In 1848, when this speech was given, women were virtually housemaids. They were expected to be seen and not heard. Men were smarter than they, stronger than they, and certainly more important than they. This speech was given at the Seneca Falls Convention, a gathering that discussed the roles of women in society. Stanton encouraged women to form their own opinions, and retain their own thoughts (not just think what their husbands thought). At this convention, women's sufferage was discussed, although that did not happen until 1920 when the nineteenth amendment was passed by Congress.
Stanton made the comment, "But in the United States of America6 woman has no right either to hold office, nor to the elective franchise, we stand at this moment, unrepresented in this government—our rights and interests wholly overlooked." This was true. Women were overlooked, seen merely as the housemaids and keeper of the children. They were expected to "obey their husbands." Sidenote** Seriously? This honestly makes me mad. Women should respect their husbands and love them not obey them. Their husbands are not superior to them. A marraige is all about equality. The two partners in it are equal to each other. One can not expect a marraige to last if it is not based on equality.** Most recently the "obey your husband" came up during the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. This being the 21st century, Kate Middleton chose to leave this out of her vows to Prince William. I respect that choice as I feel that (as forementioned) marriage is based on equality.