Angelina Grimke, “Appeal to the Christian Women of the South”

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Interestingly enough, we were going over the Grimke sisters in my WGS 100 class! Anyways, unfortunately many women likely had issues with her third point regarding to “Speak on the subject”, when it was still severely frowned upon for women to speak to an audience, so they ended up having to talk amongst each other in private. After all, wasn’t it the Grimke sisters who were cast out of their Quaker communities due to them being out of a “woman’s proper sphere”?

Going further, she shows an interesting situation that repeats itself in all movements throughout history, the first who must take a step and likely make themselves martyrs in the process. No one wants to be the first to face the consequences of them going against the current norm when they do not know if at the very least others will follow, so she uses religion (as I understand it) to be the reason for you having a duty to step forward regardless of the consequences.


If today we would be unable to rely on religion for your “duty” in movements, what else would we use? After all, there are so many vast swaths of religions out there, as well as many who do not believe in any religion, what of them? It seems that the duty is shifting from it being a religious one to either a plain question of moral or ethics as well as your political or patriotic duty to your country. It just seems interesting to me, how a good portion of our readings based in the “older” section of history use religion as the answer to “why?” while today we shift away from that into a more direct question of “Is this morally or ethically right?”.

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