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Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Foundations of Family Law$
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Tracy A. Thomas

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780814783047

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814783047.001.0001

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Raising “Our Girls”

Raising “Our Girls”

(p.186) 5 Raising “Our Girls”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Foundations of Family Law

Tracy A. Thomas

NYU Press

This chapter addresses Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s feminist views on maternal custody and parenting. She advocated granting legal rights of child custody to mothers in the event of separation or divorce. Stanton challenged the separate spheres ideology and argued for women to work in paid employment as well as to have pecuniary and social power in the home. To bring about this transformation of gender roles, Stanton articulated feminist parenting ideals of reconstructing gender by raising the next generation of boys and girls in equal moral, educational, and social ways. She took this message to the populace in speeches on the Lyceum tour over eleven years. Ultimately, as this chapter concludes, Stanton argued that religious doctrine must be reformed in order to transform the gendered social roles of women and men, as she articulated in the feminist theology of her Woman’s Bible.

Keywords:   child custody, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, equal employment, feminist theology, Lyceum, separate spheres, parenting, The Woman’s Bible

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