Sunday, September 12, 2010

"I was completely suprised and repulsed..."

The Woman’s Bible Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Weight: 1.1 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donation

Elizabeth Cady Stanton is best known for her involvement in the suffrage movement and her involvement in the creation of the Declaration of Sentiments, which was read at what is often considered to be the first women’s rights convention in the United States. She, unfortunately, died about two decades before women were given the right to vote, but her activism influenced many people and policies. She is one of the most recognized white American Feminists.

Elizabeth Stanton also wrote The Woman’s Bible with 26 other women, and it caused quite the ruckus—many say it put an end to Stanton’s ability to fight for suffrage. It sold well and was read by many, but a lot of suffragettes denied its usefulness for fear that it would make the whole movement look too radical/bad. The Woman’s Bible takes on the common biblical interpretation that women are subservient to men. The authors used historical and cultural contexts, as well as a new interpretation to show that women were created as men’s equals.

I read this book in 8th grade, and I enjoyed it at the time as I had started to question the Christianity I had heard about growing up. I do not care too much for it now, as I have no feelings of connection with any religion. I reserve some respect, though, because of what it means to those who do connect deeply with religion and what it took for Stanton to help write it and put her name on it. It is an important component in the history of women in my country, and it has influenced my place in the world now. That is why I have held onto it.

I did not think it would be all that inflammatory in the present world, but that was not too smart of me. If you look at modern reviews of the book people either love it or they hate it. The feminists rave about it and many a review written by devoted Christian women call it an atrocity. Take a look at Amazon. The hilarity ensues with each new post. I will leave you with this little nugget from someone with the username GRAM:

“I was completely surprised and repulsed by its feminist stance. I couldn't bear to read much of it as I believe the Bible is the unerring Word of God. Women's stature in organized church has grown significantly and I would not want my daughter's and granddaughter's minds poisoned by these ideas. I have several women friends who have gone into the ministry and have been very successful. I know this is an old writing but it came off my Kindle the minute I saw the problems Stantan had been trying to express. She must have been a terribly abused girl to have such bitterness.”


  1. I have this book! Appropriately, it lives in my church office. It's not my fav because I discovered much more radical contemporary feminist critiques of the Bible, but I like it to keep it for perspective.

  2. There is a certain something. It is a piece of history.