Change Your World-NOT your Body

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dirt's Feminist and Radical Feminist Reading Suggestions

I've been asked more times than I can count what sort of feminist writings influence/d and/or inspire/d me, so I've decided on days I am still in the process of writing a post or haven't time to write a post I would try and fill that week with feminist works I feel are important. I begin this in no particular order of importance and add I do not necessarily agree with every single work or belief of every single woman that I will post about here, it does however mean that there were/are valuable works created by these women that surely are a benefit to all us women. Let me also say, the works posted are equally relevant to the state of women in all societies, all colors, all classes all religions today as when they were first written.

Emma Goldman-"anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century".

From her famous essay The Tragedy of Women's Emancipation: (1906)

Emancipation should make it possible for woman to be human in the truest sense.  Everything within her that craves assertion and activity should reach its fullest expression; all artificial barriers should be broken, and the road towards greater freedom cleared of every trace of centuries of submission and slavery.

Emancipation has brought woman economic equality with man; that is, she can choose her own profession and trade; but as her past and present physical training has not equipped her with the necessary strength to compete with man, she is often compelled to exhaust all her energy, use up her vitality, and strain every nerve in order to reach the market value.  Very few ever succeed, for it is a fact that women teachers, doctors, lawyers, architects, and engineers are neither met with the same confidence as their male colleagues, nor receive equal remuneration.  And those that do reach that enticing equality, generally do so at the expense of their physical and psychical well-being.  As to the great mass of working girls and women, how much independence is gained if the narrowness and lack of freedom of the home is exchanged for the narrowness and lack of freedom of the factory, sweat-shop, department store, or office?  In addition is the burden which is laid on many women of looking after a "home, sweet home"--cold, dreary, disorderly, uninviting--after a day's hard work.  Glorious independence!  No wonder that hundreds of girls are willing to accept the first offer of marriage, sick and tired of their "independence" behind the counter, at the sewing or typewriting machine.

A rich intellect and a fine soul are usually considered necessary attributes of a deep and beautiful personality.  In the case of the modern woman, these attributes serve as a hindrance to the complete assertion of her being.  For over a hundred years the old form of marriage, based on the Bible, "till death doth part," has been denounced as an institution that stands for the sovereignty of the man over the woman, of her complete submission to his whims and commands, and absolute dependence on his name and support.  Time and again it has been conclusively proved that the old matrimonial relation restricted woman to the function of a man's servant and the bearer of his children.  And yet we find many emancipated women who prefer marriage, with all its deficiencies, to the narrowness of an unmarried life; narrow and unendurable because of the chains of moral and social prejudice that cramp and bind her nature. 

Salvation lies in an energetic march onward towards a brighter and clearer future.  We are in need of unhampered growth out of old traditions and habits.  The movement for woman's emancipation has so far made but the first step in that direction.  It is to be hoped that it will gather strength to make another.  The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the polls nor in courts.  It begins in woman's soul.

Enjoy-

dirt

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3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this Dirt,

    To be reminded of the words of great women from our herstory, words that inspire and fill the soul, is a beautiful thing.

    FA x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Check out my blog on that article I was talking about where they want to eliminate Lesbianism and Butchness in women...very, very scary what they're doing with medical science these days....especially for us!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow this takes me back to my women's studies 101 and Women in the Law classes..

    ReplyDelete

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