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)
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,
the road towards greater freedom cleared of every trace of centuries of
submission and slavery.
has brought woman economic equality with man; that is, she
can choose her own profession and trade; but as her past and present
training has not equipped her with the necessary strength to compete
man, she is often compelled to exhaust all her energy, use up her
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
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
of freedom of the home is exchanged for the narrowness and lack of
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
behind the counter, at the sewing or typewriting machine.
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
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.
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
courts. It begins in woman's soul.
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