths, teachers, preachers and physicians, woman has already proved herself fully competent…. But the great work before us is the proper education of those just coming on the stage. Begin with girls of this day, and in twenty years we can revolutionize this nation…. Let the girl be thoroughly developed in body and soul,—not moulded like a pieces of clay after some artificial specimen of humanity, with a body after some plate in Godey's book of fashion… Think you, women thus educated, would be the frail, dependent beings we now find them? By no means…. As educated capitalists and skillful laborers, they would not be long in finding their true level in political and social life.”— Elizabeth Cady Stanton