Anna Belle Pfau

Sarah Palin, Susan B. Anthony & the Problem with Partisan Feminism

2010 May 20

Susan B. Anthony and Sarah Palin

Ann Gordon, editor of The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and Lynn Sherr, the noted biographer of Susan B. Anthony, have co-penned an article lambasting Sarah Palin for her speech before the Susan B. Anthony List, a prominent pro-life group. The gist of their article is hard to discern, as it really does come across as a disorganized diatribe against Palin for no other reason than Palin’s name appeared in print next to Anthony’s.

Gordon and Sherr do attempt to make a cogent argument about the accuracy of historical scholarship, but they are unable to hold themselves to that same standard. They claim in the article that no one knows if Susan B. Anthony was pro-life and that, at any rate, she didn’t think the subject belonged in politics. They also claim there is no evidence from Anthony herself that she was pro-life, and provide contradictory evidence to that claim by citing a letter which clearly suggests Anthony had moral qualms about a terminated pregnancy she knew about. Gordon and Sherr make no mention of the fact that Anthony’s newspaper, The Revolution, clearly articulated anti-abortion or pro-life views on a regular basis.  read more…

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