Few if any women lived as forest hermits or theologians, landowners or political authorities.
Physical security, limitations on education, the absence of social and political rights, and the mores of patriarchal society, limited the role of women.
On the contrary, they advocate an equivalency with men in every legal and social role, and saw women's historical solitude as an involuntary state in which women were denied the status enjoyed by men.
"The Solitude of Self" What makes the essay "The Solitude of Self" by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) unusual is its philosophical premise that individuals are entitled to equality and social dignity not because of legal status but because they function in profound solitude one from another.
Not that these Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment theories were attempting to revive the solitary vocations as they were known in the Middle Ages.
Nor were they attempting to protect or foster a voluntary lifestyle of solitude among women.Anthony as they strive to give birth to the women’s movement.Not until their deaths was their shared vision of women’s suffrage realized."Such is the value of liberal thought and broad culture when shut off from all human companionship, bringing comfort and sunshine within even the four walls of a prison cell." So, too, it may be added, within the cell of the hermit or anchorite -- or the room of a modern solitary.While the essay concludes by presenting anecdotal examples of women's sense of community participation and equality, the main thesis is far-reaching. Recount the trials, tribulations and triumphs of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Together they fought for women everywhere, and their strong willpower and sheer determination still ripples through contemporary society.Stanton traces the negative forces in a woman's lifetime, from the lack of education and training in youth to dependence upon meager resources in old age.The chief reason for opening to every soul the doors to the whole round of human duties and pleasures is the individual development thus attained, the resources thus provided under all circumstances to mitigate the solitude that at times must come to everyone.Rather, it is the common fate of both men and women and the need for both to be equipped mentally and physically that motivates women."It matters not whether the solitary voyager is man or woman." The emphasis on the uniqueness of the individual supercedes even the strictly social argument.