Sunday, August 1, 2010

On August 1

On this day in ...
... 1833, the edition of The Crisis issued this month included a letter in which "Vlasta," a woman, opined:
Under the present system ..., which exalts to the wildest excess the animal propensities of man, and sinks to the lowest possible degree that nature will admit the intellectual and moral nature of woman, -- ... man must be utterly ignorant of our nature.

The real author was the philosopher, socialist, and feminist, Anna Doyle Wheeler (right) (credit). Born in 1785 in County Tipperary, Ireland, she'd married at 15, become a mother, then fled her abusive marriage, seeking refuge with a relative in Guernsey. Eventually she moved to London so that her 2 daughters could be educated. There she circulated among philosophers and herself became a theorist, writer, and lecturer on the rights of women. She's credited with collaborating with her companion, William Thompson, on The Appeal of One Half of the Human Race: Women against the Pretensions of the Other (1825), "the first major statement on women’s right to political equality written in the English language." Wheeler died in 1848.

(Prior August 1 posts are here, here, and here.)

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