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Susan B. Anthony- Social Purity and Women's Place

Determining how Anthony uses feminism to reframe gender is therefore a rhetorical task of significance.

AnthonyĂs (1) ˘social purity÷ speech begins with a direct attack on the evils of drunkenness and licentiousness and positions women as ˘compelled by their position in society to depend on men÷ as having ˘no way of escape from the besotted victims of appetite and passion with whom their lot is cast.÷ Though Anthony (1) says that ˘it is not my purpose to harrow your feelings by attempting to depict the horrible agonies of mind and body that grow out of these monster social evils,÷ this is precisely what she does. The inclusion of many statistics on the extent of intemperance leads Anthony (2) to the claim that prostitution is a form of gendered victimization in which men abuse women who may be driven to prostitution by the extremes of starvation.

Anthony (3) says that ˘the work of womenÓ (is) to prevent this violation by the removal of the causes÷ which lead people to violate the moral law. In other words, though Anthony (3) recognizes that the vast majority of prostitutes are driven to such activity by social inequities and economic realities, she nevertheless accepts the gendered notion that women are in


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Susan B. Anthony- Social Purity and Women's Place. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:27, October 23, 2014, from
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