Feb 242010

Seneca Falls Convention - 1848

Waterloo, New York – A sleepy little suburb in upstate New York where timing, geography and a tea party brought a bunch of ovary acting mamas together to make history. Hostess Jane Hunt, MaryAnn McClintock, Martha Coffin Wright – sister of the visiting Lucretia Mott – considered the Mother of the women’s movement – whose impending visit served as the catalyst for the fateful tea party. Also attending – another key mama – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who lived nearby in dusty secluded Seneca Falls.  Stanton and Mott had met in 1840 when they were booted out of the world antislavery meeting in London to which Mott was invited.  Why the boot?  Those darned ovaries!  Banished in sisterhood, they walked around London “arm in arm” as Stanton told it, bemoaning their banishment and vowing to form their very own movement. Which they did.   Eight years later at that tea party.  Stanton’s impassioned speech confessing to being worn out by domestic drudgery, exhausted from mothering and nursing three little boys through bouts of malaria and suffering from what she called mental hunger, struck a collective chord and a meeting was planned. Her desire not to schlep her three little boys inspired the Seneca Falls locale.  So like any smart and tired mama, Stanton had them come to her. A sign was posted in the local paper; “Women’s Right’s Convention – A convention to discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of woman will be held….in the Wesleyan Church in Seneca Falls.” Modeled on The Declaration of Independence, and like the founding fathers eighteen grievances against King George, THE DECLARATION OF SENTIMENTS – with its eighteen grievances starting with “all men AND WOMEN are created equal – was born.