Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Susan B. Anthony, Founding Mother

Susan B. Anthony (born 15 February 1820)


Abolitionist, suffragist, and social reformer, Susan Brownell Anthony campaigned tirelessly for the betterment of others. Early in her life, she was involved with her family's anti-slavery and temperance activities. She began her work on behalf of women's rights after she met Elizabeth Cady in 1851. She worked for more than fifty years to secure the vote for women--when she died on 13 March 1906, there was still more than a decade ahead for the campaign for women's suffrage.

In my last year of teaching, I listened as a young woman explained why she hadn't been in class for a week, why she didn't have her assignments complete, and why couldn't possibly finish her work when it was due. "I have activism fatigue," she said. Her participation in various campus "social justice activities" meant she was just so tired and run down she had to take a break and rest. She thought her excuse was good.

It was not.

When I heard it, I thought about Susan B. Anthony's lifetime dedication and lifelong service.

She never quit work to complain that she suffered from "activism fatigue."

A tribute to Anthony: Women leave
"I voted" stickers on her tombstone