Saturday, June 16, 2012
Louisa May Alcott is one of my heroes. Smart, funny, talented, brave. Also a staunch feminist who was mad as hell, and not afraid to say so. I think there's a lunchbox waiting to be made.
This Alcott quote, from a letter she wrote to a friend in 1873, is as powerful and relevant today, as it was when she wrote it.
"I believe in the same pay for the same good work. Don't you? In future, let woman do whatever she can do: let men place no more impediments in the way; above all things let's have fair play, - let simple justice be done, say I. Let us hear no more of 'woman's sphere' either from our wise (?) legislators beneath the gilded dome, or from clergymen in their pulpits. I am tired, year after year, of hearing such twaddle about sturdy oaks and clinging vines and man's chivalric protection of woman. Let woman find out her own limitations, and if, as is so confidently asserted, nature has defined her sphere, she will be guided accordingly - but in heaven's name give her a chance! Let professions be open to her; let fifty years of college education be hers, and then we shall see what we shall see. Then, and not until then, shall we be able to say what woman can and what she cannot do, and coming generations will know and be able to define more clearly what is a 'woman's sphere' than these benighted men who try now to do it."
If the idea of women having control over their own lives - and their own futures - makes sense to you, check out A Is For.... If you can swing it, donate a few bucks. The women who run this project need public support to keep it going.