Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On May 11

On this day in...
... 1731 (280 years ago today), Mary Astell, 65, died, about 2 months after undergoing a mastectomy. A philosopher who'd been born in Newcastle and lived her adult life in London, Astell (mentioned in this prior post) has been called "the 1st English feminist." Her most important works included the 2-volume A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, for the Advancement of Their True and Greatest Interest, published in 1694 and 1697, which advocated equal education for women. A notable quip of hers gender-spins a similar query by Rousseau; Astell asked:

'If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?'

(credit for photo of cover of 2005 book on Astell, by Calgary Communication & Culture Professor Christine Mason Sutherland)

(Prior May 11 posts are here, here, here, and here.)

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