Get it right, Sarah, or shut up about it

There’s been discussion about Sarah Palin’s (actually, her ghostwriter’s) upcoming book America by Heart. In it is an effort to talk about American feminism’s history–Sarah Palin style.

It shouldn’t be a big surprise to learn that Palin picks and chooses material carefully, quotes historical figures out of context, and in general distortingly portrays early feminism as Christian and ’60’s feminism as anti-family and anti-religion.

Elizabeth Stanton and Susan Anthony

What struck me about the material quoted from the upcoming book was  mention of Elizabeth Cady Stanton‘s place in feminist history. Stanton is sometimes called the mother of modern feminism, as her good friend Susan Brownlee Anthony has been called its midwife. Stanton was a notorious freethinker (Palin’s claims notwithstanding), and was eventually excluded from many feminist circles which were uncomfortable with Stanton’s anti-Christian attitude; Stanton’s The Women’s Bible took particular exception to concepts such as the virgin birth, claiming:

“Out of this doctrine, and that which is akin to it, have sprung all the monasteries and nunneries of the world, which have disgraced and distorted and demoralized manhood and womanhood for a thousand years.”

Preach, Sister Elizabeth, preach.

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