Quotations for students on WS3300

Some Views on First Wave Feminism

‘The Enlightenment did assemble a whole battery of intellectual weapons to be wielded in the feminist cause: ideas of reason, progress, natural law, the fulfilment of the individual, the beneficent powers of education and the social utility of freedom from restrictions and equality of nights.’

R J Evans (1977) The Feminists 1840-1920

‘The increasing importance of property and wealth, as opposed to land and title, as the basis of power and status, quickly led to the articulation of middle class women’s desire for formal legal recognition of their right to an independent share in the newly-acquired riches of the bourgeoisie.’

R J Evans (1977) The Feminists 1840-1920, p. 30

‘One of the major drives behind feminism was the need felt by middle class women to reassert their superiority of status over socially or racially 'inferior' men to whom political and social change was bringing rights and thus status, which they were still denied.’

R J Evans (1977) The Feminists 1840-1920, p. 239

‘The mass appeal of the suffrage campaign which had spread the conviction of women’s rights and women’s wrongs to all sections of society, would not survive the victory and was not destined to reappear until the new movement of the 1960’s.’

Olive Banks (1981) Faces of Feminism, p. 149

Some anti-feminist statements

‘A woman’s education must therefore be planned in relation to man.  To be pleasing in his sight, to win his respect and love, to train him in childhood, to tend him in manhood, to counsel and console, to make his life pleasant and happy, these are the duties of women for all time and this is what she should be taught while she is young.'

Rousseau, (1762) Emile

‘Beauty has claims for which she fights
At ease with winning arms
The women who want women’s rights
Want mostly, women's charms.'

Punch, 1870

‘The best mothers, wives, and managers of households, know little or nothing of sexual indulgences.
Love of home, children, and domestic duties are the only passions they feel.’

William Acton, 1870s

‘To man belongs the kingdom of the head: to women the kingdom of the heart, in every pure and legitimate relation, as daughter, sister, wife, mother, woman is the direct assistant of individual man.

James McGrigor Allan (1890) Woman Suffrage Wrong

Created by Penny Welch September 2000/ updated June 2002

URL: http://per-www.wlv.ac.uk/~le1810/quote.htm

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