Not that these Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment theories were attempting to revive the solitary vocations as they were known in the Middle Ages.
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.
Stanton argues that women need the fullness of opportunity enjoyed by men because ultimately, "as an individual, she must rely on herself." Men can elect solitude if they wish and imagine it a form of self-reliance, but in fact men enjoy a comfortable net of security and safety in their monopoly of social, political, economic, and educational institutions.
They can fall back on them such that their experience of isolation and solitariness need not be profound or lasting, not to say debilitating.
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.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.omen solitaries such as ammas, anchoresses, beguines, and cloistered nuns were familiar historical figures, but the possibilities of non-institutional or secular women solitaries required a new philosophy of the individual.The lives of ancient and medieval female solitaries in the West existed within a specific historical and social setting.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."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.But Stanton magnanimously does not draw these conclusions, instead viewing both men and women as suffering the same inexorable fate.It is women's "birthright to self-sovereignty" and not competitiveness or jealousy of men, not even abstract notions of equality, that motivate her.