Agnes asked in Social ScienceGender Studies · 1 decade ago

Would the original feminists be offended by modern day feminists?

Are they turning in their graves?

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-97), who was credited with inspiring the first American and European feminists, wrote: “Women becoming, consequently weaker, in body and mind, than they ought to be have not sufficient strength to discharge the first duty of a mother; and…either destroy the embryo in the womb, or cast it off when born. Nature in everything demands respect, and those who violate her laws seldom violate them with impunity… [M]en ought to maintain the women they have seduced… on means of stopping an abuse that has an equally fatal effect on population and morals.” (Vindication of the Rights of Woman, ch. 8)

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), America’s first female physician, wrote: “The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation, and awakened active antagonism. That the honorable term ‘female physician’ should be exclusively applied to those woman who carried on this shocking trade seemed to me a horror… an utter degradation of what might and should become a noble profession for woman. Being at that time a reader of Swedenborg, and strongly impressed by his vivid representation of the unseen world, I finally determined to do what I could ‘to redeem the hells’ and especially the one form of hell thus forced upon my notice.” (quoted in Isabel Ross, Child of Destiny: The Life Story of the First Female Doctor, NY: Harper and Brothers, 1949, 88)

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), one of the most well-known early feminists, in her newspaper The Revolution on 8 July 1869, wrote: "All the articles on this subject that I have read have been from men. They denounce women as alone guilty, and never include man in any plans for the remedy. . . Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed [abortion]. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; But oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!"

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), close friend of Susan B. Anthony, on 16 October 1873 in a letter to Julia Ward Howe recorded in Howe's diary at Harvard University Library: “[W]hen we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” In the Revolution newspaper she wrote: “We are living today under a dynasty of force; the masculine element is everywhere overpowering the feminine, and crushing woman and children alike beneath its feet. Let woman assert herself in all her native purity, dignity, and strength, and end this wholesale suffering and murder of helpless children. With centuries of degradation, we have so little of true womanhood, that the world has but the faintest glimmering of what a woman is or should be.” (Revolution, 29 January 1868)

Dr. Anna Densmore French (1800s), in an article about her in the Revolution newspaper, it was said: “Those who had the privilege will never forget the startling effect of the truths that she revealed relative to the primitive and ever present vitality of the developing embryo, as evidenced by the fainting of several self-convicted participators in the crime of premeditated child destruction before birth… I am sure that women would rarely dare to destroy the product of conception if they did not fully believe that the little being was devoid of life during all the earlier period of gestation… Dr. Densmore demonstrated to us fully and clearly that the fulfillment of life processes were going on from the very beginning of embryonic development, and showed us how, step by step, was added bone, muscle, and nerve… And that even before the mother could assure herself that she was to wear the crown of maternity by realizing the movements of the child, that the educated ear of the physician could often distinguish the beating of its heart.” (Revolution, 19 March 1868)

Mattie H. Brinkerhoff (1800s), the first denominationally ordained woman reverend in the U.S., wrote: “When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society – so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged.” (Revolution, 2 September 1869)

Dr. Alice Bunker Stockham (1833-1921) wrote: “Many woman have been taught that to think the child is not viable until after quickening, and that there is no harm in arresting pregnancy previous to the feeling of motion; others believer that there is no life until birth, and the cry of the child is hear… When the female germ and the male sperm unite, then is the inception of a new life; all that goes to make up a human being – body, mind, and spirit, must be contained in the embryo within this minute organism. Life must be present from the very moment of conception…

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Thank you for proving that many early feminists were pro-life. I completely disagree with them, and they would probably disagree with me, but it's always nice when people recognise that not all feminists are the same :-)

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  • 1 decade ago

    Oh definitely. The 'classical' Feminists have my respect and support any day/ any time. They would look down at these 'modern' Feminists who are fighting a war that doesn't exist and crying wolf about the misogyny that didn't exist, like cute little kids. Then they'll give these Feminists a nice hug, a pat on their cheeks and a popsicle in their hand, before turning them away.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I didn't read this long question - but to just respond to the basic headline:

    I think that values and standards have degraded so badly that the original ANYBODYs would be offended by their modern day counterparts - WHOEVER they are and WHATEVER their cause!

    Source(s): life in general
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  • .
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The original 'feminists' never called themselves such. The term was given to them to tie the current folks with great people in the past.

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  • Rawr
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Yes, at least the modern feminists that focus on 'problems' in 1st world countries, bash men, and make fools of themselves.

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  • 1 decade ago

    yes...because awful people claiming to be feminists have ruined the good name they worked so hard to protect...they promoted equality...

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think the original feminists would be anti-feminists today!

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