A Woman Ahead of Her Time
Susan Savion introduces one of the untold pillars of feminist activism that revolutionized the modern perception of women.
A transitional era for women’s rights—the 1900’s—informed us about women being vilified for demanding even the most basic rights in an antiquated and highly -oppressive society. Deprived of civic rights and scholastic recognition, women were diminished as inferior figures trapped within the constraint of patriarchy. History teaches us that women who persisted in demanding equal rights succeeded step by step in destroying the staggering centuries-long male-dominated injustice.
Matilda Joslyn Gage turned the tables. An abolitionist and suffragist born in 19th-century Upstate New York, she exemplified a new style of activism with her unique revolutionary research-based historical validation of female leadership that greatly influenced modern-day women’s rights and privileges. Missing from most history books, Matilda was purposely left out because of her perceived “radical” views as she fought against social issues like slavery and gender discrimination. She championed women inventors and capable female leaders in every context throughout history. “The Matilda Effect” has been named after her because of her many examples of the achievements of women not being recognized. She wrote a series of articles and was an active ally for Native Americans. In their gratitude, Haudenosaunee Mohawks adopted her into their Wolf Clan and named her “Sky Carrier.” Matilda’s wisdom and immovable spirit inspired her son-in-law, L. Frank Baum, who incorporated many of her themes in his 14 Wizard of Oz books. Her home, a stop on the Underground Railroad, for 44 years in Fayetteville, NY, has been transformed into an interactive museum. Each room represents a different aspect of Gage’s causes.
Quoting Matilda: The Words and History of a Forgotten Suffragist is Susan Savion’s fifth book. It is a beautiful “gift” book as well as a quick source of suffragist history and biographical information. This is important, as New York State has added Gage to the school curriculum. Twenty-five pictures enhance the variety of topics organized by categories such as “Slavery,” “Tactics,”, “Religion, “Freedom” and sixteen more.
Gage is an inspiration for today’s women who are still struggling against the existing patriarchy. Gage’s magnum opus, Woman, Church and State, is highlighted in Quoting Matilda. One of her many wise quotes is “Let me hope that I have done a little to rescue her [ancestors] memory from the oblivion to which the historian had consigned her. It is very well to give men their due, but it is equally a matter of justice to preserve the names of women pioneers.” You will be amazed at how very much Matilda Joslyn Gage has herself been an extremely noteworthy “pioneer.”
Read more about Susan Savion on her website www.quotingmatilda.com
Follow her on social media on the links below
Check out a recent radio interview of her here!
Quoting Matilda: The Words and History of a Forgotten Suffragist
By: Susan Ann Savion
About the Author
Savion is an accomplished educator, author, traveler, philanthropist, eco-warrior, and artist born in Southern Illinois
For the past 12 years, she has extensively toured the world from Europe, the Mediterranean, and across Asian-European borders for her academic, artistic, and humanitarian endeavors.
She finished her undergraduate studies at Illinois State University and her master's degree as a Reading Specialist at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.
As a lover of literature, she enjoys her retirement days as President Emeritus of the literary club, Women Transcending Boundaries, and editor for the Transpersonal Psychology Association of Syracuse. She continually fulfills her humanitarian mission by volunteering in Samaritan centers, farmer groups, and several interfaith groups supporting immigrants.
On lighter days, she spends a lovely time bonding with her daughters and grandchildren living nearby.