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Not for Ourselves Alone - The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony Rating:

This documentary, in the now-well-known Ken Burns style--actors reading the works of Stanton and Anthony, archival footage and photos, commentary from historians--highlights not just the work of these women, but their friendship and their lives. Stanton and Anthony didn't live long enough to cast votes themselves, but their legacies and their struggles live today. Not for Ourselves Alone is a stunning testimonial to what's been accomplished and brings to life the two women to whom every female in the U.S. owes a tremendous debt. -- Jenny Brown

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Feminism is a problematic word: to some it means the ongoing struggle for the equal rights of women; for others the connotations are derogatory, the word conjuring images of emasculating woman. And for still others, mostly the younger generation who grew up with mothers in the workforce, the term is outdated, referring to a movement whose relevance is diminishing. Postfeminism, antifeminism, the feminist backlash--these terms are wielded with little understanding of the context in which the feminist movement was born.

Luckily, Ken Burns and Paul Barnes have created this superb documentary, Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, to remind us of the roots of the women's movement and to show just how far we have come in such a short period of time.

In the 19th century, Susan B. Anthony had few choices for her life: to live with a husband as "a doll or a drudge" (marry a poor man, she explains, and you spend your life doing housework as a drudge; marry a rich man, and you spend your life prettying yourself up and looking like a doll), to work as a schoolteacher, or to live with her family as an "old maid." And while she chose the life of the spinster to retain her independence, she didn't resign herself to a life of leisure. Born into a Quaker family devoted to abolition, Anthony championed the reform movement and dedicated herself to the suffragette life. In contrast, Elizabeth Cady Stanton married and had many children, yet this did not stop her from seeking the vote for women.

A friendship with Lucretia Mott sparked a desire in this abolitionist to work for the cause of women, and Stanton and Anthony eventually teamed up to fire up the revolution of women in the United States. -- Jenny Brown

Product Details

Media Type Movie
Recommended Age 9 and up
Special Features Mighty Girl Top Picks
Actors Sally Kellerman, Ronnie Gilbert, Julie Harris, Amy Madigan, Keith David
Director Ken Burns
Running Time 210 minutes
Studio PBS Paramount
Release Date Sep 28, 2004
Language English