Puritan New England. The first American feminist faces resistance from society for takeing a stand for her beliefs. CBS reporters relive the event in documentary style, and take you there.
Some of her charges involve criticizing church officials. the debate rages to the point that it can be hard to understand what is going on. The issue shouldn’t be confused with our modern concept of the freedom of speech. Our modern democracy is a far different animal than the Puritanical government that reigned when these events took place. The reall issue is whether she has overstepped any bounds as defined by Puritan law. What do any of us today know about a Puritan government? Under the rules of our society, this is a no brainer. She’s innocent, and this is a silly premise.
Puritans had a different set of acceptable rules, and roles for members of society. So, under those rules, has Ann done anything wrong? It does sound like there could be some big double standard in Puritan ideology. The Puritan idea was that every soul is equally important, but classes, and roles of society are ridgidly defined. Roles defined by one’s birth and gender. Are those views right? Are they fair? Should they be challenged? That’s the significance of this event.
Under Puritan rule, she may have overstepped a boundary. Ann was definitely a free thinker who was born before her time.