The isolation of every human soul and the necessity of self- dependence must give each individual the right to choose his own surroundings. The strongest reason for giving woman all the opportunities for higher education, for the full development of her faculties, her forces of mind and body; for giving her the most enlarged freedom of thought and action; a complete emancipation from all forms of bondage, of custom, dependence, superstition; from all the crippling influences of fear—is the solitude and personal responsibility of her own individual life.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902), U.S. suffragist, social reformer, and author. The Solitude of Self (February 20, 1894).
From a famous speech delivered before a Senate committee which was considering arguments in favor of woman suffrage. Printed in the Congressional Record and reprinted in the Women's Tribune, the speech was remarkable for its refusal to engage the usual practical and democratic pro-suffrage arguments.