Declaration of Sentiments

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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Student Question

How does the "Declaration of Sentiments of the Rights of Women" depict gender relations?

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This declaration, made at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, is deliberately modeled after the Declaration of Independence of the United States.  It puts women in the role of the American colonists and men in the role of the King of England.  In other words, it portrays the relationship between men and women as an oppressive relationship in which men continually deny women their rights.

The Declaration of Sentiments says that men have ruled over women in a way that can be called an “absolute tyranny.”  It goes on to list a variety of ways in which men have abused women and denied them their rights.  Thus, we can clearly say that the Declaration of Sentiments depicts the relationship between men and women as a tyrannical and oppressive relationship.

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