The general good will benefit, but surely every individual will benefit as well, Stanton argues.
Underlying this plea is the recognition that each person merits the same preconditions regardless of where fate takes them.
The strongest reason for giving woman all the opportunities -- for higher education, for the full development of her faculties, 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.
Here solitude is not a voluntarily chosen lifestyle but a psychological and physical condition of life, as is free will or responsibility.
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.
Religious vocation as an escape for intelligent women was as much a psychological and physical alternative as a social alternative to the structures of the day.
Not until the emergence of Enlightenment philosophies of the individual was a body of theory available that would give women a status of legal if not de facto equality in society. A theory of potential equivalency did not become practical in the Anglo-American world despite the occasional forays of essayists like John Stuart Mill or Mary Wollencraft.
No mortal ever has been, nor mortal ever will be, like the soul just launched on the sea of life. Nature never repeats herself and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another.
Hence the urgency to afford each human being the opportunity for self-development, so that the tools of self-reliance can enable every person to discover their way.