Speaking, Writing, Organizing: Matilda Gage’s Parrahesiastic Acts

Caitlin Martin

Abstract: Drawing on a rhetorical framework of parrhesia, this article discusses the work of nineteenth century feminist Matilda Gage, who was largely lost to history until recently when women’s studies and rhetoric scholars began to uncover her part in the woman suffrage movement. Gage considered speaking out against organized religion to be her life’s work, but little research has concerned her beyond woman suffrage activism. Through a framework of parrhesia, Gage’s forgotten anticlerical work opens new doors for understanding women rhetors and activists, as well as for research on the rhetorical practices of nonreligious individuals. 

Keywords: Matilda Gage, parrhesia, woman suffrage, women’s rights, anticlericalism, 19th century 


Martin, Caitlin. "Speaking, Writing, Organizing: Matilda Gage's Parrahesiastic Acts." Peitho 20.2 (2018): 299-314.