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We are witnessing the preparations for a clear and determined attack on the freedom and self-determination of the women who live in this country, an attack which is aimed at several fronts but which has the sole objective of reducing the public voice and presence of women. One of the prime areas where women’s freedom is worse threatened is in regard to sexuality, with the ongoing demonization of free and responsible sexuality with regard to contraceptives and to the use of Law 194 of 1978 concerning voluntary abortions. Always foremost in the minds of the Right and the Catholic church, this attack on women’s freedom to responsibly and autonomously manage their relationships and their sexuality is now at the center of a mad rus... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Sunday Morning. The captain last night, after I had written my letter to you intended to be left at a little village, offered to go to —— to pass to-day. We had a troublesome sail—and now I must hurry on board again, for the wind has changed. I half expected to find a letter from you here. Had you written one haphazard, it would have been kind and considerate—you might have known, had you thought, that the wind would not permit me to depart. These are attentions, more grateful to the heart than offers of service—But why do I foolishly continue to look for them? Adieu! adieu! My friend—your friendship is very cold—you see I am hurt.—God bless you! I may perhaps be, some time or other, indepe... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Why do you clothe me with scarlet of shame? Why do you point with your finger of scorn? What is the crime that you hissingly name When you sneer in my ears, "Thou bastard born?" Am I not as the rest of you, With a hope to reach, and a dream to live? With a soul to suffer, a heart to know The pangs that the thrusts of the heartless give?" I am no monster! Look at me -- Straight in my eyes, that they do not shrink! Is there aught in them you can see To merit this hemlock you make me drink? This poison that scorches my soul like fire, That burns and burns until love is dry, And I shrivel with hate, as hot as a pyre, A corpse, while its smoke curls up to the sky? Will you touch my hand? It is flesh like yours; Perh... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
To the Editor of The Open Court: Possessed of rather more than ordinary interest in the sex question, and agreeing with Professor Cope that any proposition for the amelioration of the condition of women should be discussed and decided by women, I am moved to certain remarks suggested by his article on “The Material Relations of Sex” in the first number of The Monist. All through its perusal I was impressed by his unconscious recognition of an underlying question, which, apart from woman’s inferiority, determines the relations of the sexes. This is plainly apparent in the paragraph alluding to the communistic system of wealth production and distribution, in which he admits the possibility of promiscuous sex-relations. Whi... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
If our social arrangements were so adjusted that each person could follow that calling in life which they are by nature adapted for, what a great gainer society as a whole would be. These few who are so fortunate as to be able to follow the calling of their heart’s desire make a success of life. Florence Nightingale was one of the fortunate few, who could engage in that occupation for which she was best adapted. Florence Nightingale was a born nurse. In her was found that rare combination of heart, brain and sympathy which makes the ideal nurse. It is when one is laid low by the ravages of disease that they can appreciate to its utmost depth the value of human kindness. Many charming stories are told of Florence’s sympathetic n... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
How many are there of the countless millions who have entered this life, passed through its changing scenes and at last have laid down to rest, of whom it can be truly said, “Here rest they who have labored for the uplifting of the oppressed, who have devoted their energies unstintingly in the interest of the ‘common people?’” We fear there are few indeed. A life devoted to the interest of the working class; a life of self-abnegation, a life full of love, kindness, gentleness, tragedy, activity, sadness and kind-ness, are some of the characteristics which went to make up the varied life of our comrade, Louise Michel. In the elderly woman, clad in simple black garments, with gray hair curling upon rounded shoulders an... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Under the above head will be continued for a few weeks brief sketches of the lives of women who have contributed their share in building the world’s history. While the editor will contribute a number of these sketches we also invite others, especially women, to send in brief sketches of famous women, if any such occur to their minds. Let these sketches be well stated, short and to the point. We hope if any are sent in that they will be far superior to those which we write ourselves. (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Speaking of Puritanism in relation to American art, Mr. Gutzon Borglum said: "Puritanism has made us self-centered and hypocritical for so long, that sincerity and reverence for what is natural in our impulses have been fairly bred out of us, with the result that there can be neither truth nor individualility in our art." Mr. Borglum might have added that Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself ma... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
No one at all capable of an intense conscious inner life need ever hope to escape mental anguish and suffering. Sorrow and often despair over the so-called eternal fitness of things are the most persistent companions of our life. But they do not come upon us from the outside, through the evil deeds of particularly evil people. They are conditioned in our very being; indeed, they are interwoven through a thousand tender and coarse threads with our existence. It is absolutely necessary that we realize this fact, because people who never get away from the notion that their misfortune is due to the wickedness of their fellows never can outgrow the petty hatred and malice which constantly blames, condemns, and hounds others for something that i... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
I left Portoer, the little haven I mentioned, soon after I finished my last letter. The sea was rough, and I perceived that our pilot was right not to venture farther during a hazy night. We had agreed to pay four dollars for a boat from Helgeraac. I mention the sum, because they would demand twice as much from a stranger. I was obliged to pay fifteen for the one I hired at Stromstad. When we were ready to set out, our boatman offered to return a dollar and let us go in one of the boats of the place, the pilot who lived there being better acquainted with the coast. He only demanded a dollar and a half, which was reasonable. I found him a civil and rather intelligent man; he was in the American service several years, during the Revolu... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Paris, Sept. 28 [1794]. I have written to you three or four letters; but different causes have prevented my sending them by the persons who promised to take or forward them. The enclosed is one I wrote to go by B——; yet, finding that he will not arrive, before I hope, and believe, you will have set out on your return, I enclose it to you, and shall give it in charge to ——, as Mr. —— is detained, to whom I also gave a letter. I cannot help being anxious to hear from you; but I shall not harrass you with accounts of inquietudes, or of cares that arise from peculiar circumstances.—I have had so many little plagues here, that I have almost lamented that I left Havre. ——, who is at best a m... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
THE WRONGS OF WOMAN, like the wrongs of the oppressed part of mankind, may be deemed necessary by their oppressors: but surely there are a few, who will dare to advance before the improvement of the age, and grant that my sketches are not the abortion of a distempered fancy, or the strong delineations of a wounded heart. In writing this novel, I have rather endeavored to pourtray passions than manners. In many instances I could have made the incidents more dramatic, would I have sacrificed my main object, the desire of exhibiting the misery and oppression, peculiar to women, that arise out of the partial laws and customs of society. In the invention of the story, this view restrained my fancy; and the history ought rather to be considere... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
THE popular notion about marriage and love is that they are synonymous, that they spring from the same motives, and cover the same human needs. Like most popular notions this also rests not on actual facts, but on superstition. Marriage and love have nothing in common; they are as far apart as the poles; are, in fact, antagonistic to each other. No doubt some marriages have been the result of love. Not, however, because love could assert itself only in marriage; much rather is it because few people can completely outgrow a convention. There are to-day large numbers of men and women to whom marriage is naught but a farce, but who submit to it for the sake of public opinion. At any rate, while it is true that some marriages are based on love... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
The Pioneers of human progress are like the Seagulls, they behold new coasts, new spheres of daring thought, when their co-voyagers see only the endless stretch of water. They send joyous greetings to the distant lands. Intense, yearning, burning faith pierces the clouds of doubt, because the sharp ears of the harbingers of life discern from the maddening roar of the waves, the new message, the new symbol for humanity. The latter does not grasp the new, dull, and inert, it meets the pioneer of truth with misgivings and resentment, as the disturber of its peace, as the annihilator of all stable habits and traditions. Thus the pathfinders are heard only by the few, because they will not tread the beaten tracks, and the mass lacks the streng... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
After the impression which the story, and the sight of the family had made, was a little worn off; Caroline begged leave to buy one toy, and then another, till her money was quite gone. When Mrs. Mason found it was all expended, she looked round for an object in distress; a poor woman soon presented herself, and her meager countenance gave weight to her tale.—A babe, as meager, hung at her breast, which did not seem to contain sufficient moisture to wet its parched lips. On inquiry they found that she lodged in a neighboring garret. Her husband had been out of employment a long time, and was now sick. The master who had formerly given him work, lost gradually great part of his business; for his best customers were grown so fond of... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
bell hooks is one of the most prominent and well respected feminist academics and authors in the United States. She is often the subject of study by college students and academics, as well as a frequent guest on talk shows and other mass media. Her work in feminist theory has been groundbreaking, yet it is often limited to academic, literary, and other elite circles. Feminism Is For Everybody is hooks’ attempt to create a quick, simple primer on feminist history, theory, and politics to the masses who receive a misinformed, misunderstood, and maligned version of feminist movement. To that end, she has written an easy to read, concise book which documents her experiences as a feminist activist and academic. As an anarchist with some e... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Night in a prison cell! A chair, a bed, a small washstand, four blank walls, ghastly in the dim light from the corridor without, a narrow window, barred and sunken in the stone, a grated door! Beyond its hideous iron latticework, within the ghastly walls, -a man! An old man, gray-haired and wrinkled, lame and suffering. There he sits, in his great loneliness, shut in front all the earth. There he walks, to and fro, within his measured space, apart from all he loves! 'There, for every night in five long years to come, he will walk alone, while the white age-flakes drop upon his head, while the last years of the winter of life gather and pass, and his body draws near the ashes. Every night, for five long years to come, he will sit alone, this... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
It has been suggested that to create one genius nature uses all of her resources and takes a hundred years for her difficult task. If that be true, it takes nature even longer to create a great idea. After all, in creating a genius nature concentrates on one personality whereas an idea must eventually become the heritage of the race and must needs be more difficult to mold. It is just one hundred and fifty years ago when a great man conceived a great idea, Robert Thomas Malthus, the father of Birth Control. That it should have taken so long a time for the human race to realize the greatness of that idea, is only one more proof of the sluggishness of the human mind. It is not possible to go into a detailed discussion of the merits of Malthu... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
(A lecture presenting the negative side of the question, whose positive was argued under the heading "They who marry do well," by Dr. Henrietta P. Westbrook; both lectures delivered before the Radical Liberal League, Philadelphia, April 28, 1907.) LET ME make myself understood on two points, now, so that when discussion arises later, words may not be wasted in considering things not in question: First -How shall we measure doing well or doing ill; Second -What I mean by marriage. So much as I have been able to put together the pieces of the universe in my small head, there is no absolute right or wrong; there is only a relativity, depending on the consciously though very slowly altering condition of a social race in respect to the res... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
Our reformers have suddenly made a great discovery--the white slave traffic. The papers are full of these "unheard-of conditions," and lawmakers are already planning a new set of laws to check the horror. It is significant that whenever the public mind is to be diverted from a great social wrong, a crusade is inaugurated against indecency, gambling, saloons, etc. And what is the result of such crusades? Gambling is increasing, saloons are doing a lively business through back entrances, prostitution is at its height, and the system of pimps and cadets is but aggravated. How is it that an institution, known almost to every child, should have been discovered so suddenly? How is it that this evil, known to all sociologists, should now be made... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
I begin with an admission: Regardless of all political and economic theories, treating of the fundamental differences between various groups within the human race, regardless of class and race distinctions, regardless of all artificial boundary lines between woman's rights and man's rights, I hold that there is a point where these differentiations may meet and grow into one perfect whole. With this I do not mean to propose a peace treaty. The general social antagonism which has taken hold of our entire public life today, brought about through the force of opposing and contradictory interests, will crumble to pieces when the reorganization of our social life, based upon the principles of economic justice, shall have become a reality. Peace... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
ADVERTISEMENT. Mr. Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution first engaged my attention as the transient topic of the day; and reading it more for amusement than information, my indignation was roused by the sophistical arguments, that every moment crossed me, in the questionable shape of natural feelings and common sense. Many pages of the following letter were the effusions of the moment; but, swelling imperceptibly to a considerable size, the idea was suggested ivof publishing a short vindication of the Rights of Men. Not having leisure or patience to follow this desultory writer through all the devious tracks in which his fancy has started fresh game, I have confined my strictures, in a great measure, to the grand principles...
>From the respect paid to property flow, as from a poisoned fountain, most of the evils and vices which render this world such a dreary scene to the contemplative mind. For it is in the most polished society that noisome reptiles and venomous serpents lurk under the rank herbage; and there is voluptuousness pampered by the still sultry air, which relaxes every good disposition before it ripens into virtue. One class presses on another; for all are aiming to procure respect on account of their property: and property, once gained, will procure the respect due only to talents and virtue. Men neglect the duties incumbent on man, yet are treated like demi-gods; religion is also separated from morality by a ceremonial veil, yet men wonder tha... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
Kewanee, Ill., Oct. 2. The funeral of the victims of the tragedy of the Markham home Saturday, in which eight lives were taken by the mother’s insane act, was held today. Only two coffins were used, one for Mrs Markham and the other for the seven children she killed, whose charred bodies were taken from the ashes of the home. Who can tell the amount of pent-up woe the above brief telegram contains? Here was a young woman of thirty-five years who had given birth to seven children, the eldest one eleven years, the youngest four months old. There was no “race suicide” in that house. The father, we are informed, was a poor truck-farmer in summer and did odd jobs in winter for an existence. The father, on learning of the awful... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
We boast of the age of advancement, of science, and progress. Is it not strange, then, that we still believe in fetish worship? True, our fetishes have different form and substance, yet in their power over the human mind they are still as disastrous as were those of old. Our modern fetish is universal suffrage. Those who have not yet achieved that goal fight bloody revolutions to obtain it, and those who have enjoyed its reign bring heavy sacrifice to the altar of this omnipotent deity. Woe to the heretic who dare question that divinity! Woman, even more than man, is a fetish worshiper, and though her idols may change, she is ever on her knees, ever holding up her hands, ever blind to the fact that her god has feet of clay. Thus woman has... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
In the earlier times of the world’s history when man was but little higher in the intellectual scale than the beast which he slew for food, and whose skins he used for raiment, muscular strength and physical endurance were the standards of excellence and the stamp of superiority which prevailed. As nature had not endowed woman with these requisites to the same extent she had man, he looked upon her as a being inferior to himself. Possibly this was the beginning of man’s domination and woman’s subjugation. But as man ascended in the social scale of development, he began to acquire property, which he wished to transmit along with his name to his offspring—then woman became his household drudge. She was regarded as a s... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Many Socialists have joined in the outcry of certain Trade Unionists and Radicals against the employment of women in work which the women think suitable and the men do not. They have done so on the plea that the women's labor is simply used by capitalists to reduce men's wages. Their argument is perfectly correct as far as it goes, but it goes a very little way. Roughly speaking, it is probably true that the total of men's wages is decreased by something like the amount they would require to support the said women as their chattel-slaves. The women become the wage-slaves of the capitalist, and the workman is deprived of his dependent domestic serf. A man and woman both working often earn between them only about as much as the man alone coul... (From: AnarchyArchives.)
To the Editor of The Socialist: Believing it to be a principle of human nature for people to want to know what others think of them, I would like, for the benefit of workingwomen especially, to lay before your many readers a few extracts from an article entitled “Hints to Young Housekeepers,” printed in Scribner’s Magazine for January, 1879, as follows: Choice of Servants Unless they (the servants) have grown old in your service, it is better that servants should not be over forty, for many reasons. Cooks, chambermaids, and laundresses should be strong and active, wholesome and honest-looking, with clean hands, and no long backs, and reject finery. The better educated are more likely to understand their responsibilit... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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