American social reformer (1820-1906)

Susan B. Anthony quote

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, History of Woman Suffrage


Tags: God

Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, speech in San Francisco, Jul. 1871


Tags: feminism

The only chance women have for justice in this country is to violate the law, as I have done, and as I shall continue to do.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Kansas Leavenworth Times, Jul. 3, 1873


Tags: justice

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people -- women as well as men.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, speech after her arrest for voting in the 1872 presidential election


Tags: liberty

Another writer asserts that the tyranny of man over woman has its roots, after all, in his nobler feelings; his love, his chivalry, and his desire to protect woman in the barbarous periods of pillage, lust, and war. But wherever the roots may be traced, the results at this hour are equally disastrous to woman. Her best interests and happiness do not seem to have been consulted in the arrangements made for her protection. She has been bought and sold, caressed and crucified at the will and pleasure of her master.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, introduction, History of Woman Suffrage


Tags: women

When woman has a newspaper which fear and favor cannot touch, then it will be that she can freely write her own thoughts.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, remarks to the Woman's Auxiliary Congress of the Public Press Congress, May 23, 1893


Tags: newspapers

Failure is impossible.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, remarks at her 86th birthday celebration, Feb. 15, 1906


Tags: failure

No man is good enough to govern any woman without her consent.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words


I do not consider divorce an evil by any means. It is just as much a refuge for women married to brutal men as Canada was to the slaves of brutal masters.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony


Tags: divorce

The utter powerlessness of the religious world in governmental affairs is frequently commented upon by both the church and the secular press. Permit me to call your attention to the cause of this fact. Nearly every money-making enterprise, large or small, is owned and conducted by men. The great monopolies--railroad, coal, oil, sugar, liquor, tobacco, etc. -- have their agents and attorneys at Washington and at every State capital not only to secure laws in their favor, but to prevent the passage of any which would be inimical to their interests. In addition to the capitalists themselves the vast majority of their employees, being men, are voters, so that these corporations can put into one of the political scales the weight of both money and ballots. On the other hand, the churches, the charities, the schools, the reforms, though generally officered by men, count but a very small minority of voters in their membership, however large that may be. It is therefore but a very simple problem in mathematics to show that if you put all the great material interests into one scale with votes, and all the great moral and spiritual interests into the other practically without votes, the latter may kick the beam. The representatives in any legislative body have no alternative -- they must comply with the demands of those who gave and can take away their positions.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, letter to the American Unitarian Association, May 24, 1900


Tags: politics

Many Abolitionists have yet to learn the ABC of woman's rights.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, journal, Jun. 1860


We assert the province of government to be to secure the people in the enjoyment of their unalienable rights. We throw to the winds the old dogma that governments can give rights.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, during her trial for voting in the presidential election of Nov. 1872


Tags: government

There is no history about which there is so much ignorance as this great movement for the establishment of equal political rights for women. I hope the twentieth century will see the triumph of our cause.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, letter to the Editor of the Chicago Tribune, Dec. 20, 1900


May it please your honor, I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess is a $10,000 debt, incurred by publishing my paper -- The Revolution -- four years ago, the sole object of which was to educate all women to do precisely as I have done, rebel against your man-made, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, that tax, fine, imprison and hang women, while they deny them the right of representation in the government; and I shall work on with might and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but not a penny shall go to this unjust claim. And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim, that "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God."

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony on the Charge of Illegal Voting, 1874


Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, The Ghost in My Life


It is often asserted that as woman has always been man's slave--subject--inferior--dependent, under all forms of government and religion, slavery must be her normal condition. This might have some weight had not the vast majority of men also been enslaved for centuries to kings and popes, and orders of nobility, who, in the progress of civilization, have reached complete equality.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, introduction, History of Woman Suffrage


People expect too much of the press and too much of the ministers. It is the pews that make the pulpit and decide what the pulpit shall be, and it is the constituents and subscribers for the religious papers that decide what the religious paper shall be, and therefore when you tell me that a minister is thus and so in opposing any great moral reform, or that the religious press and newspaper is thus and so, what do you tell me? You tell me that the majority of the people in the pews indorse that minister, that the majority of the church members who read that paper won't allow that editor to speak anything on the question. That is all.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, speech to the Public and Religious Press Congress, May 27, 1893


The Twentieth Century woman will occupy the position of perfect equality with man -- equal though not identical. She will have her opinions counted at the ballot-box on every question. She is equally interested in, and must share the advantages and disadvantages of, every custom and law alike with man; therefore, she will not be contented to accept conditions made for her by him. She will be granted her inherent right to a voice in saying on whom and for what purposes taxes shall be levied. She will not submit to be taxed to support war, and all its concomitant vices and crimes against humanity. She will be the equal factor in the making, as well as in the enduring, of all the conditions of the world's misery or happiness. In fine, she will not be a dependent but a help-mate in the home, the church and the state.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, letter to the Editor of the Boston Post, Dec. 20, 1900


Tags: equality

A woman growing up under American ideas of liberty in government and religion, having never blushed behind a Turkish mask, nor pressed her feet in Chinese shoes, cannot brook any disabilities based on sex alone, without a deep feeling of antagonism with the power that creates it.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, introduction, History of Woman Suffrage


Tags: America

We have known how to make the noise, you see, and how to bring the whole world to our organization in spirit, if not in person. I would philosophize on the reason why. It is because women have been taught always to work for something else than their own personal freedom; and the hardest thing in the world is to organize women for the one purpose of securing their political liberty and political equality. It is easy to congregate thousands and hundreds of thousands of women to try to stay the tide of intemperance; to try to elevate the morals of a community; to try to educate the masses of people; to try to relieve the poverty of the miserable; but it is a very difficult thing to make the masses of women, any more than the masses of men, congregate in great numbers to study the cause of all the ills of which they complain, and to organize for the removal of that cause; to organize for the establishment of great principles that will be sure to bring about the results which they so much desire.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, speech to the World's Congress of Representative Women, May 20, 1893