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Encyclopedia of

Women Social Reformers


xiv—Running Foot
Encyclopedia of
Women Social Reformers
Helen Rappaport

Santa Barbara, California Denver, Colorado Oxford, England


Copyright © 2001 by Helen Rappaport

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Rappaport, Helen.
Encyclopedia of women social reformers / Helen Rappaport.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 1-57607-101-4 (hardcover : alk. paper) ; 1-57607-581-8 (e-book)
1. Women social reformers—Encyclopedias. 2. Women political
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For my good friend Ruth Marris Macaulay
xiv—Running Foot
But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good
of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me
as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and
rest in unvisited tombs.
—George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871–1872)
xiv—Running Foot
Contents

Foreword, Marian Wright Edelman, xv


Preface, xvii
Acknowledgments, xxi
Women Social Reformers by Country, xxiii
Women Social Reformers by Cause, xxix
Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers

Volume 1: A–L Bates, Daisy, 52


Bates, Daisy, 53
Abbott, Edith, 1 Bäumer, Gertrud, 54
Abbott, Grace, 2 Beale, Dorothea, 55
Abella de Ramírez, María, 3 Beard, Mary Ritter, 57
Addams, Jane, 4 Beauvoir, Simone de, 59
Afghan Women Social Reformers, 7 Beccari, Alaide Gualberta, 60
Alma Dolens, 9 Becker, Lydia, 61
Alvarado Rivera, María Jesus, 10 Beecher, Catharine Esther, 63
Ames, Jessie Daniel, 12 Behruzi, Mariam, 65
Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett, 13 Belmont, Alva, 66
Anneke, Mathilde Franziska, 16 Bennett, Louie, 68
Anthony, Susan B., 18 Benson, Stella, 70
Arenal, Concepción, 21 Besant, Annie, 71
Armand, Inessa, 22 Bethune, Mary McCleod, 75
Ashby, Margery Corbett, 25 Bhatt, Ela, 76
Ashrawi, Hanan, 27 Billington-Greig, Teresa, 78
Astor, Nancy, 28 Black, Clementina, 80
Auclert, Hubertine, 31 Blackburn, Helen, 81
Augspurg, Anita, 33 Blackburn, Molly, 82
Aung San Suu Kyi, 35 Blackwell, Alice Stone, 82
Azmudeh, Tuba, 37 Blackwell, Antoinette Brown, 83
Blackwell, Elizabeth, 85
Bajer, Mathilde, 39 Blatch, Harriot Stanton, 88
Baker, Ella, 40 Bloomer, Amelia Jenks, 90
Baker, (Sara) Josephine, 42 Bloor, Ella Reeve, 92
Balch, Emily Greene, 43 Bodichon, Barbara, 93
Bamber, Helen, 44 Bol Poel, Martha, 96
Barakat, Hidiya Hanim, 46 Bondfield, Margaret, 97
Barrios de Chungara, Domitla, 47 Bonner, Yelena, 99
Barton, Clara, 50 Bonnin, Gertrude, 100

ix
Contents

Booth, Catherine, 102 Dennett, Mary Ware, 184


Boucherett, Jessie, 104 Deraismes, Marie, 186
Braun, Lily, 106 Deroin, Jeanne, 187
Bremer, Fredrika, 108 Despard, Charlotte, 189
Brittain, Vera, 110 Diana, Princess of Wales, 192
Brown, Charlotte Hawkins, 112 Dilke, Emilia, 193
Brown, Olympia, 113 Ding Ling, 195
Bukhari, Shahnaz, 114 Dirie, Waris, 196
Burdett-Coutts, Angela, 115 Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 197
Buss, Frances, 117 Dodge, Grace, 200
Butler, Josephine, 119 Dohm, Hedwig, 201
Byrne, Lavinia, 123 Domínguez Navarro, Ofelia, 202
Dorkenoo, Efua, 205
Caballero de Castillo Ledón, Amalia Gonzalez, Dreier, Mary Elisabeth, 206
125 Dugdale, Henrietta, 206
Cai Chang, 125 Durand, Marguerite, 207
Caird, Mona, 126 Dutt, Saroj Nalini, 208
Caldicott, Helen, 128 Dworkin, Andrea, 209
Campoamor, Clara, 129
Carmichael, Amy Wilson, 130 Eastman, Crystal, 211
Carpenter, Mary, 131 Edelman, Marian Wright, 214
Carrillo Puerto, Elvia, 133 Edgeworth, Maria, 216
Carson, Rachel, 135 Edip, Halide, 217
Cary, Mary Ann Shadd, 137
Casely Hayford, Adelaide Smith, 138 Farnham, Eliza Wood, 219
Casgrain, Thérèse, 139 Fawcett, Millicent Garrett, 220
Castle, Barbara, 140 Felix, Concepción, 224
Catt, Carrie Chapman, 142 Filosova, Anna, 224
Cauer, Minna, 144 First, Ruth, 226
Chattopadhyaya, Kamaladevi, 146 Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley, 228
Chaudharani, Saraladevi, 147 Ford, Isabella, 230
Chertkoff de Repetto, Fenia, 148 Foster, Abby (Abigail) Kelley, 232
Chew, Ada Nield, 149 Friedan, Betty, 234
Child, Lydia Maria, 150 Fry, Elizabeth, 237
Chisholm, Caroline, 152 Fukuda Hideko, 239
Chisholm, Shirley, 154 Fuller, (Sarah) Margaret, 241
Clough, Anne Jemima, 155 Furujhelm, Annie, 244
Cobbe, Frances Power, 157
Collado, María, 160 Gage, Matilda Joslyn, 247
Collett, Camilla, 162 García, Maria del Refugio, 249
Cooper, Selina, 162 Gaskell, Elizabeth, 250
Cornelius, Johanna, 164 al-Ghazali, Zeinab, 253
Courtney, Kathleen D’Olier, 165 Gibbons, Abigail Hopper, 254
Cousins, Margaret, 166 Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 256
Cunard, Nancy, 168 Glücklich, Vilma, 258
Goegg, Marie Pouchoulin, 259
Daulatabadi, Sadiqa, 173 Goldman, Emma, 261
Davies, (Sarah) Emily, 174 Goldstein, Vida, 264
Davison, Emily Wilding, 178 Gómez de Avellaneda y Arteaga, Gertrudis, 266
Day, Dorothy, 179 Gonne, Maud, 267
de Silva, Agnes, 181 Gore-Booth, Eva, 270
Deng Yingchao, 182 Gouges, Olympe de, 271
Deng Yuzhi, 182 Grand, Sarah, 272
x
Contents

Greer, Germaine, 274 Key, Ellen, 361


Grierson, Cecilia, 277 Khan, Raana Liaquat Ali, 363
Grimké, Angelina Emily and Sarah Moore, 279 Kingsford, Anna, 364
Gutiérrez de Mendoza, Juana Belén, 282 Kishida Toshiko, 367
Gwis-Adami, Rosalia, 284 Kollontai, Alexandra, 368
Kovalevskaya, Sofya, 372
Hale, Clara, 285 Krog, Gina, 373
Hamer, Fanny Lou, 286 Krupskaya, Nadezhda, 374
Hamilton, Alice, 287 Kuliscioff, Anna, 376
Hani Motoko, 289 Kuzwayo, Ellen, 378
Haslam, Anna, 290
He Xiangning, 292 La Flesche, Susette, 381
Heymann, Lida Gustava, 293 Labarca Hubertson, Amanda, 382
Heyrick, Elizabeth, 294 Lange, Helene, 383
Hill, Octavia, 296 Lanteri-Renshaw, Julieta, 385
Hiratsuka Raicho, 300 Laperrière de Coni, Gabriela, 386
Hobhouse, Emily, 301 Lathrop, Julia, 388
Holtby, Winifred, 303 Lawson, Louisa, 389
Hopkins, (Alice) Ellice, 305 Lee Tai-Young, 391
Hossain, Begum Rokeya Sakhawat, 308 Lind-af-Hageby, Louise, 393
Howe, Julia Ward, 309 Linton, Eliza Lynn, 396
How-Martyn, Edith, 312 Liu-Wang Liming, 397
Huerta, Dolores, 314 Livermore, Mary, 399
Lockwood, Belva Ann, 400
Ichikawa Fusae, 317 Lowell, Josephine Shaw, 402
Inglis, Elsie, 319 Luisi, Paulina, 404
Ishimoto Shizue, 321 Lutz, Bertha, 406
Ito Noe, 322 Lytton, Lady Constance, 408

Jackson, Helen Hunt, 325


Jacobi, Mary Putnam, 327 Volume 2: M–Z
Jacobs, Aletta, 329 Maathai, Wangari Muta, 411
Jameson, Anna Brownell, 331 Machel, Graça Simbine, 412
Jebb, Eglantyne, 333 MacMillan, Chrystal, 413
Jeffers, Audrey Lane, 335 MacPhail, Agnes, 414
Jellicoe, Anne, 335 Malkowska, Olga, 415
Jex-Blake, Sophia, 337 Manuchehrian, Mehrangiz, 418
Jilani, Hina, and Asma Jahangir, 339 Manus, Rosa, 419
Jiménez y Muro, Dolores, 340 Markievicz, Constance de, 420
Jinnah, Fatima, 341 Marshall, Catherine, 423
Jones, Mary, 342 Marson, Una, 424
Joseph, Helen Beatrice, 344 Martineau, Harriet, 426
Joshi, Anandibai, 345 Masarykova, Alice, 429
Juhacz, Marie, 346 Maxeke, Charlotte Manye, 431
Mayreder, Rosa, 432
Kanno Suga, 349 McAuley, Catherine, 433
Kar, Mehrangiz, 350 McClung, Nellie, 435
Kartini, Raden Adjeng, 351 McDowell, Mary, 436
Kaur, Rajkumari Amrit, 352 McMillan, Margaret, 439
Kehew, Mary Morton, 353 Menchú Tum, Rigoberta, 441
Keller, Helen, 354 Michel, Louise, 443
Kelley, Florence, 357 Mink, Paule, 444
Kenney, Annie, 359 Mirovich, Zinaida, 445
xi
Contents

Mitchell, Hannah, 447 Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline, 546


Montagu, Lily, 448 Pizzey, Erin, 549
Montefiore, Dora, 449 Plamínková, Františka, 550
Montessori, Maria, 451 Pokrovskaya, Mariya, 552
More, Hannah, 454 Popelin, Marie, 554
Moreau de Justo, Alicia, 456 Popp, Adelheid, 554
Mother Teresa, 459 Potonié-Pierre, Eugénie, 556
Mott, Lucretia Coffin, 460 Prejean, Sister Helen, 557
Mozzoni, Anna Maria, 463
M’rabet, Fadela, 465 Qiu Jin, 559
Murphy, Emily Gowan, 466 Qurratul-Ayn, 561
Musa, Nabawiyya, 467
Muzzilli, Carolina, 469 Rahnavard, Zahra, 563
Myrdal, Alva, 470 Ramabai, Pandita Saraswati, 564
Ramphele, Mamphela, 567
Nabarawi, Saiza, 473 Ranade, Ramabai, 569
Naidu, Sarojini, 474 Rankin, Jeanette, 570
Nasif, Malak Hifni, 476 Ransome-Kuti, Fumilayo, 571
Nation, Carry, 478 Rathbone, Eleanor, 573
Nawaz, Begum Jahanarah Shah, 480 Rau, Dhanvanthi Rama, 577
Neilans, Alison, 481 Rawson de Dellepiane, Elvira, 579
Nelken i Mausberger, Margarita, 482 Reddi, Muthulakshmi, 580
Ngoyi, Lilian, 484 Richard, Marthe, 582
Niboyet, Eugénie, 485 Robins, Elizabeth, 583
Nightingale, Florence, 486 Robins, Margaret Dreier, 586
Noble, Christina, 493 Rodríguez Acosta, Ofelia, 588
Noonuccal, Oodgeroo Moongalba, 495 Roland, Pauline, 588
Norton, Caroline, 496 Roosevelt, (Anna) Eleanor, 590
Rose, Ernestine, 593
O’Brien, Charlotte Grace, 499 Roussel, Nelly, 595
Orzeszkowa, Eliza, 501 Royden, Maude, 595
Osório, Ana da Castro, 502 Rukhmabai, 598
Otto-Peters, Luise, 503 Rutnam, Mary, 600
Ovington, Mary White, 504 Rye, Maria, 601

Pandit, Vijaya Lakshmi, 507 el-Saadawi, Nawal, 605


Pankhurst, Christabel, 509 Sabas Alomá, Mariblanca, 607
Pankhurst, Emmeline, 513 Saghal, Manmohini Zutshi, 609
Pankhurst, (Estelle) Sylvia, 518 al-Said, Aminah, 609
Pappenheim, Bertha, 521 Salomon, Alice, 611
Pardo Bazán, Emilia, 523 Sand, George, 612
Parks, Rosa, 524 Sanger, Margaret, 614
Parnell, Anna, 527 Santoso, Maria Ullfah, 618
Parren, Callirhoé Siganou, 528 Schlafly, Phyllis, 619
Paterson, Emma, 529 Schneiderman, Rose, 620
Patkar, Medha, 531 Schreiber, Adele, 622
Paul, Alice, 532 Schreiner, Olive, 623
Peabody, Elizabeth, 535 Schwimmer, Rosika, 625
Pechey-Phipson, Edith, 537 Scott, Rose, 628
Peckover, Priscilla, 539 Scudder, Vida, 630
Pelletier, Madeleine, 540 Seacole, Mary, 631
Perkins, Frances Coralie, 542 Séverine, 633
Perón, Eva, 544 Shabanova, Anna, 634
xii
Contents

Shafiq, Durriyah, 636 Terrell, Mary Church, 706


Sha’rawi, Huda, 638 Thomas, Martha Carey, 707
Shaw, Anna Howard, 641 Tiburtius, Franziska, 709
Sheehy-Skeffington, Hannah, 643 Tod, Isabella, 710
Sheppard, Kate, 645 Torres, Elena, 712
Shirreff, Emily Anne, 647 Tristan, Flora, 713
Shishkina-Yavein, Poliksena, 648 Trubnikova, Mariya, 715
Sister Nivedita, 650 Truth, Sojourner, 716
Sister Subbalakshmi, 652 Tubman, Harriet Ross, 718
Sisulu, Nonsikelelo Albertina, 652 Twining, Louisa, 720
Soewondo-Soerasno, Nani, 653
Somerset, Lady Isabella, 654 van Gripenberg, Alexandra, 723
Song Qingling, 656 Vérone, Maria, 724
Sorabji, Cornelia, 659 Vincent, Eliska, 725
Sorabji, Susie, 661
Spence, Catherine, 662 Wald, Lillian D., 727
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 664 Wang Huiwu, 729
Starovoitova, Galina, 668 Ward, Mary, 730
Stasova, Nadezhda, 671 Webb, Beatrice, 732
Steinem, Gloria, 672 Weiss, Louise, 735
Stöcker, Helene, 674 Wells-Barnett, Ida B., 737
Stone, Lucy, 676 Wheeler, Anna Doyle, 739
Stopes, Marie, 678 Wickremasinghe, Doreen, 741
Stout, Lady Anna, 681 Willard, Emma Hart, 743
Stowe, Emily Jennings, 683 Willard, Frances, 744
Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 684 Wollstonecraft, Mary, 747
Street, Jessie, 687 Wolstenholme-Elmy, Elizabeth, 750
Stritt, Marie, 689 Woodhull, Victoria Claflin, 754
Suslova, Nadezhda, 690 Wright, Frances, 756
Suttner, Bertha Félice Sophie von, 692
Suzman, Helen, 693 Xiang Jingyu, 759
Swanwick, Helena, 694
Szold, Henrietta, 696 Yajima Kajiko, 763
Yamada Waka, 764
Taleqani, Azam, 699 Yosano Akiko, 765
Tang Qunying, 700
Tarbell, Ida, 701 Zakrzewska, Marie, 769
Tata, Lady Mehrbai Dorab, 702 Zetkin, Clara, 770
Taylor, Harriet, 703 Ziyadah, Mai, 772
Te Puea, 705

Appendix: Organizations by English and Original Names, 775


Chronology, 789
Selected Bibliography, 813
Index, 857

xiii
xiv—Running Foot
Foreword

This encyclopedia celebrates women’s role as so- demonstrated in the streets to demand the resig-
cial reformers, because in private and public nation of a military junta leader. Black women
ways women have always been at the forefront of were the backbone of the American Civil Rights
every important social movement. The quest for Movement: Jessie Daniel Ames, Ella Baker, Fanny
a better world has been and is the daily work of Lou Hamer, Mary McCleod Bethune, Rosa
thousands and thousands of women around the Parks, Mary Church Terrell, Ida Wells-Barnett,
world. What we know from the past and what we and on and on. South African women fought and
know from contemporary experience is that helped win an end to murderous apartheid poli-
women have always stepped forward to accept cies. And there are more stories to tell and more
the challenge a moral moment presents. Women history being made each day.
have been catalysts and implementers of change. Many of these women’s stories are told in this
They have not been afraid to change things. book. The Encyclopedia of Women Social Reform-
An American slave woman, Harriet Tubman, ers features women from the United States to New
ushered slaves to freedom on an Underground Zealand, from Argentina to Japan, from Hungary
Railroad. Another slave woman, Sojourner to South Africa, from Iran to India—women from
Truth, consistently spoke out against slavery and around the world who have been willing to stand
unjust treatment of women and told her detrac- up and make a difference. Women and men—and
tors that even if they didn’t care any more for her girls and boys—all need to hear the stories of what
than they would for a flea, with God’s help she these women have done to make the world a bet-
would keep them “scratching.” Dorothy Day, co- ter place not just for women but for everyone in it.
founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, ded- Their example should inspire all of us to continue
icated her work and her life to the poor and doing everything we can to fight for change in our
homeless, speaking boldly about the duty one own communities, nation, and world. But they
owed to one’s neighbor—“anyone in need.” Jane can also be a special encouragement to those of us
Addams and other prominent women “settlers” who are women and girls, because they remind us
started settlement houses and worked for the that even in places and times where women have
poor and for peace. Poor women in India strug- been marginalized by those in power, we have al-
gling to feed their children and families walked ways still managed to be mighty instruments for
with empty plates and spoons to protest rising transforming change.
food prices. Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking American anthropologist Margaret Mead
book Silent Spring launched the modern envi- said, “Never doubt that a small group of thought-
ronmental movement in the United States. ful, committed people can change the world. In-
Courageous environmental pioneer Amrita deed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This book
Devi gave her life three hundred years ago to profiles some of the thoughtful, committed
protect the trees in her village because she be- women who have changed their worlds. I hope
lieved them sacred. Her sacrifice inspired others many of its readers will go on to do the same.
who bravely repeated it—and saved the trees and Marian Wright Edelman
sparked the Chipko movement in India. Thou- President
sands of Chilean women faced death and Children’s Defense Fund

xv
Preface

The epigraph to this book, written by George a number of British and American suffragettes
Eliot in 1871–1872, still attests 130 years later to had to be cut to make way for women who have
the fact that “the growing good of the world is worked in other much more specialized and lit-
partly dependent on unhistoric acts.” In the tle-known areas such as antivivisectionism, con-
course of researching the hundreds of women’s servation, prison reform, religious reform, Third
stories included here, the sorry fact remains: the World human rights, and so on.
self-sacrifice, courage, and endurance of many pi- In order to strike a balance between ethnic
oneering women in so many spheres of activism, background and nationality, I have been liberal in
welfare, and philanthropy are yet to be uncovered my application of the term social reformer so as to
or accorded the credit they deserve. The list of en- be able to include women from some countries
tries, as it now stands, differs quite dramatically who might not otherwise have been considered
from the original I drew up three years ago—the appropriate within a stricter definition of social
further I progressed with my research, the more reform. These choices were influenced by the cul-
and more totally unsung or undervalued women tural environments and historical periods in
I found. Even in the final days of writing, I was which some women lived. In some countries,
still encountering new and wonderful stories. But women’s activism was so constrained by religious
in the process of resdicovering the lives of nu- and political controls or social conventions that
merous fascinating and inspiring women whose the only way in which the subject of reform could
stories had been seldom told, some of the “usual be broached by them was through writing or
suspects” had to be sacrificed to make way for through modest charitable work, rather than on
them. I therefore make no apologies for the fact the soapbox. Thus, for example I have included
that there are sure to be some women reformers some women writers, such as Fredrika Bremer in
whom readers expect to find here but who are not Sweden, who were not necessarily activists but
included; but, in compensation, I hope they find whose intellectual or moral influence made a
many new women about whose work they previ- considerable impact on the movement for social
ously knew nothing or very little. reform. Similarly, some women active in philan-
It would have been an easy option to allow the thropic or charitable work, who mainly gave of
white, middle-class, well-heeled majority from their money and whose activism was often con-
the United Kingdom and United States, about strained by a very narrow religious or moral out-
whom much has already been said, to dominate look, have been included either to balance the
this text. There are enough extremely worthy nationalities or because their contribution—pa-
women from these two countries alone—partic- tronizing, imperialist, or discriminating though it
ularly in the nineteenth century—to have filled might be perceived now—was significant. I am
these two volumes almost to the exclusion of all referring here to women such as Angela Burdett-
others. From the outset, therefore, I had to make Coutts, without whose money much philan-
some ruthless decisions about whom to include thropic and welfare work in Britain could not
and whom to leave out. These choices were pri- have been undertaken.
marily dictated by the nationality and cause in It had been my original intention to include
which each woman was engaged; for this reason women throughout history, from as far back as

xvii
Preface

Theodora in sixth-century Byzantium, through the Filipina suffragist Agnes de Silva is a biogra-
early feminists such as Christine de Pisan and Sor phy of her politician husband George. This has
Juana Inés de la Cruz, to some fascinating early meant that many of the Third World and even
medical pioneers in the seventeenth century. But some First World entries have had to be pieced
with a text that, like Topsy, “just growed,” the together from sparse facts found in a wide range
project threatened to become impossibly un- of disparate sources, as well as on the Internet;
wieldy, and a decision was made to restrict the this involved much random searching, but occa-
current two volumes to the period from the sionally bore wonderful fruit. Despite my best ef-
French Revolution to the second wave of femi- forts, I regret that some of the life dates of
nism in the 1970s, with a few important contem- women included in this book could not be
porary figures. Again, this criterion necessitated traced; I would be grateful to hear from any
the exclusion of some women from the modern reader able to fill in such gaps from more specific
movement in order to retain the balance. knowledge.
In terms of political activism, with one or two With regard to foreign-language bibliograph-
exceptions (based on a value judgment of ical sources, in the case of Latin American
whether the woman in question made other im- women in particular, there is now a considerable
portant contributions to social change), only body of academic study available in Spanish,
women involved in peaceful lobbying and protest with monographs in print on several women in-
have been selected. (Although, of course, I must cluded in this book. Unfortunately, it was beyond
here concede the window smashing and letter- my ability to research foreign-language sources
box burning of the militant suffragettes.) Those for so many nationalities in anything but super-
women who took part in armed insurrection, as- ficial detail; a decision was made from the outset
sassination, and bomb throwing have been omit- to write the encyclopedia for the general reader
ted. For this reason, some Russian and Latin who may not necessarily possess specific foreign-
American revolutionaries have been left out, but language skills. This restriction led to another
influential leaders such as Qiu Jin of China and difficult decision, made for reasons of space and
Louise Michel of France—both of whom were for the purpose of avoiding confusion: the many
leaders of important civil liberties movements published works and names of foreign organiza-
that became revolutions—have been included. tions and women’s societies in entries are cited in
The most difficult aspect of researching and English only (a few foreign titles are given in
writing a book of this kind, single-handedly, cases where ambiguity might occur). For the in-
proved to be the frustrating lack of sources and terested reader or student who wishes to pursue
the inevitable inconsistencies and contradictions an individual woman further, an appendix can
that constantly arose between those sources that be found at the end of this book, giving the
do exist, particularly regarding names and most-cited organizations with the title in the
founding dates of organizations. Many of the original language. Consultation of books in the
lives of women in the Third World, despite huge further reading section of each entry will also
advances in feminist scholarship over the last provide the user with foreign-language attribu-
thirty years, are still only described in the tions and titles. The changing demands of the
thinnest of sources. Many will never be properly new world of electronic publishing have meant
told because no documentary record exists. The that the traditional presentation of the end-of-
stories of other women, sad to say, have only entry further reading system, which in reference
come down to us through the records of their works of this kind has tended in the past to em-
better-known husbands and sons. A particular ploy a system of title abbreviation referring to a
case in point is the Australian suffragist and full bibliography in the back matter of the book,
writer Louisa Lawson, whose 1978 biography has been replaced with full citations at the end of
was entitled Louisa Lawson: Henry Lawson’s Cru- each entry.
sading Mother, presumably deemed necessary in The number of historical and critical sources
order to persuade readers that she was worth now available on women’s history is vast and
reading about (Henry Lawson was a notable rapidly growing, but there is still a great need for
poet). Similarly, virtually the only English-lan- more comprehensive biographical reference
guage source available at the time of writing on sources. An extensive select Bibliography of the

xviii
Preface

books I found most useful in the preparation of able to restore some of the many neglected and
this text (although it is by no means exhaustive), forgotten lives of women activists—of all colors,
divided into lists of dictionaries and encyclope- creeds, and political persuasions—to history and
dias and primary and secondary sources, can be to disprove Channon’s remark by illustrating that
found at the end of the book. The book also in- accounts of the lives of women reformers need
cludes indexes of the entries by cause (for exam- never be dull. It has been, at its low point, an ex-
ple, birth control, education, human rights, hausting, frustrating, and even dispiriting experi-
medicine, prison reform, suffrage, temperance, ence trying to uncover the facts of many of the
etc.) as well as by nationality and primary coun- lives described in this book, but an experience
try of activism, along with a chronology of sig- that has never ceased to be enlightening, fascinat-
nificant events since the French Revolution. ing, stimulating, and frequently humbling. It is an
The British political diarist and socialite honor to have this opportunity of restoring a lit-
Henry “Chips” Channon remarked in his diary of tle bit of women’s lost and underrated history.
7 July 1936, “Reformers are always finally ne- But there are still many more stories out there
glected, while the memoirs of the frivolous will waiting to be told.
always eagerly be read.” It has been my sincere Helen Rappaport
hope in the writing of this book that I might be Oxfordshire, England

xix
xiv—Running Foot
Acknowledgments

This book could not have been written without and cheerfulness, as I am to the staff at the In-
the pioneering work on women’s history by other dian Institute, Rhodes House, Queen Elizabeth
scholars around the world, many of whose works House, and the Radcliffe Science Library. Joan
are listed in the bibliography. Those who have Countryman and her library staff at Lincoln
done so much to disseminate the history of the School, Providence, allowed me the free run of
women’s suffrage movement, in particular, are their excellent collection during a visit to the
now too many to single out. But with regard to the United States in 2000. The financial assistance of
less accessible stories of women outside the United the Society of Authors, through whose Authors’
Kingdom, United States, and western Europe, I Foundation I was awarded a bursary to “buy
would like, in particular, to commend the work of time” for writing some of this book, provided a
the following, whose groundwork greatly assisted welcome respite.
me in my research: Asunción Lavrin, K. Lynn I would like to express my gratitude to friends
Stoner, Judith Hahner, and Shirlene Soto (Latin and scholars who shared information and of-
America); Sharon Sievers (Japan); Elizabeth Croll fered help, advice, and moral support: Elizabeth
and Christina Kelly Gilmartin (China); Margot Crawford, Orlando Figes, Ann Hardy, Barbara
Badran, Valentine Moghadam, and Nawal el- Harlow, Ann Heilmann, Jane Jordan, Graham
Saadawi (Egypt and the Middle East); Haleh Af- Law, Ruth Marris Macaulay, Christina Mal-
shar (Islamic women, particularly in Iran); Ku- kowska Zaba, Sybil Oldfield, Liz Pride, Seunghee
mari Jayawardena (India and the Far East); Han, Nayereh Todi, and Lori Williamson. My
Antoinette Burton and Geraldine Forbes (India); thanks to Tony Sloggett at ABC-CLIO in Oxford
Richard Stites, Linda Edmondson, and Barbara for his continuing support and Melanie Stafford
Alpern Engel (Russia). Richard Evans was one of in the Denver office for her good humor and
the first to explore European feminism, and, professionalism. A special commendation is due
nearer home, Maria Luddy deserves a special men- to my long-suffering, painstaking, and ever-vigi-
tion for her outstanding work on Irish women. lant copy editor, Beth Partin; proofer, Lori Kranz;
I spent many happy hours in the Bodleian Li- and indexer, Ingrid Becher. I am also grateful to
brary in Oxford doing the research for this book, photo researchers Julie Mason and Liz Kincaid
and I am grateful to the staff—particularly in my for turning up some rare pictures of women we
regular haunt, the Lower Library—for their help thought we would never find.

xxi
xiv—Running Foot
Women Social Reformers by Country

Afghanistan Belgium
(mostly anonymous) Bol Poel, Martha
Popelin, Marie
Albania
Mother Teresa Bolivia
Barrios de Chungara, Domitla
Algeria
Auclert, Hubertine Brazil
M’rabet, Fadela Lutz, Bertha

Argentina Canada
Chertkoff de Repetto, Fenia Cary, Mary Ann Shadd
Grierson, Cecilia Casgrain, Thérèse
Lanteri-Renshaw, Julieta MacPhail, Agnes
Laperrière de Coni, Gabriela McClung, Nellie
Moreau de Justo, Alicia Murphy, Emily Gowan
Muzzilli, Carolina Rutnam, Mary
Perón, Eva Stowe, Emily Jennings
Rawson de Dellepiane, Elvira
Chile
Australia Labarca Hubertson, Amanda
Bates, Daisy
Caldicott, Helen China
Chisholm, Caroline Cai Chang
Dugdale, Henrietta Deng Yingchao
Goldstein, Vida Deng Yuzhi
Greer, Germaine Ding Ling
Lawson, Louisa He Xiangning
Montefiore, Dora Liu-Wang Liming
Noonuccal, Oodgeroo Moongalba Qiu Jin
Scott, Rose Song Qingling
Spence, Catherine Tang Qunying
Street, Jessie Wang Huiwu
Xiang Jingyu
Austria
Mayreder, Rosa Cuba
Pappenheim, Bertha Collado, María
Popp, Adelheid Domínguez Navarro, Ofelia
Schreiber, Adele Gómez de Avellaneda y Arteaga,
Suttner, Bertha Félice Sophie von Gertrudis

xxiii
Women Social Reformers by Country

Rodríguez Acosta, Ofelia Braun, Lily


Sabas Alomá, Mariblanca Cauer, Minna
Dohm, Hedwig
Czechoslovakia Heymann, Lida Gustava
Masarykova, Alice Juhacz, Marie
Plamínková, Františka Lange, Helene
Otto-Peters, Luise
Denmark Salomon, Alice
Bajer, Mathilde Stöcker, Helene
Stritt, Marie
Egypt Tiburtius, Franziska
Barakat, Hidiya Hanim Zakrzewska, Marie
al-Ghazali, Zeinab Zetkin, Clara
Musa, Nabawiyya
Nabarawi, Saiza Ghana
Nasif, Malak Hifni Dorkenoo, Efua
el-Saadawi, Nawal
al-Said, Aminah Greece
Shafiq, Durriyah Parren, Callirhoé Siganou
Sha’rawi, Huda
Guatemala
Finland Menchú Tum, Rigoberta
Furujhelm, Annie
van Gripenberg, Alexandra Hong Kong
Benson, Stella
France
Armand, Inessa Hungary
Auclert, Hubertine Glücklich, Vilma
Beauvoir, Simone de Schwimmer, Rosika
Deraismes, Marie
Deroin, Jeanne India
Durand, Marguerite Besant, Annie
Gouges, Olympe de Bhatt, Ela
Michel, Louise Carpenter, Mary
Mink, Paule Chattopadhyaya, Kamaladevi
Niboyet, Eugénie Chaudharani, Saraladevi
Pelletier, Madeleine Dutt, Saroj Nalini
Potonié-Pierre, Eugènie Hossain, Begum Rokeya Sakhawat
Richard, Marthe Joshi, Anandibai
Roland, Pauline Kaur, Rajkumari Amrit
Roussel, Nelly Mother Teresa
Sand, George Naidu, Sarojini
Séverine Pandit, Vijaya Lakshmi
Tristan, Flora Patkar, Medha
Vérone, Maria Pechey-Phipson, Edith
Vincent, Eliska Ramabai, Pandita Saraswati
Weiss, Louise Ranade, Ramabai
Rau, Dhanvanthi Rama
Germany Reddi, Muthulakshmi
Anneke, Mathilde Franziska Rukhmabai
Augspurg, Anita Saghal, Manmohini Zutshi
Bäumer, Gertrud Sister Nivedita

xxiv
Women Social Reformers by Country

Sister Subbalakshmi Kuliscioff, Anna


Sorabji, Cornelia Montessori, Maria
Sorabji, Susie Mozzoni, Anna Maria
Tata, Lady Mehrbai Dorab
Jamaica
Indonesia Marson, Una
Kartini, Raden Adjeng Seacole, Mary
Santoso, Maria Ullfah
Soewondo-Soerasno, Nani Japan
Fukuda Hideko
Iran Hani Motoko
Azmudeh, Tuba Hiratsuka Raicho
Behruzi, Mariam Ichikawa Fusae
Daulatabadi, Sadiqa Ishimoto Shizue
Kar, Mehrangiz Ito Noe
Manuchehrian, Mehrangiz Kanno Suga
Qurratul-Ayn Kishida Toshiko
Rahnavard, Zahra Yajima Kajiko
Taleqani, Azam Yamada Waka
Yosano Akiko
Ireland
Bates, Daisy Kenya
Bennett, Louie Maathai, Wangari Muta
Blackburn, Helen
Carmichael, Amy Wilson Korea
Cobbe, Frances Power Lee Tai-Young
Cousins, Margaret
Despard, Charlotte Lebanon
Edgeworth, Maria Ziyadah, Mai
Gonne, Maud
Gore-Booth, Eva Lithuania
Haslam, Anna Goldman, Emma
Jameson, Anna Brownell
Jellicoe, Anne Mexico
Markievicz, Constance de Caballero de Castillo Ledón, Amalia
McAuley, Catherine Gonzalez
Noble, Christina Carrillo Puerto, Elvia
O’Brien, Charlotte Grace García, Maria del Refugio
Parnell, Anna Gutiérrez de Mendoza, Juana Belén
Sheehy-Skeffington, Hannah Jiménez y Muro, Dolores
Sister Nivedita Torres, Elena
Tod, Isabella
Wheeler, Anna Doyle Mozambique
Wollstonecraft, Mary Machel, Graça Simbine

Israel Myanmar (Burma)


Szold, Henrietta Aung San Suu Kyi

Italy Netherlands
Alma Dolens Jacobs, Aletta
Beccari, Alaide Gualberta Manus, Rosa
Gwis-Adami, Rosalia

xxv
Women Social Reformers by Country

New Zealand Scotland


Sheppard, Kate Wright, Frances
Stout, Lady Anna
Te Puea Sierra Leone
Casely Hayford, Adelaide Smith
Nigeria
Ransome-Kuti, Fumilayo Somalia
Dirie, Waris
Norway
Collett, Camilla South Africa
Krog, Gina Blackburn, Molly
Cornelius, Johanna
Pakistan First, Ruth
Bukhari, Shahnaz Hobhouse, Emily
Jilani, Hina, and Asma Jahangir Joseph, Helen Beatrice
Jinnah, Fatima Kuzwayo, Ellen
Khan, Raana Liaquat Ali Maxeke, Charlotte Manye
Nawaz, Begum Jahanarah Shah Ngoyi, Lilian
Ramphele, Mamphela
Palestinian National Authority Schreiner, Olive
Ashrawi, Hanan Sisulu, Nonsikelelo Albertina
Suzman, Helen
Peru
Alvarado Rivera, María Jesus Spain
Arenal, Concepción
Philippines Campoamor, Clara
Felix, Concepción Gómez de Avellaneda y Arteaga, Gertrudis
Nelken i Mausberger, Margarita
Poland Pardo Bazán, Emilia
Malkowska, Olga
Orzeszkowa, Eliza Sri Lanka
Rose, Ernestine de Silva, Agnes
Schneiderman, Rose Rutnam, Mary
Wickremasinghe, Doreen
Portugal
Osório, Ana da Castro Sweden
Bremer, Fredrika
Russia/Soviet Union Key, Ellen
Armand, Inessa Lind-af-Hageby, Louise
Bonner, Yelena Myrdal, Alva
Filosova, Anna Nelken i Mausberger, Margarita
Kollontai, Alexandra
Kovalevskaya, Sofya Switzerland
Krupskaya, Nadezhda Goegg, Marie Pouchoulin
Kuliscioff, Anna
Mirovich, Zinaida Trinidad and Tobago
Pokrovskaya, Mariya Jeffers, Audrey Lane
Shabanova, Anna
Shishkina-Yavein, Poliksena Turkey
Starovoitova, Galina Edip, Halide
Stasova, Nadezhda
Suslova, Nadezhda United Kingdom
Trubnikova, Mariya Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett
xxvi
Women Social Reformers by Country

Ashby, Margery Corbett Linton, Eliza Lynn


Astor, Nancy Lytton, Lady Constance
Bamber, Helen MacMillan, Chrystal
Beale, Dorothea Marshall, Catherine
Becker, Lydia Martineau, Harriet
Benson, Stella McMillan, Margaret
Besant, Annie Mitchell, Hannah
Billington-Greig, Teresa Montagu, Lily
Black, Clementina Montefiore, Dora
Blackburn, Helen More, Hannah
Blackwell, Elizabeth Neilans, Alison
Bodichon, Barbara Nightingale, Florence
Bondfield, Margaret Norton, Caroline
Booth, Catherine Pankhurst, Christabel
Boucherett, Jessie Pankhurst, Emmeline
Brittain, Vera Pankhurst, (Estelle) Sylvia
Burdett-Coutts, Angela Paterson, Emma
Buss, Frances Pechey-Phipson, Edith
Butler, Josephine Peckover, Priscilla
Byrne, Lavinia Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline
Caird, Mona Pizzey, Erin
Carpenter, Mary Rathbone, Eleanor
Castle, Barbara Robins, Elizabeth
Chew, Ada Nield Royden, Maude
Chisholm, Caroline Rye, Maria
Clough, Anne Jemima Sheppard, Kate
Cobbe, Frances Power Shirreff, Emily Anne
Cooper, Selina Somerset, Lady Isabella
Courtney, Kathleen D’Olier Spence, Catherine
Cunard, Nancy Stopes, Marie
Davies, (Sarah) Emily Swanwick, Helena
Davison, Emily Wilding Taylor, Harriet
Despard, Charlotte Twining, Louisa
Diana, Princess of Wales Ward, Mary
Dilke, Emilia Webb, Beatrice
Fawcett, Millicent Garrett Wickremasinghe, Doreen
Ford, Isabella Wollstonecraft, Mary
Fry, Elizabeth Wolstoneholme-Elmy, Elizabeth
Gaskell, Elizabeth
Grand, Sarah United States
Greer, Germaine Abbott, Edith
Heyrick, Elizabeth Abbott, Grace
Hill, Octavia Addams, Jane
Hobhouse, Emily Ames, Jessie Daniel
Holtby, Winifred Anneke, Mathilde Franziska
Hopkins, (Alice) Ellice Anthony, Susan B.
How-Martyn, Edith Astor, Nancy
Inglis, Elsie Baker, Ella
Jebb, Eglantyne Baker, (Sara) Josephine
Jex-Blake, Sophia Balch, Emily Greene
Kenney, Annie Barton, Clara
Kingsford, Anna Bates, Daisy
Lind-af-Hageby, Louise Beard, Mary Ritter
xxvii
Women Social Reformers by Country

Beecher, Catharine Esther Livermore, Mary


Belmont, Alva Lockwood, Belva Ann
Bethune, Mary McCleod Lowell, Josephine Shaw
Blackwell, Alice Stone McDowell, Mary
Blackwell, Antoinette Brown Mott, Lucretia Coffin
Blackwell, Elizabeth Nation, Carry
Blatch, Harriot Stanton O’Brien, Charlotte Grace
Bloomer, Amelia Jenks Ovington, Mary White
Bloor, Ella Reeve Parks, Rosa
Bonnin, Gertrude Paul, Alice
Brown, Charlotte Hawkins Peabody, Elizabeth
Brown, Olympia Perkins, Frances Coralie
Caldicott, Helen Prejean, Sister Helen
Carson, Rachel Rankin, Jeanette
Cary, Mary Ann Shadd Robins, Elizabeth
Catt, Carrie Chapman Robins, Margaret Dreier
Child, Lydia Maria Roosevelt, (Anna) Eleanor
Chisholm, Shirley Rose, Ernestine
Day, Dorothy Salomon, Alice
Dennett, Mary Ware Sanger, Margaret
Dix, Dorothea Lynde Schlafly, Phyllis
Dodge, Grace Schneiderman, Rose
Dreier, Mary Elisabeth Schwimmer, Rosika
Dworkin, Andrea Scudder, Vida
Eastman, Crystal Shaw, Anna Howard
Edelman, Marian Wright Stanton, Elizabeth Cady
Farnham, Eliza Wood Steinem, Gloria
Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley Stone, Lucy
Foster, Abby (Abigail) Kelley Stowe, Harriet Beecher
Friedan, Betty Szold, Henrietta
Fuller, (Sarah) Margaret Tarbell, Ida
Gage, Matilda Joslyn Terrell, Mary Church
Gibbons, Abigail Hopper Thomas, Martha Carey
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Truth, Sojourner
Goldman, Emma Tubman, Harriet Ross
Grimké, Angelina Emily and Sarah Moore Wald, Lillian D.
Hale, Clara Wells-Barnett, Ida B.
Hamer, Fanny Lou Willard, Emma Hart
Hamilton, Alice Willard, Frances
Howe, Julia Ward Woodhull, Victoria Claflin
Huerta, Dolores Wright, Frances
Jackson, Helen Hunt Zakrzewska, Marie
Jacobi, Mary Putnam
Jones, Mary Uruguay
Kehew, Mary Morton Abella de Ramírez, María
Keller, Helen Luisi, Paulina
Kelley, Florence
La Flesche, Susette Vietnam
Lathrop, Julia Noble, Christina

xxviii
Women Social Reformers by Cause

Abolition of Slavery Anti-Suffrage/Anti-Equal Rights


Anneke, Mathilde Franziska Beecher, Catharine Esther
Anthony, Susan B. al-Ghazali, Zeinab
Cary, Mary Ann Shadd Linton, Eliza Lynn
Child, Lydia Maria More, Hannah
Foster, Abby (Abigail) Kelley Perkins, Frances Coralie
Gibbons, Abigail Hopper Schlafly, Phyllis
Gómez de Avellaneda y Arteaga, Gertrudis Tarbell, Ida
Grimké, Angelina Emily and Sarah Moore Ward, Mary
Haslam, Anna Yamada Waka
Heyrick, Elizabeth
Howe, Julia Ward Anti-Vivisection/Animal Rights
Lowell, Josephine Shaw Blackwell, Alice Stone
Mott, Lucretia Coffin Blackwell, Elizabeth
Stone, Lucy Caird, Mona
Stowe, Harriet Beecher Carson, Rachel
Truth, Sojourner Cobbe, Frances Power
Tubman, Harriet Ross Deraismes, Marie
Wright, Frances Durand, Marguerite
Heymann, Lida Gustava
Abolition of State-Regulated Prostitution Heyrick, Elizabeth
Beccari, Alaide Gualberta Kingsford, Anna
Benson, Stella Lind-af-Hageby, Louise
Blackwell, Elizabeth
Butler, Josephine Children’s Rights
Carmichael, Amy Wilson Abbott, Grace
Deraismes, Marie Baker, (Sara) Josephine
Goegg, Marie Pouchoulin Campoamor, Clara
Haslam, Anna Carmichael, Amy Wilson
Hopkins, (Alice) Ellice Carpenter, Mary
Jacobs, Aletta Carrillo Puerto, Elvia
Luisi, Paulina Domínguez Navarro, Ofelia
Martineau, Harriet Edelman, Marian Wright
Mozzoni, Anna Maria Jebb, Eglantyne
Neilans, Alison Jones, Mary
Pappenheim, Bertha Kelley, Florence
Reddi, Muthulakshmi Lathrop, Julia
Richard, Marthe Machel, Graça Simbine
Shishkina-Yavein, Poliksena Malkowska, Olga
Stritt, Marie Manuchehrian, Mehrangiz
Yajima Kajiko McAuley, Catherine
xxix
Women Social Reformers by Cause

McMillan, Margaret Education


Montessori, Maria Alvarado Rivera, María Jes?s
Noble, Christina Armand, Inessa
Ramabai, Pandita Saraswati Azmudeh, Tuba
Ranade, Ramabai Beale, Dorothea
Rathbone, Eleanor Beard, Mary Ritter
Reddi, Muthulakshmi Beecher, Catharine Esther
Robins, Margaret Dreier Bethune, Mary McCleod
Rukhmabai Blackwell, Elizabeth
Sabas Alomá, Mariblanca Brown, Charlotte Hawkins
Buss, Frances
Civil Rights Carpenter, Mary
Ames, Jessie Daniel Casely Hayford, Adelaide Smith
Aung San Suu Kyi Cauer, Minna
Baker, Ella Chisholm, Caroline
Bates, Daisy (Aus.) Chisholm, Shirley
Bates, Daisy (U.S.) Clough, Anne Jemima
Bethune, Mary McCleod Daulatabadi, Sadiqa
Blackburn, Molly Davies, (Sarah) Emily
Brown, Charlotte Hawkins Dutt, Saroj Nalini
Chisholm, Shirley Edgeworth, Maria
Cunard, Nancy Edip, Halide
Domínguez Navarro, Ofelia Filosova, Anna
Edelman, Marian Wright Glücklich, Vilma
First, Ruth Hani Motoko
García, Maria del Refugio Hossain, Begum Rokeya Sakhawat
Hamer, Fanny Lou Jameson, Anna Brownell
Holtby, Winifred Jeffers, Audrey Lane
Joseph, Helen Beatrice Jex-Blake, Sophia
Keller, Helen Jiménez y Muro, Dolores
Kuzwayo, Ellen Kartini, Raden Adjeng
Lockwood, Belva Ann Kehew, Mary Morton
Marson, Una Kovalevskaya, Sofya
Maxeke, Charlotte Manye Krupskaya, Nadezhda
Menchú Tum, Rigoberta Labarca Hubertson, Amanda
Ngoyi, Lilian Lange, Helene
Noonuccal, Oodgeroo Moongalba Lutz, Bertha
Ovington, Mary White Machel, Graça Simbine
Parks, Rosa McMillan, Margaret
Prejean, Sister Helen Montessori, Maria
Rahnavard, Zahra More, Hannah
Ramphele, Mamphela Musa, Nabawiyya
Roosevelt, (Anna) Eleanor Nasif, Malak Hifni
Schreiner, Olive Osório, Ana da Castro
Sisulu, Nonsikelelo Albertina Parren, Callirhoé Siganou
Steinem, Gloria Peabody, Elizabeth
Suzman, Helen Ramabai, Pandita Saraswati
Taleqani, Azam Ranade, Ramabai
Te Puea Ransome-Kuti, Fumilayo
Terrell, Mary Church Shabanova, Anna
Wells-Barnett, Ida B. Shirreff, Emily Anne
Sister Nivedita
Sister Subbalakshmi
xxx
Women Social Reformers by Cause

Sorabji, Cornelia Ishimoto Shizue


Sorabji, Susie Ito Noe
Stasova, Nadezhda Jameson, Anna Brownell
Stowe, Emily Jennings Kartini, Raden Adjeng
Suslova, Nadezhda Kishida Toshiko
Taylor, Harriet Krupskaya, Nadezhda
Terrell, Mary Church Lee Tai-Young
Thomas, Martha Carey Liu-Wang Liming
Tiburtius, Franziska Marson, Una
Tod, Isabella Martineau, Harriet
Torres, Elena Mayreder, Rosa
Trubnikova, Mariya McClung, Nellie
Wickremasinghe, Doreen Michel, Louise
Willard, Emma Hart Moreau de Justo, Alicia
Yosano Akiko Mozzoni, Anna Maria
Zakrzewska, Marie M’rabet, Fadela
Musa, Nabawiyya
Emancipation of Women Nabarawi, Saiza
Abella de Ramírez, María Naidu, Sarojini
Afghan Women Social Reformers Nasif, Malak Hifni
Astor, Nancy Nawaz, Begum Jahanarah Shah
Beauvoir, Simone de Osório, Ana da Castro
Bloomer, Amelia Jenks Otto-Peters, Luise
Bodichon, Barbara Pardo Bazán, Emilia
Bremer, Fredrika Potonié-Pierre, Eugénie
Brittain, Vera Qiu Jin
Buss, Frances Qurratul-Ayn
Caballero de Castillo Ledón, Amalia Gonzalez Rahnavard, Zahra
Caird, Mona Robins, Elizabeth
Chaudharani, Saraladevi Rodríguez Acosta, Ofelia
Collett, Camilla Roland, Pauline
Daulatabadi, Sadiqa Rose, Ernestine
Deng Yingchao Sabas Alomá, Mariblanca
Deraismes, Marie al-Said, Aminah
Ding Ling Sand, George
Dohm, Hedwig Schreiner, Olive
Dugdale, Henrietta Sha’rawi, Huda
Edip, Halide Stanton, Elizabeth Cady
Felix, Concepción Steinem, Gloria
Friedan, Betty Suttner, Bertha Félice Sophie von
Fukuda Hideko Tata, Lady Mehrbai Dorab
Fuller, (Sarah) Margaret Taylor, Harriet
García, Maria del Refugio van Gripenberg, Alexandra
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Wang Huiwu
Goegg, Marie Pouchoulin Wheeler, Anna Doyle
Gómez de Avellaneda y Arteaga, Gertrudis Wollstonecraft, Mary
Gouges, Olympe de Wright, Frances
Grand, Sarah Yosano Akiko
Greer, Germaine Ziyadah, Mai
Grimké, Angelina Emily and Sarah Moore
Hani Motoko Environmental Issues
He Xiangning Caldicott, Helen
Hossain, Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Carson, Rachel
xxxi
Women Social Reformers by Cause

Hill, Octavia Diana, Princess of Wales


Maathai, Wangari Muta Hobhouse, Emily
Patkar, Medha Huerta, Dolores
Jackson, Helen Hunt
Health Care Jilani, Hina, and Asma Jahangir
Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett Joseph, Helen Beatrice
Baker, (Sara) Josephine Kar, Mehrangiz
Bamber, Helen Kuzwayo, Ellen
Barton, Clara La Flesche, Susette
Dirie, Waris Menchú Tum, Rigoberta
Dix, Dorothea Lynde Mother Teresa
Dorkenoo, Efua Myrdal, Alva
Gibbons, Abigail Hopper Ngoyi, Lilian
Grierson, Cecilia Niboyet, Eugénie
Hamilton, Alice Prejean, Sister Helen
Inglis, Elsie Roosevelt, (Anna) Eleanor
Jacobi, Mary Putnam Sisulu, Nonsikelelo Albertina
Jex-Blake, Sophia Starovoitova, Galina
Joshi, Anandibai Street, Jessie
Kaur, Rajkumari Amrit Suzman, Helen
Kingsford, Anna Szold, Henrietta
Kuliscioff, Anna Wells-Barnett, Ida B.
Lanteri-Renshaw, Julieta
Laperrière de Coni, Gabriela Immigrant Rights
Lathrop, Julia Abbott, Edith
Livermore, Mary Abbott, Grace
Luisi, Paulina Addams, Jane
Martineau, Harriet Balch, Emily Greene
Nightingale, Florence Chisholm, Caroline
Pechey-Phipson, Edith Masarykova, Alice
Pokrovskaya, Mariya McDowell, Mary
Rawson de Dellepiane, Elvira Montagu, Lily
Rutnam, Mary O’Brien, Charlotte Grace
Sanger, Margaret Scudder, Vida
Seacole, Mary Szold, Henrietta
Shabanova, Anna
Suslova, Nadezhda Labor Rights/Trade Unionism
Tiburtius, Franziska Barrios de Chungara, Domitla
Twining, Louisa Bennett, Louie
Wald, Lillian D. Besant, Annie
Zakrzewska, Marie Bhatt, Ela
Black, Clementina
Human Rights Blackburn, Helen
Ames, Jessie Daniel Bloor, Ella Reeve
Ashrawi, Hanan Bondfield, Margaret
Bamber, Helen Cauer, Minna
Barrios de Chungara, Domitla Chertkoff de Repetto, Fenia
Barton, Clara Chew, Ada Nield
Blackburn, Molly Collado, María
Bonner, Yelena Cooper, Selina
Bonnin, Gertrude Cornelius, Johanna
Butler, Josephine Deng Yuzhi
Cunard, Nancy Deroin, Jeanne
xxxii
Women Social Reformers by Cause

Dilke, Emilia Alma Dolens


Dreier, Mary Elisabeth Ashby, Margery Corbett
First, Ruth Ashrawi, Hanan
Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley Auclert, Hubertine
Ford, Isabella Augspurg, Anita
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Bajer, Mathilde
Goldman, Emma Balch, Emily Greene
Gore-Booth, Eva Beccari, Alaide Gualberta
Hamilton, Alice Bennett, Louie
Huerta, Dolores Bondfield, Margaret
Ichikawa Fusae Braun, Lily
Jellicoe, Anne Bremer, Fredrika
Jones, Mary Brittain, Vera
Kehew, Mary Morton Brown, Olympia
Kelley, Florence Catt, Carrie Chapman
Kenney, Annie Courtney, Kathleen D’Olier
Laperrière de Coni, Gabriela Day, Dorothy
Markievicz, Constance de Dennett, Mary Ware
Maxeke, Charlotte Manye Despard, Charlotte
McDowell, Mary Dohm, Hedwig
Mink, Paule Dreier, Mary Elisabeth
Mitchell, Hannah Eastman, Crystal
Muzzilli, Carolina Gilman, Charlotte Perkins
Otto-Peters, Luise Glücklich, Vilma
Parnell, Anna Goegg, Marie Pouchoulin
Parren, Callirhoé Siganou Goldstein, Vida
Paterson, Emma Gwis-Adami, Rosalia
Perkins, Frances Coralie Heymann, Lida Gustava
Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline Hiratsuka Raicho
Popp, Adelheid Hobhouse, Emily
Robins, Margaret Dreier Holtby, Winifred
Rye, Maria Jacobs, Aletta
Saghal, Manmohini Zutshi Jebb, Eglantyne
Schneiderman, Rose Keller, Helen
Tristan, Flora Kelley, Florence
Vincent, Eliska Key, Ellen
Webb, Beatrice Lind-af-Hageby, Louise
Wickremasinghe, Doreen Lockwood, Belva Ann
Xiang Jingyu MacMillan, Chrystal
Zetkin, Clara MacPhail, Agnes
Manus, Rosa
Marriage/Divorce/Custody Rights Marshall, Catherine
Abella de Ramírez, María Mayreder, Rosa
Behruzi, Mariam Nabarawi, Saiza
Lawson, Louisa Niboyet, Eugénie
Norton, Caroline Pankhurst, (Estelle) Sylvia
Rau, Dhanvanthi Rama Peckover, Priscilla
Rawson de Dellepiane, Elvira Plamínková, Frantisˇka
Santoso, Maria Ullfah Popelin, Marie
Soewondo-Soerasno, Nani Potonié-Pierre, Eugénie
Rankin, Jeanette
Peace/Anti-militarism Robins, Elizabeth
Addams, Jane Royden, Maude
xxxiii
Women Social Reformers by Cause

Salomon, Alice Chattopadhyaya, Kamaladevi


Schreiner, Olive Chaudharani, Saraladevi
Schwimmer, Rosika Chertkoff de Repetto, Fenia
Scott, Rose Chisholm, Shirley
Séverine Deng Yingchao
Suttner, Bertha Félice Sophie von Deng Yuzhi
Swanwick, Helena Deroin, Jeanne
Tarbell, Ida Ding Ling
Weiss, Louise Dworkin, Andrea
Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley
Philanthropy/Charity Work Friedan, Betty
Barakat, Hidiya Hanim Fukuda Hideko
Belmont, Alva Fuller, (Sarah) Margaret
Bol Poel, Martha Furujhelm, Annie
Boucherett, Jessie Gonne, Maud
Burdett-Coutts, Angela Gouges, Olympe de
Chattopadhyaya, Kamaladevi Gutiérrez de Mendoza, Juana Belén
Diana, Princess of Wales He Xiangning
Dodge, Grace Hiratsuka Raicho
Filosova, Anna Ito Noe
Jellicoe, Anne Jackson, Helen Hunt
Noble, Christina Jiménez y Muro, Dolores
Pandit, Vijaya Lakshmi Jinnah, Fatima
Peabody, Elizabeth Kanno Suga
Perón, Eva Kar, Mehrangiz
Roosevelt, (Anna) Eleanor Kaur, Rajkumari Amrit
Scudder, Vida Khan, Raana Liaquat Ali
Sha’rawi, Huda Kishida Toshiko
Séverine Kollontai, Alexandra
Somerset, Lady Isabella Kuliscioff, Anna
Song Qingling Laperrière de Coni, Gabriela
Sorabji, Cornelia Lee Tai-Young
Sorabji, Susie Liu-Wang Liming
Stasova, Nadezhda Lockwood, Belva Ann
Stout, Lady Anna Lutz, Bertha
Tata, Lady Mehrbai Dorab Masarykova, Alice
Trubnikova, Mariya Michel, Louise
Ward, Mary Mirovich, Zinaida
Montefiore, Dora
Political and Legal Reform Murphy, Emily Gowan
Astor, Nancy Muzzilli, Carolina
Aung San Suu Kyi Naidu, Sarojini
Beauvoir, Simone de Nelken i Mausberger, Margarita
Behruzi, Mariam Pandit, Vijaya Lakshmi
Billington-Greig, Teresa Pankhurst, Christabel
Blatch, Harriot Stanton Parnell, Anna
Bloor, Ella Reeve Paul, Alice
Bonner, Yelena Perkins, Frances Coralie
Braun, Lily Perón, Eva
Cai Chang Plamínková, Frantisˇka
Caldicott, Helen Popp, Adelheid
Casgrain, Thérèse Qiu Jin
Castle, Barbara Ransome-Kuti, Fumilayo
xxxiv
Women Social Reformers by Cause

Rawson de Dellepiane, Elvira Qurratul-Ayn


al-Said, Aminah Royden, Maude
Santoso, Maria Ullfah Rukhmabai
Shafiq, Durriyah el-Saadawi, Nawal
Sheehy-Skeffington, Hannah Stanton, Elizabeth Cady
Song Qingling
Spence, Catherine Reproductive Rights
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady Besant, Annie
Starovoitova, Galina Carrillo Puerto, Elvia
Steinem, Gloria Dennett, Mary Ware
Street, Jessie Goldman, Emma
Taleqani, Azam How-Martyn, Edith
Tang Qunying Ishimoto Shizue
Torres, Elena Jacobs, Aletta
Vérone, Maria Kollontai, Alexandra
Wang Huiwu Luisi, Paulina
Webb, Beatrice Pelletier, Madeleine
Xiang Jingyu Rau, Dhanvanthi Rama
Zetkin, Clara Roussel, Nelly
Rutnam, Mary
Prison Reform Sanger, Margaret
Arenal, Concepción Stöcker, Helene
Farnham, Eliza Wood Stopes, Marie
Fry, Elizabeth Stritt, Marie
Gibbons, Abigail Hopper Wright, Frances
Gonne, Maud
Heyrick, Elizabeth Sexual Freedom
Howe, Julia Ward Goldman, Emma
Lowell, Josephine Shaw Grand, Sarah
Lytton, Lady Constance Greer, Germaine
MacPhail, Agnes Kanno Suga
Key, Ellen
Property Rights Kollontai, Alexandra
Becker, Lydia Pelletier, Madeleine
Lanteri-Renshaw, Julieta Rodríguez Acosta, Ofelia
Norton, Caroline Roland, Pauline
Rose, Ernestine el-Saadawi, Nawal
Wheeler, Anna Doyle Sand, George
Schreiber, Adele
Religious Reform Stöcker, Helene
Blackwell, Antoinette Brown Stopes, Marie
Bukhari, Shahnaz Stritt, Marie
Byrne, Lavinia Wollstonecraft, Mary
Cobbe, Frances Power Wolstenholme-Elmy, Elizabeth
Cousins, Margaret Woodhull, Victoria Claflin
Deraismes, Marie
Dirie, Waris Social Welfare/Poverty
Foster, Abby (Abigail) Kelley Abbott, Edith
Gage, Matilda Joslyn Arenal, Concepción
Jinnah, Fatima Armand, Inessa
Montagu, Lily Barakat, Hidiya Hanim
M’rabet, Fadela Bates, Daisy (Aus.)
Nawaz, Begum Jahanarah Shah Bäumer, Gertrud
xxxv
Women Social Reformers by Cause

Bhatt, Ela Belmont, Alva


Booth, Catherine Bennett, Louie
Burdett-Coutts, Angela Benson, Stella
Castle, Barbara Billington-Greig, Teresa
Cobbe, Frances Power Black, Clementina
Day, Dorothy Blackburn, Helen
Dodge, Grace Blackwell, Alice Stone
Fry, Elizabeth Blackwell, Antoinette Brown
Gaskell, Elizabeth Blatch, Harriot Stanton
al-Ghazali, Zeinab Bloomer, Amelia Jenks
Gonne, Maud Bodichon, Barbara
Grierson, Cecilia Bondfield, Margaret
Hamer, Fanny Lou Bonnin, Gertrude
Hill, Octavia Boucherett, Jessie
Hopkins, (Alice) Ellice Brown, Olympia
Inglis, Elsie Caballero de Castillo Ledón, Amalia Gonzalez
Jacobi, Mary Putnam Campoamor, Clara
Jeffers, Audrey Lane Cary, Mary Ann Shadd
Juhacz, Marie Casgrain, Thérèse
Khan, Raana Liaquat Ali Catt, Carrie Chapman
Lowell, Josephine Shaw Cauer, Minna
Manuchehrian, Mehrangiz Chew, Ada Nield
McAuley, Catherine Child, Lydia Maria
Mother Teresa Collado, María
Myrdal, Alva Cooper, Selina
Orzeszkowa, Eliza Courtney, Kathleen D’Olier
Ovington, Mary White Cousins, Margaret
Pappenheim, Bertha Davies, (Sarah) Emily
Pizzey, Erin Davison, Emily Wilding
Ramphele, Mamphela de Silva, Agnes
Rankin, Jeanette Despard, Charlotte
Rathbone, Eleanor Dohm, Hedwig
Roussel, Nelly Domínguez Navarro, Ofelia
Rye, Maria Dreier, Mary Elisabeth
Saghal, Manmohini Zutshi Dugdale, Henrietta
Salomon, Alice Durand, Marguerite
Spence, Catherine Eastman, Crystal
Stout, Lady Anna Fawcett, Millicent Garrett
Tristan, Flora Felix, Concepción
Twining, Louisa Ford, Isabella
Wald, Lillian D. Foster, Abby (Abigail) Kelley
Furujhelm, Annie
Suffrage Gage, Matilda Joslyn
Alma Dolens Gilman, Charlotte Perkins
Alvarado Rivera, María Jes?s Goldstein, Vida
Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett Gore-Booth, Eva
Anneke, Mathilde Franziska Gutiérrez de Mendoza, Juana Belén
Anthony, Susan B. Hamilton, Alice
Ashby, Margery Corbett Haslam, Anna
Auclert, Hubertine Heymann, Lida Gustava
Augspurg, Anita Howe, Julia Ward
Bajer, Mathilde How-Martyn, Edith
Becker, Lydia Ichikawa Fusae
xxxvi
Women Social Reformers by Cause

Jacobs, Aletta Sheehy-Skeffington, Hannah


Kenney, Annie Sheppard, Kate
Key, Ellen Shishkina-Yavein, Poliksena
Krog, Gina Soewondo-Soerasno, Nani
Labarca Hubertson, Amanda Stanton, Elizabeth Cady
Lanteri-Renshaw, Julieta Stone, Lucy
Lawson, Louisa Stout, Lady Anna
Livermore, Mary Stowe, Emily Jennings
Lockwood, Belva Ann Stowe, Harriet Beecher
Lutz, Bertha Stritt, Marie
Lytton, Lady Constance Swanwick, Helena
MacMillan, Chrystal Tang Qunying
Manus, Rosa Thomas, Martha Carey
Markievicz, Constance de Tod, Isabella
Marshall, Catherine Truth, Sojourner
McClung, Nellie Tubman, Harriet Ross
Mink, Paule van Gripenberg, Alexandra
Mirovich, Zinaida Vérone, Maria
Mitchell, Hannah Vincent, Eliska
Montefiore, Dora Weiss, Louise
Moreau de Justo, Alicia Willard, Frances
Mott, Lucretia Coffin Wolstenholme-Elmy, Elizabeth
Murphy, Emily Gowan
Neilans, Alison Temperance/Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Niboyet, Eugénie Blackwell, Alice Stone
Noonuccal, Oodgeroo Moongalba Bloomer, Amelia Jenks
Pankhurst, Christabel Booth, Catherine
Pankhurst, Emmeline Brown, Olympia
Pankhurst, (Estelle) Sylvia Hale, Clara
Paterson, Emma Haslam, Anna
Paul, Alice Livermore, Mary
Pelletier, Madeleine Nation, Carry
Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline Shaw, Anna Howard
Plamínková, Frantisˇka Sheppard, Kate
Pokrovskaya, Mariya Somerset, Lady Isabella
Popelin, Marie Willard, Frances
Popp, Adelheid Yajima Kajiko
Rankin, Jeanette
Rathbone, Eleanor Violence against Women
Rawson de Dellepiane, Elvira Afghan Women Social Reformers
Robins, Elizabeth Bukhari, Shahnaz
Rose, Ernestine Dirie, Waris
Royden, Maude Dorkenoo, Efua
Schneiderman, Rose Dugdale, Henrietta
Schreiber, Adele Dworkin, Andrea
Schwimmer, Rosika Jilani, Hina, and Asma Jahangir
Scott, Rose Kar, Mehrangiz
Shafiq, Durriyah Pizzey, Erin
Shaw, Anna Howard

xxxvii
A
Abbott, Edith ridge at the Chicago School of Civics and Phi-
(1876–1957) lanthropy and developed a program in social
United States work, which, when the school ran into financial
difficulties, was successfully transferred to the
With her sister Grace, the reformer and social University of Chicago in 1920. Together, Abbott
theorist Edith Abbott was a pioneer of women’s and Breckinridge also worked for women’s, im-
social work in the United States and became migrants’, and trade union rights and were active
renowned for establishing a highly professional, in the suffrage campaign. In 1927 they co-
scientific basis for social administration as its founded the Social Science Review, which Abbott
“passionate statistician.” Both sisters were the edited until 1953.
products of a compassionate, reformist Quaker In 1924 Abbott became dean of the graduate
mother who encouraged their concern for social School of Social Service Administration (as the
welfare. former School of Civics and Philanthropy was
Abbott was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, now known), remaining there until 1942. During
and, after attending Brownell Hall boarding this period she further expanded fieldwork and
school in Omaha, taught school in Nebraska the training of social workers in the community,
while studying for her degree at the University of as well as applying her considerable skills as a
Nebraska by correspondence course. Awarded statistician to studies of truancy, juvenile delin-
her degree in 1901, she took up postgraduate quency, and the penal system.
studies at the University of Chicago. After receiv- In 1935, having advised on federal aid pro-
ing a doctorate in economics in 1905 for a thesis grams during the Great Depression, Abbott was
on unskilled labor in the United States from disappointed in the provisions of the new Social
1850, Abbott won a Carnegie Fellowship, which Security Act, which she had helped draft. In 1937
enabled her to travel to England in 1906 to study she began campaigning for the abolition of the
at University College and the London School of means test applied to old age pensioners, offering
Economics. During the course of her research the Fabian and socialist alternatives of social
into women in industry, she became an admirer insurance and a public welfare system that she
of the reformer Charles Booth, met the socialist had encountered during her time in England. In
leaders Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and observed 1940 she advocated the nationalization of med-
for herself the workings of the English Poor Laws ical care and welfare and provisions for the re-
in London’s East End. In 1910 Abbott published training of the unemployed—all to be financed
the results of her research as Women in Industry: out of taxes.
A Study in American Economic History. During her career, Abbott produced a consid-
On her return to the United States in 1907, erable body of statistical and analytical work, in-
Abbott taught economics at Wellesley College for cluding Historical Aspects of the Immigration
a year and then, having heard so much about the Problem (1926), Report on Crime and the Foreign
pioneer work of Jane Addams from her sister Born (1931), and Social Welfare and Professional
Grace, joined her at Hull House in Chicago. She Education (1931). She also served as an adviser to
took a post as assistant to Sophonisba Breckin- the International Office of the League of Nations

1
Abbott, Grace

and was president of both the National Confer- try and provided moral and practical support
ence of Social Work and the American Associa- during their strike of 1911–1912. After complet-
tion of Schools of Social Work. ing her M.A. in political science at the University
See also Abbott, Grace; Addams, Jane; Webb,
of Chicago (1909), she began writing a series of
Beatrice. weekly articles entitled “Within the City’s Gates”
References and Further Reading (1909–1910) for the Chicago Evening Post, in
Costin, Lela B. 1983. Two Sisters for Social Justice: A which she highlighted the problems of poverty in
Biography of Grace and Edith Abbott. Urbana: the immigrant community.
University of Illinois Press. Abbott was appointed head of the Immigrants’
Current Biography. 1941. New York: H. W. Wilson. Protective League (IPL), which she had initiated
Davidson, Cathy N., and Linda Wagner Martin, eds. along with a committee of the Women’s Trade
1995. Oxford Companion to Women’s Writing in the Union League in Chicago in 1908. She worked
United States. New York: Oxford University Press. with the immigration authorities both in Chicago
Dictionary of American Biography 1946–1958, and
and at Ellis Island in New York, organizing teams
indexes to Supplements 1–10, 1981–1996. New
York: Scribner’s.
of volunteer workers and translators to meet,
Encyclopedia of Social Work. 1995. New York: NASW greet, and set up assistance for newly arrived im-
Press. migrants in finding accommodations and work,
Fitzpatrick, Ellen. 1991. Endless Crusade: Women thus avoiding their exploitation by unscrupulous
Social Scientists and Progressive Reform. New York: travel ticket brokers, employers, and landlords. A
Oxford University Press. particular concern of the IPL was the protection
Kendall, Katherine A. 1989. “Women at the Helm: of vulnerable single immigrant women, who all
Three Extraordinary Leaders.” Affilia 4(1): 23–32. too frequently were being entrapped into prosti-
Sicherman, Barbara, and Carol Hurd Green, eds. 1980. tution and vice. Under Abbott the IPL sought to
Notable American Women 1607–1950: A Biographi- defuse public hostility toward immigrants by em-
cal Dictionary, vol. 4, The Modern Period. Cam-
phasizing their value to the community and the
bridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University.
need for respect to be shown to their cultures.
The IPL supported immigrants’ rights to citizen-
Abbott, Grace ship and provided them with legal assistance in
(1878–1939) the courts; it also lobbied for the eventual passage
United States (in 1913) of a bill to introduce official immigra-
tion and naturalization inspectors at all points of
As with her older sister Edith, the impetus for entry into the United States. Abbott herself made
Grace Abbott’s humanitarian and civic work a particular point of defending immigrants from
came from her Quaker background and the ex- eastern Europe against the introduction of liter-
ample of her reformist mother and her adminis- acy tests aimed at dramatically reducing their
trator father, who was the first lieutenant gover- numbers and made many practical suggestions,
nor of Nebraska. She became an influential based on her own careful research, for legislation
public figure, serving during five U.S. presiden- to protect the rights of immigrants.
cies as head of the Children’s Bureau, where she In 1917, the year she published a detailed ac-
promoted the protection of the child worker, count of her years of research in The Immigrant
continuing the work begun by Florence Kelley and the Community, Abbott accepted a post in
against inhumane child labor. Abbott also made Washington in the child labor division of the
it her particular lifelong concern to defend the U.S. Children’s Bureau, where she worked on
rights of immigrants to the United States. limiting the employment of juveniles under the
Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, Abbott at- child labor clause of the 1916 Keating-Owen Act.
tended Brownell Hall boarding school and stud- Her careful work of two years in setting up the
ied for a degree at Grand Island College. Like her enforcement of the new law was brought to a halt
sister Edith, she initially worked as a teacher in 1918 when the act was declared unconstitu-
(1899–1907) and encouraged Edith to join her in tional. In 1919 she returned to immigrant work
working at Jane Addams’s Hull House in in Chicago as director of the short-lived Illinois
Chicago, where she supported the labor rights of State Immigrants’ Commission. Here she made
immigrant women in Chicago’s garment indus- further studies of literacy levels among immi-

2
Abella de Ramírez, María

grants leading to the introduction of adult edu- Abella de Ramírez, María


cation programs before once more working for (1866–1926)
the Immigrants’ Protective League. Abbott re- Uruguay
turned to Washington to serve as director of the
Children’s Bureau from 1921 until 1934. In the history of Uruguayan feminism, the liberal
During her thirteen years as head of the bu- reformer and humanitarian María Abella de
reau, Abbott continued to set standards for ma- Ramírez had a significant influence on the estab-
ternal and child welfare under the provisions of lishment of women’s groups in Uruguay in the
the Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy twentieth century, although she lived for most of
Protection Act of 1921, overseeing the establish- her life in Argentina. She sought a reevaluation
ment of 3,000 health clinics for children and of the roles of women as wives and mothers and
mothers across the United States and resisting an affirmation of their right to have equal status
government moves to bring the work of the bu- with men and to be treated as free, autonomous
reau under the control of the Public Health Ser- beings. She also called for the legal protection of
vice. In 1922 she was invited to become a U.S. their children.
delegate to the League of Nations Advisory Com- Abella’s influence was most apparent through
mittee on Traffic in Women and Children. her work as contributor to and editor of her jour-
In 1934 Abbott returned to Chicago to join nal We Women (Nosotras), which she founded in
her sister Edith at the School of Social Service 1902 and ran until 1904, and The New Woman
Administration as professor of public welfare, a (1910–1912, the journal of the National Feminist
post she held until her death in 1939. During her League). She was an early member of the free-
remaining years, she edited the Social Service Re- thinker movement in Argentina and in 1903 sup-
view (1934–1939) and in 1935 and 1937 was a ported the establishment of a feminist center as a
delegate to the International Labour Organiza- meeting place for like-minded women. In 1906
tion. In 1938 she published her two-volume she laid out what she described as her “minimum
study, The Child and the State. A year before her plan of female vindications” at the Freethinker
death, she saw some of her work on child labor Congress, elaborating on women’s need for equal
realized in the passing of the 1938 Fair Labor access to education, work opportunities, and
Standards Act. rates of pay. In 1909 she founded the National
Abbott was a lifelong pacifist and in 1915 at- League of Women Freethinkers with Julieta
tended the landmark women’s peace congress in Lanteri-Renshaw, which brought together
the Hague that attempted to set up peace media- women from several Latin American countries.
tion during World War I. When she died, she was In 1910 Abella attended the First International
given a Quaker funeral. Women’s Congress. Its title, however, was some-
what misleading; held in Buenos Aires, the con-
See also Abbott, Edith; Addams, Jane.
References and Further Reading
gress was composed mainly of women from Ar-
Costin, Lela B. 1983. Two Sisters for Social Justice: A gentina, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay as
Biography of Grace and Edith Abbott. Urbana: Uni- well as a few foreign observers, but despite hav-
versity of Illinois Press. ing only 200 or so delegates it provided a valu-
Dictionary of American Biography 1946–1958, and in- able forum in which Latin American feminists
dexes to Supplements 1–10, 1981–1996. New could exchange ideas and mutual support. That
York: Scribner’s. same year, inspired by the congress, Abella
Encyclopedia of Social Work. 1995. New York: NASW founded the National Women’s League in La
Press. Plata and in its four-point plan affirmed her ob-
Fitzpatrick, Ellen. 1991. Endless Crusade: Women So- jectives on women’s civil and political rights, di-
cial Scientists and Progressive Reform. New York:
vorce, and the protection of children. The league
Oxford University Press.
Howard, Angela, and Frances M. Kavenik, eds. 2000.
also made clear its support for women’s suffrage
Handbook of American Women’s History. 2d ed. and affiliated itself with the International
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Woman Suffrage Alliance and its support for re-
Lindenmeyer, Kriste. 1997. “A Right to Childhood”: form of the Argentine civil code. In 1946, twenty
The U.S. Children’s Bureau and Child Welfare, years after Abella’s death, a major reform of the
1912–1946. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. code was enacted.

3
Addams, Jane

Abella’s program of reform upheld the equal References and Further Reading
responsibility of men and women for their chil- Carlson, Narifran. 1988. Feminismo! The Woman’s
dren, the rights of illegitimate children under the Movement in Argentina from Its Beginnings to Eva
law, and the same access to absolute divorce Perón. Chicago: Academy Chicago Publications.
Lavrin, Asuncion. 1995. Women, Feminism, and Social
(rather than simply legal separation) for women
Change in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay 1890–
as men. Divorce legislation, a particularly hard
1940. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
case to argue in the face of a wall of opposition
from the Roman Catholic Church, was of partic-
ular importance to Abella. Without access to le- Addams, Jane
gal divorce, women in unhappy marriages would (1860–1935)
be condemned to go on suffering physical and United States
psychological abuse with no hope of escape.
Abella’s campaigning on divorce bore fruit in The social reformer, pacifist, and temperance
1907, with the passage of new divorce laws in campaigner Jane Addams had, as a young
Uruguay that became a model for the rest of woman, enjoyed an enviable social position as
Latin America. the daughter of a wealthy state senator in Illinois.
Abella had no desire to see traditional roles Highly intelligent and attractive, she could have
overturned. As the mother of four daughters, she led a comfortable, conventional, and relatively
upheld the importance of motherhood, which unchallenged life but chose instead to reject mar-
she felt was grossly undervalued, and fought hard riage and domesticity to seek personal fulfill-
against the entrenched view that women, once ment in helping the impoverished and mainly
married, were assumed to have no desire for any immigrant communities of Chicago’s industrial
autonomy. It was the value placed on mother- heartland, becoming founder of the Hull House
hood by society that was in need of reappraisal. settlement there. The Hull House, inspired in
Like many of her Latin American feminist con- turn by pioneering work in England, would serve
temporaries, Abella believed motherhood to be as a prototype for many similar ventures that
fundamentally empowering rather than dis- grew up elsewhere in the United States and
abling. Women who opted for this role should be around the world and would change the face of
protected by the state and should not have to for- social work among the underprivileged.
feit their economic and civil rights as a result. Born in Cedarville, Illinois, and educated at a
Equally, Abella argued in support of women select establishment, the Rockford Female Semi-
who eschewed conventional roles. She took an nary, Addams was the eighth of nine children.
egalitarian view of women in all levels of society. She was well provided for by her widowed
For her, there were no moral or social borders di- banker father. As a Quaker abolitionist, senator,
viding members of her own sex but rather a and supporter of women’s emancipation, John
sense of oppression by and unequal opportunity Addams endorsed his daughter’s desire to train
with men that united them. She argued against as a doctor after she rejected missionary work,
the popular misconception of feminists as hav- but he died in 1881, the year Addams joined the
ing no comprehension of or respect for social Woman’s Medical College in Philadelphia. Her
traditions: “she [the feminist] is accused of being depression at his loss, coupled with illness and a
useless for love and a ridiculous being from lack of conviction that she had found the right
whom man should keep away. The contrary is vocation, caused her to abandon her studies.
the truth. The feminist woman is an intelligent Having the means to be a free agent, she under-
woman who wishes to disengage her economic took a rest cure, traveling in Europe first with her
and social standing from that of the male of the stepmother, then with college friend Ellen Gates
family” (Lavrin 1995, 34). And if women chose Starr from 1883 to 1885 and 1887 to 1888.
to enter the workplace, Abella believed that they Addams visited England in 1887–1888, where
should be able to do so on an equal footing with she observed the work of social reformers, draw-
men and not be hedged round with separate ing inspiration from the Toynbee Hall project in
rules and regulations that ghettoized them. Whitechapel, a slum district in London’s East
End. Named after the English social reformer
See also Lanteri-Renshaw, Julieta. Arnold Toynbee, this institution served as a

4
Addams, Jane

Addams attracted to her work at Hull House a


core of dedicated middle-class women volun-
teers who lived together in cooperative apart-
ments and assisted in what would effectively be-
come the first institution to train social workers.
Hull House pioneers would include Grace and
Edith Abbott, Julia Lathrop, Alice Hamilton, and
Florence Kelley; the settlement also frequently
invited women from Europe to visit and observe
their work, such as Alice Salomon, who would
establish the first school of social work in Ger-
many, and Alice Masarykova, who would do the
same in Czechoslovakia. Under Addams’s leader-
ship, Hull House began by setting up a play-
ground and gymnasium for physical fitness ac-
tivities; a day nursery; a dispensary that issued
free medicines; and instruction in arts and crafts
(including bookbinding), sewing, and cookery. It
also staged concerts, art exhibitions, and other
entertainments. More important, the settlement
also offered immigrants help and advice on mat-
ters relating to their working hours and safety,
child labor, and delinquency. Overnight accom-
modation was offered for working girls, and
Jane Addams (The Nobel Foundation) eventually educational courses to prepare girls
for college were established, as was a summer
study center where students and reformers from camp at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. In 1891 Ad-
Oxford and Cambridge Universities lived among dams initiated the Jane Club to offer cooperative
the poor and studied social conditions, establish- housing to female factory workers. A network of
ing a precedent for social work within the com- forty subsidiary branches of the settlement
munity. It also ran a center to offer legal aid, wel- would, by 1893, be helping 2,000 women a week.
fare, cheap meals, and literacy classes to the poor Such was the popularity of the venture that Ad-
and largely immigrant community. dams and her colleagues relied on the financial
On her return to the United States in 1889, support of many rich patrons in Chicago to keep
much to her family’s disapproval, Addams made it going.
clear her intentions to be independent when she Addams and her colleagues at Hull House
turned down attempts to marry her off to her also initiated social research projects, adopting
stepbrother. She had already come to the conclu- investigative methods to study the causes of
sion that private acts of charity would have no crime and poverty along the lines introduced by
impact on the great levels of deprivation and suf- Charles Booth in England, by interviewing im-
fering that were now proliferating in Chicago migrant families in Chicago’s eighteen national
and other cities, and over the next forty-six years, communities and observing the conditions in
she set out to mitigate the suffering of America’s which they lived and worked. Detailed statistical
“huddled masses.” With Starr, she settled in the analysis and recommendations for reform were
immigrant, multiracial area of South Halsted published in Hull House Maps and Papers
Street in Chicago, where in September 1889 she (1895). These resulted in the Illinois Factory In-
rented the derelict Charles Hull mansion, built spection Act of 1893 and the establishment of a
by a real estate developer in 1856, and renovated juvenile court in 1899. Other innovations
it to serve as a welfare center run by volunteers. prompted by Addams were the “Mother” Pen-
With time, a complex of thirteen buildings sion Act, the eight-hour working day for
would be added to what would become known as women, a compensation system for workers in-
the Hull House settlement. jured on the job, and the regulation of tenement

5
Addams, Jane

housing. In 1903 Addams cofounded and served dent until 1929. On her return to the United
as vice president of the Women’s Trade Union States, she joined other American pacifists in try-
League, which fought for the rights of many im- ing to get President Woodrow Wilson to mediate
migrant working women, with their specific in the war, but after the United States entered the
needs in mind. In 1908 Addams and others in fighting in 1917, her opposition to the draft and
the league set up an Immigrants’ Protective women’s participation in war work earned her
League to provide advice and help to newly ar- much vilification, as did her defense of the civil
rived immigrants. liberties of German immigrants to the United
As a believer in women’s natural compassion States who had been subjected to considerable
and nurturing qualities, Addams joined the suf- persecution. The effects were felt at Hull House,
frage campaign in Chicago in 1907, in the hope support for which dwindled during the war.
that the improved political status of enfran- When the war was over, in 1919 Addams
chised women would sooner effect social reform. presided over the second women’s peace con-
She also supported racial equality and was a gress that was held by WILPF in Zurich, which
prime mover behind the establishment in 1909 set about fund-raising to help the victims of war.
of the National Association for the Advancement Addams, Alice Hamilton, and Carolina Wood
of Colored People. A succession of important traveled to Germany on behalf of the American
roles were taken up by Addams over the next few Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organiza-
years: in 1910 she scored two firsts for women, tion, to investigate the terrible depredations of
becoming president of both the National Con- war, taking with them $30,000 worth of aid and
ference of Social Work and of the National Con- 25 tons of clothing to distribute among the
ference of Charities and Corrections. In later needy. One of Addams’s final significant contri-
years she founded and was appointed head of the butions to human rights came in 1920, when she
National Federation of Settlements (1911–1935) was one of the founders of the American Civil
and became the first vice president of the Na- Liberties Union after she had become disillu-
tional American Woman Suffrage Association sioned with the lack of support given the League
(1911–1914). In 1912 Addams worked in the of Nations by the U.S. government.
election campaign for the Progressive Party’s In 1931, by which time her health was failing,
nomination of Theodore Roosevelt, being the Addams was nominated for the Nobel Peace
first woman to publicly nominate a candidate at Prize as “the right spokesman for all the peace-
an election rally. The party made use of the re- loving women of the world.” She shared it with
search compiled at Hull House as a basis for its Nicholas Murray Butler, becoming the second
social reform program. woman so honored. She immediately donated
Addams was appalled by the outbreak of half of her prize money to the WILPF.
World War I in 1914 and led a women’s peace pa- Addams published accounts of her work in
rade in New York. Her unswerving support for Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910) and The Sec-
humanitarian activities and pacifism over the ond Twenty Years at Hull-House (1930). She was
next four years was incomparable, as she sought also the author of many groundbreaking social
to open up channels of peace mediation by neu- studies, including Democracy and Social Ethics
tral nations. In January 1915 she joined other (1902), Newer Ideals of Peace (1907), and The
pacifists, including Carrie Chapman Catt, at a Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (1909). A com-
meeting in Washington, D.C., to call for the abo- plex and often difficult personality, Addams, who
lition of war. At the end of the conference, Ad- retained close links with the Quakers throughout
dams and Catt founded the Woman’s Peace Party her life, was a woman of great emotional depths
and produced an eleven-point program for peace who nevertheless maintained a carefully con-
mediation. Later that year, a women’s peace con- structed aura of personal detachment both from
ference was held in The Hague, which established her work and her associates. She was referred to
the International Committee of Women for Per- mockingly as “Saint Jane” by male sociologists of
manent Peace, soon known as the Women’s Inter- the time, who disparagingly viewed social wel-
national League and after 1919, known as the fare as women’s work and as a subsidiary to what
Women’s International League for Peace and they perceived as their own superior domain—
Freedom (WILPF). Addams served as its presi- that of the still male-dominated discipline of so-

6
Afghan Women Social Reformers

cial science. Addams herself remained modest Marchand, C. Roland. 1972. The American Peace
about her life’s work, which she considered to Movement and Social Reform, 1898–1918. Prince-
have been nothing but “a drop in the bucket” of ton: Princeton University Press.
human suffering (Bolt 1993, 267). Although her Schott, Linda K. 1997. Reconstructing Women’s
Thoughts: The Women’s International League for
contribution to social science was undervalued
Peace and Freedom before World War II. Stanford:
in her lifetime, the wider dissemination of
Stanford University Press.
women’s history since the 1970s has elevated Ad- Sklar, Kathryn Kish. 1998. Social Justice Feminists in
dams to her rightful position in the forefront of the United States and Germany: A Dialogue in
America’s pantheon of distinguished pioneers, as Documents 1885–1933. Ithaca: Cornell University
a woman who recognized the importance of re- Press.
spect for the dignity of the individual in all fields Solomon, Barbara Miller. 1985. In the Company of
of social welfare. Educated Women: A History of Women and Higher
In 1963 development of the new university Education in America. New Haven: Yale University
campus at Chicago necessitated the relocation of Press.
the Hull House settlement to Chicago’s north side, Tims, Margaret. 1961. Jane Addams of Hull House,
1860–1935: A Centenary Study. London: Allen and
with new community centers established in Lake-
Unwin.
view and Uptown Center, where Addams’s work
continues under the auspices of the Hull House
Association. For information, contact http://www.
hullhouse.org/. The original Charles Hull man- Afghan Women
sion, now protected as a National and Chicago Social Reformers
Historic Landmark, remains on Halsted Street as a The case of women in Afghanistan requires a
memorial to and museum of Jane Addams’s work. special entry in honor of the collective efforts of
For visiting times, contact http://www.uic.edu/ the by necessity largely anonymous women cam-
jaddams/hull/hull_house. html. paigners whose message on the abuse of human
See also Abbott, Edith; Abbott, Grace; Catt, Carrie rights in that country is now attracting wide-
Chapman; Hamilton, Alice; Kelley, Florence; spread media attention and the concern of hu-
Lathrop, Julia; Masarykova, Alice; Salomon, Alice; manitarian groups around the world.
Suttner, Bertha Félice Sophie von. The focus for the defense of women’s and hu-
References and Further Reading man rights in general in Afghanistan has, since
Bolt, Christine. 1993. The Women’s Movements in the 1977, been the Revolutionary Association of the
United States and Britain from the 1790s to the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), which is based
1920s. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. in Pakistan. It was founded in Kabul by a group
Chambers, Clarke A. 1963. Seedtime of Reform: Amer- of academics and intellectuals, led by a feminist
ican Social Service and Social Action, 1918–1933.
poet named Meena (1957–1987), initially to
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Davis, Allen F. 1967. Spearheads for Reform: The So-
campaign for democratic reform by the old
cial Settlements and the Progressive Movement regime, which had long placed women in a sub-
1890–1914. New York: Oxford University Press. ordinate position, and to call for the establish-
———. 1973. American Heroine: Life and Legend of ment of education and health projects. But with
Jane Addams. New York: Oxford University Press. the Soviet invasion of 1979 the Afghan women’s
Ferrell, John. 1967. Beloved Lady: A History of Jane movement turned to resistance against the occu-
Addams’s Ideas on Reform and Peace. Baltimore: pation—a bitter struggle during which 2 million
Johns Hopkins University Press. Afghans are thought to have died.
Josephson, Harold, Sandi Cooper, and Steven C. Hause In 1981 Meena established a journal, Women’s
et al., eds. 1985. Biographical Dictionary of Modern Message, as a focus for women’s protest in
Peace Leaders. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Afghanistan, but in 1987 she was assassinated in
Lasch, Christopher. 1965. The New Radicalism, Amer-
ica 1889–1963: The Intellectual as Social Type. New
Pakistan (where she had gone to work among the
York: W. W. Norton. thousands of Afghan refugees from the war) by
———. 1982 [1965]. The Social Thought of Jane Ad- agents of the Afghanistan branch of the KGB, the
dams. Reprint, New York: Irvington. Soviet secret police. Since her death it has been
Linn, James Weber. 1999 [1935]. Jane Addams: A Bi- too dangerous for any one woman to assume
ography. Reprint, New York: Appleton-Century. open leadership of RAWA. During the prolonged

7
Afghan Women Social Reformers

and still continuing refugee crisis that spilled and intellectual stimulus, denied medical care in
over into Pakistan and also Iran, RAWA was in- pregnancy and childbirth, and faced constantly
strumental in creating much needed schools and with the threat of the most barbaric punish-
hospitals for women and children in Quetta, as ments for the slightest misdemeanors deemed by
well as training additional nurses and teachers; the Taliban to contravene the shari’ah—Islamic
but it is faced with an overwhelming task in deal- law.
ing with such a major humanitarian problem, as At the time of writing, all schools for girls over
it does not receive support from international twelve and training establishments for women in
NGOs, and is in desperate need of financial sup- Afghanistan have been closed down. They are
port for its crucial relief work. There are now 4 also excluded from the universities, the civil ser-
million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. vice, and all professional work. A few extremely
The long war of attrition in Afghanistan that brave women continue to teach young girls clan-
lasted until the Soviets finally withdrew in 1989 destinely in their own homes. A 2001 Channel
resulted in the final overthrow of the commu- Four Dispatches documentary on women in
nist-backed puppet government in 1992. Several Afghanistan, filmed secretly by Saira Shah with
more years of fighting between fundamentalist the assistance of women in RAWA’s underground
factions, during which the country’s already opposition network in Kabul, showed one such
damaged infrastructure was totally devastated, woman, unveiled and in Western dress, teaching
led to the establishment of the new and draco- a group of girls. Asked if she was worried about
nian Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, dominated being recognized she shrugged her shoulders—
by the Taliban—the Islamic religious militia. how would they know, she asked—I am not al-
RAWA, continuing in its long tradition of pro- lowed out on the streets without being totally
moting a secularist, democratic society in covered. And indeed, women in Afghanistan
Afghanistan, has since been drawing world at- cannot leave their homes without a male escort
tention, with ever greater urgency, to the abuse who is a close family member, or mix socially
of human rights in a country where the death with other men. They are forbidden from con-
rate per 1,000 population is now running at sulting male doctors when sick or in labor, and
17.4, as opposed to a world average of 8.9, and there are virtually no women doctors still work-
where life expectancy for women has now fallen ing in the country.
to 46.3 years. RAWA’s 2,000 members, both in- The Taliban have now banned the entire pop-
side and outside Afghanistan, report on the ulation from listening to taped music, playing
abuse of women’s rights in Afghanistan through video games, and watching films and videos.
its website (see below) and Women’s Message, Women are forbidden all forms of recreation
which now appears in Urdu, English, and Per- such as sport, dancing, cycling—nor are they
sian editions. even allowed the natural expression of pleasure
A harrowing catalogue of atrocities commit- in singing or laughing out loud. The sound of
ted by the fundamentalist regime against the their footsteps must not be heard (thus all fash-
civilian population of Afghanistan, and most ionable shoes are banned) nor must they show
particularly its women, is now being widely dis- any part of their anatomy outside in the open—
seminated, thanks to the many nameless women women have been attacked and even killed for
of RAWA who have taken and continue to take inadvertently showing as much as an ankle.
enormous personal risks to expose the true na- Makeup is strictly forbidden—although some
ture of a regime that has systematically set about Afghan women, as a last act of defiance, enjoy
sending its women back into the dark ages. In private makeup sessions with their friends be-
twenty-first-century Afghanistan, women have hind the locked doors of their homes. And even
become the silent sex, consigned to the role of within the confinement of their homes they are
nameless, faceless chattels. Swathed (and stifled further cut off from the outside world, because
in the heat of summer) in their burqahs, which all windows have been painted over so that the
allow them only a mesh slit through which to women inside cannot be seen from the outside.
view the increasingly narrow world they inhabit, It is not surprising therefore that such barbar-
they are confined to the home and condemned ity has driven many Afghan women to suicide.
to joyless lives, denied the lifeblood of education Now unable to work and provide for their starv-

8
Alma Dolens

ing children, impoverished women have been have issued a fatwah on the members of RAWA
forced out onto the streets to beg. One in four for their courageous resistance.
Afghan children now dies before reaching his or
her fifth birthday and more Afghan women die in
childbirth than anywhere else in the world. Other Alma Dolens (Teresita dei
desperate women have been driven to prostitu- Bonfatti/Teresita Pasini)
tion—a crime that carries the death penalty. One (1876–?)
last and horrifying form of public entertainment Italy
and edification remains in Afghanistan—public
executions. Women have been publicly stoned to The forgotten Italian pacifist campaigner, suf-
death for extramarital sex and adultery. Homo- fragist, and journalist Teresita dei Bonfatti (later
sexuals too face the death penalty. Thieves suffer Signora Pasini) was known by her pseudonym,
the amputation of hands. Many so condemned Alma Dolens, which is Latin for “a sorrowful
have to face the horror of being paraded around soul” or “heavy heart,” the name no doubt in-
in the back of an open truck before being pub- tended as a reflection of her emotional response
licly executed in the sports ground at Kandahar to war and militarism against which she cam-
(with sickening irony, men are now hanged from paigned so fervently. Between 1908 and 1913, she
the crossbar of the goalpost) or the former foot- became a prominent pacifist campaigner, but lit-
ball stadium in Kabul. The latter was built in the tle is known of her activities after the end of
1990s as a goodwill gesture, with funding by the World War I or of the date of her death.
international community, to the “heroic” Afghan Dolens was from a wealthy Umbrian family,
rebels who had ousted the Soviets. The Taliban prominent in the Italian Risorgimento of the
are unrepentant at the misuse of a place of recre- nineteenth century, that had supported Giuseppe
ation as a place of judicial murder. Their Garibaldi’s unification of Italy. She married a Mi-
spokesman, interviewed in the Channel Four lanese lawyer, who supported her in her pacifist
documentary, blandly observed that if the inter- work and her interest in women’s suffrage as
national community would fund the building of president of the Lombardy Committee for
a special, new venue designated for public execu- Woman Suffrage and Workers’ Rights. Dolens
tions, then football could once more be resumed took a central role within the male-dominated
at the stadium. Italian peace movement after speaking at national
Taliban vigilantes of the Ministry for the Pre- peace congresses in 1909 and 1910. She was
vention of Vice and the Promotion of Virtue now driven by the conviction that the lack of women,
patrol the streets and staff checkpoints through- both in the movement and in politics in general,
out Afghanistan on the lookout for infringe- was a major inhibiting factor to social progress.
ments of Islamic law. The ministry’s name and She called for closer links between the pacifist or-
the ominous building in Kabul from which it op- ganizations and trade unions and urged that
erates have become synonymous with terror; a women’s separate peace societies be established,
place that inspires dread in the same way that the arguing that too many women were reticent
Lubyanka headquarters of the KGB in Moscow about joining because they equated pacifism with
did during the worst excesses of the Stalinist an absence of patriotic spirit. She was convinced
purges of the 1930s. The list of proscribed activ- that women would be a significant force for in-
ities for the civilian population is endless—it can ternational peace arbitration, and she believed
be consulted in detail on RAWA’s website at that children should be educated into a better un-
www.rawa.hackmare.com/rawa/. Readers are derstanding of the true nature of patriotic sup-
also recommended to consult Amnesty Interna- port for national wars and should be taught,
tional’s website, http://www.amnesty.org, for rather, to value peace above national concerns.
regular updates on the situation. For two years, Dolens toured central Italy, es-
In what makes for particularly chilling read- tablishing a network of regional committees of
ing, a recent ruling by the Taliban now states that her Women’s Society for Peace, and with the help
all non-Muslims in Afghanistan must wear a dis- of officials from the metalworkers’ union, she
tinguishing badge on their clothes to signify that founded the Workers’ Society for Arbitration and
they are not of the faith. Meanwhile, the Taliban Disarmament in Milan, which by 1910–1911 had

9
Alvarado Rivera, María Jesus

about 700 members. But in 1911 the Italian See also Gwis-Adami, Rosalia; Schwimmer, Rosika.
women’s peace movement ended abruptly with References and Further Reading
Italy’s declaration of war on Turkey and the Ital- Cooper, Sandi E. 1991. Patriotic Pacifism: Waging War
ian invasion of Libya-Cyrenaica. The pacifist on War in Europe, 1815–1914. New York: Oxford
University Press.
movement was quickly riven between those such
Pierson, Ruth Roach, ed. 1987. Woman and Peace:
as Rosalia Gwis-Adami, who felt that Italian
Theoretical, Historical and Practical Perspectives.
women must support the national war effort, London: Croom Helm.
and others like Dolens, who opposed the war. Robertson, Priscilla. 1982. An Experience of Women:
Dolens bravely took on a public campaign Pattern and Change in Nineteenth-Century Europe.
against the war, appealing to the Carnegie Foun- Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
dation in the United States and the peace move-
ment headquarters in Berne, Switzerland, for
funds to enable Italian pacifists to regroup. Alvarado Rivera, María Jesus
Throughout 1911–1912, she persisted in leaflet- (c. 1880s–1971)
ting, putting up posters, and organizing marches Peru
in Milan against the war, but the pacifist move-
ment rapidly disintegrated, and Dolens was A lone voice calling for women’s rights in Peru
banned from public speaking. Frustrated, she between 1911 and 1925, Alvarado was unique for
turned to other social issues, writing about the her time in opening up this debate. Although she
living conditions of the poor in the slums of supported women’s access to education and
Rome, Milan, and Naples. She lent her energies work, she did not believe that equality of the
to numerous women’s organizations, becoming sexes was desirable or achievable across the
friends with the international peace campaigner board, for she believed that women’s maternal
Rosika Schwimmer after attending a women’s role was unique. Her refusal to be silenced and
conference in Budapest in 1913. her stubborn campaigning for women’s suffrage
After failing in 1912 to effect the efficient re- eventually led to imprisonment and exile to Ar-
grouping of the Italian pacifist movement, by gentina in 1926. In 1969 Alvarado was acknowl-
1914 Dolens was preoccupied by the greater edged by the National Council of Women of
threat of war in Europe. In July she attended an Peru as having been the “first modern champion
emergency meeting called by the International of women’s rights in Peru” (Chaney 1979, 69).
Bureau of Peace and traveled to The Hague in After attending primary school and a private
April 1915 for a similar congress by women paci- high school for girls run by leading feminist
fists that attempted to conciliate in the war. She Elvira García y García, Alvarado became a
remained in the left wing of the international schoolteacher. Appalled by the antiquated system
pacifist movement until the end of World War I, in which she worked, she began studying educa-
throwing her energies into relief work for Italian tion methods, becoming a self-taught sociologist
families forced out of their homes in the Austro- and eventually developing advanced ideas on vo-
Hungarian Empire during the fighting and rais- cational education, euthanasia, the health and
ing funds to buy clothes, milk, and medicines for nutritional care of schoolchildren, and the con-
these refugees. trol of sexually transmitted diseases. Her interest
After the war, Dolens toured Belgium, where in promoting better morals in schools spilled
she saw for herself the terrible depredations of over into improving the welfare of and providing
war and became even more convinced that mili- social activities for women, agitating for the land
tarism and arms stockpiling were the enemies of rights of indigenous Indians, and monitoring
the poor and underprivileged. She argued that conditions among workers. With the help of a
governments had a social responsibility to eradi- small inheritance, Alvarado opened a free school
cate such suffering: the cure for the diseases of for the daughters of workers, where she intro-
“poverty, tuberculosis, unemployment,” she duced her own reformist teaching methods and
averred, “is the end of formidable and costly also used the school printing press to publish her
weaponry” (Cooper 1991, 211), and countries many pamphlets and tracts.
should be obliged by international law to arbi- In 1910 Alvarado attended the First Interna-
trate in times of war. tional Women’s Congress in Argentina, held in

10
Alvarado Rivera, María Jesus

Buenos Aires, and spoke about the new term fem- sprang up and went out of its way to oppose
inism, relating its concerns to education and the feminist activities in Peru.
law. A year later, in October 1911, Alvarado gave During her time with Women’s Evolution, Al-
a public lecture on the subject at the Geographic varado also initiated a drive to reform the civil
Society of Lima, which marked the first public ex- code and to allow women to hold government
position of feminism in Peru. She argued that so- posts. For nine years she campaigned to get
cial changes were needed to free women from women accepted as directors of (male-run) pub-
their situation of inferiority. Better education and lic welfare societies, which played an important
suitable employment would give them economic social role in selling or renting out land in order
independence, but first they needed the vote to to raise money to fund hospitals, orphanages,
gain equal civil and political rights with men. Al- and welfare programs. Her campaign became in-
varado appealed to the government to end dis- creasingly political, carried on in the media and
crimination against women but also encouraged in the Chamber of Representatives. In 1915 the
women to organize in their own defense. After chamber approved legislation allowing women
four years of lobbying and campaigning, inspired to be committee members of public welfare soci-
by her experience of the 1910 congress, her efforts eties, but it did not become law until 1922.
led to the establishment of the first feminist In 1923 Alvarado was invited by Carrie Chap-
group in Peru, Women’s Evolution (Evolución man Catt, who was visiting Lima as president of
Femenina) in 1914. the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, to
The establishment of such a women’s organi- become secretary of an affiliated organization in
zation in a country where there was a much nar- Peru. This led to the establishment in 1924 of a
rower socially aware elite, concentrated in the National Council of Women, but one that was
capital, Lima, and where society in general was soon rent with divisions between more radical
far more class-bound inevitably made the politi- women who sought reform of the civil code and
cal struggle for women’s rights harder in Peru women’s equality with men in all things before
than it was in nearby Argentina, Brazil, and the law and those campaigning merely for suf-
Chile. In addition, the Peruvian women’s move- frage. Catholics both within the council and in
ment did not enjoy the collaboration between society at large took issue with what they saw as
middle- and working-class races and castes that the more seditious elements of Alvarado’s ad-
had occurred in the movement in Mexico. vanced social objectives. Alvarado, who had long
Women’s Evolution was therefore greeted with a been ostracized for her more militant views, was
great deal of hostility, not only from the Roman arrested, along with other dissidents, and spent
Catholic Church, which saw such divisive action Christmas 1924 in Santo Tomás jail. After three
by women as fuelling confrontation between the months of solitary confinement, she was de-
sexes and unsettling traditional patriarchy, but ported by President Augusto B. Leguia’s regime
also from more moderate upper-class, convent- and spent the next twelve years in exile in Ar-
educated philanthropists. gentina. With Alvarado’s departure the embry-
Women’s Evolution’s program of activities, onic feminist movement in Peru was stillborn; it
such as the setting up of a “Labor and Moral was not until 1955 that women there achieved
School Workshop,” initially designed to help the vote.
women who had drifted into prostitution, of- See also Catt, Carrie Chapman.
fended respectable society. Alvarado argued that References and Further Reading
the problem of prostitution in particular should Chaney, Elsa M. 1979. Supermadre: Women in Politics
be attacked at the grass roots—by improving the in Latin America. Austin: Institute of Latin Ameri-
economic situation of women driven to it and by can Studies, University of Texas Press.
providing them with a better education and Miller, Francesca. 1992. Latin American Women and
training in some kind of skill. But although some the Search for Social Justice. Hanover, NH: Univer-
more enlightened female philanthropists and sity Press of New England.
liberal politicians lent their support, particularly Tenenbaum, Barbara A., ed. 1996. Encyclopedia of
in terms of the suffrage campaign, the vast ma- Latin American History and Culture. Vol. 2. New
York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
jority were horrified, so much so that a rival or-
ganization, the Catholic Women’s League, soon

11
Ames, Jessie Daniel

Ames, Jessie Daniel to build a major support base for women’s ac-
(1883–1972) tivism against lynching.
United States In 1930 she founded the ASWPL, which even-
tually built up a core membership of 43,000
Although the black activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett members who had signed its antilynching pledge
undoubtedly holds center stage in the long anti- and gained a great deal of support from the
lynching campaign in the United States, less at- Methodist Woman’s Missionary Council. The
tention has been paid to the work of the Texan ASWPL enlisted its members in attempts to
Jessie Daniel Ames, who during the 1930s was in forestall mob violence and lynchings by gather-
the forefront of a movement of southern white ing petitions, making speeches, distributing
women to combat racial violence. As founder of pamphlets and resolutions, and conducting
the Association of Southern Women for the Pre- poster campaigns. It urged members to reject
vention of Lynching (ASWPL), Ames led a sig- their traditional role as helpless white women. In
nificant movement that worked toward reconcil- the rabidly pro-white, antiblack environment of
ing bitter racial differences during a period of the 1930s South, Ames came up against consid-
economic hardship in the South. erable intimidation from the Ku Klux Klan and
Ames was born in Palestine, in eastern Texas, also the reactionary ultra-right-wing Women’s
and grew up near Austin, where her father was a National Association for the Preservation of the
railroad station master. She studied at South- White Race.
western University, graduating in 1902. Her mar- In her campaigning, Ames was one of the first
riage in 1905 to an army medical officer resulted white women to join the ranks of the many black
in long separations and his untimely death from women who since the nineteenth century had
fever in 1914. Despite the strains of bringing up sought to confront southern racism head-on.
her three children alone, she set up a telephone She sought to demolish the widely held view
company with her mother and became proud of among white males that their womenfolk in the
her hard-won independence. She joined the lat- South were especially vulnerable to rape by black
ter stages of the women’s suffrage movement as men; she did so by attempting to deconstruct the
treasurer of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association demeaning myth of extreme racial stereotypes:
in 1918 and in 1919 was a founder and president the chaste white lady at the mercy of the rapa-
of the Texas League of Women Voters. cious black man. She felt that the time was long
After women won the vote in the United overdue for white southern women to throw off
States in 1920, Ames acted as a Democratic “the crown of chivalry which has been pressed
Party delegate to national conventions in 1920, like a crown of thorns on our head” (Berkin and
1924, and 1928 and sought to galvanize support Norton 1979, 366). Ames also understood, as had
for progressive reform in the South. She began Wells-Barnett (who had begun fighting against
to broaden her social and feminist activities, as a lynching in the 1880s), that racial violence and
member of the Texas branch of the American lynching had little to do with the supposed
Association of University Women and of the “rape” of white women but were deeply rooted in
Federation of Women’s Clubs. Prison reform economic factors. Much of it sprang from white
also became a concern through her involvement southern hostility to black business enterprise
in the Committee on Prisons and Prison Labor. that might in some way set up a challenge to its
In all her work she became increasingly frus- own economic security, particularly with white
trated by the exclusion of black women from so- poverty on the increase in southern rural com-
cial activism in the South and by the failure of munities during the Great Depression. Ames also
white women to address the pressing issue of exposed the hypocrisy of the double sexual stan-
racial inequality and persecution. Seeking to dard whereby white men would have no qualms
lead white southern women into greater public about preying sexually upon black women.
involvement in such issues, she took an impor- In the atmosphere of racial hysteria that fol-
tant role in the Texas branch of the Commission lowed in the wake of the notorious 1931 Scotts-
on Interracial Cooperation in 1924. In 1929, as boro case, in which nine black youths were con-
regional director of its Women’s Committee and victed of the sexual assault of two white women,
by then living in Atlanta, Georgia, Ames began Ames set up a study of lynching statistics between

12
Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett

1889 and 1929 that demonstrated of those In 1943 the ASWPL and the CIC both became
lynched, only 6.9 percent had actually been guilty part of the Southern Regional Council. Ames
of rape. She lobbied with other members of the gave up activism and settled in the Blue Ridge
ASWPL for the Scottsboro death sentences to be Mountains, where she supported the Democrats
commuted to life and considered the case a seri- and took up philanthropic work for her local
ous blow to the antilynching cause because of the Methodist church. She was honored at the age of
huge publicity attached to it. It prompted her to eighty-eight for her civil rights activism and her
further question the injustices of the U.S. legal brave repudiation of white supremacy in the
system, where far more draconian punishments South. She died in Austin.
were meted out to black men, often on flimsy ev-
idence, than to white lynchers, who all too often See also Prejean, Sister Helen; Wells-Barnett,
were allowed to evade prosecution. She con- Ida B.
cluded that this disparity resulted from the black References and Further Reading
defendants’ poor standards of education and Berkin, Carol Ruth, and Mary Beth Norton. 1979.
their inability to afford proper legal representa- Women of America: A History. Boston: Houghton
Mifflin.
tion; it is a situation still being confronted by pe-
Cimbala, Paul A. 1997. Against the Tide: Women
nal and prison reformers today in the contentious Reformers in American Society. Westport, CT:
debate over the continuing use of the death Praeger.
penalty in certain U.S. states. In the end, Ames Hall, Jacqueline Dowd. 1993 [1979]. Jessie Daniel
also came to question the sexual reputation and Ames and the Women’s Campaign against Lynch-
behavior of white women involved in cases of ing. Reprint, New York: Columbia University
supposed rape (such as the later discredited white Press.
women in the Scottsboro case). Her conclusion Olson, Lynn. 2001. Freedom’s Daughters: The Unsung
that many white women voluntarily entered into Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement from 1830 to
sexual relationships with black men prompted 1970. New York: Scribner.
her to schedule discussion of the double standard Scott, Anne Firor. 1970. The Southern Lady: From
Pedestal to Politics, 1830–1930. Chicago: University
of ethical and moral conduct at ASWPL meetings
of Chicago Press.
and urge members to work toward greater respect
for the chastity of black women.
In 1937 Ames took over running the Commis-
sion on Interracial Cooperation (CIC) and set up Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett
a monthly publication entitled the Southern (1836–1917)
Frontier. During 1937 she led a concerted drive to United Kingdom
expose sheriffs who acquiesced in the abduction
and lynching of black prisoners by white mobs, The first woman to qualify as a doctor in En-
and also that year published Southern Women gland, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson had to endure
Look at Lynching. After a federal antilynching law the usual pattern of male hostility and the obdu-
was introduced in 1939, no lynchings occurred racy of the British medical establishment in her
during the period May 1939 to May 1940, and objective of establishing women’s medical train-
their incidence declined thereafter. In 1942, opti- ing there. Having become a seasoned and per-
mistic that her work was now over, Ames pub- sistent campaigner for the opening up of medical
lished The Changing Character of Lynching, in training to women at her London hospital, she
which she welcomed the dramatic decline in also lent her energies to the women’s suffrage
lynchings. She did urge against complacency, movement and endorsed her friend Emily
however, warning that when the war was over and Davies’s crusade to open up higher education for
men returned to the labor force, they must be of- women. Anderson scored other notable land-
fered productive work that would not rekindle marks for women in England, becoming, with
racial rivalries or the specter of lynching. The fu- Davies, one of the first women to be elected to
ture of the South, she argued, rested on the abil- the London School Board and the first woman in
ity not just of whites to recognize the civil and England to be elected to the office of mayor.
economic rights of blacks but also of blacks to Anderson was one of ten children born in
join in a renewed sense of postwar purpose. Whitechapel, in London’s East End. Her family

13
Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett

moved to the Suffolk coast when she was a child, gow, and Edinburgh Universities. Even the sup-
where her father, Newson Garrett, was a prosper- port of leading politicians such as William Glad-
ous grain malter, brewer, and ship owner. Ander- stone and the reformer Richard Cobden could
son returned to London to attend Miss Brown- not overcome the prejudice against women’s en-
ing’s school in Blackheath until the age of fifteen try into the medical profession.
and afterward made a European tour. She was As a last resort, Anderson approached the So-
bolstered in her desire to enter medical training ciety of Apothecaries after finding a loophole in
after reading articles endorsing women’s entry its charter that failed to specify that women
into the professions in the Englishwoman’s Jour- could not be admitted to its courses. After check-
nal, which was established by a group of London ing the legality of this nondiscriminatory policy,
feminists who met at the home of Barbara Bodi- the society reluctantly allowed Anderson to
chon in Langham Place, London. In 1859, when study for their license as an apothecary. She un-
the Langham Place Circle, as it became known, dertook her own studies privately, first as an ap-
advertised a series of lectures by the British-born prentice with Plaskitt and then traveling to Scot-
doctor Elizabeth Blackwell, who had trained in land, where she studied with Professor George
the United States, on “Medicine as a Profession Day at St. Andrews and gained valuable experi-
for the Ladies,” Anderson was one of several ea- ence in midwifery with Alexander Keiller at the
ger young women who attended the first lecture, Edinburgh Maternity Hospital.
afterward meeting Blackwell and becoming a In August 1865 Anderson applied to take the
member of the circle. Society of Apothecaries examination. By this
In her quest to enter medicine, Anderson had time, the society had become deeply perturbed
to overcome her father’s initial violent opposi- about adverse criticism it might receive for
tion, eventually winning his staunch support— granting Anderson a license. It was only her fa-
both moral and financial—although she was ther’s threat of legal action if it reneged on its
never able to entirely persuade her mother of the charter that ensured that Anderson did take the
acceptability of her vocation. Through Newson exam in September 1865. After receiving her Fi-
Garrett’s friendship with one of the male gover- nal Certificate, Anderson was entitled to be
nors of Middlesex Hospital, a post was obtained placed on the medical register as a licentiate of
for Anderson as a nurse trainee in 1859. There she the Society of Apothecaries, which basically al-
was allowed to observe operations and dissections lowed her to dispense medicines, and soon after,
but was forbidden from active participation. with financial support from her father, she set
Anderson did exceptionally well in her first herself up in practice in London. Meanwhile, the
exams in surgical nursing, coming out first in an Society of Apothecaries ensured that Anderson’s
all-male class, whose members responded by license would be the exception rather than the
having her banned from the lecture hall. With rule by passing a resolution categorically exclud-
the way to further study blocked to her because ing women from its license. Anderson’s contem-
women were refused admittance to medical porary Sophia Jex-Blake would thus have to find
school at that time, Anderson continued with her a different route to medical training in her own
own private study, obtaining some private tu- battle to become a doctor soon after.
ition from Dr. Joshua Plaskitt in Greek, Latin, In 1866 Anderson opened the St. Mary’s Dis-
and materia medica. In May 1861 she was al- pensary for Women and Children in Seymour
lowed to sit in on chemistry lectures at the Mid- Place, London, which was very quickly adminis-
dlesex Hospital Medical School, but the adminis- tering to sixty to ninety women a day. It would
trators refused her permission to enter medical become known as the New Hospital for Women
studies there, despite a petition in support of her and Children in 1872, the first teaching hospital
application from sympathetic male students. A in the United Kingdom staffed by women and of-
familiar trail of application and rejection ensued, fering medical courses for female students. An-
as Anderson, supported by loyal friends such as derson would later give moral support to the
Emily Davies, applied to one medical school af- campaign for female students to be allowed to
ter another. She was rejected by London Univer- study for medical degrees at the University of
sity (where there was, in fact, only one vote cast Edinburgh, led by Jex-Blake and Edith Pechey-
against her) and then Oxford, Cambridge, Glas- Phipson during the 1870s.

14
Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett

During the 1860s, despite her feminist sympa- with her medical career, although she resisted
thies, Anderson did not join with other members her husband’s attempts to take control of her
of the Langham Place Circle or even with other earnings.
reformers in her own family in protesting the Responding to an article by Dr. Edward Clarke
passage of the Contagious Diseases Acts and the of Harvard University in 1873, Anderson was
institution of state-regulated prostitution. As a drawn into a widespread debate in the medical
doctor who all too often witnessed the ravages of press on whether further education was inappro-
venereal disease on innocent wives and children, priate for women. Many male doctors like Clarke
she supported the legislation on the grounds of were arguing that the “overwork” involved in ac-
public health, believing that regular inspection ademic study affected women’s reproductive ca-
of prostitutes was the only way of controlling the pabilities and that menstruation was too debili-
spread of the disease and would provide an op- tating for them to undertake such rigorous
portunity for prostitutes to be rescued from their academic pursuits. Like other medical women,
profession and rehabilitated. Anderson’s failure Anderson was appalled by this argument and
to endorse the campaign led by Josephine Butler published a rebuttal in the Fortnightly Review,
would cost her the support and friendship of outlining the feminist argument against male
some of her old associates at Langham Place over perceptions of women’s inherent “invalidism”
the years, who viewed the laws as discriminatory and their inability to perform certain tasks when
and a breach of basic civil liberties. menstruating. For too long, she believed, the
Anderson finally gained her own medical de- medical establishment had overstated this case;
gree in January 1870. Through the good offices after all, working women had for centuries car-
of influential friends who helped her circumvent ried on working despite the sometimes debilitat-
the residency requirements, she learned enough ing effects of menstruation. (Anderson’s argu-
French to earn a medical degree in France, ment would be endorsed in 1877 by the
awarded by the medical faculty of the Sorbonne American doctor Mary Putnam Jacobi in her
in Paris (women had been accepted for medical book Question of Rest for Women during Men-
degrees there in 1868). Two months later, she se- struation.) In 1874, Anderson responded to a
cured her first official medical appointment similar article, “Sex in Mind and in Education,”
(and indeed the first secured by a woman in by Dr. Henry Maudsley in the Fortnightly Review,
Britain) as visiting medical officer to the East arguing against the adoption of games and gym-
London Hospital for Children. That year she and nastics in progressive women’s schools. Endors-
Davies became the first women to take advan- ing the work of her friend Emily Davies at Cam-
tage of new legislation allowing women to stand bridge, where gentle exercise was part of the
for election to the London School Board, one of curriculum, Anderson argued that it was pre-
several set up across Britain to implement cisely a lack of exercise that harmed women’s
William Forster’s new Education Act of 1870, physical well-being rather than the reverse. The
which established state elementary education for introduction of physical education in women’s
children five to thirteen years old. Indeed, An- schools in Britain was an important issue pio-
derson secured the highest numbers of votes neered by other women educators such as
(47,000) in the election, which provided women Dorothea Beale and Frances Buss.
with a rare opportunity to enter public service. In 1873 the British Medical Association finally
She undertook important work, encouraging acknowledged Anderson by electing her to its
working-class people to send their children to hallowed portals; she would remain its sole fe-
school. In 1872 she and Davies both tried and male member until 1892. In 1874 she accepted
failed to persuade the London County Council an appointment as a lecturer in midwifery (until
to introduce equal rates of pay for men and 1897) at the newly opened London School of
women serving as school visitors. Medicine for Women, established with only
In 1871 Anderson finally married at the age of fourteen students by the equally determined
thirty-five to a steamship merchant named medical pioneer, Sophia Jex-Blake. Despite her
James Skelton Anderson. She managed to suc- personal and professional differences with Jex-
cessfully combine a happy married life and the Blake, Anderson served the school as dean for
rearing of two children (a third died in infancy) twenty years, from 1883 to 1903, while working

15
Anneke, Mathilde Franziska

as the senior physician at the New Hospital for After Anderson died, the New Hospital was re-
Women until 1892. The following year, Ander- named the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital
son contributed a substantial endowment to a (1918). It was later incorporated into the Univer-
new medical school at Johns Hopkins University sity of London and is still in operation today,
in Baltimore, Maryland, on the understanding having fought off attempts to close it down in
that it would admit women students. the 1970s.
Outside of medicine, throughout her life An-
derson took an interest in the women’s suffrage See also Beale, Dorothea; Blackwell, Elizabeth; Bodi-
movement. In 1865 she was a founder of the chon, Barbara; Buss, Frances; Butler, Josephine;
Kensington Society, a group of about fifty people Davies, (Sarah) Emily; Fawcett, Millicent Garrett;
(including Anderson’s educationist friends Beale Jacobi, Mary Putnam; Jex-Blake, Sophia; Kenney,
and Buss) who met four times a year to discuss Annie; Pechey-Phipson, Edith.
topics such as parental authority and women’s References and Further Reading
entry into the professions, and whose support Anderson, Louisa G. 1939. Elizabeth Garrett Ander-
son. London: Faber.
for women’s suffrage, Elizabeth Crawford argues,
Banks, Olive, ed. 1985, 1990. The Biographical Dictio-
was “a catalyst for the birth of the suffrage move- nary of British Feminists, vol. 1, 1800–1930; vol. 2,
ment” in England (1999, 322). A Women’s Suf- 1900–1945. Brighton: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
frage Committee established by the group in Baylen, J. O., and N. J. Gossman, eds. 1979–1984.
1866 obtained more than 1,500 signatures on a Biographical Dictionary of Modern British Radi-
petition calling for women householders to be cals. 3 vols. Hassocks, Sussex: Harvester Press.
given the vote, which Anderson and Davies pre- Bell, Enid Moberley. 1953. Storming the Citadel: The
sented in person, at Parliament, to women’s Rise of the Woman Doctor. London: Constable.
rights advocate John Stuart Mill. But for many Blake, Catriona. 1990. The Charge of the Parasols:
years thereafter, Anderson’s support for the suf- Women’s Entry to the Medical Profession. London:
frage campaign was passive rather than active, Women’s Press.
Bonner, Thomas Neville. 1992. To the Ends of the
for she was reluctant to take on the fight for an
Earth: Women’s Search for Education in Medicine.
additional cause that, like women’s medical Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
training, faced intense public hostility. In 1889 Cole, Margaret. 1938. Women of To-Day. London:
Anderson finally joined her sister Millicent Gar- Thomas Nelson and Sons.
rett Fawcett on the Central Committee of the Crawford, Elizabeth. 1999. The Women’s Suffrage
National Society for Women’s Suffrage, but it was Movement, 1866–1928: A Reference Guide. Lon-
not until after her husband’s death in 1907 and don: University College of London Press.
her election as mayor of Aldeburgh in 1908 that Fancourt, Mary St. John. 1965. They Dared to Be
she began taking part in committees and deputa- Doctors: Elizabeth Blackwell and Elizabeth Garrett
tions to Parliament. For a short while she joined Anderson. London: Longman’s Green.
in activism for the Women’s Social and Political Hollis, P. 1987. Ladies Elect: Women in English Local
Government, 1865–1914. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Union (WSPU) and went on a short lecture tour
Manton, Jo. 1965. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. Lon-
in 1909 with Annie Kenney, but the increasing don: Methuen.
violence of the militants eventually alienated An- Walsh, Mary Roth. 1977. “Doctors Wanted: No
derson, and she retired from public activism by Women Need Apply”: Sexual Barriers in the Med-
1912. Her daughter Louisa, however, who also ical Profession, 1835–1975. New Haven: Yale Uni-
entered medicine and ran the first women’s field versity Press.
hospital during World War I, was imprisoned for
her militant suffrage campaigning in 1912.
In 1907 under the new Qualification of Anneke, Mathilde Franziska
Women Act, which made women eligible for (1817–1884)
service on county and borough councils and for Germany/United States
holding office in them, Anderson stood for and
was elected as mayor in her hometown of Alde- The feminist Mathilde Anneke was one of the
burgh, Suffolk. She served two terms (until first women in Germany to write as a profes-
1909), during which she took an interest in local sional. Forced to flee after taking part in the rev-
issues relating to public health and sanitation. olutionary upheavals there in 1848, she was

16
Anneke, Mathilde Franziska

called one of the “three Amazons of the German “Woman in Conflict with Social Conditions,”
Revolution” by Clara Zetkin. Although Anneke and in 1852 she established the German Woman’s
never really settled into her adopted home of Newspaper, which advocated women’s emancipa-
Milwaukee, remaining one of a tight-knit com- tion, the first German-language journal in the
munity of German exiles, she played an impor- United States to be run by a woman. Despite the
tant role in the U.S. antislavery and suffrage hostile reception it received, Anneke kept the pa-
campaigns. per going for another two and a half years by giv-
Born in Westphalia, Anneke came from a mid- ing lectures. In 1853 she met and became good
dle-class, Roman Catholic family of twelve chil- friends with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth
dren. She was married off at seventeen to a Cady Stanton, the leaders of the U.S. women’s
French wine merchant much older than herself movement, and with their encouragement
but left her husband soon after and in 1846 founded a suffrage association in Wisconsin.
fought a custody battle to bring up her small From 1869 Anneke regularly attended conven-
daughter, struggling to support them both by her tions of the National Woman Suffrage Associa-
writing. For a while, Anneke lived a quiet and pi- tion, where she was admired as an eloquent
ous life as a devout Catholic, writing religious speaker. In 1858 tragedy struck the family when
poetry, publishing a book of prayers, and trans- three of the Annekes’ six children died in a small-
lating the work of others. In 1844 she published pox epidemic.
the play Oithono, which was staged in Münster. In 1860 Anneke joined her husband in Europe,
In 1846–1847, to express sympathy for Louise where he had gone to work as a newspaper corre-
Aston, another woman married young who had spondent. When he returned to the United States
fought a battle for divorce, Anneke wrote the in support of the Unionists in the Civil War, An-
pamphlet “Woman in Conflict with Social Con- neke, by then used to living an independent life,
ditions.” Her second marriage to Prussian officer, remained in German-speaking Switzerland with
radical, and freethinker Fritz Anneke in 1847 their children, supporting them through her
brought her into a whole new world of revolu- journalism. She wrote in support of the Union
tionary ideas through his work as editor of the cause, producing antislavery stories such as “The
workers’ daily The New Cologne Newspaper and Slave Auction” (1862) and underlining the partic-
their activities in Rhenish political circles. When ularly cruel double enslavement of black women.
her husband was imprisoned for his links with She returned to the United States at the end of the
communist agitators, Anneke, who had re- Civil War in 1865 and turned her attention to
nounced her religion and become a freethinker, women’s education and training, believing them
took over editing the paper from September to be essential if women were to achieve equality
1848. After it was suppressed in December 1848, with men both in society and in the professions.
she launched her own Women’s Newspaper, She opened the Milwaukee Tochter Institut, a
which in its sole issue discussed the separation of German-language girls’ school (also known as
German schools from the control of the church. Madam Anneke’s German-French-English Acad-
During 1848–1849 the Annekes took part in emy), acted as its administrator, and also taught
the resistance to the Prussians in the Rhenish there while raising funds to keep the school going
Palatinate, with Mathilde riding alongside her by giving lectures and selling articles to the Illi-
husband and serving as his orderly and messen- nois State Times.
ger. Her account was later published in German
in Newark in 1853 (Memoirs of a Woman from the See also Anthony, Susan B., Stanton, Elizabeth Cady;
Campaigns in Baden and the Palatinate). But Zetkin, Clara.
Prussian successes and the fall of Rastatt in July References and Further Reading
Cocalis, Susan L., and Kay Goodman, eds. 1982. Be-
1849 forced the couple to flee to the United States
yond the Eternal Feminine: Critical Essays on
via Switzerland as part of a group of “forty- Women and German Literature. Stuttgart:
eighters” (as the German exiles were known). Akademischer Verlag Dans-Dieter Heinz.
They settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where McFadden, Margaret. 1999. Golden Cables of Sympa-
Anneke became an active supporter of the aboli- thy: The Transatlantic Sources of Nineteenth-Cen-
tionist cause. In 1846–1847 she had written on tury Feminism. Lexington: University of Kentucky
the subjection of women in her pamphlet Press.

17
Anthony, Susan B.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Susan B. Anthony, and


Matilda Joslyn Gage. 1881–1886. History of
Woman Suffrage. Vol. 1. New York: Fowler and
Wells, pp. 571–573.
———. 1881–1886. History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 2.
New York: Fowler and Wells, pp. 392–399.

Anthony, Susan B.
(1820–1906)
United States
It is difficult to separate the life of American
women’s rights pioneer Susan B. Anthony from
that of her close friend and colleague, Elizabeth
Cady Stanton, with whom she journeyed
through fifty years of highs and lows on the road
toward women’s suffrage. Neither was to see
women win the vote in her own lifetime. In her
photographs, all the stresses and strains and dis-
appointments of that long, hard battle seem to
be inscribed on Anthony’s gaunt and austere
face. Eschewing marriage and personal relation-
ships, she was a woman who dedicated every-
thing to the cause of women’s equality and gave
her limitless energies to the efficient organiza-
tion of a political women’s movement, traveling Susan B. Anthony (Library of Congress)
widely in the United States and to Europe at a
time when such journeys were far from easy.
Starting out as a shrewd and combative militant, roles of married women, as she perceived them),
with time Anthony mellowed into the figurehead she chose the only path then open to her—teach-
of the U.S. suffrage campaign after becoming, in ing (the need to earn her own living having be-
1892, the president of the National American come a necessity after her father’s financial ruin).
Woman Suffrage Association. During 1846–1849 Anthony taught at a female
Some of the stern demeanor of Susan B. An- academy in New York state, after which, with the
thony was the product of her strict Quaker up- family fortunes on the mend, she went to man-
bringing. She was educated at district school and age the family farm in Rochester, New York. In
later at a Quaker boarding school. Her father, a 1848 she also took up work for the Daughters of
Quaker abolitionist who owned a cotton mill in Temperance.
Battenville, New York, lost his business in the fi- Anthony’s activism had begun in 1837 when
nancial crash of 1837. In 1846 after a split in her she had attended the first antislavery convention
local Quaker meeting, Anthony joined the Uni- held by women in the United States, in New
tarian church but retained her links with the York. Thanks to the support given the U.S. anti-
Quaker community in Rochester throughout her slavery campaign by many enlightened women,
life and encouraged the city’s particularly ener- who drew the obvious analogy between slavery
getic suffrage movement. and the domestic drudgery of the wife (Anthony
From the outset, Anthony made a conscious among them), the abolitionist movement be-
decision to reject domesticity and marriage; in- came closely allied with the campaign for
deed, her campaigning years up to 1890 kept her women’s rights. Anthony did not, however, at-
so constantly on the move that she never had a tend the first women’s rights convention at
place to call home. Having made the choice to be Seneca Falls in 1848, her primary interest at that
neither “drudge” nor “doll” (the two polarized time being temperance, but in 1851 she was in-

18
Anthony, Susan B.

troduced to Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Amelia “she is slow and analytical in composition, I am
Jenks Bloomer and struck up a lifelong friend- rapid and synthetic. I am the better writer, she
ship with her. the better critic. She supplied the facts and statis-
Although the cause of suffrage would later be- tics, I the philosophy and rhetoric” (Stanton, An-
come all-consuming for Anthony, the first cam- thony, and Gage 1881, 459). In addition, of all
paigns waged by her were for dress reform, tem- the early feminist pioneers in the United States,
perance, and women’s economic emancipation. Anthony was probably the most traveled. As
During 1851–1852 she joined with Stanton and Margaret Hope Bacon asserts, Anthony was the
Bloomer in attempting to overturn conventions proactive one willing to “do the legwork to make
of female dress, calling for an end to tight corset- the dream a reality” (Bacon 1986, 116). Indeed it
ing and bulky crinoline skirts and supporting the was a necessity, with Stanton tied to her domes-
new “bloomer” costume, which she herself wore tic duties and eventually eight children. Over the
during 1853–1854, as did Stanton. Meanwhile, years, Anthony would endure endless journeys
Anthony continued to concentrate her attention by carriage, cart, and, failing that, wagon across
on temperance. But in 1852 when she found her- bumpy roads to remote towns, only to be re-
self prohibited from speaking at a male-domi- warded for her pains by often encountering hos-
nated Albany temperance rally, she joined with tile audiences.
Stanton to found the Woman’s State Temperance Anthony proved a passionate abolitionist,
Society. For Anthony, temperance was an impor- helping escaped slaves on the Underground Rail-
tant way to control the physical violence of men road and in 1856 taking over the work of Lucy
against their wives and children, and she believed Stone as New York agent of the American Anti-
that women should have the right to divorce Slavery Society. In 1863 she and Stanton founded
drunken or violent husbands. When Anthony the Woman’s National Loyal League to petition
was again prevented, as a woman, from speaking against slavery and in 1866 Anthony agreed to
at the World’s Temperance Convention in 1853, take on another role as corresponding secretary
she went one better and organized a Whole of the American Equal Rights Association. Dur-
World’s Temperance Convention. Such would be ing the Civil War, Anthony and other women’s
the tenor of all her indomitable campaigning: a rights campaigners supported the Union in
dogged refusal to be restrained, as a woman, hopes that they would thereby win women’s suf-
from pursuing the causes in which she believed. frage from the victorious Republican Party for
She turned to campaigning for improvements to their loyalty. But Anthony was appalled when the
women’s economic position, with Stanton work- Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was
ing toward reform of the law regarding women’s introduced in 1866, defining the voter as male,
right to own property. In 1854 Anthony got up a and thus granting the vote only to freed, male
petition with 6,000 signatures, demanding that slaves when it was ratified in 1868. Anthony vio-
New York state pass a Married Women’s Property lently objected to the fact that black men, many
Act that would allow them to keep some of their of whom were illiterate, should be emancipated
own earnings, to retain some of their possessions ahead of better-educated white women, seeing
if they divorced, and to be given custody of their this as a betrayal of their work against slavery. Af-
children. Anthony also tagged on a demand for ter the slave leader Frederick Douglass upheld
suffrage to this petition, which was ignored. But the amendment (despite his avowed support for
in 1860 the act was passed acceding to most of women’s emancipation), Anthony became con-
the other demands. vinced that women could no longer rely on
Anthony and Stanton had by now become male-led movements for the achievement of
close collaborators. They were a good mix: An- their political rights. The ratification of the Fif-
thony the born organizer and business manager, teenth Amendment in 1870 was for her the last
self-effacing, hardworking, restrained, and pos- straw: it legislated against political disenfran-
sessed of considerable political acumen; Stanton chisement solely on the grounds of race and not
the ideologist and thinker, the passionate public of sex, thus upholding the continued exclusion
speaker, emotional, compassionate, a mother- of women from suffrage. As a result, Anthony
earth figure with small children of her own. As and Stanton would withdraw their support from
Stanton would later observe of their partnership: the American Anti-Slavery Society.

19
Anthony, Susan B.

In January 1868, with financing from an ec- was made the sacrificial lamb for a government
centric Irish entrepreneur, George Francis Train, test case: after being arrested and then eventually
Anthony set herself up as a publisher in New freed on bail, she went on a lecture tour of Mon-
York City to produce a weekly national journal roe County, New York (in which Rochester is lo-
on women’s rights, The Revolution, which fea- cated), publicizing her stand on women’s rights.
tured the slogan “Men, their rights and nothing She was fined $100 at her trial in early 1873, at
more; women, their rights and nothing less.” the end of which she launched a sharp attack on
Aside from denouncing the Fourteenth and Fif- the judge for the abuse of her civil and political
teenth Amendments, this very forward-looking rights and for having “trampled underfoot every
journal was not afraid to tackle controversial and vital principle of our government” (Bacon 1986,
distasteful issues such as prostitution, abortion, 131). Anthony refused to pay her fine, hoping to
rape and wife beating, and infanticide. (On its contest her case in a higher court. The authori-
pages, Anthony famously supported Hester ties defused this attempt at publicity by not pur-
Vaughan, who was accused of infanticide, orga- suing the fine.
nizing a petition and campaigning to win her a During the 1870s and 1880s, Anthony nar-
pardon.) But in early 1870, The Revolution folded rowed her activism to the fight for suffrage by re-
with debts of $10,000, and Anthony was faced lentlessly lobbying politicians for changes to the
with having to pay them. She did so by embark- Constitution. She eventually won the introduc-
ing on regular lecture tours in the Midwest and tion of a new federal amendment in Congress in
the West Coast and finally paid off the debts in 1878, which stated that a person’s sex should not
1876. exclude her from the right to vote. It became
Also in 1868, Anthony, long a supporter of the known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment and
rights of working women, helped to organize the was annually and endlessly debated and rejected,
New York Working Women’s Association in sup- while Anthony continued campaigning for its
port of a campaign for an eight-hour workday support across the United States. In 1881 she and
and equal pay for women. But by that time, there Stanton published a “Message to Future Genera-
was a pressing need for women to have their own tions,” in which they vowed women would not
organization dedicated to the fight for suffrage. give up the fight until they enjoyed the same
In January Anthony organized a woman suffrage rights as men. At this time, Anthony also began
convention in Washington, D.C., and in May setting down a record of the women’s suffrage
1869 Anthony and Stanton founded the National movement with Stanton and Matilda Joslyn
Woman Suffrage Association, with the objective Gage. They produced the first three volumes of
of taking their case right up to the federal level. the History of Woman Suffrage during
In so doing, they caused a split in the suffrage 1881–1886; in 1902 Anthony would eventually
movement. The more conservative wing, led by finish editing volume 4 with the help of Ida
Lucy Stone and her husband Henry Blackwell, Husted Harper, and the remaining two volumes
who disliked Anthony’s denigration of suffrage would finally appear in 1922. Harper would also
for black males, founded the American Woman write a two-volume hagiography, The Life of Su-
Suffrage Association. san B. Anthony, in 1898 (a third volume appeared
In 1872 Anthony decided to test the precise in 1908), but this book has since been shown to
wording of the Fourteenth Amendment. She felt be unreliable for its deliberate alterations to and
that its first section specifying that states shall censorship of some of Anthony’s letters.
not abridge the rights of “citizens” could be in- From the early 1880s, Anthony began advocat-
terpreted as referring to women. She also chal- ing the establishment of an international
lenged the Fifteenth Amendment, which forbade women’s suffrage association, and in 1888 her
the withholding of suffrage to citizens “on ac- goal was realized when she founded the Interna-
count of race, color, or previous condition of tional Council of Women in Washington. In
servitude,” asserting that it thus upheld the rights 1890, after many years of trying to bring together
of married women to vote because they too were the moderates and militants of the American
technically enslaved. She joined with fourteen suffrage movement and heal the rift between
other women to cast votes in elections in them, Anthony was the impetus behind the
Rochester, New York. As the ringleader, Anthony amalgamation of the two main suffrage organi-

20
Arenal, Concepción

zations under the title of the National American cial Issues, 1837–1883, vol. 2, Society and Literature
Woman Suffrage Association. Anthony served as in Britain and America, 1837–1883. Manchester:
its president from 1892 to 1900 and nominated Manchester University Press.
Carrie Chapman Catt as her successor. In 1904, Kerber, Linda K., and Jane DeHart-Mathews. 2000.
Women’s America: Refocusing the Past. New York:
two years before her death, Anthony was one of a
Oxford University Press.
group of women involved in the foundation of
Lutz, Alma. 1959. Susan B. Anthony: Rebel, Crusader,
the International Woman Suffrage Alliance after Humanitarian. Reprint, Boston: Beacon Press.
a meeting of the ICW in Berlin. Anthony was Sherr, Lynn. 1995. Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. An-
made its honorary president. thony in Her Own Words. New York: Times Books.
Undoubtedly one of the most forceful pio- Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Susan B. Anthony, and
neers of women’s suffrage in the United States, Matilda Joslyn Gage. 1881–1886. History of
Anthony never gave up hope of winning. Shortly Woman Suffrage, vol. 1. New York: Fowler and
before her death, she attended a national suffrage Wells.
convention in Baltimore, where she famously re-
marked that “failure is impossible” (Bacon 1986,
187). It was her eloquent collaborator Elizabeth Arenal, Concepción
Cady Stanton who summed up the secret of their (1820–1893)
successful teamwork: “I forged the thunderbolts, Spain
and she fired them” (Stanton, Anthony, and Gage
1881, 458). The prison reformer, humanist, and protosociol-
Susan B. Anthony’s home in Rochester, New ogist Concepción Arenal was a unique voice in
York, is now a National Historic Landmark and is nineteenth-century Spain. Alongside Emilia
maintained through private support. For informa- Pardo Bazán and Gertrudis Gómez de Avel-
tion, contact http://www.susanbanthonyhouse. laneda, she was one of the first to write in Span-
org/. The Women’s Rights National Park at Seneca ish about the position of women and the under-
Falls, which commemorates the women’s rights privileged at a time when the women’s
convention held there in 1848, has ongoing events, movement in that country had yet to develop.
news, and exhibitions relating to the work of An- Arenal’s writings on penal science and interna-
thony and her contemporaries. Contact http:// tional law became the model to which many later
www.nps.gov/wori/. Spanish women writers and reformers aspired.
Arenal was born in Galicia and brought up in
See also Bloomer, Amelia Jenks; Catt, Carrie Chap- Santander. In 1835 her family settled in Madrid,
man; Gage, Matilda Joslyn; Stanton, Elizabeth where during the 1840s, she defied her family’s
Cady; Stone, Lucy. sense of propriety and dressed as a man in order
References and Further Reading
to be admitted to lectures at the Central Univer-
Anthony, Katharine Susan. 1954. Susan B. Anthony:
Her Personal History and Her Era. Garden City,
sity. After marrying in 1848, she began publish-
NY: Doubleday. ing articles in the progressive newspaper Iberia.
Bacon, Margaret Hope. 1986. Mothers of Feminism: Left a widow with three children in 1857, she
The Story of Quaker Women in America. San Fran- turned to journalism as a major means of finan-
cisco: Harper and Row. cial support. In 1860 she published her first,
Barry, Kathleen. 1988. Susan B. Anthony: A Biography groundbreaking essay: “Beneficence, Philan-
of a Singular Feminist. New York: New York Uni- thropy and Charity.” Madrid’s Academy of Moral
versity Press. and Political Science was so impressed that it
Buhle, Mari Jo, and Paul Buhle, eds. 1978. The Con- awarded the essay a major prize, but it had been
cise History of Woman Suffrage: Selections from the published by Arenal under a male name—her
Classic Work of Stanton, Anthony, Gage, and
son’s. Shortly afterward, Arenal published what
Harper. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
DuBois, Ellen Carol. 1981. The Elizabeth Cady Stan-
would become a prototype for charitable and
ton–Susan B. Anthony Reader: Correspondence, philanthropic work, a manual known as The Vis-
Writings, Speeches. Rev. ed. Boston: Northeastern itor of the Poor (1860), the first of its kind to at-
University Press. tempt to explain the condition of poverty and
Helsinger, Elizabeth K., Robin Lauterbach Sheets, and the nature of the sorrow of the underprivileged.
William Veeder. 1983. The Woman Question: So- In it, she urged philanthropists to examine their

21
Armand, Inessa

own inner selves: “In order to enter the homes of which both denied them a sense of purpose and
the poor with humility of heart and of mind, we consigned them to silence and immobility. If
must decide whether in their place we would they dared aspire to any form of work, they
conduct ourselves better. In viewing their faults, found it doubly difficult to do so if they were
vices, and crimes, we must ask ourselves this married because work for middle-class women
question: would the poor be what they are, if we in an intensely Catholic Spain, as Catherine
were what we ought to be?” (Smith 1989, 215). Davies explains in her excellent study (1998), was
In 1863 Arenal initiated a lifetime’s work on not only disapproved of as unseemly by church
penal reform when she was appointed a visitor of and society but also considered to be a dishonor
the Women’s Prison at Corunna, publishing her to their husbands. Acutely aware of the lack of
findings as Letters to Delinquents in 1865 and of- professional opportunity open to women, in an
fering up suggestions for reform of the penal 1892 essay Arenal famously pronounced that the
code of 1850. In a brief reformist period in Span- only options open to women were to be “a
ish history that followed the 1868 revolution and schoolmistress in a girls’ school, telegraphist,
the dethronement of Queen Isabella, Arenal be- telephonist, tobacconist and Queen” (Davies
came inspector of the correctionals for women, a 1998, 24). After her death, the association Arenal
post she held until 1873. During this period, Are- had founded, the Women of Charity, went into
nal joined the organizing committee of the decline, and with it the first flowering of middle-
Ladies Athenaeum (1869) and founded a news- class feminism in Spain. Arenal’s vivid and com-
paper, the Voice of Charity, which ran until 1884. pelling arguments on women’s rights still await a
Meanwhile, Arenal had turned to exploring wider audience outside the Spanish-speaking
the wider issues of women’s civil and profes- world.
sional position in her writings. In 1868 she pub- See also Gómez de Avellaneda y Arteaga, Gertrudis;
lished The Woman of the Future, a collection of Pardo Bazán, Emilia.
twelve studies on the social position of Spanish References and Further Reading
women. In it, she pointed out, among other ab- Davies, Catherine. 1998. Spanish Women’s Writing
surdities, that a woman could be “the Mother of 1849–1996. London: Athlone Press.
God” but was not allowed to be a priest and that Smith, Bonnie G. 1989. Changing Lives: Women in
a woman was classified with children in civil law European History since 1700. Lexington, MA: D. C.
yet could suffer the same punishment as an adult Heath.
male under criminal law. In “Women’s Work,”
published in 1871 in the Bulletin of the Free Insti-
tute of Education, she argued for equal pay and Armand, Inessa
child care facilities for working women. She sup-
ported the rights of workers, advocating collec-
(Elizabeth d’Herbenville/
tive ownership after the International Workers Elizabeth Inès Stéphane)
Association was founded in Madrid in 1868, and (1874–1920)
in 1872 donated money toward the construction France/Soviet Union
of workers’ homes. Her pacifism grew during the
Carlist Wars that followed the proclamation of a Much has been made in recent biographies of the
Spanish republic in 1873, when she worked for Bolshevik leader Vladimir Ilich Lenin of the role
the Red Cross and ran a hospital for the of the socialist feminist Inessa Armand in his life.
wounded. She published her account of this pe- In a rare revelation of the more human side to
riod as War Notebooks (1874). Arenal became in- Lenin, biographers have indicated that he and
creasingly radical after the restoration of the Armand had a very close relationship from about
monarchy in 1875 and in 1876 moved to Asturia. 1911 to Armand’s death in 1920. Had she not
She once more returned to an exposition of the died young, Comrade Inessa (as the Soviets re-
problems of the middle-class woman, in 1881 at- ferred to her), a highly articulate figure in the
tacking the sterility of married life in The Woman Women’s Department of the Communist Party
in Her House. (known as the Zhenotdel), might have come to
Middle-class women in Spain were con- exert a greater influence over the Soviet leader in
strained by a narrow existence, Arenal argued, her work for women’s issues.

22
Armand, Inessa

Inessa Armand (Susan Lang)

Armand was born in Paris as Elizabeth d’Her- and served as president of the society from 1900
benville, the daughter of a French father and a to 1903.
Scottish mother who were traveling music hall At this time, Armand also attended the Sunday
performers. After the death of her father, Ar- gatherings of M. K. Gorbunova-Kablukova, an
mand and her sister were sent to Russia by their ardent supporter of women’s education and their
mother to join their aunt and grandmother, who entry into the professions. Armand herself tried
were tutors there to the children of a rich Russian to open a Sunday school for poor and illiterate
industrialist, Evgeny Armand. When she was working women in 1900, but this school and an
nineteen, Inessa married Evgeny’s son Alexander attempt to set up a women’s newspaper in 1902
and subsequently had four children by him. An were quashed by the authorities. She was allowed
intelligent woman, Armand read widely and em- to establish a “shelter for downtrodden women”
braced the emergent women’s movement. She in 1901, however, which aided women in their
ran a school for peasants on the family estate, social rehabilitation by teaching them sewing,
and in Moscow in 1899 she joined with a group cooking, and other simple domestic skills. But by
of women reformers to found the Moscow Soci- 1903, after four years of charitable work con-
ety for Improving the Lot of Women, which be- ducted in the face of a barrage of official objec-
came affiliated with the Women’s International tions and with very limited results, Armand had
Progressive Union in England and shared similar become convinced by her reading of the litera-
objectives with the Russian Women’s Mutual ture of Marxism and contacts with socialist po-
Philanthropic Society. The Moscow society litical groups that only radical social and politi-
worked on various philanthropic projects, in- cal change would ever combat such deep-seated
cluding temperance and the campaign against social ills.
state-regulated prostitution and for the rehabili- During 1903 Armand had an affair with her
tation of prostitutes. It also set up hostels and vo- brother-in-law Vladimir and gave birth to a fifth
cational workshops for poor women. Armand child that October. She joined the Russian Social
became chair of its Educational Commission Democratic Workers’ Party and over the next five

23
Armand, Inessa

years worked for it, mainly in Moscow and she sent Lenin a résumé of a pamphlet she
Pushkino (a town northeast of the city), dissem- wanted to write drawn from her own experi-
inating revolutionary propaganda and stealing ences, setting out her views on love, marriage,
back and forth from Russia to Europe between and the family and emphasizing freedom of
arrests and periods of imprisonment. After her choice, personal commitment, and sexual equal-
fourth arrest, she was sent to Archangel in 1907 ity. A detailed correspondence between Armand
to serve out her sentence in exile. Her health was and Lenin on the subject followed. Lenin’s bu-
poor, and the conditions in the frozen north of reaucratic and highly pedantic responses con-
Russia were arduous. In October 1908 Armand centrated on Armand’s interpretation of the con-
absconded, returned to Moscow, and from there cept of “free love” (that bothersome topic—as far
escaped to Europe, eventually arriving in France as the Bolshevik leadership were concerned—
in January 1909. Seeking to prepare herself better that so preoccupied other Bolshevik women like
for party work in exile and reunited with three of Kollontai). Lenin’s conclusion was simple: free
her children, she went to the New University of love was a “bourgeois demand” and a class issue.
Brussels to study economic science. After com- What Armand saw as a basic human need, Lenin
pleting her studies, in September 1910 she took viewed as a license to promiscuity, as “leftist de-
up work in Paris with French socialists and Rus- viation”; what is more, in his view, such emo-
sian émigrés and adopted the name Inessa Ar- tional aspirations were disruptive to the work for
mand. socialism. Nothing ever shifted the puritanical
As far back as the 1890s, Armand had read the streak in Lenin’s attitude toward sexuality and
writings of Lenin and had exchanged letters with the relationships of male and female revolution-
him. Between that time and the October Revolu- aries. He was still locked into the view perpetu-
tion in 1917, they crossed paths constantly in Eu- ated in the revolutionary bible of the 1860s—
rope, with Armand becoming a close collabora- Nikolay Chernyshevsky’s novel What Is to Be
tor and friend of Lenin’s wife, Nadezhda Done?—a paean to the aesthetic ideal of men and
Krupskaya. In Paris Armand was a very energetic women working in celibate harmony within the
worker for the Bolsheviks, disseminating litera- revolutionary collective.
ture, indoctrinating and training new members, After the February Revolution broke in 1917,
and helping to fund a Socialist Party summer Armand was one of a select group who accom-
school at Longjumeau in 1911. She also trans- panied Lenin back to Russia in a sealed train, ar-
lated Bolshevik literature into French, including riving at St. Petersburg’s Finland Station in April.
some of Lenin’s writings. In July 1912 Armand In Moscow she became a familiar figure on the
returned to St. Petersburg to do undercover work podium at political meetings as a member of the
for the party. She was arrested in September and Bolshevik Party’s Central Committee. She set up
spent another six months in solitary confine- the journal Working Woman’s Life in June 1917,
ment. In August 1913 she left Russia again, publishing articles accentuating the work of the
worked with Lenin for a while in Cracow, female proletariat and encouraging women to
Poland, and eventually returned to Paris. There, join the party. After the October Revolution it
with Krupskaya and Alexandra Kollontai she was rumored that Lenin had wanted to live
started a Bolshevik journal for women, the openly with Armand but that the Bolshevik lead-
Woman Worker, in which they urged Russia’s fe- ership had refused to condone this. Instead, in
male proletariat to rebel against their exploita- 1918, Armand was discreetly installed in an
tion by the capitalist system. The journal was apartment in the Kremlin, along with Lenin’s
short-lived, but during her six months of work wife and his sister Maria. In 1918 Armand be-
for it, Armand initiated discussions within the came chair of the Moscow branch of the Eco-
party on the status of women. nomic Council, involved herself in the establish-
During World War I, much of Armand’s time ment of new schools, and occasionally gave
was taken up working for Lenin and the party in lectures in schools on the “woman question” and
Paris. She also organized pacifist conferences other issues. She also organized the First All-
against the war and represented the Bolsheviks at Russian Congress of Women Workers and Peas-
international socialist conferences held at Zim- ants with Kollontai and Konkordiya Samoilova.
merwald and Kienthal in Switzerland. In 1915 Armand’s major contribution to the restruc-

24
Ashby, Margery Corbett

turing of Soviet society came with her party tional Women Communists in Moscow in July
work for women from August 1919 as founder 1920, but by then she was on the point of physi-
and first director of the Zhenotdel, the new cal collapse. Lenin begged her to take a rest in the
women’s department of the Communist Party, a Caucasus, but shortly after her arrival there, Ar-
concept that had been advocated as far back as mand contracted cholera and died. Lenin was
1908 by Kollontai. The Zhenotdel would pro- distraught at Armand’s death and ensured that
mote the education, emancipation, and integra- she was accorded the honor of being buried
tion into the workplace of women under Soviet alongside other revolutionary heroes by the
rule—or that, in theory, was its aim. It ambi- Kremlin Wall in Red Square.
tiously set out to unite women across a great di- The flame of Armand’s work was kept alive
versity of ethnic, social, and religious communi- until Lenin’s own death in 1924, but before the
ties in the economic reconstruction of the decade was out, Joseph Stalin had set about de-
country by improving standards of productivity stroying her legacy, and by the 1930s her work
in the factories and extending political educa- had been forgotten. The Zhenotdel to which she
tion to illiterate workers. But in reality, the had dedicated her health and energies was abol-
Zhenotdel’s role was soon commandeered by ished by Stalin in 1930. Its abolition symbolized
the male Bolshevik leadership to impose unifor- the death of Bolshevik feminism in the Soviet
mity of political thought and mobilize even Union.
more women (particularly those in remote rural See also Filosova, Anna; Kollontai, Alexandra; Krup-
areas) for even more work. skaya, Nadezhda.
For her part, Armand worked hard to ensure References and Further Reading
that nurseries, clinics, communal laundries, Clements, Barbara Evans. 1997. Bolshevik Women.
kitchens, and canteens were set up to help fac- Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
tory women all over the Soviet Union. Having Elwood, Carter. 1992. Inessa Armand: Revolutionary
access to such services would not only enable and Feminist. Cambridge: Cambridge University
them to perform better at their jobs but also free Press.
up time for them to become active in workers’ Service, Robert. 2000. Lenin: A Biography. London:
committees, attend literacy classes and trade Macmillan.
Stites, Richard. 1991 [1978]. The Women’s Liberation
union meetings, and thus be politicized. She also
Movement in Russia: Feminism, Nihilism, and Bol-
set up a Zhenotdel newspaper called the Com- shevism, 1860–1930. Reprint, Princeton: Princeton
munist Woman, on which she collaborated with University Press.
Nadezhda Krupskaya, and supervised the publi- Volkogonov, Dmitri. 1994. Lenin: Life and Legacy.
cation of much other literature, including a six- London: HarperCollins.
teen-page pamphlet titled “Why I Have Become
a Defender of Soviet Rule.” But in the course of
its work the Zhenotdel ran up against many dif- Ashby, Margery Corbett
ficulties. Russian peasant women in remote areas (1882–1981)
had long been resistant to strangers who came to United Kingdom
their villages to proselytize, particularly commu-
nist organizers who rode roughshod over tradi- Margery Corbett Ashby had a long and distin-
tional social customs and religious practice. This guished career in public service that was domi-
problem became particularly acute among Mus- nated by her promotion of women’s rights and
lim women in the Soviet republics who were her beliefs in individual liberty. As a respected
forced to unveil. In any event, the party itself figure in liberal politics and the international
would become increasingly wary of any separate women’s movement, she also took a particular
sphere of women’s activity that could not be kept interest in the enfranchisement of women in de-
under its tight control. veloping countries through her long presidency
There is no doubt that Armand wore herself (1923–1946) of the International Woman Suf-
out in service of the Zhenotdel and the Commu- frage Alliance (IWSA).
nist Party, often working sixteen hours a day. To- Born in Sussex, Ashby was educated at home
gether with Alexandra Kollontai and Samoilova, by her parents and by French and German gov-
she organized the First Conference of Interna- ernesses. As the daughter of a Liberal Party

25
Ashby, Margery Corbett

member of Parliament and a socially active president. During her twenty-three years as presi-
mother (who had campaigned for dress reform in dent she toured the world, much encouraged in
her day), she grew up in a family that advocated her work and financially assisted by her parents,
progressive reform and from her teens helped her especially during the 1920s. She visited all the
mother campaign for the women’s suffrage member countries of the IWSA in Europe be-
movement. At the age of only sixteen, she made tween 1924 and 1928 and also the United States.
her first political speech, and at eighteen with her She spoke on women’s issues, notably her own
younger sister and some friends, she founded a hobbyhorses of women’s equal rights with men in
group known as the Young Suffragists. the workplace and the adoption by men of the
After studying classics from 1900 to 1903 at same moral standards as women, in thirty-seven
Newnham College, Cambridge University, where different countries, putting to good use her ability
she was active in the Cambridge branch of the to converse in French, German, Italian, and Turk-
National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies ish. In 1926, with suffrage having been awarded to
(NUWSS), Ashby spent a year at a teacher-train- women in many countries, the IWSA was re-
ing college. But after accompanying her mother named the International Alliance of Women for
to the inaugural congress of the IWSA, held in Suffrage and Equal Citizenship (IAWSEC), and it
Berlin in 1904, she decided against a career as a concentrated on extending its activities to wider
teacher. issues of women’s rights in employment, educa-
In 1907 Ashby briefly took a job as organizing tion, and their encouragement to hold public of-
secretary of the NUWSS and was subsequently fice. Ashby continued to emphasize women’s
elected to its executive committee. With her peace campaigning and worked hard to overcome
mother, she founded the Liberal Suffrage Group, differences with feminists in countries seeking in-
and in 1909 she joined the executive committee dependence from British rule, collaborating with
of the Cambridge Women’s Suffrage Association. Egyptian feminist leader and nationalist Huda
After her marriage in 1910 to barrister Arthur Sha’rawi to further women’s suffrage in Egypt.
Ashby, she restricted herself to local affairs for a Several years after her tenure as president ended
while, serving as a poor law guardian in Putney in 1946, Ashby edited the IWSA journal Interna-
in 1913. She resigned from the NUWSS executive tional Woman Suffrage News from 1952 to 1961.
in 1914 and took up voluntary relief work during When the vote in Britain was extended from
World War I. She was invited by the British War women over thirty to all women over twenty-one
Office to advise on the problems that developed in 1928, Ashby joined with Eva Hubback to work
during Germany’s postwar occupation by Allied under the auspices of the National Union of So-
troops and assisted in the establishment of a cieties for Equal Citizenship, again encouraging
women’s police force in Cologne to help control women to play their part in British political and
the growing problem of prostitution in the city cultural life and calling upon government to in-
during its occupation. troduce family allowances. She cofounded the
After women in Britain gained the vote in Townswomen’s Guilds during the late 1920s, or-
1918, Ashby’s primary objective was to enter Par- ganizations intended to further promote
liament, where she could better promote women’s public service throughout the counties
women’s rights and the greater involvement of of the United Kingdom in no matter how limited
women in British political life. In 1918 she was a capacity.
one of seventeen women who stood for the first Throughout the 1930s, Ashby also became
time for election to the House of Commons, but, increasingly preoccupied with the peace move-
unfortunately, it was the first of seven unsuccess- ment. During 1932–1934 she was British alter-
ful attempts in seven different constituencies nate delegate to the League of Nations Disarma-
that she would make between then and 1944. ment Conference and supported the work of the
Ashby was a delegate of the IWSA to the Ver- league in peace mediation, although she was dis-
sailles Peace Conference (1919–1920) and at- mayed that it did not accord women greater in-
tended the first of the IWSA’s postwar congresses volvement in its administration. But her faith in
in 1920, at which she was elected secretary. Three the efficacy of the league in averting war evapo-
years later, at the alliance’s Rome conference, she rated, as did her ambition of galvanizing a broad
was elected to succeed Carrie Chapman Catt as base of support for the peace movement among

26
Ashrawi, Hanan

members of the International Alliance of Wo- 1990s, the Palestinian human rights activist and
man. Ashby resigned as a delegate in 1935, deeply peace negotiator Hanan Ashrawi has remained at
discouraged that so little had been achieved by the forefront of consciousness-raising on hu-
the British government in forwarding the cause manitarian issues and the achievement of a just
of collective security. and permanent peace in Israel. As an informed
In 1942 Ashby went to Sweden to conduct and articulate defender of the intifada, Ashrawi
anti-Nazi propaganda during World War II. Al- became the acceptable face of the Palestine Lib-
though she gave up her work for the IWSA in eration Organization (PLO) for the media and
1946, she continued to attend its conferences and the public at large, with sympathetic Israelis on
lectured on pacifism and women’s rights, travel- the left seeing her as epitomizing the “good
ing in India, Sri Lanka, and Iran. A lifelong lib- Arab.” A woman of considerable intellect and
eral, Ashby was also active in the Association for commanding presence, she has done much to
Moral and Social Hygiene, the British Common- maintain the high profile of the legitimacy of the
wealth League, and the Women’s Freedom Palestinian cause during the often extremely
League. She was made a Dame of the British Em- fraught Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
pire in 1967 and remained an important figure Ashrawi was born into a Palestinian Christian
in the international women’s movement until family at Nablus, in what was then part of the
her death at the age of ninety-nine. British mandate of Palestine and is now the Is-
See also Catt, Carrie Chapman; Sha’rawi, Huda.
raeli-occupied West Bank. Her father, a prosper-
References and Further Reading ous medical practitioner, Daoud Mikhail, had
Alberti, Johanna. 1989. Beyond Suffrage: Feminists in been active in the Palestinian nationalist move-
War and Peace, 1914–1928. London: Macmillan. ment and was a founder of the PLO. She grew up
Ashby, Dame Margery Corbett. 1996. Memoirs. Pri- in comfortable middle-class surroundings in Ra-
vately printed. mallah and entered the American University of
Bosch, Mineke. 1990. Politics and Friendship: Letters Beirut, in Lebanon, where she earned a degree in
from the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, English literature. While studying in Beirut,
1902–1942. Columbus: Ohio State University Ashrawi joined the General Union of Palestinian
Press. Students, which had undertaken welfare work
Brookes, Pamela. 1967. Women at Westminster: An
among Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. When
Account of Women in the British Parliament
1918–1966. London: Peter Davies.
the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War broke out in 1967,
Harrison, Brian. 1987. Prudent Revolutionaries: Por- she was trapped in Beirut, unable, as an “absen-
traits of British Feminists between the Wars. Ox- tee” under a new law introduced by the Israelis,
ford: Clarendon Press. to return home.
Rupp, Leila J. 1997. Worlds of Women: The Making of After graduating in 1969, she decided to go to
an International Women’s Movement. Princeton: the United States to do postgraduate studies in
Princeton University Press. medieval and comparative literature at the Uni-
Schreiber, Adele, and Margaret Mathieson. 1955. versity of Virginia. There she joined in left-wing
Journey towards Freedom: Written for the Golden student activism and the women’s movement
Jubilee of the International Alliance of Women. and was finally allowed to return to Ramallah in
Copenhagen: International Alliance of Women.
1973. She was offered the chair of Medieval and
Stott, Mary. 1978. Organization Woman: The Story of
the National Union of Townswomen’s Guilds. Lon-
Comparative Literature at the Anglican Teachers’
don: Heinemann. College at Bir Zeit on the West Bank, which was
Whittick, A. with Frederick Muller. 1979. Woman into then being upgraded to Bir Zeit University. In
Citizen. London: Atheneum. 1986 she was appointed dean of the Faculty of
Arts. She resigned as dean in 1990, although she
continued her association with the faculty until
Ashrawi, Hanan 1995.
(1946– ) After the raids on Palestinian refugee camps
Palestinian National Authority by Lebanese Christians in 1982, Ashrawi became
an important spokesperson for the rights of
Since taking a leading role in peace talks to try to Palestinians and an open advocate of an inde-
end the Arab-Israeli conflict in Israel in the early pendent Palestinian state. In the late 1980s, she

27
Astor, Nancy

became heavily involved in the Palestinian cause the Palestinians,” Ashrawi has consistently pro-
and the activism of the PLO as a member of the moted the politics of peace rather than con-
Intifada Political Committee. In interviews on frontation; she has denounced Israel’s failure to
American news programs—notably a three- comply with the terms of the Oslo Accords but
hour, live Arab-Israeli debate in a 1988 edition of has also condemned extremism and the abuse of
ABC’s Nightline—she lent a newfound weight human rights by the PNA. She has extended her
and seriousness to the legitimacy of Palestinian work for human rights beyond the confines of
claims with her intelligent, reasoned responses the Middle East as a member of the Independent
and drew attention to the unraveling humanitar- International Commission on Kosovo. She con-
ian crisis among Israel’s dispossessed Palestinian tinues to speak out with characteristic compas-
population. sion against the victimization of ordinary Pales-
In 1991, when Norwegian negotiators initi- tinians in what she perceives as a punitive peace
ated Middle East peace talks, Ashrawi was ap- process that is perpetuating rather than resolving
pointed by Yasser Arafat to join the Palestinian conflict, but she is determined that a democratic
delegation in Madrid; she led a protest when the resolution will be achieved. Her work continues
Israelis called for all delegates linked to the PLO in the international arena as a member of advi-
to be excluded, and although the ruling stood, sory bodies such as the Council on Foreign Rela-
such was the respect for Ashrawi that she was al- tions and the United Nations Research Institute
lowed to take on the role of official spokesperson for Social Development. She is now holder of the
of the Palestinian delegation during what be- Weissberg chair in international studies at Beloit
came the Middle East peace process. College.
Under the Oslo Accords of 1993, self-rule was Ashrawi is the author of numerous academic
established for Palestinians in parts of the Israeli- works on literature, including Contemporary
occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Ashrawi Palestinian Literature under Occupation (1976)
again played a crucial role, but with some Mus- and From Intifada to Independence (1989); and in
lims reluctant to have her, as a Christian and 1995 published her autobiography, This Side of
feminist, as their representative, she resigned as Peace: A Personal Account, about the Palestinian
official spokesperson at the end of the year in or- fight for autonomy.
der to concentrate on human rights issues in the
Israeli-occupied territories. She founded and be- References and Further Reading
came commissioner general (1993–1996) of the Ashrawi, Hanan. 1995. This Side of Peace: A Personal
Palestinian Independent Commission for Citi- Account. London: Simon and Schuster.
zens’ Rights in Jerusalem, a human rights group Encyclopedia Britannica: Book of the Year 1993.
within the newly established Palestinian Na- Chicago: University of Chicago Press and Ency-
tional Authority (PNA). After the first free elec- clopedia Britannica.
tions were staged in the Palestinian West Bank Golden, Kristen, and Barbara Findlen. 1998. Remark-
able Women of the Twentieth Century: 100 Portraits
and Gaza in 1996, she was elected to the Pales-
of Achievement. New York: Friedman/Fairfax Pub-
tinian Legislative Council as an independent lishers, in association with Corbis.
member for Jerusalem and served for two years Penguin Biographical Dictionary of Women. 1998.
(1996–1998) as minister of higher education and Harmondsworth: Penguin.
research under Yasser Arafat. However, in 1998, Victor, Barbara. 1994. A Voice of Reason: Hanan
dissatisfied with Arafat’s leadership of the PNA Ashrawi and Peace in the Middle East. New York:
and concerned about the erosion of its demo- Harcourt Brace and Co.
cratic principles and the rise of political corrup-
tion, Ashrawi resigned. She founded a new body,
the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Astor, Nancy
Global Dialogue and Democracy, dedicated to (1879–1964)
democratic and candid dialogue in the resolu- United States/United Kingdom
tion of conflict and the free exchange of ideas
based on humanitarian rather than ideological The noted American-born feminist and politi-
considerations. cian Lady Nancy Astor, famous for her repartee
Revered by her admirers as the “First Lady of and the coterie of privileged friends who fre-

28
Astor, Nancy

quented her opulent mansion at Cliveden, used Irish Sinn Fein member, Constance de Mar-
her position as the first woman member of Par- kievicz, had been elected in 1918 but had de-
liament (MP) in Britain to campaign with clined to take her seat in protest at British rule in
moralistic fervor on many social issues during Ireland). Not all feminists, however, delighted in
her twenty-six-year career. From the day she en- Astor’s moment of triumph. As an American and
tered Parliament in 1919, Astor became a thorn a member of the wealthy aristocracy, not only
in the side of the male political establishment was she seen by many women as a less than ideal
with her idiosyncratic brand of “moral reform candidate for the honor of first woman MP, but
feminism” (Pugh 2000, 244). Refusing to accede her campaign had been a comfortable one, win-
to the role of party yes-woman or be patronized ning as she had her husband’s safe seat. As Mary
as the token woman in Parliament, she remained Stocks relates in her memoirs (1970), Astor’s de-
her own person in the firm belief that women tractors were soon surprised by both the energy
were not the weaker but the stronger sex and and commitment that she invested in her work.
could play an influential part in British political She proved to be no political dilettante but a
life as well as in reconciling class antagonisms. woman who was genuinely interested in and pas-
Such was her outspokenness throughout her po- sionate about every social cause she adopted.
litical career that Astor was convinced that it had As the only woman among 600 men, Astor was
kept her from being given a cabinet post. She re- paralyzed by fear on her first day in the house,
mained one of British politics’ great individual- but made an impressive maiden speech on tem-
ists, a woman of tremendous vitality and deter- perance, a subject close to her own heart, along
mination who proudly asserted, “I am an with other issues relating to moral reform.
agitator, not an administrator.” Thereafter, she became renowned for her short,
Born Nancy Witcher Langhorne in Danville, fiery speeches, her idiosyncratic brand of charm
Virginia, Astor was one of five exceptionally combined with bullishness, and the persistence
beautiful and gifted daughters of a Virginia to- with which she rudely and constantly challenged
bacco auctioneer who had worked his way up male politicians during their own speeches. For
from poverty to a fortune. She made a socially the next three years, Astor occupied a unique
advantageous marriage to Bostonian Robert place in British politics as the only woman MP.
Gould Shaw in 1897, but the couple proved sex- She would be supported throughout her long ca-
ually incompatible, a situation exacerbated by reer by her husband, who was devoted to her,
Gould’s drinking. Mindful of the social stigma and by the admiration of many women’s organi-
attached to divorce, Nancy only reluctantly zations. She was assisted in her work by the fem-
agreed to one in 1903. inist Ray Strachey, who offered her services free
In England in 1906 Nancy met and married as parliamentary secretary and political adviser
Waldorf Astor, the son of an American family, and once remarked that Astor became a “symbol
who was in line for both his father’s title and his of hope” to whom many wives and mothers ap-
millions (his father had been made a British pealed in the hundreds of letters she would re-
peer). In 1910 Waldorf Astor stood as a Liberal ceive daily, being “identified in the public mind
candidate for Parliament and was elected to a with all the socials reforms which are dear to or-
seat in Plymouth. The couple moved to the West dinary women” (Strachey 1978, 378). And Astor
Country, where Astor became active in her hus- certainly made good use of her position in pro-
band’s constituency in between having five chil- moting a wide range of social causes that ab-
dren. In 1919 the first Lord Astor died, and upon sorbed her: temperance, law and order (as a
inheriting his father’s title, Waldorf Astor was member of the Criminal Law Commission in
promoted to the House of Lords. With women in 1922 and an advocate of women police officers),
the United Kingdom having been awarded suf- progressive education, and an increase in the age
frage in 1918, Nancy decided to stand in the by- at which students might legally leave school. On
election to her husband’s seat and became a broader level, her campaigning addressed in
Unionist MP for the Sutton division of Ply- particular the preservation of family life, and the
mouth in 1919. This made her the first woman in rights and welfare of women and children. As an
Britain to enter Parliament, which she did in a initiator of the Trade Boards Act, she also worked
blaze of publicity and much public curiosity (the for improved standards in the distributive and

29
Astor, Nancy

catering trades and was supportive of the work among the aristocracy in Britain at that time.
of Margaret McMillan in the establishment of However, there was a perverse courage, if not
nursery schools. recklessness, to the way in which she gave short
Olive Banks (1990, 220) argues that for all her shrift to those with whose political ideas she dis-
support of temperance, Astor’s successful cam- agreed. Thus, when she visited the Soviet Union
paigning for the introduction of a private mem- with her husband and George Bernard Shaw in
ber’s bill, the Intoxicating Liquors Act of 1923 1931, she exercised no restraint in “going on” at
(which prohibited the sale of alcohol to people Joseph Stalin “like a steamroller” (Fox 2000, 430)
under the age of eighteen), was prompted as over his repressive policies. Equally, in later years
much by her concern for equal rights and justice she would be just as uncompromising in her crit-
for the many wives abused by alcoholic husbands icism of Nazism and McCarthyism.
as it was on strictly moral terms. A devout Chris- During her years as an MP, Astor’s home,
tian Scientist from 1914 and an admirer of Mary Cliveden, became a notable political salon (its
Baker Eddy’s Science and Health (1875), she em- habitués were known as the “Cliveden set”),
ployed an evangelizing earnestness in her persis- where some of the most eminent minds of her
tent attacks on prevailing double standards in sex- day met and from where they exerted consider-
ual behavior. Many of Astor’s views of moral able influence over British foreign policy in par-
reform reached back to the reformist traditions of ticular. Her equally grand townhouse in Lon-
the Victorian era laid down by women such as don’s St. James’s Square also became a venue for
Josephine Butler, whom she greatly admired. informal meetings between politicians and
With her emphasis on the good, solid, middle- women voters. Although she was a Unionist MP,
class values of sobriety, sexual restraint, and the Astor nevertheless supported the principles of
defense of marriage (she wanted to make divorce welfare legislation mooted by the British labor
more difficult), Astor won approval for many of movement and in 1932 set up a lobby group to
her reform campaigns from that bastion of mid- fight the exclusion of married women from
dle England, the Women’s Institutes, in the words statutory rights under the National Health Insur-
of Brian Harrison,“the real, old-fashioned, coura- ance and Contributory Pensions Act.
geous, sensible, solid cup-of-tea women” (1987, During World War II, Astor gave much moral
80). It was her ability to relate to such women at support to her constituents, who came under
large that gave Astor what Martin Pugh (2000) fierce bombing raids by the Germans (because of
sees as the “common touch” akin to that of some the naval installations at Plymouth). Her own
royalty, a gift that increased support for Astor’s home there suffered bomb damage. But by the
positions on gambling, prostitution, temperance, end of the war, the political climate in Britain
and the protection of women and children. In had changed dramatically, and Astor allowed
1925 Astor introduced a bill to end the controls herself to be persuaded to retire from Parliament
on prostitution and replace them with legislation in 1945, a fact that she later regretted. With her
that would have made not just the prostitutes who political powers by then markedly fading, how-
solicited on the streets but also their male clients ever, she may well have spared herself ignomin-
subject to prosecution. Following in the steps of ious defeat in the subsequent Labour landslide.
Butler, Astor attached similar importance to the In the years since her death in 1964, Astor has
eradication of venereal disease through the re- been remembered primarily for her gift for mim-
form of male sexual behavior. In addition, she was icry (as an impersonator of numerous fellow
involved in passing legislation making child mo- politicians) and her eccentric witticisms, ensur-
lestation a serious crime (and she was supported ing her inclusion in many collections of quota-
in this by Britain’s second woman MP, the now tions, if nothing else. As former British prime
forgotten Margaret Wintringham). minister Clement Attlee remarked at her death,
There was, however, a negative side to Astor’s “She could exchange compliments or insults on
work: she was violently intolerant of many equal terms with dukes or dockers” (Observer 3
things, most overtly socialism and communism. May 1964). In 1923 Astor published her lively
No apologies can be made for her undisguised memoirs My Two Countries, which contain much
racial prejudice, although one might argue that it of her thinking on women’s moral superiority to
typified the ingrained social attitudes prevalent men and her belief that men’s derisiveness to-

30
Auclert, Hubertine

ward women by men had originated, in her view, peaceful social change. For forty years she dedi-
from the day that Adam laid the blame on cated herself to the cause of women’s suffrage.
woman for eating the apple in the Garden of Auclert was rebellious from an early age. Born
Eden. But to emphasize her wit at the expense of in Allier as one of seven children, she turned her
her genuine social concerns is to do her a dis- back on her conventional convent education and
service: Nancy Astor’s humanitarian concerns, overcame her natural shyness to move to Paris in
her courage, and her social activism more than 1872 to work for women’s rights. She later re-
demonstrated the generous undercurrents of her called: “I became a crusader, not by choice, but
irreverent public persona. from duty . . . and went to war like a medieval
See also Butler, Josephine; Markievicz, Constance de;
knight” (Moses 1984, 213). She took a job as sec-
McMillan, Margaret. retary on the newspaper The Future of Women
References and Further Reading (founded as Women’s Rights by Léon Richer in
Astor, Michael. 1963. Tribal Feeling. London: John 1869 and run by Marie Deraismes), which pro-
Murray. vided a forum for campaigns for women’s educa-
Astor, Nancy. 1923. My Two Countries. London: W. tion and admittance to the professions, revision
Heinemann. of the civil code, and improved wages and prop-
Banks, Olive. 1990. [1981.] Faces of Feminism: A erty rights for women. She also produced her
Study of Feminism as a Social Movement. Reprint, own pamphlets, The Political Rights of Women
Oxford: Blackwell. (1878) and Social and Political Equality (1879),
Collis, Maurice. 1960. Nancy Astor: An Informal Biog-
arguing for women’s property rights, their right
raphy. London: Faber and Faber.
Fox, James. 2000. Five Sisters: The Langhorne Sisters of
to retain their maiden names, and other issues.
Virginia. New York: Simon and Schuster. For a while, Auclert was active in Richer and
Harrison, Brian. 1987. Prudent Revolutionaries: Por- Deraismes’s group, the Association for the Rights
traits of British Feminists between the Wars. Ox- of Women, but in 1876 she split with them be-
ford: Clarendon Press. cause they would not commit to working specifi-
Masters, A. 1981. Nancy Astor: A Biography. New cally for women’s suffrage, but supported a grad-
York: McGraw Hill. ualist approach to the achievement of women’s
Pugh, Martin. 2000. Women and the Women’s Move- political rights. As a militant, Auclert could not
ment in Britain 1914–1999. 2d ed. Basingstoke: agree with republican feminists such as De-
Macmillan. raismes that women’s suffrage must wait until
Stocks, Mary. 1970. My Commonplace Book. London:
women were more politically enlightened and
Peter Davies.
Strachey, Ray. 1978 [1928]. The Cause: A Brief History
less inclined to support a return of the monarchy.
of the Women’s Movement. Reprint, London: Refused permission by Deraismes and Richer
Virago. to make a speech on women’s suffrage at the first
Sykes, Christopher. 1972. Nancy: The Life of Lady international congress on women’s rights orga-
Astor. London: Collins. nized by them in France in 1878, Auclert gave it
the following year as a delegate to the founding
congress of the French Workers Party, held in
Auclert, Hubertine Marseilles. On this occasion, she obtained sup-
(1848–1914) port from male activists in framing resolutions
France/Algeria on women’s political and civil equality. But al-
though she founded the Paris branch of the Fed-
It was the belief of the radical feminist and paci- eration of the Socialist Workers’ Party of France,
fist Hubertine Auclert, who revived and led the her involvement with socialism was brief.
French suffrage movement in the formative It is thought that Auclert was one of the first
phase of the French Third Republic from 1871, women to use the term féministe. Her new femi-
that women were a natural force for good in so- nist group Women’s Rights, established in 1876,
ciety. Their emancipation, which would make had as its motto “No duties without rights; no
them equal partners with men in the civil, polit- rights without duties,” and its objective was ab-
ical, and economic spheres, combined with the solute equality for women with men in all
proper support of mothers and children by the spheres. The group issued an “Appeal to the
state would, in her view, provide the impetus to Women of France” (1876), in which it challenged

31
Auclert, Hubertine

Hubertine Auclert (Historical Library of the City of Paris)

the double legal standard that treated women as and liberal, republican feminists such as Marie
an incompetent subspecies of humanity, yet Deraismes, who called for a broader base of civil
punished them just as severely as men. The and political rights. In 1883, having become dis-
group also questioned why women were obliged satisfied with Deraismes’s lack of clear support
to pay the same taxes as men when they had no for women’s suffrage, Auclert renamed her
say in the country’s financial affairs. Women’s Rights group Women’s Suffrage. It was
In 1880 Auclert tried to register to vote. When the first women’s organization in France specifi-
she was denied this right, she refused to pay her cally dedicated to this cause, as well as to reform
taxes, only to have her furniture seized. of the divorce laws, equal pay for women, and
Throughout the decade she repeatedly peti- women’s entry into the professions. At this time
tioned the French government on women’s Auclert also met in Liverpool with U.S. suffra-
rights. In 1881 she cofounded one of the most gists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. An-
influential French feminist journals, the Female thony, establishing the beginning of an interna-
Citizen (La Citoyenne), which featured her tional movement for the vote.
polemical articles and was the rallying cry of In 1885, although they were legally excluded
French suffragists until it was closed down in from doing so, Auclert tested the water by join-
1891. She then wrote for the Woman’s Journal ing with fourteen other women to put them-
from 1891 to 1916 and also became a regular selves forward as parliamentary candidates in
contributor to Marguerite Durand’s feminist elections. She proposed that a nurturing
newspaper the Sling (La Fronde)¸ as well as the “mother’s state” be established, in opposition to
Radical and Free Speech. what she saw as the “Minotaur state” (a monster
Meanwhile, a divide had opened up between that devoured people), and although the attempt
militants such as Auclert, who demanded politi- failed, she stood for election again in 1910.
cal rights with suffrage paramount among them, In 1888 Auclert married Anton Levrier and

32
Augspurg, Anita

went to live in Algeria, where she studied the lives collection of her essays on suffrage, Women at the
of women and in particular the imposition of Helm (published posthumously in 1923).
French culture on Islamic Algerian women, pub- See also Deraismes, Maria.
lishing the results of her research as Arab Women References and Further Reading
in Algeria in 1900. When her husband died in Bidelman, Patrick Kay. 1982. Pariahs Stand Up! The
1892, Auclert returned to Paris only to find that Founding of the Liberal Feminist Movement in
after so many years away she had lost her posi- France 1858–1889. Westport, CT: Greenwood
tion in the suffrage movement. Her following Press.
had been greatly reduced to a closely knit core of Hause, Steven C. 1987. Hubertine Auclert: The French
twenty women, and her paper, the Female Citi- Suffragette. New Haven: Yale University Press.
zen, had been closed down. Josephson, Harold, Sandi Cooper, and Steven C.
With the French feminist movement now dis- Hause, eds. 1985. Biographical Dictionary of Mod-
ern Peace Leaders. Westport, CT: Greenwood
integrating as a result of increasing discord be-
Press.
tween middle-class, conservative feminists—who
Moses, C. 1984. French Feminism in the Nineteenth
placed nationalism and religion ahead of Century. Albany: State University of New York
women’s rights—and radical socialist women, a Press.
disillusioned Auclert withdrew to concentrate on Offen, Karen. 2000. European Feminisms 1700–1950:
writing, contributing to the journal the Radical A Political History. Palo Alto: Stanford University
from 1896. But her built-in defiance of the Press.
French patriarchy led once again to a rebellion Sowerwine, Charles. 1982. Sisters or Citizens? Women
against taxation. She protested that if both men and Socialism in France since 1876. Cambridge:
and women should have to pay taxes, why then Cambridge University Press.
was it that only men could vote? She tried to hold
out against the treasury but was taken to court
and forced to capitulate. In 1899 she suggested Augspurg, Anita
that maternity allowances should be funded by (1857–1943)
making men pay a paternal tax. In 1904 Auclert Germany
was still campaigning: now influenced by suf-
fragette militancy in England, she ritually burned A radical feminist and founder in 1902 of the
a copy of the civil code in a public act of defiance first overtly political women’s organization, the
and in 1908 smashed a ballot box as a symbolic German Union for Women’s Suffrage, Augspurg
act of protest during municipal elections in Paris. mounted an important campaign against the
In 1903 Auclert revived the idea of state mater- civil code in 1895–1896 and became a respected
nity allowances again, arguing that mothers figure in the International Woman Suffrage Al-
should be recognized as fulfilling a valuable social liance and pacifist movement.
function and should therefore be reimbursed for Born in Verden an der Aller, Augspurg came
their labor by the state. She shared the belief of from a literary family and trained as a teacher. She
many feminists around the world that women pursued brief careers as an actress and as a pho-
were a power for good, were men’s moral superi- tographer, running the Atelier Elvira photography
ors, and were better equipped to rebuild society. studio in Munich before finally, as a result of her
As war approached, she became increasingly growing interest in women’s rights, studying law
alarmed at escalating European militarism, which in Zurich (1893–1897). She would later become
she looked upon as a peculiarly male folly. Such the first woman judge in Germany. In Zurich she
aggressive behavior, she felt, began with men’s associated with many women forced to seek fur-
domination over women in the home, and chil- ther education outside their home countries,
dren carried this behavior into public life. She be- where women’s entrance to university was pro-
came a major French peace campaigner, linking scribed, and took part in the European feminist
her fight for women’s suffrage to a fundamental campaign against state-regulated prostitution.
belief that enduring, international peace would In 1895 after becoming leader, with Marie
only be achieved after women had won their po- Stritt and Minna Cauer, of the Federation of
litical rights. She expanded on her pacifism in her German Women’s Associations, which had been
history of suffrage, Women’s Vote (1908), and a set up in Berlin in 1894, she helped coordinate a

33
Augspurg, Anita

campaign calling for changes to the German civil women at a huge suffrage demonstration in Hyde
code. Becoming increasingly radical in her objec- Park, London. Inspired by Emmeline Pankhurst’s
tives, Augspurg split with moderates in the feder- militant Women’s Social and Political Union
ation in 1898 and a year later, with Minna Cauer, (WSPU), Augspurg and Heymann adopted the
founded the Union of Progressive Women’s As- WSPU’s colors—green, purple, and white—and
sociations, which had launched a campaign for moved to Munich, where they spearheaded the
women’s suffrage. But it was not until 1902 that German militant suffrage movement.
a formal women’s suffrage organization was es- Augspurg split from the German Union for
tablished, when Augspurg joined Cauer, Stritt, Women’s Suffrage in 1911, when she refused to
and Lida Gustava Heymann in founding the take her seat in the general assembly under its
German Union for Women’s Suffrage in Ham- new president Marie Stritt because Stritt op-
burg, the only city where the ban on women’s posed Augspurg’s support of universal (rather
political activities did not apply. Augspurg was than just women’s) suffrage. Augspurg joined
elected president and, with her training as an ac- Heymann and Cauer in decamping to set up in
tress, became an accomplished public speaker. 1913 the more radical German Women’s Suffrage
She laid out three objectives for the movement: Association, with Augspurg as president, which
those women who already had a limited form of advocated universal suffrage and aspects of
the vote elsewhere in Germany should be en- moral reform. By the outbreak of war in 1914,
couraged to use it; male political candidates who the suffrage movement in Germany had been re-
favored women’s suffrage should be supported in duced to factional infighting, and with the con-
elections; and women must be educated politi- servative mainstream now supporting German
cally in the proper use of the vote. militarism, Augspurg turned her energies to
In 1899, as a delegate to the International pacifism. She had attended a conference on dis-
Council of Women’s conference in London, armament initiated by Tsar Nicholas II, held in
Augspurg and her long-standing associate Hey- The Hague in 1899, after which she returned
mann (with whom she worked for forty years and home to organize German women pacifists. At
with whom she lived, for the most part, on a farm the inaugural peace congress held by women
in Bavaria outside Munich) had mooted the idea pacifists in The Hague in April 1915, which had
of an international suffrage organization. In 1903 been planned by Augspurg and Aletta Jacobs of
the union joined the Federation of German the Netherlands, Augspurg led a German delega-
Women’s Associations, and the following year tion that on its return to Germany founded the
Augspurg represented it at a seven-nation meet- German Women’s Committee for Permanent
ing held in Washington, D.C., that established the Peace. The organization, although loosely struc-
International Woman Suffrage Alliance. In the tured and run on donations, was harassed by the
Reichstag elections in 1904 she advocated that the military police and repressed. The committee
union canvass on behalf of the Liberal People’s was linked to the international organization of
Party in return for its formal support for suffrage, the same name, which soon after became known
but when its candidate was not elected, the party as the Women’s International League (and in
failed to incorporate women’s suffrage into its 1919 changed its name to the Women’s Interna-
program. Augspurg was bitterly disillusioned tional League for Peace and Freedom). Augspurg
during 1907 to 1908, when left-wing liberals who remained active until its German branch was dis-
had promised support for suffrage joined with solved by Adolf Hitler in 1933.
the conservatives and national liberals. Deter- After women’s suffrage was achieved in 1918,
mined never again to work with “men’s parties,” Augspurg continued to work for civil rights. She
she turned to more militant activities led by stood unsuccessfully for the National Assembly
women for women, but it was an uphill battle, for in 1919 and wrote regularly for the leading paci-
by now the suffrage movement was becoming in- fist women’s journal, Woman in the State
creasingly polarized between socialist radicals (1919–1932), in it voicing her concerns at the
and the right wing. Augspurg decided to focus in- heavy war reparations levied against Germany
stead on the international suffrage movement. In under the terms of the Versailles Treaty of 1919.
1908 she extended her contacts with European Later, in 1923, she supported passive resistance
suffragists, leading a delegation of thirty German against French reparations in the mining district

34
Aung San Suu Kyi

of the Ruhr and urged reconciliation between Aung was born and educated in Rangoon. In
the two countries. Augspurg was on holiday in 1960, when her mother was appointed Burmese
Italy when the Nazis seized power in 1933. She ambassador to India, she accompanied her there
went into exile in Switzerland, where she lived and studied politics at Delhi University. She took
with Heymann and other German political exiles a B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics at
in Geneva, who cowrote with her their memoirs, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, and thereafter
Erlebtes-Erschautes (which can be approximately (1969–1971) worked as assistant secretary to the
translated as “Experienced and Seen”), published Advisory Committee on Administrative and
posthumously in Germany in 1972. Budgetary Questions at the United Nations Sec-
retariat in New York. While working as a research
See also Cauer, Minna; Heymann, Lida Gustava; Ja-
officer in Bhutan, in 1972 she met and married
cobs, Aletta; Pankhurst, Emmeline; Stritt, Marie.
British Tibetan scholar Michael Aris, who had
References and Further Reading
Braker, Regina. 1995. “Bertha von Suttner’s Spiritual been appointed private tutor to the royal family
Daughters: The Feminist Pacifism of Anita there. After the birth of her two sons, Aung spent
Augspurg, Lida Gustava Heymann, and Helene time in Japan as a visiting scholar at the Center
Stöcker at the International Congress of Women for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University
at the Hague, 1915.” Women’s Studies International and in Simla, India, in 1986 as a researcher for
Forum 18(2): 103–111. the Indian Institute of Advanced Study.
Evans, Richard. 1973. The Feminist Movement in Ger- Upon her return to Burma in 1988, Aung gave
many 1894–1933. London: Sage. a speech calling for democratic government to
Josephson, Harold, Sandi Cooper, and Steven C. 500,000 people at a rally at the Shwedagon
Hause et al., eds. 1985. Biographical Dictionary of
Pagoda in Rangoon. In September 1988 Ne Win
Modern Peace Leaders. Westport, CT: Greenwood
resigned the chairmanship of the Burma Social-
Press.
Sklar, Kathryn Kish. 1998. Social Justice Feminists in ist Program Party and allowed a military junta to
the United States and Germany: A Dialogue in take over the government (the State Law and Or-
Documents 1885–1933. Ithaca: Cornell University der Restoration Council), which in the wake of a
Press. national uprising immediately clamped down on
civil rights and instituted martial law; thousands
of people were killed. The junta did, however, an-
Aung San Suu Kyi nounce free elections for the following spring. In
(1945– ) anticipation, Aung and several other activists
Burma (official name, Myanmar) founded the National League for Democracy
(NLD) on 27 September 1988 and during the
For long an exile from her home country, in 1988 next few months addressed numerous public ral-
Aung San Suu Kyi, who had married and settled lies throughout Burma. But democratic activists
in England, returned to Burma to find herself were soon subjected to brutal police harassment,
drawn into the growing pro-democracy move- and on 20 July 1989 Aung was put under house
ment that was sweeping the country. As the arrest. Soon after her case was taken up by
daughter of Aung San, leader of the Burmese in- Amnesty International, which designated her a
dependence movement of the 1940s who was as- prisoner of conscience.
sassinated in 1947, Aung San Suu Kyi decided to Despite the huge success of the NLD in the sub-
stay and join the struggle against the twenty-six- sequent elections in May 1990, in which it won 82
year dictatorship of General Ne Win. Her long percent of the seats, the junta refused to recognize
fight to uphold civil rights and see democracy es- this victory and imprisoned many members of
tablished in Burma seemed only natural for parliament. For six years, Aung remained under
someone of her upbringing: at a rally on 26 Au- house arrest, separated from her husband and
gust 1988 she averred that as her father’s daugh- sons. By the time of her release on 11 July 1995,
ter she could not remain indifferent. The pacifist she had become a heroic symbol of the right to
policy of civil disobedience that she adopted, democratic freedom, a defender of political in-
guided by patience and an emphasis on dialogue, tegrity, and an upholder of human rights.
was inspired by the campaigns of Mahatma Aung became the focus of her country’s pro-
Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. democracy movement, and her home was vener-

35
Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi (center; Reuters/Jonathan Karp/Archive Photos)

ated as a shrine. She was accorded many presti- ments were strictly limited, her mail was cen-
gious awards and honorary doctorates, including sored and much of it destroyed before it reached
in 1990 the Thorolf Rafto Prize for Human her, and her visitors were closely scrutinized.
Rights and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Throughout the dark years of her incarceration
Thought. In 1991 changes to the law allowed the in her crumbling colonial villa, Aung’s writings,
military junta to hold her for up to five years such as Freedom from Fear (1999), which intro-
without charge or trial. In response, Aung was duced her pacifist and Buddhist approach to re-
given the highest accolade—the 1991 Nobel solving conflict to Western readers, were pub-
Peace Prize—to “show the Nobel Committee’s lished abroad. Human rights campaigners and
support for the many people throughout the other Nobel laureates regularly supported her
world who are striving to attain democracy, hu- call for democratic reform. From England, her
man rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful husband and sons lent unfailing moral support;
means.” Aung used the prize money to set up a but the Burmese authorities refused to grant Aris
health and education trust for Burmese people. a visa to visit his wife after 1995. Sadly, he died of
Other subsequent honors included the Victor cancer in 1999 with Aung 5,000 miles away. She
Jara International Human Rights Award in 1993; had been offered the chance to leave Burma to
the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International visit her family on several occasions but had re-
Understanding in 1995; the W. Averell Harriman fused this offer even when her husband was dy-
Democracy Award; and the highest honors from ing, knowing she would never be allowed to re-
Cambridge, Oxford, and other universities. In turn to Burma. The National League for
1994 her period of detention was extended to six Democracy, although legally recognized by the
years. After meeting with members of the junta, regime, is still harassed by the authorities, who
Aung was finally released from house arrest on refuse to acknowledge Aung’s political power,
11 July 1995. knowing full well that her free exercise of it
Tight controls were maintained on Aung’s would bring a landslide victory to the NLD.
movements once she was freed: she was still sub- Known simply as “the Lady” among Burmese,
jected to round-the-clock surveillance, her move- Aung’s spirits have been kept going by her pas-

36
Azmudeh, Tuba

sionate sense of justice coupled with a deep spir- Azmudeh, Tuba


ituality and compassion. Through her work for (1878–1936)
the NLD, she has advocated wide-reaching eco- Iran
nomic and social reforms, improvements to
health care and education, and the care of chil- A pioneer educator, Azmudeh was married at the
dren of political prisoners. She has drawn atten- age of fourteen to an army officer who was much
tion to corruption in the government, which is older than she was. Fortunately, her husband al-
selling off Burma’s natural resources to foreign lowed her to improve herself through private
investors, laundering money and appropriating study and hired tutors to help her with Persian,
humanitarian aid, as well as turning a blind eye Arabic, and French. As a result of her reading at
toward the escalating drug trade. Through home, Azmudeh developed a thirst for learning
Amnesty International, she has also alerted the that impelled her to make it more accessible to
world to the government’s treatment of political other young women.
prisoners and abuses of human rights, such as In 1907 a meeting held by women in Tehran
the 1998 persecution of people with human im- had initiated lobbying for more girls’ schools,
munodeficiency virus (HIV) by the military and had called for the dowry system to be abol-
junta. But in everything Aung’s overriding com- ished, in order that the money might be better
mitment has been to nonviolence, buoyed up by spent on educating young women. In the face of
her Buddhist beliefs that emphasize a “revolution much local prejudice and hostility, Azmudeh set
of the spirit.” As she says: “It is not power that up a school for twenty girls, known as the Namus
corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts school, in her own home in Tehran. She was ac-
those who wield it and fear of the scourge of cused of immorality in doing so, and her pupils
power corrupts those who are subject to it. . . . were criticized for breaching conventional social
Truth, justice, and compassion cannot be dis- practice and for seeking education outside the
missed as trite when these are often the only bul- seclusion of their own homes. Therefore it is a
warks against ruthless power” (1991, 180, 185). A considerable achievement that Azmudeh’s school
website about Aung San Suu Kyi can be found at continued to grow and even to expand its cur-
http://www.dassk.com. riculum. She was able to enlist the teaching help
of scholarly friends of her husband. Such was the
References and Further Reading eventual prestige of her school that it attracted
Aung San Suu Ki. 1991. Freedom from Fear and Other
the daughters of other progressive Iranians who
Writings. London: Penguin.
believed, as did Azmudeh, that women’s educa-
———. 1997. The Voice of Hope: Conversations with
Alan Clements. London: Penguin. tion was an integral part of Islamic faith, and not
Ling, Bettina. 1999. Aung San Suu Kyi: Standing Up contradictory to its teachings.
for Democracy in Burma. New York: Feminist Azmudeh inspired many other female educa-
Press. tors to follow her example in Iran, and several of
Victor, Barbara. 1998. The Lady: Aung San Suu Kyi, her pupils went on to train as much-needed fe-
Nobel Laureate and Burma’s Prisoner. Boston: male secondary school teachers. She also ex-
Faber and Faber. tended her activities to offer adult literacy classes
for women, but the texts used for these courses
were generally limited to the Qu’ran and other
religious writings.

References and Further Reading


Very little has been written in English, and only in
passing, about Azmudeh’s work or the details of
her life.

37
xiv—Running Foot
B
Bajer, Mathilde 1868 to work for peace; for women’s moral and
(1840–1934) intellectual advancement; and for their civil, eco-
Denmark nomic, social, and political rights, and which was
now led by Marie Goegg. Mathilde Bajer was
With her husband, the Danish reformer and No- elected chair of the Danish wing, but this at-
bel Peace Prize winner Fredrik, the feminist and tempt at establishing wider links in the European
suffragist Mathilde Bajer founded the Danish women’s movement appears to have failed, and
Women’s Association (DWA) in 1871, inspired in in December 1871 the International Association
part by publication in Danish of John Stuart of Women disintegrated in the wake of the
Mill’s classic treatise, The Subjection of Women Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune.
(1869). Although Fredrik Bajer won a consider- The Bajers therefore founded a Danish Women’s
able reputation for himself, the work of his wife Association (DWA) to replace the defunct IAW.
has barely been recorded—or at least in English. Fredrik was a committed pacifist, who believed
Like so many other loyal female supporters of that if women were politically and educationally
more eminent male partners, it is likely that emancipated they could be a greater force for
Mathilde’s activism nurtured much of Fredrik’s peace and a more moral society. He therefore
own feminist sympathies. It is also said that she also established a feminist library and the
did much of the work in typing up the writings Women’s Reading Society that same year, al-
on pacifism that earned Bajer the Nobel Peace though it was made use of only by a small num-
Prize in 1908. ber of unmarried middle-class women.
A brief mention of Bajer in the standard Dan- Moderate in its objectives, the DWA cam-
ish national biography tells us that she was born paigned initially on mainly economic issues, call-
in Herlufmagle parish, in the Praesto district ing for married women’s financial independence
southwest of Copenhagen, the daughter of an es- and the expansion of women’s employment op-
tate owner and that she married Bajer in 1867. portunities; from 1885 it published its own mag-
Sharing an interest in women’s equality, they be- azine, Women and Society (edited by Elisabeth
gan contacting Swedish campaigners for Grundtvig). In 1872 the Bajers opened a
women’s rights in the late 1860s. Before the Ba- women’s trade school in Copenhagen under the
jers took up the cause of women, the sole discus- auspices of the DWA. During the 1880s, with a
sion of women’s rights in Denmark had ap- change of government bringing in a socialist-lib-
peared in Clara Raphael: Twelve Letters, an 1850 eral alliance better disposed to reform, they
work published anonymously by Mathilde worked together in the social purity movement
Fibiger, which in its plaintive call for women to and the campaign against state-regulated prosti-
be allowed an intellectual life outside the narrow tution through the Copenhagen branch of the
confines of the family prompted considerable International Abolitionist Federation.
debate in Denmark. Within four years of the establishment of the
In April 1871 the Bajers founded a Danish DWA, Mathilde Bajer had become leader of a mi-
branch of the International Association of nority who felt that women’s suffrage was not
Women that had been founded in Geneva in being given a high enough profile and that other

39
Baker, Ella

reforms affecting women’s lives would not be Baker, Ella


achieved unless women first obtained the vote. (1903–1986)
Things came to a head in the DWA in the mid- United States
1880s when internal debate on women’s sexual
freedom and the sexual double standard, in Ba- The black civil rights leader and community or-
jer’s view, seemed to be diverting attention away ganizer Ella Baker favored decentralization of the
from the suffrage issue. In 1886 she broke away civil rights movement and its expansion among
to found the Danish Women’s Progress Associa- the young at the grassroots level. Having been a
tion (DWPA), which included in its program founder of the Southern Christian Leadership
pacifist and labor issues. Between 1888 and 1894 Conference, she supported the development of a
Bajer edited and occasionally contributed to the separate, autonomous, student-led civil rights
DWPA’s journal, What We Want. Meanwhile, an- movement, the Student Nonviolent Coordinat-
other breakaway group from the DWA founded ing Committee (SNCC).
the Danish Women’s Suffrage Society in 1888. Baker was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and grew
In 1887 Fredrik Bajer, by then a member of Par- up in North Carolina in a close, supportive fam-
liament, introduced a motion to grant women the ily, receiving much inspiration from her grand-
vote in local elections. Its rejection galvanized parents who had been slaves. In 1918 she went as
women into radicalizing their campaign, during a boarder to a high school in Raleigh and gradu-
which time the moderate Danish Women’s Asso- ated from Shaw University there in 1927. Soon
ciation assumed center stage and eventually, in after, she settled in New York, where she worked
1897, absorbed the Danish Women’s Suffrage So- in community relations in Harlem while com-
ciety. At around the same date, Bajer’s DWPA dis- pleting additional studies in sociology at the
integrated through internal differences and was New School for Social Research. In 1932 she co-
reabsorbed into the DWA, with Bajer heading its founded the Young Negroes Cooperative League
Copenhagen branch. Meanwhile, the radical ele- with writer George Schuyler to help buy and dis-
ment in the DWA left in 1898 to set up a Danish tribute food to poor black families, and in 1931
Women’s Association’s Suffrage Federation became its national director. During the Depres-
(DWASF) that collaborated with the Danish Lib- sion in the 1930s, Baker took up journalism,
eral Party and concentrated on the fight for writing for the Negro National News and the
women’s suffrage at the municipal level. In 1900 American West Indian News and in 1935 publish-
radical suffragists, discontented with all existing ing an exposé in the National Association for the
parties, founded the National League for Women’s Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) jour-
Suffrage (NLWS). Thus by 1910 three major suf- nal Crisis on the exploitation of black domestic
frage organizations were vying for support: the workers. She also worked on literacy projects and
NLWS, the DWASF, and the original moderate so- lectured on consumer affairs for the Workers Ed-
ciety, the DWA, which had the smallest number of ucation Project of the Works Progress Adminis-
members. Bajer remained in the left wing of the tration and associated with women’s groups such
Danish women’s movement to see women win full as the Harlem Housewives Co-operative, the
suffrage in 1915. She was elected an honorary Harlem Young Women’s Christian Association
member of the DWA and continued to address (YWCA), and the Women’s Day Workers. From
women’s issues into her old age, becoming in- her association with radical trade unionists,
volved in international feminist organizations and Baker became increasingly politicized, but from
in furthering the pacifist work of her husband. the outset she was determined that women’s
work for racial equality and civil rights should be
References and Further Reading fully integrated into national movements, and
Evans, Richard J. 1977. The Feminists: Women’s this was a principle to which she would closely
Emancipation Movements in Europe, America, and adhere throughout her career as an activist.
Australasia 1840–1920. London: Croom Helm.
In 1940 Baker was appointed a field secretary
of the NAACP, traveling widely in the South to
establish a network of branches there, train new
leaders, and recruit wider support. By 1943 she
had been promoted to the position of national

40
Baker, Ella

the increasing activism of black students that was


springing up throughout the South, Baker called
a conference at her old university in Raleigh,
North Carolina, at which she and student leaders
set up SNCC. Its prime objective was to encour-
age an autonomous and egalitarian protest
movement that would link student civil rights
groups and extend their activities beyond lunch
counter sit-ins. Baker was nominated as execu-
tive secretary of SNCC, which launched a wide
range of sit-ins and boycotts across the South. In
1960, she left the SCLC to work for the YWCA at
a regional office in Atlanta.
Baker also continued to encourage blacks in
the South to utilize their vote. After having suc-
cessfully led a campaign to get as many blacks as
possible to register to vote—the Crusade for Cit-
izenship of 1958—she was a founder of the Mis-
sissippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964,
which attempted to break the exclusively white
control of the Democratic Party in the South and
in particular challenged the segregationist poli-
cies of the Mississippi delegation to the Democ-
ratic National Convention.
During the remainder of her career, Baker
Ella Baker (Library of Congress) served in many civil rights, women’s, and youth
organizations as an adviser and continued to
draw attention to the considerable and often un-
director. As president of the NAACP’s New York derrated contribution of women to the move-
branch, she also led the fight against the unoffi- ment. She also continued her support for the de-
cial segregation operating in the city’s public segregation of education through her work for
schools, in 1957 establishing Parents in Action the Southern Conference Educational Fund. Af-
for Quality Education. ter returning to New York in 1964, she endorsed
In 1956 Baker cofounded In Friendship, a so- the independence movements in South Africa
ciety dedicated to helping the growing civil rights and Zimbabwe. A self-effacing figure, in her life-
movement and desegregation of the schools in time Baker deliberately chose not to attract at-
the South. After In Friendship’s help in sponsor- tention to her own personal contribution, and as
ing the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, a result her organizing skills and her dedication
had proved the effectiveness of nonviolent have not always been adequately credited.
protest against segregation in the South, Baker
realized that this area was where her work could References and Further Reading
be most effective. She was a prime mover in the The Annual Obituary. 1986. New York: St. Martin’s
organization of the Southern Christian Leader- Press.
ship Conference (SCLC) in 1957, soon after mov- Cantarow, Ellen, et al. 1980. Moving the Mountain:
ing to Atlanta to serve as executive secretary un- Women Working for Social Change. Old Westbury,
NY: Feminist Press.
der the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Carson, Clayborn. 1981. In Struggle: SNCC and the
But by 1960 Baker had come into open dis-
Black Awakening of the 1960s. Cambridge, MA:
agreement with SCLC leaders over their empha- Harvard University Press.
sis on a centralized leadership that relied heavily Crawford, Vicki L., Jacqueline Anne Rouse, and Bar-
on King’s charisma and did not sufficiently in- bara Woods, eds. 1990. Women in the Civil Rights
volve the young or give proper accreditation to Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers. Brook-
women activists. In April 1960, keen to promote lyn: Carlson Publishing.

41
Baker, (Sara) Josephine

Dallard, Shyrlee. 1990. Ella Baker: A Leader behind 1923 the rate for New York had become not only
the Scenes. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Silver Burdett the lowest in the United States but also lower
Press. than that in many European cities.
Grant, Joanne. 1998. Freedom Bound. New York: In their work for the Bureau of Child Hygiene,
Wiley.
Baker and her team of nurses set standards of in-
Hine, Darlene Clarke, et al., eds. 1993. Black Women
fant health care by introducing registered mid-
in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. 2 vols.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press. wives and well-baby clinics that offered advice
McGuire, William, and Leslie Wheeler, eds. 1993. on hygiene and medical care and offered free
American Social Leaders: From Colonial Times to baby milk. They encouraged mothers to breast-
the Present. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. feed rather than to give their babies unsafe cow’s
Morris, Aldon D. 1984. The Origins of the Civil Rights milk (which in those days was not pasteurized)
Movement. New York: Free Press. and taught them the use of silver nitrate as a
Payne, Charles. 1989. “Ella Baker and Models of medication to prevent blindness in new babies.
Social Change.” Signs 14(4): 885–889. Monitoring of babies and children for infectious
Smith, Jessie Carney, ed. 1992. Notable Black Ameri- diseases such as diphtheria was introduced, and a
can Women. Detroit: Gale.
widening of public awareness on the issues of
baby care was promoted through Baker’s organi-
zation of the Little Mothers’ Leagues and, in
Baker, (Sara) Josephine 1911, the Children’s Welfare Federation (for
(1873–1945)
which she worked until 1917). By 1913 Baker
United States
had given up her own medical practice as the de-
The American doctor and public-health admin- mands upon her expertise increased. From 1916
istrator initiated groundbreaking work in child to 1931, she gave annual lectures on child hy-
care among the immigrant communities of New giene to students at the Bellevue Hospital Med-
York that led to a marked drop in infant mortal- ical School in New York and was closely involved
ity rates. Baker also set up agencies for fostering in the American Child Hygiene Association from
abandoned children and was active in the 1909 to 1918. She backed up her work in public
women’s suffrage movement. health with numerous pamphlets and articles on
Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Baker had child care, including The Growing Child in 1923
hoped to study at Vassar College, but after the and Child Hygiene in 1925.
death of her father had brought financial diffi- Baker retired from her directorship of the Bu-
culties upon the family, she trained as a doctor at reau of Child Hygiene in 1923 but remained ac-
the Women’s Medical College of the New York tive on many medical committees. In 1935–1936
Infirmary in 1894–1898. Having established her- she was president of the American Medical
self in private practice in New York City, Baker Women’s Association. She had also been active in
quickly found this work did not pay, and in 1901 the women’s suffrage movement as a founding
she took a post as a medical inspector and later member of the College Women’s Equal Suffrage
(1907) as assistant to the commissioner of the League from 1908. The league, led by Baker, lob-
Department of Public Health of New York City. bied for New York University to admit women to
In this capacity, she monitored public health postgraduate studies, and she had made a per-
among the immigrant communities of Lower sonal stand on this issue by declining the offer of
East Side’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” Alarmed at the high a lectureship at the university, prompting it to
rates of infant mortality, particularly among Ital- later revise its policy.
ian families, that she and a team of nurses found
in 1908, Baker founded the first American health References and Further Reading
Adickes, Sandra. 1997. To Be Young Was Very Heaven:
agency of its kind to be funded by taxation, the
Women in New York before the Great War. Bas-
Division (later Bureau) of Child Hygiene within ingstoke: Macmillan.
the U.S. Health Department. Baker was gratified Baker, Sara Josephine. 1939. Fighting for Life. New
to see that her guidelines on child care rapidly York: Macmillan.
led to a fall in the death rate among infants on Dictionary of American Biography 1946–1958, and in-
the East Side. Indeed, so significant would be her dexes to Supplements 1–10, 1981–1996. New
successes at combating infant deaths that by York: Scribner’s.

42
Balch, Emily Greene

Penguin Biographical Dictionary of Women. 1998. promoted through education. She pursued fur-
Harmondsworth: Penguin. ther studies in economics at the Harvard Annex,
Sicherman, Barbara, and Carol Hurd Green, eds. the University of Chicago, and the University of
1980. Notable American Women 1607–1950: A Bio- Berlin. Completing these degrees in 1896, Balch
graphical Dictionary, vol. 4, The Modern Period.
became a lecturer in economics and political sci-
Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard Uni-
ence at Wellesley College, and in 1913 she was
versity.
Whitman, Alden, ed. 1988. American Reformers: An promoted to head of the departments of eco-
H. W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary. New York: nomics and sociology. Here her lectures on
H. W. Wilson. Marxism, immigration, and the contribution of
women to the economy inspired lively discussion
and a new generation of women social activists.
Balch, Emily Greene The other primary arena of social concern for
(1867–1961) Balch was immigration. In 1904–1906 she made
United States an extensive study of Slavic immigrant commu-
nities in the United States and their countries of
The Quaker pacifist, economist, and educator origin and published a compassionate account in
Emily Greene Balch was a disciple of Jane Ad- Our Slavic Fellow-Citizens in 1910 that sought to
dams. Fifteen years after Addams received the erode traditional prejudices toward immigrant
Nobel Peace Prize, Balch herself became a recip- groups. In 1913–1914 she served on the Massa-
ient in 1946, in recognition not just of her work chusetts Commission on Immigration.
as one of the pacifist movement’s outstanding Balch established a close relationship with the
intellectual leaders, but also for the great com- pacifist leader Jane Addams during World War I,
passion and understanding she demonstrated for when together they helped to set up the interna-
Slavic immigrants to the United States. tional conference of women held in The Hague
Born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, the in 1915, at which they were both founding mem-
daughter of a Unitarian lawyer, Balch was in the bers of the International Committee of Women
first group of women students to be educated at for Permanent Peace. With Alice Hamilton and
Bryn Mawr College, graduating in 1889. She Jane Addams, Balch published a report on the
spent two years in Paris on a European Fellow- conference, entitled Women at The Hague, also in
ship (1890–1891), studying social science and 1915. In the summer, on their return to the
economics at the Sorbonne. Her study of official United States, Balch and Addams founded the
French measures to combat poverty was pub- Woman’s Peace Party and lobbied President
lished as Public Assistance of the Poor in France Woodrow Wilson to join in attempts at media-
(1893). tion in the war. When he declined, they ap-
Wishing to commit herself to social work on proached Henry Ford for support. When Ford
her return to the United States, Balch worked for subsequently chartered a “peace ship,” Balch was
the Boston Children’s Aid Society. Influenced by one of several U.S. pacifists who sailed on it to a
the work of Jane Addams at Hull House in conference of neutral nations held in Stockholm,
Chicago, she joined with others in establishing a Sweden, and from there she went on a peace mis-
similar venture, Denison House, in Boston in sion to Russia and other parts of Scandinavia.
1892–1893. She also joined the Federal Labor Balch’s support for conscientious objectors, her
Union in 1893 and supported working women in pacifist writings in the Nation, and her opposi-
Boston as a cofounder of its branch of the tion to U.S. entry into the war attracted much
Women’s Trade Union League in 1903. During suspicion and vilification for her perceived lack
1908–1909 Balch was a member of the Massa- of patriotism and her left-wing sympathies. At
chusetts Commission on Industrial Relations the end of the war in 1918, the loss of her job at
and played an important role in drafting a mini- Wellesley College (a direct result of her pacifism)
mum wage bill as chair of the Massachusetts propelled Balch into wider activities for the
Minimum Wage Commission in 1913. peace movement and support for organizations
Meanwhile, Balch had become quickly dissat- such as the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the War
isfied with the limitations of her reformist work Resisters’ International, and the League of Na-
and decided that social causes could better be tions. In 1919 she attended the first postwar con-

43
Bamber, Helen

ference of the International Committee of bel Peace Prize with Young Men’s Christian Asso-
Women for Permanent Peace in Zurich, at which ciation leader John R. Mott and donated the
she was elected secretary-treasurer of the newly money to the WILPF. In her many published
named Women’s International League for Peace works, she explored not only pacifism but racial-
and Freedom (WILPF), a post that took her to ism and anti-Semitism. Her Nobel speech, “To-
Geneva for several years. ward Human Unity or beyond Nationalism,” was
In 1925, with the backing of President Herbert published as a book in 1952.
Hoover, Balch took part in a WILPF fact-finding
mission in Haiti. Since 1915 the country had See also Addams, Jane; Hamilton, Alice.
been occupied by U.S. Marines, mainly in order References and Further Reading
to protect U.S. investments there. During a two- Dictionary of American Biography 1946–1958, and
week fact-finding mission, Balch gathered infor- indexes to Supplements 1–10, 1981–1996. New
York: Scribner’s.
mation on the social, political, and economic
Josephson, Harold, Sandi Cooper, and Steven C.
state of the island, which she published with oth- Hause et al., eds. 1985. Biographical Dictionary of
ers in 1927 under the title Occupied Haiti. By Modern Peace Leaders. Westport, CT: Greenwood
drawing attention to the twelve-year occupation Press.
of the island, Balch is thought to have con- McGuire, William, and Leslie Wheeler, eds. 1993.
tributed to the withdrawal of troops in 1934, al- American Social Leaders: From Colonial Times to
though the United States retained financial con- the Present. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
trol there until 1947. Palmieri, Patricia. 1995. In Adamless Eden: The Com-
In 1921 Balch converted to Quakerism and munity of Women Faculty at Wellesley. New Haven,
continued to work closely with Jane Addams, an- CT: Yale University Press.
other Quaker deeply committed to world peace. Randall, Mercedes M. 1964. Improper Bostonian:
Emily Greene Balch. New York: Twayne.
In 1927 they collaborated on a pamphlet analyz-
———, ed. 1972. Beyond Nationalism: The Social
ing war, entitled “What Concern Has America Thought of Emily Greene Balch. New York:
with World Peace? The Hopes We Inherit,” which Twayne.
had at its moral root their Quaker beliefs. Sicherman, Barbara, and Carol Hurd Green, eds.
Throughout the 1930s Balch defended the 1980. Notable American Women 1607–1950: A
rights of Europe’s Jews, who were coming under Biographical Dictionary, vol. 4, The Modern Period.
increasing racial persecution with the rise of the Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard
Nazis. She helped Jewish immigrants to settle in University.
the United States, and in publications such as Whitman, Alden, ed. 1988. American Reformers: An
Refugees as Assets (1939) argued for a positive at- H. W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary. New York:
titude toward their potential contribution to H. W. Wilson.
American society, citing the case of the Jews of
New York’s East Side, who had established a
thriving garment industry. When war broke out
Bamber, Helen
(1925– )
in Europe in 1939, Balch felt compelled to con-
United Kingdom
tradict a lifetime’s pacifism and her Quaker be-
liefs by supporting the Allies in what she saw as a In her work, first with survivors of the Nazi con-
necessary war against fascism. centration camps and later with the victims of
After the war, Balch worked for postwar re- extreme cruelty and torture, the British cam-
construction, provided aid to refugees, and paigner Helen Bamber has had many encounters
helped in the reintegration of Japanese Ameri- with the unconscionable face of modern-day po-
cans who had been interned. As a supporter of a litical repression around the world as director of
gradualist approach to maintaining world peace the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims
and the breakdown of national boundaries, she of Torture. Born Helen Balmuth, the daughter of
advocated the establishment of nonpartisan in- Polish-Jewish exiles and the granddaughter of a
ternational bodies, such as an international mar- man who had espoused the anarchist ideas of Pe-
itime body to control the world’s waterways and ter Kropotkin, Bamber grew up in a radical
the strengthening of the United Nations. In 1946 household in northeastern London dominated
at the age of seventy-nine, Balch shared the No- by her father’s passionate commitment to hu-

44
Bamber, Helen

man rights. During the 1930s, her father closely ported young survivors from Auschwitz through
monitored the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and their painful adjustment to a new life in Britain
became increasingly obsessed with the in- and helped place them in jobs among its Jewish
evitability of war, welcoming activists of all per- community. She worked for the organization
suasions into his home. Bamber’s own political until 1954.
activities began during the late 1930s, when she While working as a social worker in St.
joined a group of teenage antifascists protesting George’s Hospital in London’s East End in 1956,
the activities of Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Bamber met Dr. Maurice Pappworth, who intro-
Union of Fascists. duced her to the issue of cruelty in medicine,
During World War II, Bamber was evacuated manifested in the incidence of unnecessary sur-
to Suffolk and, after her return to London, vol- gery; the overprescription of drugs, particularly
unteered for firewatch duty during bombing for the mentally ill; and the exploitation of pa-
raids at the age of sixteen. Toward the end of the tients in often painful forms of medical research.
war, she took a job as secretary to a Harley Street He had begun compiling a dossier on unethical
doctor, where she responded to an advertisement experimentation, particularly on the elderly and
calling for volunteers to help Jewish survivors of the very young, and asked Bamber to help him
the Nazi concentration camps. In 1944 Bamber develop an archive. Thereafter, Bamber became
made her way across Europe to join the Jewish engaged in typing his lectures on the subject,
Relief Unit that was working in the British-occu- which were published in Pappworth’s ground-
pied zone of Germany. breaking study, Human Guinea Pigs (1967),
It proved the most sobering of undertakings through which she gained a valuable grounding
for a young woman of only twenty when Bamber in medical ethics.
entered Belsen concentration camp in 1945 in Bamber was working in a Middlesex hospital
one of the first relief teams. Having received a when she first heard of the launch of Amnesty
rudimentary training from her relief unit and International in May 1961, an organization ded-
from the National Association of Mental Health icated to alerting society to the plight of prison-
in England, she remained there for a year and a ers of conscience. At this time, she also began
half, working with many of the camp’s 20,000 working for the psychoanalyst Dr. Hermann
survivors as assistant to the field director of the Hardenberg, who had taken a strong position
Jewish Relief Unit. Much of her work involved against the use of lobotomies in controlling psy-
documenting the survivors and placing them on chotic patients. As a result of her experiences
the list of displaced persons, distributing cloth- working in hospitals during the 1960s, Bamber
ing and food, and struggling to overcome bu- began campaigning for a relaxation of visiting
reaucratic difficulties in order to get the many hours for children in hospitals. She also wanted
children there suffering from tuberculosis out of their mothers to be allowed to stay with them so
Belsen to sanatoriums in Switzerland. Even more that the children could avoid suffering unneces-
important, however, was the role Bamber played sary trauma caused by separation from them.
in listening to survivors’ accounts of their expe- Through an organization called Mother Care for
riences, thus helping them grieve and come to Children in Hospital, she lobbied nursing and
terms with their traumatic experiences. medical schools and hospitals. Her campaign
In 1947 Helen married Rudi Bamberger, a mushroomed, eventually leading to the founda-
Jewish refugee from Nuremberg whose father tion in 1963 of the National Association for the
had been murdered during an orgy of fascist vi- Welfare of Children in Hospital.
olence against Jews known as Kristallnacht (9–10 Bamber also continued in her volunteer work
November 1938); he later changed his name to for Amnesty International, gathering the testi-
Bamber. Upon her return to London, she mony of witnesses, documenting the stories of
worked for the Jewish Refugee Committee, help- torture victims, and cataloguing their injuries.
ing Jewish survivors of the Holocaust trace fam- She developed a concern for protection of the in-
ilies who had emigrated to the United States and dividual from what she termed “the ethics of
join them there. She was asked to become a case- emergency” (Belton 1998, 207), the wartime
worker for the Committee for the Care of Chil- need to introduce extreme methods of torture.
dren from Concentration Camps, which sup- Her first cases involved cataloguing the appalling

45
Barakat, Hidiya Hanim

physical and mental aftereffects of torture on Refugees, various hospitals and clinics, and indi-
victims taken to the notorious Villa Grimaldi vidual doctors and psychiatrists. It relies on char-
torture center near Santiago, Chile, during the itable trusts and donations to raise the £3 million
military regime of Augusto Pinochet (1973– a year needed to keep up its rehabilitation pro-
1990). Bamber subsequently worked to uncover grams and its campaign against the practice of
the truth about Chile’s many “disappeared.” In torture in 117 countries worldwide. For further
1974 she was elected to the executive council of information on its work, contact http://www.
the British section of Amnesty International and torturecare.org.uk.
with Dick Barbor-Might began compiling a In 1993 Helen Bamber was nominated as a
dossier on torture in Chile that would be pub- European Woman of Achievement in recogni-
lished as the 1974 Amnesty International Report tion of her work and in 1997 was awarded the
on Torture. Order of the British Empire. She holds numer-
In later years, Bamber turned her attention to ous honorary doctorates and is a patron of the
the abuse of political prisoners in the Soviet Belfast-based group Women Against Violence
Union under President Leonid Brezhnev, lending and the London-based human rights group
support to the campaign against psychiatric Latin American Mothers. Her organization is
abuse there during the 1980s and in particular now considered one of the outstanding humani-
the use of so-called punitive medicine, which in- tarian organizations of the postwar era, along-
volved administering massive overdoses of tran- side Oxfam and Amnesty International. A small,
quillizers to supposedly “mentally ill” political soft-spoken, and entirely unpretentious woman,
prisoners. Her attention also turned to Northern renowned for her relentless hard work and good
Ireland, to South Africa, and to the growing cat- humor, Bamber is an unsung modern-day hero-
alogue of medical abuse worldwide, which im- ine who has devoted more than fifty years to the
pelled her to set up an organization specifically welfare of others in performing what she consid-
to catalogue the erosion of medical ethics. Bam- ers the indispensable task of “bearing witness to
ber resigned from the UK executive council of the vulnerability of humanity” (Hattenstone
Amnesty International in 1980, together with 2000, 6).
other members working in the medical group,
and left the organization in 1985 to undertake a References and Further Reading
more proactive role in the treatment and reha- Belton, Neil. 1998. The Good Listener. Helen Bamber:
bilitation of those who had been subjected to A Life against Cruelty. London: Weidenfeld and
Nicolson.
torture, based on a program of counseling of-
Hattenstone, Simon. 2000. “Small Wonder.”
fered in a supportive environment. [Guardian profile.] Guardian (11 March): 6–7.
Over the 1985–1986 Christmas and New Year’s Oldfield, Sybil, ed. 2001. Women Humanitarians: A
holidays, Bamber founded an independent char- Biographical Dictionary of British Women Active
ity, the Medical Foundation for the Care of Vic- between 1900 and 1950. London: Continuum.
tims of Torture, setting up in rooms at the Na-
tional Temperance Hospital in London and two
years later relocating to premises in Kentish Barakat, Hidiya Hanim
Town. As director of a team of interpreters and (1898–1969)
caseworkers—some paid staff and others volun- Egypt
teers—Bamber oversees the rehabilitation of ap-
proximately 3,000 people a year from as many as A philanthropist and social worker, Barakat was
90 different countries. The foundation begins by one of many enlightened and committed upper-
giving victims a careful clinical examination and class women of her generation who made a ma-
recording details of their stories before referring jor contribution to the welfare of ordinary
them for treatment, which involves counseling Egyptian people. With her name almost unmen-
and eventually practical help in returning to the tioned outside books such as Lois Beck and Nicki
community. The foundation also works to im- Keddie’s Women in the Muslim World (1978), she
prove the legal status of asylum seekers and remains, at present, one of the unsung pioneers
refugees. People are referred to it by Amnesty In- of welfare in Egypt in the early twentieth century.
ternational, the UN High Commission for Barakat was the galvanizing force behind many

46
Barrios de Chungara, Domitla

social and medical projects in Egypt from the Barakat’s vigorous fund-raising, mainly among
1920s onward, bringing together a team of her own class. And indeed she and her female
women coworkers to set up a network of clinics supporters raised huge sums of money to sup-
and hospitals, schools, and orphanages in most port their many welfare schemes, haranguing
of the major towns. Her organization also pro- friends and relatives for donations and calling on
vided essential relief work during epidemics. local landlords to provide sites for the construc-
Barakat was born into a life of privilege as the tion of clinics and dispensaries.
daughter of a former magistrate and palace offi- By the 1950s the Mabarrat had become the
cial. She was educated at the French convent biggest, most wide-reaching organization in
Nôtre Dame de la Mère de Dieu until she was Egypt. In 1952, after the revolution that had
thirteen years old. At the age of twenty, she mar- brought in Gamal Abdel Nasser’s government,
ried the lawyer Bahieddine Barakat, a member of Barakat was elected president of the Mabarrat.
a leading political family (who would later serve Her daughters, too, had followed in her footsteps
as a minister in several Egyptian governments). by working as nurses during the troubles of
She was soon drawn into political activities by 1948, when Egyptian forces invaded Palestine
her new family, who saw that her welfare activi- and the Suez crisis ensued in 1956; her youngest
ties could be used as a cover for the dissemina- daughter eventually succeeded her as president
tion of Wafdist (nationalist) literature, a task she of the association.
undertook covertly and with panache, protected By 1961 the Mabarrat had set up twelve hospi-
by her genteel upper-class persona. tals across Egypt. In 1964 these hospitals were
Through her connections at court, Barakat nationalized, and the Mabarrat’s various other
helped one of the princesses organize a group of institutions—orphanages, clinics, and child care
women philanthropists, and in 1908 the group centers—became government-run facilities.
set up a medical clinic in a poor quarter of Cairo. Many of the unnamed, uncredited women who
Barakat brought several other women along to threw their energies into the work initiated by
join in the work, including Huda Sha’rawi, and Barakat gained great organizing and administra-
their organization in 1909 assumed the name tive experience as a result of their activities.
Mabarrat Muhammad Ali (Muhammad Ali the Shortly before her death, Barakat was awarded
Great Philanthropic Association), popularly Egypt’s highest honor. When she died, President
known later as the Mabarrat. The association set Anwar Sadat, acknowledging her contribution,
up a clinic in Abdin, which later expanded into a inaugurated a social project in her honor, stating:
hospital and outpatient clinic. But the associa- “We are all pupils of Hidiya Barakat” (quoted in
tion was determined to make health care and Marsot 1978, 275). Several Egyptian institutions
medicines available to people everywhere, espe- were also named after her.
cially in rural areas, in particular to counter the See also Sha’rawi, Huda
appallingly high infant mortality rates in Egypt. References and Further Reading
Barakat, as treasurer of the association, was a Marsot, Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid. 1978. “The Revolution-
natural organizer and helped mastermind a net- ary Gentlewoman in Egypt.” In L. Beck and N.
work of clinics as well as coordinating epidemic Keddie, eds., Women in the Muslim World. Cam-
relief and mobile vaccination programs. Despite bridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
their comfortable backgrounds, she and her fel-
low upper-class women workers often had to live
in less than salubrious surroundings during the Barrios de Chungara, Domitla
process. The association meanwhile continued to (1937– )
gain a wide patronage, later including that of Bolivia
King Farouk’s sister.
In 1919 Barakat cofounded another organiza- A true working-class heroine who has fought
tion, the Society of the New Woman, which ex- and suffered for the economic and political
tended the definition of social welfare to include rights of Bolivian tin miners and their families,
education and the teaching of trades as well as since the early 1960s Barrios was a leader of the
child care and the establishment of orphanages, Housewives’ Committee of Siglo XX, once one of
all of these activities supported thanks to Bolivia’s largest and richest mining complexes.

47
Barrios de Chungara, Domitla

so meant getting up at 4 A.M. to prepare this food


before attending to her own domestic chores and
standing in line for water and supplies.
Day after day, Barrios witnessed the brutally
hard lives of the mining community: the lack of
decent housing for miners’ families, poor sanita-
tion, no running water, and the exhausting and
debilitating shift work, which required miners to
spend eight hours a day underground. Many
would chew on coca leaves for their narcotic ef-
fects in order to get through the working day. She
saw how working conditions and the prolifera-
tion of dust particles destroyed miners’ lungs,
leaving them with silicosis. Yet for all the mine’s
riches, four-fifths of its profits went to outside
capitalist tin barons, and nothing was done by
government to improve the lives of the 10,000
underpaid workers who created that wealth.
Such abuse of the workers at Siglo XX in-
evitably led to a drive to form unions and strike
for higher wages; in retaliation, many protesters
were arrested. When this happened, a group of
about seventy women began organizing to help
Domitla Barrios de Chungara (center; Library of those arrested and imprisoned. The Housewives’
Congress) Committee of Siglo XX was founded in 1961 at a
time when miners were owed three months’
wages and had run out of food and medical sup-
Barrios was born on 7 May 1937 into extreme plies. The Housewives’ Committee soon began
poverty in Siglo XX. She then lived at Pulacayo, a to take part in the activities of the Bolivian Fed-
remote mining settlement, until age twenty. After eration of Mine Workers and to join in protest-
receiving only the most rudimentary education, ing against the political oppression of workers in
she had to leave school to look after her younger other countries such as Chile, Vietnam, Laos,
siblings. She was politically active from her teens: and Cambodia. In 1961 the first of a series of
her father was a union leader who refused to give major clashes with the Bolivian Mineral Corpo-
up his militant activism despite his dying wife’s ration (COMIBOL) took place over the nonpay-
wish. Not long after leaving school, Domitla ment of wages, and a 335-kilometer march to La
joined her father in the Bolivian revolution of 9 Paz was organized. The leaders were arrested and
April 1952 in the hope that the new government jailed, and the wives of the imprisoned men
under Dr. Victor Paz Estenssoro would give con- staged a hunger strike in sympathy at the Feder-
trol of the mines to the people and return own- ation of Factory Workers. Throughout this
ership of agricultural land to the peasants. protest campaign, the Housewives’ Committee
In 1957 Barrios gave up her job in a mining lobbied for support on local radio, in letters to
company grocery store at Pulacayo. She married the president, and in schools and hospitals. Fur-
a miner and returned to Siglo XX, where she con- ther clashes with COMIBOL occurred in 1963,
tinued to educate herself by studying the Bible. the year that Barrios first became active in the
She struggled to bring up her seven children dur- organization, when the company refused to send
ing a period of political unrest and economic in- the mining families medical supplies to combat
stability as Bolivia staggered from one military an influenza epidemic.
coup to another. Like many other women, Bar- In 1964 General René Barrientos came to
rios had to find ways of bringing in more money: power in Bolivia and was rattled by the political
she sold salteñas (meat pies) on the street in or- threat from women’s groups such as the House-
der to earn enough to feed her children. But to do wives’ Committee. Barrios and her colleagues did

48
Barrios de Chungara, Domitla

not trust him or his policies and were soon ers’ congress in Huamini. During the 1970s the
proved right when he called for a yearlong reduc- living standards of Barrios’s family improved
tion in wages of mineworkers to help COMIBOL when her husband was offered a better job with
recover from bankruptcy. Violent clashes and higher wages and guaranteed education for the
protests ensued, and the leaders of demonstra- children, but Barrios turned these inducements
tions were deported to Argentina. In 1965 Barrios down because she wanted to stay close to her
took over as secretary-general of the Housewives’ own working-class roots and people. She re-
Committee in the wake of reprisals against mained at Siglo XX, continuing to defend the
protesting miners from Siglo XX. The miners rights of the destitute families of striking miners
were fired on by troops, many were killed, and and maintaining that their innocent wives and
Siglo XX was put under curfew. In 1967 Barrios, children should not suffer as a result.
who was then pregnant, denounced a massacre of In 1975 Barrios was invited to take part in a
hundreds of protesting miners in San Juan. She women’s congress in Mexico as part of the Inter-
was arrested and thrown into a filthy prison cell, national Year of the Woman being promoted by
where she gave birth alone. the United Nations. It was the first time she had
After her release, Barrios helped to build a vil- traveled beyond her immediate locality, and she
lage school and went to live in Oruro for two enjoyed the opportunity of discussing common
years. There she sold cooked food on the streets. concerns with other Latin American women. In
After she returned to Siglo XX, her husband for- 1977 she published her memoirs of the turbu-
bade her from taking part in any more acts of lent years of strikes, demonstrations, marches,
protest, insisting that her place was in the home and periods in prison that marked her involve-
with her children. But Barrios refused to turn ment in the Housewives’ Committee. Let Me
her back on her political commitments and de- Speak is a passionate testimony written in an un-
fied her husband to serve as a delegate to a Con- compromising, idiomatic style that underlines
gress of Mineworkers held at Siglo XX in 1970. the gulf of difference between the activities of
At the congress, the women delegates demanded the emancipated and often comfortably off re-
that widows of miners receive indemnification formers of the Western world and the gritty and
and that their orphans be given grants for determined women in the Third World who
schooling. That same year Barrios helped organ- have risked the little they have to make the lives
ize a Committee of Unemployed to help widows of their families better.
and other women in Siglo XX without work. Barrios remains unrepentant in her belief that
The mining company responded to this request Bolivia’s economic problems will never be solved
by making these desperate women laboriously under the capitalist system. Indeed, when she
sort through rock piles for good ore. When they was once asked by moderate U.S. feminists to
organized to demand proper employment, they modify her anticapitalist militancy, she made
were laid off. Throughout all these struggles, clear that for women like her in Brazil, these re-
Barrios set about familiarizing herself with labor ally were life-and-death issues: if their husbands
law to help people fight against unfair dismissal; died or were sick or were fired from their jobs,
she also went in a delegation to COMIBOL to the families would lose their homes. It has been
ask for a women’s sewing cooperative to be set her mission continually to remind the privileged
up in La Paz. of just how different her own deprived world is.
In 1971 after yet another political coup and a Despite a bout of poor health and a period spent
peso devaluation, the Housewives’ Committee recuperating in Mexico, Barrios is still fighting
demanded an increase in living allowances at the for her own people, calling for wage increases for
Siglo XX grocery store. The committee organized mineworkers in proportion to the cost of living.
a demonstration of 4,000 women and achieved At her suggestion, a network of Housewives’
some improvement. By 1973 Barrios had begun Committees has now organized itself across Bo-
trying to extend her concerns to the indigenous livia into a National Housewives’ Federation. In
peasant community by setting up worker-peas- 1980 she was exiled by the military junta. In 1986
ant links and working with the National Peas- Siglo XX was closed down, eliminating 23,000
ants’ Confederation. That same year she was one miners’ jobs. Barrios returned to Bolivia, run-
of three female delegates to a 500-person work- ning a school for itinerants in Cochabamba.

49
Barton, Clara

References and Further Reading Barton, as an independently minded supporter of


Barrios de Chungara, Domitla. 1978. Let Me Speak. the Unionist cause, wanted to play her part. She
London: Stage 1. befriended casualties from the Sixth Massachu-
Miller, Francesca. 1992. Latin American Women and setts Regiment quartered in Washington and
the Search for Social Justice. Hanover, NH: Univer-
called for donations and supplies from their fam-
sity Press of New England.
ilies back in her home state. The response was
huge, and Barton took a mule train and wagon to
Barton, Clara distribute these supplies, which included brandy,
(1821–1912) tobacco, and sewing kits. But Barton quickly real-
United States ized that small acts of charity such as hers would
not be enough to alleviate the large-scale suffering
Clara Barton, the “Angel of the Battlefield,” was to of Union troops and that she had to take her work
the American Civil War what Florence Nightin- to the front lines. Her experience of the aftermath
gale, the “Lady with the Lamp,” was to the of the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862—
Crimean War. As humanitarians and nurses, both in which 3,000 men were wounded and during
of them improved standards of care among the which she helped hold down the operating table
sick and wounded and contributed to the estab- under artillery fire—galvanized her to bypass the
lishment of women’s nursing. Like Nightingale, bureaucracy and dilatoriness of official military
Barton never married and developed her own channels and organize her own medical supplies
brand of ruthless and energetic efficiency that and food for the wounded, who, at Bull Run, she
would not suffer fools gladly. Her determination had described as covering “acres.”
would result in the founding of the American What particularly appalled Barton was the un-
Red Cross in 1881; her insistence on her own un- necessary loss of life among wounded men who
challenged control would, however, lead to her were not receiving medical attention quickly
ouster from the organization in 1904. enough. With groups of volunteers, she traveled
Born in Oxford, Massachusetts, the last of five to the scenes of fighting by mule train to nurse
children, Barton had grown up hearing stories the wounded and provide much-needed succor,
from her father about his days fighting in the In- such as hot soup and coffee. At Antietam in Sep-
dian wars and his love of the army. She would tember 1862, her clothes drenched in blood, Bar-
later overcome the natural timidity of her child- ton attended the wounded in the thick of fire, at
hood to become an indomitable figure in dealing one point nearly being killed herself when a
with the military authorities during the Civil wounded man she was tending was hit by a bul-
War. After nursing her sick brother for two years, let. It was not just on the battlefield that men suf-
Barton took up teaching, first in local schools fered, however, as Barton witnessed when she
and then, in 1850, at the Liberal Institute in Clin- saw the inadequacy of army hospitals. In 1864
ton, New York. In 1852 she founded one of the Barton was given an official appointment as head
first American public (free) schools in Borden- nurse of the Army of the James, running corps
town, New Jersey. After commending Barton on hospitals in Virginia. Meanwhile, the official
her success, the authorities promptly appointed a Union appointee, Dorothea Dix, had been acting
man above her to take charge. Barton resigned in as overall superintendent of women nurses for
protest in 1854. She had for years suffered inter- the Sanitary Commission since 1861, but Barton
mittently from bouts of depression, during resisted any suggestion that she should join her
which she would lose her voice, and she decided nursing team, determined to act independently.
to move south to a warmer climate in the hope After the war, Barton would expose the suffer-
that this would help. Settling in Washington, ings of those who had died or nearly starved to
D.C., in a bold move she entered the male pre- death in prison camps, such as the Andersonville
serve of the civil service. Barton was probably the Prison in Georgia. This Confederate camp housed
first officially appointed woman to take up a 33,000 Union prisoners by war’s end, and 13,000
clerical job there, copying documents in the died there, to be buried in mass graves. Beginning
Patent Office. She interrupted her appointment in 1865, with the sanction of President Abraham
to return to Oxford in 1857–1860. Lincoln, Barton had begun working to trace and
When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, identify killed, wounded, and missing Union

50
Barton, Clara

troops, funding her own office for the purpose in lack of public support and objections to Barton’s
Annapolis, Maryland, and supporting it on the dictatorial mode of leadership. The U.S. Con-
lecture circuit for two years. She received letters gress insisted on less centralized control by Bar-
from many thousands of families anxious to trace ton after objections raised by board member
their missing men, in return writing something Mabel Boardman had led to an investigation of
like 22,000 letters herself and supervising the lay- the organization’s business management. Barton
ing out of a proper cemetery for those who had resigned in 1904 and returned to her home in
died at Andersonville. Barton would continue her Glen Echo, Maryland, where she lived a life of
attempts to trace missing soldiers until 1869, by semireclusion and wrote A Story of the Red Cross
which time she had spent $1,750 of her own in- (1904) and Story of My Childhood (1907). Hav-
come in responding to a flood of over 63,000 let- ing always endorsed the women’s rights move-
ters inquiring about missing soldiers. ment in the United States, Barton had become an
By the time she had come to the end of a two- important figure, making personal appearances
year tour in which she gave 300 public lectures on at landmark events such as the first convention
her experiences of the war, Barton was exhausted. of the National Woman Suffrage Association,
She went to Europe on a rest cure in 1869 but held in Washington, D.C., in January 1869. In
soon was drawn into new activities when she dis- 1902 she attended the first international woman
covered the work of the International Committee suffrage conference. Like her contemporary Flo-
of the Red Cross, founded in 1864. She volun- rence Nightingale, she received many honors and
teered her services and helped organize relief and lived a long life—into her nineties—despite the
military hospitals in Strasbourg, Metz, and Paris rigors of her long years of campaigning.
during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, A Clara Barton National Historic Site was es-
distributing supplies raised by donation in the tablished by the National Park Service in 1975 at
United States. Barton’s home at Glen Echo, Maryland, the orig-
Barton returned to the United States in 1873, inal headquarters of the American Red Cross,
spent the next five years campaigning for a na- from where she had distributed relief supplies.
tional organization of medical aid, and again For visiting hours, see http://www.nps.gov/clba/
toured with lectures on medical issues. In 1877 index.htm.
she was asked to establish the American Associa-
tion of the Red Cross, which after its incorpora- See also Dix, Dorothea Lynde.
tion in 1881 elected Barton president. Subse- References and Further Reading
quently, Barton crusaded for the United States to Barton, William E. 1922. The Life of Clara Barton,
support the Geneva Convention on the humane Founder of the American Red Cross. Boston:
treatment of prisoners of war, which it signed in Houghton Mifflin.
Burton, David A. 1995. Clara Barton: In the Service of
1882. Believing in the “wise benevolence” of
Humanity. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
preparing in peacetime not only for the exigen- Dictionary of American Biography 1946–1958, and
cies of war but also for natural disasters, she indexes to Supplements 1–10, 1981–1996. New
urged the American Red Cross to set up relief York: Scribner’s.
programs for such emergencies as floods in Ohio Massey, Mary E. 1966. Bonnet Brigades: American
and Mississippi in 1884, a hurricane on the Sea Women and the Civil War. New York: Alfred A.
Islands off South Carolina in 1893, and a tidal Knopf.
wave in Galveston, Texas, in 1900. At the age of Pryor, E. B. 1987. Clara Barton: A Professional Angel.
seventy-seven, still unwilling to delegate her hu- Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
manitarian work to others, Barton traveled to Reynolds, Moira Davison. 1988. Nine American
Cuba in 1898 to work as a nurse during the Span- Women of the Nineteenth Century: Leaders into the
Twentieth. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
ish-American War and organized Red Cross
Ross, Ishbel. 1956. Angel of the Battlefield: The Life of
medical supplies and relief to Cuban civilians, Clara Barton. New York: Harper.
traveling by her now familiar mode of mule train. Sicherman, Barbara, and Carol Hurd Green, eds.
By the end of the century, Barton was strug- 1980. Notable American Women 1607–1950: A
gling to keep the American Red Cross afloat as Biographical Dictionary, vol. 4, The Modern Period.
funds ran low. But by 1904 it had come per- Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard
ilously near to closing down, due to a continuing University.

51
Bates, Daisy

Bates, Daisy and customs on the Maaba reserve at Canning-


(1861–1951) ton. She began documenting dozens of Aborigi-
Ireland/Australia nal dialects and practices, in 1905 producing a
study of tribal marriage laws. In 1910–1911 she
The Australian anthropologist Daisy Bates, who was invited to join the Radcliffe-Brown anthro-
spent the best part of thirty-five years living pological expedition to Aboriginals in the north-
among Aboriginal tribes in the outback, dedi- west, during the course of which she investigated
cated herself to their welfare and the documen- their employment on sheep stations and the life
tary preservation of their cultural tradition. Born of native women working in mining towns. She
Daisy O’Dwyer in Tipperary, Ireland, in later, became increasingly preoccupied with the wel-
somewhat unreliable memoirs Bates would claim fare of sick and elderly Aboriginals, particularly
descent from the ancient Gaelic clan of that those exiled from their traditional homelands.
name. Her family was reasonably well off, provid- The Aboriginals responded to her dispensations
ing her with a private income later in life, but her of benevolent concern by revering her, calling
mother died when she was small. She was sent to her “Kabbarli” (grandmother).
live with a family in England when she was eight. In 1912 Bates was made Honorary Protector
Suspected of having tuberculosis, she emigrated of Aborigines at Eucla in South Australia. From
to the better climate of Australia in 1884, where her remote camp in the bush, she worked on the
she stayed with family friends in Queensland and first official ethnographic study of Aboriginals,
then briefly worked as a governess in New South among the Mirning tribe. She left the bush only
Wales. A brief marriage to Harry Morant quickly briefly in 1914 to attend sessions of the Congress
foundered (he later became infamous as of the British Association for the Advancement
“Breaker” Morant during the Boer War in South of Science and in 1915 went to Adelaide to raise
Africa, when he was court-martialed and shot in government funding for welfare projects. In 1919
1902 for murdering Boer prisoners). A year later Bates once more returned to the outback, to a
Daisy remarried—bigamously—to cattle rancher camp at Ooldea in South Australia, where for the
Jack Bates. But she abandoned him and their son next sixteen years she devoted herself to welfare
to travel alone around Australia, and after the among transient Aboriginal tribes, using much
couple lost much of their money in financial of her own money to buy supplies, help feed
crashes in 1894, she returned to England. There them, and nurse those who were sick. She also
she worked as a journalist in London on the Re- fiercely guarded them from the encroachments
view of Reviews. Commissioned by The Times to of civilization, in particular the railways, which
investigate allegations of the persecution of Abo- were increasingly cutting across their ancient
riginals in northwestern Australia by white set- lands, and from the dilution of their bloodlines
tlers, she went back to gather documentary evi- by miscegenation and intermarriage.
dence, staying at a Catholic mission station at By this time something of a celebrity (because
Beagle Bay, near Broome. of sensationalist articles about her work in the
Thus began a lifelong investigation of Aborig- press that talked of cannibalism among Aborigi-
inal life and customs in the area of the Great Aus- nals), Bates had became an unrivalled authority
tralian Bight. Espousing their welfare with a on Aboriginal dialects and oral culture. In 1933
sense of maternal mission, Bates soon began liv- she gave evidence to a government committee in
ing among Aboriginals in remote areas, where Canberra on the state of the Aboriginal peoples,
she enjoyed the privileges of being allowed to ob- recommending, as she had for many years, that a
serve ancient religious rituals and touch sacred central region of Australia be made over to them
objects from which even Aboriginal women were as a homeland under Crown protection. In 1934
excluded. her services to anthropology were rewarded when
In 1902, after briefly reuniting with her hus- she was made a Commander of the Order of the
band and son for a profit-making droving trip in British Empire (CBE). She made another brief re-
which they took 800 head of cattle 1,000 miles turn to Adelaide in 1935, during which she serial-
south to Perth, she left them again to take up an ized accounts of her life in the bush in the papers,
appointment from the government of Western which were later collected as The Passing of the
Australia to conduct research into Aboriginal life Aborigines, published in the United Kingdom

52
Bates, Daisy

in 1938 and in Australia in 1946. By the 1930s en- torical watershed than the enrollment of nine
tirely converted to the nomadic life, Bates took black students at Central High School in Little
herself off again to an Aboriginal camp at Pyap Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. Much of the success of
on the Murray River, where she occupied herself the desegregation campaign in Arkansas is due to
in cataloguing and writing up her many years of the work of Daisy Bates, a now legendary figure
anthropological notes. In 1945 her failing health in the history of the civil rights movement in the
finally forced Bates to give up the bush and retire United States.
to Adelaide on a government pension. Born in a poor sawmill and lumbering town
Bates’s posthumous reputation has been (sources conflict about whether her birth year
eroded by criticism of both her character (pa- was 1914 or 1920), Huttig, Arkansas, Bates never
tronizing and imperious), her old-school colo- knew her father and was put up for adoption af-
nial style (she always wore corsets and Western ter her mother’s rape and murder by three white
dress, even in the outback), and the negativism men. After graduating from a local segregated
of her work for Aboriginals, whom she saw as a high school in Huttig, she went to Memphis for
living remnant of ancient Paleolithic humans two years to study psychology at Meymoyne
doomed to extinction. But within her limita- College.
tions, as a believer in the benevolence of British Bates married Lucious (“L. C.”) Bates and set-
colonial rule and a defender of Aboriginal au- tled in Little Rock in 1941. Together they leased
tonomy, she was a genuine friend whose invalu- the editorship of the Arkansas State Press, a
able work in cataloguing Aboriginal life, culture, highly influential newspaper that under their ed-
and legend dating back to the mythical Dream- itorship would rise to a circulation of 20,000 and
time has yet to be properly evaluated and pub- give a voice to the state’s blacks. During World
lished. These extensive observations, contained War II, the newspaper exposed the racism of the
in eighty boxes, were donated by her to the Na- Arkansas police and the bias of the state’s crimi-
tional Library of Australia in Canberra. nal justice system, when black soldiers sent to
training camps in the area ran into trouble with
References and Further Reading the authorities.
Blackburn, Julia. 1994. Daisy Bates in the Desert. New In 1952 Bates was elected president of the state
York: Pantheon.
chapter of the National Association for the Ad-
Hill, Ernestine. 1973. Kabbarli: A Personal Memoir of
Daisy Bates. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.
vancement of Colored People (NAACP) and
Marcus, Julie, et al., eds. 1993. First in Their Field: served until 1961. In this capacity, she was drawn
Women and Australian Anthropology. Melbourne: into its desegregation campaign after the famous
Melbourne University Press. Supreme Court ruling of 1954, Brown v. Board of
Ó Céirín, Kit, and Cyril Ó Céirín, eds. 1996. Women Education of Topeka, Kansas, upheld the right of
of Ireland: A Biographic Dictionary. Kinvara, the Reverend Oliver Brown to send his daughter
County Galway: Tír Eolas. to the school of his choice. With this official dec-
Pike, Douglas Henry, ed. 1966– . Australian laration that segregation was unconstitutional,
Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne: Melbourne the NAACP intensified its campaign in Little
University Press. Rock. In 1955, with the city’s high schools still
Roberts, Frank C. 1951–1960. Obituaries from The
defying this ruling, Bates and her colleagues in
Times. Vol. 1. Reading: Newspaper Archive Devel-
opments.
the NAACP decided to try to break segregation
Salter, Elizabeth. 1971. Daisy Bates: “The Great White at the all-white Central High School. They began
Queen of the Never Never.” Sydney: Angus and planning their strategy, first by exerting pressure
Robertson. on the school board to abide by the ruling. As
protests, meetings, and lawsuits proliferated in
an attempt to enroll black students in Arkansas’s
Bates, Daisy schools, an official date was finally set for inte-
(1914?–1999) gration—September 1957. Meanwhile, Bates or-
United States ganized a group of nine black teenagers to make
this important stand for black civil rights.
The fight to desegregate the schools of the Amer- After Governor Orval Faubus called in the Na-
ican South could have had no more potent his- tional Guard to bar the way to these students

53
Bäumer, Gertrud

when they arrived to enroll on 2 September Bäumer, Gertrud


1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federal- (1873–1954)
ized the National Guard to ensure that the stu- Germany
dents were allowed to enter, which they eventu-
ally did on 25 September. Over the following Feminist, patriot, and Christian moderate in the
year, Bates gave great moral support to the stu- German women’s movement to 1933, Gertrud
dents as they ran the daily gauntlet of racial ha- Bäumer opposed the “new morality” movement
tred at the school. She herself came constantly advocating sexual liberation and emphasized the
under verbal attack, racial abuse, and threats of separate spheres in which women could con-
violence. Incendiary bombs were thrown at her tribute their unique gifts to social welfare as
home, and Ku Klux Klan crosses burned on the wives and mothers. An eloquent speaker, under
lawn in 1959. That same year, Bates and her hus- her leadership the Federation of German
band were forced to close their newspaper due to Women’s Associations moved increasingly to the
a drop in advertising revenue. right during 1901–1914.
After leaving Little Rock, Bates continued to Born in Hohenlimburg in Westphalia, the
work as a community organizer for underprivi- daughter of a theologian, Bäumer’s evangelical
leged blacks in Mitchellville, Desha County, after Christian background would color her activities.
giving up her NAACP post in 1961. Active in the She became a teacher, held posts at Camnen and
Community Revitalization Project, she oversaw Magdeburg from 1892 to 1898, and studied liter-
improvements to sanitation and health care in ature and philosophy in Berlin for a year. She was
the town. Her successful encouragement of black an active member of the General German Women
voters in Mitchellville also eventually led to the Teachers’ Association led by president Helene
election of a black mayor and city council. In the Lange, with whom she had founded the journal
early 1960s, she was appointed to the Democra- The Woman in 1893. Bäumer became Lange’s sec-
tic National Committee by President John F. retary in 1899, and for the next thirty years, she
Kennedy and toured the United States promot- worked closely with Lange on women’s issues.
ing voter registration. In 1972 she attacked fund- Bäumer wrote many pamphlets and books,
ing cuts to the Office of Economic Opportunity most notably the ambitious five-volume Hand-
in Desher County by the Nixon administration. book of the Women’s Movement (1901–1906) ed-
Bates published an account of her experiences, ited with Helene Lange, influenced by the Chris-
The Long Shadow of Little Rock, in 1962. tian social theorist Friedrich Naumann, whose
ideas on a German brand of democratic and so-
References and Further Reading cial reform spiced with military strength were
Bates, Daisy. 1962. The Long Shadow of Little Rock: A symbolized by the sword and a kernel of wheat.
Memoir by Daisy Bates. New York: David McKay. In 1900, elected to the committee of the Federa-
Crawford, Vicki L., Jacqueline Anne Rouse, and Bar-
tion of German Women’s Associations, Bäumer
bara Woods, eds. 1990. Women in the Civil Rights
made clear her commitment to welfare and na-
Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers. Brook-
lyn: Carlson Publishing. tionalist interests. She sought to defuse class ten-
Encyclopaedia Britannica: Book of the Year 2000. sions through the organization of social welfare
Chicago: University of Chicago Press and Ency- programs that emphasized the role of women as
clopaedia Britannica. wives and mothers. Her “new ideal” of women’s
Hine, Darlene Clarke, et al., eds. 1993. Black Women sacrosanct nurturing role thus viewed abortion
in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. 2 vols. as criminal. Under Bäumer the federation was
Bloomington: Indiana University Press. increasingly attacked by the left wing for being
Huckaby, Elizabeth. 1980. Crisis at Central High traditionalist, particularly after 1910 when it
School: Little Rock 1957–1958. Baton Rouge: merged with the German Evangelical Women’s
Louisiana State University Press.
League and withdrew support for radical femi-
Smith, Jessie Carney, ed. 1992. Notable Black Ameri-
nists such as Helene Stöcker, Adela Schreiber,
can Women. Detroit: Gale.
and Marie Stritt, who sought women’s sexual
emancipation and the legalization of abortion.
Bäumer replaced Stritt as president of the feder-
ation in 1910, together with Lange editing its

54
Beale, Dorothea

journal The Woman (until 1929; editor-in-chief References and Further Reading
1929–1944), and by the outbreak of World War I Evans, Richard. 1973. The Feminist Movement in
in 1914 the last vestiges of radicalism within the Germany 1894–1933. London: Sage.
women’s movement in Germany had been mar- Offen, Karen. 2000. European Feminisms 1700–1950:
A Political History. Stanford: Stanford University
ginalized. Between 1912 and 1944, Bäumer also
Press.
coedited the journal Help with Naumann.
Sklar, Kathryn Kish. 1998. Social Justice Feminists in
During World War I Bäumer worked for the the United States and Germany: A Dialogue in
National Women’s Service. She saw the war as a Documents 1885–1933. Ithaca: Cornell University
good opportunity for women to prove their Press.
worth to the fatherland and adapted her percep- Smith, Bonnie G. 1989. Changing Lives: Women in
tion of the federation’s objectives to patriotic European History since 1700. Lexington, MA:
rather than solely reformist goals, based on her D. C. Heath.
own “ideology of republican motherhood” Thébaud, Francoise, ed. 1994. A History of Women:
(Smith 1989, 398). Bäumer galvanized women to Toward a Cultural Identity in the Twentieth
set up soup kitchens and hospital wards, to pro- Century. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press at
Harvard University.
vide welfare to the families of men in the mili-
tary, and to work in industry and keep the food
supply going. However, she was critical of gov- Beale, Dorothea
ernment incentives to women to produce more (1831–1906)
children, or “an arms race by mothers,” as she United Kingdom
dubbed it (Thébaud 1994, 421).
After the war and the introduction of women’s The educationist Dorothea Beale lived the life of
suffrage in 1919, Bäumer was elected to the Na- the archetypal Victorian spinster, rejecting suit-
tional Assembly and was one of the first forty-one ors and eschewing a personal life for one of duty
women to take their seats in the Reichstag in lived for and through her pupils. She devoted
1920, remaining there until 1933 and in 1920 herself to pioneering girls’ secondary school ed-
serving as minister of the interior. At first she sup- ucation at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. With her
ported Adolf Hitler, but in 1933 when he became close friend and associate Frances Buss, who did
chancellor, she was dismissed from her post in the likewise at the North London Collegiate School
ministry of the interior with only a small pension, for Ladies, Beale shared a belief in women being
despite her long service. All independent women’s better suited than men to the teaching of young
groups were ordered to disband and join a single girls. During her years at Cheltenham, Beale in-
organization, the Nazi Women’s Group, which jected new life into the staid and narrow curricu-
was controlled by the state. On moral grounds, lum then available and promoted the health and
Bäumer refused to allow the Federation of Ger- all-around welfare of her students through the
man Women’s Associations to comply because to adoption of physical fitness regimes.
do so would have meant going against its consti- Born in London, one of eleven children, Beale
tution by expelling its Jewish members. Her links would comment in later life that she had spent
with Christian opposition to the Nazis during the much of her youth engaged in “the inevitable
war led to investigations of her by the Gestapo on sock-darning which falls to a girl’s position in a
several occasions, and she also suffered at the family of so many boys” (Perkin 1993, 17). While
hands of the Allies at war’s end for her support of receiving some education at home in Essex and
German militarism. Bäumer nevertheless took up at a local school, she managed to teach herself
political activity again in 1949 and was instru- Latin and study the works of Euclid. Her father
mental in the establishment of the Christian So- sent her to finishing school in Paris with her sis-
cial Union. In the interwar years she also was a ter in 1847, but the 1848 revolution there forced
member of the first German delegation to the them to return, after which Beale was fortunate
League of Nations and served on the Commission in being one of the first young women to enter
for the Protection of Children. Queen’s College for Ladies in London’s Harley
Street. This secondary school for girls, which
See also Lange, Helene; Schreiber, Adela; Stöcker, provided the level of academic curriculum that
Helene; Stritt, Marie. would enable women to become teachers, had

55
Beale, Dorothea

recently been set up by the Governesses’ Benevo- ers in physical education. However, Beale insisted
lent Institution. Here Beale met and became that sporting activities at Cheltenham should not
friends with other future social reformers, in- be competitive; pupils were allowed to engage in
cluding Frances Buss and Adelaide Procter. She friendly cricket and hockey matches with each
became a teacher of mathematics at the school in other but not with other schools. This was very
1849 and a senior teacher from 1854 to 1856 but much part and parcel of Beale’s insistence that
resigned in protest at the lack of teacher involve- while women sought academic excellence, they
ment in the running of the school. should not appear manly or competitive but
In 1857 Beale accepted an appointment as rather be reared up as paragons of “dutiful wom-
head of the Clergy Daughters’ School in Caster- anhood” (McCrone 1988, 81).
ton, Westmorland, a rigorous establishment set In 1864 Beale further increased the school’s
in a lonely environment that the Brontë sisters intake with the introduction of boarders. A nurs-
had attended and that Charlotte Brontë had used ery school followed, and in 1877 a teacher-train-
as the basis for Lowood School in her 1847 novel ing college, St. Hilda’s (named after St. Hilda of
Jane Eyre. Although the regime had improved Whitby), was established as an adjunct to the
somewhat since Brontë’s time there, Beale found school. In 1892 St. Hilda’s was transferred to a
its narrow curriculum stale and tedious and her house purchased by Beale in Oxford, where it
duties teaching a wide range of subjects onerous. was called St. Hilda’s Hall of Residence and of-
She left after a year, wrote a Textbook of General fered a one-year teacher-training course at the
History, and competed with forty-nine other university. In 1893 St. Hilda’s became one of Ox-
candidates for the post of principal at the first ford University’s first female colleges.
private girls’ school established in England With Emily Davies, with whom she was active
(1854), Cheltenham Ladies’ College. At that time in the women’s discussion group the Kensington
the school had only sixty-nine pupils and was in Society, Beale also promoted women’s higher ed-
a state of serious financial decline. ucation and suffrage in Britain and was involved
For Beale, Cheltenham became her consuming in the drawing up of the first petition on
passion, which she embraced with total dedica- women’s suffrage that was presented to Parlia-
tion to the belief that a good education based on ment by John Stuart Mill in 1866. In 1864 she
religious principles was essential in molding good gave evidence to the Royal Commission on En-
character and social responsibility: “Girls must be dowed Schools (which lasted until 1867), argu-
prepared for life, taught to know the truth, feel ing that girls’ schools should be included in the
nobly, and hence act rightly” (Perkin 1993, 37). endowments that had previously only been
During her forty-eight years there until her death awarded to boys’ secondary schools. In 1869
in 1906, Beale ruled over Cheltenham with grim Beale published the commissioners’ Report on
determination, reforming the school’s financial the Education of Girls, in her preface highlighting
affairs and establishing efficient management. the low standards of teaching still prevailing in
Most important, after carefully biding her time girls’ secondary schools. The Endowed Schools
and not alienating the parents of potential stu- Act provided for the establishment of new high
dents, Beale began revising the curriculum, schools for girls offering high academic stan-
adding science, mathematics, and classics during dards. In all her campaigning for women’s edu-
the late 1860s as well as other academic sub- cation, however, Beale made it clear that she did
jects—innovations considered extremely radical not seek to take women out of their conventional
for their time. Beale was also an advocate of fresh roles; she believed that they should be educated
air and exercise; all her students were expected to in order to “best perform that subordinate part
spend some time out of doors engaged in gentle in the world to which, I believe, they have been
recreation such as walking or croquet. Lawn ten- called” (Strachey 1978, 135). Nor did she ap-
nis and cycling were also introduced later at Chel- prove of girls competing academically with boys
tenham, as was calisthenics, considered by Beale and opposed women’s education at the univer-
to be a suitable antidote to the supposed mental sity level.
rigors of academic study. In 1876, daily musical In 1884 Beale, a woman of devout Christian
drills and rhythmic gymnastics were introduced. beliefs, extended her interests to philanthropic
By 1905 the college would boast six trained teach- work in the community, when she established

56
Beard, Mary Ritter

the Guild of the Cheltenham Ladies’ College, the Cheltenham Ladies’ College 1858–1906.
which set up a settlement house in Bethnal London: Society for the Promotion of Christian
Green in London’s East End. She joined the Knowledge.
growing movement led by evangelicals in the Steadman, F. C. 1931. In the Days of Miss Beale: A
Study of Her Work and Influence. London: E. J.
1880s of rescuing prostitutes through the Na-
Burrow.
tional Vigilance Association for the Repression
Strachey, Ray. 1978 [1928]. The Cause: A Brief History
of Criminal Vice and Immorality (an organiza- of the Women’s Movement. Reprint, London:
tion to which she bequeathed money on her Virago.
death). She was active in numerous educational
societies, including the Froebel Society and the
Child Study Association, and in 1895 succeeded Beard, Mary Ritter
Buss as president of the Association of Head- (1876–1958)
mistresses; she was also active in the Teachers’ United States
Guild. Her 1898 work, written in collaboration
with two other educators, Work and Play in Forty years before the proliferation of women’s
Girls’ Schools, endorsed the arguments of med- studies courses and the wider dissemination of
ical women such as Elizabeth Garrett Anderson source material on women’s history began in the
that, far from being harmful, physical exercise 1970s, the American writer and educator Mary
for schoolgirls was an essential component of Ritter Beard advocated the addition of women’s
the school curriculum. studies to the academic curriculum and encour-
Beale lived a life of pious frugality and intense aged women to reject the mindset of generations
privacy, at the end of which she was awarded an that they had no value as members of society or
honorary law degree by Edinburgh University in any power to change history.
1899. She left the then considerable sum of Beard was born in Indianapolis, the daughter
£55,000 to Cheltenham Ladies’ College. She de- of a lawyer who was a staunch Republican and
veloped a close friendship with the Indian re- temperance campaigner. After graduating from
former and Christian convert Pandita Ramabai, DePauw University in 1897, she taught German
who studied and taught for a while at Chel- in high school before marrying Charles Austin
tenham, and was a supporter of the English suf- Beard in 1900. Charles’s studies took the couple
frage movement as vice president of the Central to England in 1900; they spent the next two years
Society for Women’s Suffrage (later the London in Oxford, where Charles was a cofounder of the
Society for Women’s Suffrage), although she re- trade unionist Ruskin College. They then moved
mained forever wary of advocating male-female to Manchester, where they both became friends
rivalry, particularly in politics. Her views on with the Pankhurst family and, through them,
women’s emancipation were at all times re- took an active interest in class politics and the
stricted by her overriding sense of woman’s ulti- work of the Independent Labour Party. Mary
mately dutiful and subordinate role. also associated with women in the National
Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.
See also Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett; Buss, Frances; After their return to the United States in 1902,
Davies, (Sarah) Emily; Ramabai, Pandita Beard undertook postgraduate studies in sociol-
Saraswati. ogy in 1904 at Columbia University. But after
References and Further Reading two years, she gave up to commit her time to
Kamm, Josephine. 1958. How Different from Us: A working for the rights and working conditions of
Biography of Miss Buss and Miss Beale. London: women through the Women’s Trade Union
Bodley Head.
League. She joined the league in 1907 and be-
McCrone, Kathleen E. 1988. Sport and the Physical
Emancipation of English Women 1870–1914.
came involved in organizing the 1909–1910
London: Routledge. strike by women shirtwaist makers in New York.
Perkin, Joan. 1993. Victorian Women. London: John In 1912 she left to join the more working-class-
Murray. based Wage Earners’ League.
Raikes, Elizabeth. 1909. Dorothea Beale of Chel- At the same time, Beard also became involved
tenham. London: Archibald Constable. in the suffrage movement, joining the National
Shillito, Elizabeth. 1920. Dorothea Beale: Principal of American Woman Suffrage Association in 1910,

57
Beard, Mary Ritter

programs for immigrants, industrial training


schools, the first programs for public health, mu-
nicipal recreation, housing reform and the new
field of social work” (Spender 1983, 342).
In 1916 Beard worked with Florence Kelley on
the research paper “Why Women Demand a Fed-
eral Suffrage Amendment: Difficulties in Amend-
ing State Constitution,” published by the Con-
gressional Union. After women’s suffrage was
granted in 1920, she opposed the Equal Rights
Amendment campaign, sticking to her convic-
tion that separate provisions should be made to
protect the rights of women.
During the 1920s, Beard collaborated with her
husband on the adoption of a school of writing
known as the “New History,” which avoided the
traditional overemphasis on man-made wars. In-
stead, it considered social and economic factors
as well as the role of women in molding histori-
cal events. Together they published other books
on American history and citizenship, including a
two-volume history of the United States, The
Rise of American Civilization (1927).
Mary Ritter Beard (Library of Congress) In 1934 Beard’s fifty-page educational pam-
phlet, “A Changing Political Economy as It Af-
fects Women,” offered a prototype syllabus for a
then led by Carrie Chapman Catt, and editing its course in women’s studies—but one that no col-
journal, the Woman Voter, during 1910–1912. lege was forward-thinking enough to adopt. A
But again, she left this organization in 1913 to year later, with the Hungarian women’s rights ac-
cofound a more militant group, the Congres- tivist Rosika Schwimmer, Beard founded the
sional Union for Woman Suffrage, led by Alice World Center for Women’s Archives, no doubt
Paul. The union, which would later become the out of her painful awareness, as Ann J. Lane
National Woman’s Party, adopted the strategies points out, that women’s history was all too eas-
of the Pankhursts’ militant Women’s Social and ily lost. But the center ran out of money by 1940,
Political Union, founded in 1903. Beard re- and despite a huge commitment on Beard’s part
mained active with the union until 1917. and much hard work, it folded. Beard and three
Although Beard continued to work for protec- other women then turned in 1941 to making a
tive legislation for women after she left the detailed study of the coverage and treatment of
union, she increasingly turned away from ac- women in the Encyclopedia Britannica, recom-
tivism to the development of her own theories, mending rewrites where they thought entries
becoming a notable lecturer. Her book Woman’s were deficient. The suggestions, which had taken
Work in Municipalities (1915) established the ar- eighteen months of careful research and prepa-
guments she would develop throughout her sub- ration, were never implemented.
sequent works in calling for greater recognition But her most important works were those in
of the achievements of women. Noralee Frankel which she underlined the crucial role of women
and Nancy S. Dye (1991) assert that this work is in molding history. Beard’s publications were
in itself a record of the uncredited reformist many, including A Short History of the American
work of many American women of that time. Labor Movement (1920); Force of Women in
And indeed, in its cataloguing of women’s work Japanese History (1953); and a memoir of her
in the inner cities, it testifies to a considerable husband, The Making of Charles A. Beard (1955).
range of activity that helped create “the first On Understanding Women (1931) illustrated how
kindergartens, public libraries, adult education women had developed the domestic arts and

58
Beauvoir, Simone de

crafts and highlighted their tendency to under-


play their talents instead of taking credit for their
achievements. Her most famous book and a
work innovative for its time, Woman as Force in
History: A Study of Tradition and Realities (1946),
argued for greater weight to be given to women’s
contribution to history. It is a sad testament to
how little attention was paid to this important
study that it was quickly forgotten. Not until the
1970s would feminist interest in Woman as Force
in History be revived, when the book was finally
reprinted. In it, Beard argued that women had
colluded in the perpetuation of their own op-
pression and invisibility by being content to ac-
cept a passive role. Until they were able to liber-
ate their minds from preconceived notions of
their own subservience and conceptualize their
own collective force, they would remain impo-
tent. And the key to power for women was, in
Beard’s view, independence from the kind of
male-dominated official institutions—in poli-
tics, science, and education—that would seek
only to subordinate them.

See also Catt, Carrie Chapman; Kelley, Florence;


Pankhurst, Christabel; Pankhurst, Emmeline;
Paul, Alice; Schwimmer, Rosika.
Simone de Beauvoir (Archive Photos)
References and Further Reading
Cott, Nancy F., ed. 1991. A Woman Making History:
Mary Ritter Beard through Her Letters. New
Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Simone de Beauvoir inspired the new “second
Frankel, Noralee, and Nancy S. Dye. 1991. Gender, wave” of feminist thinking and activism that de-
Class, Race, and Reform in the Progressive Era. veloped into the highly vocal women’s rights
Lexington: University of Kentucky Press. movement of the 1970s. Born in Paris, the
Lane, Ann J., ed. 1977. Mary Ritter Beard: A Source daughter of an upper-middle-class lawyer, de
Book. New York: Schocken Books. Beauvoir was educated privately at convents. She
———. 1983. “Mary Ritter Beard: Woman as Force.” rejected her conventional upbringing after
In Dale Spender, ed. Feminist Theorists: Three studying philosophy at the Sorbonne (graduat-
Centuries of Women’s Intellectual Traditions. ing in 1929), where she met the French existen-
London: Women’s Press. tialist writer Jean-Paul Sartre. They collaborated
Turoff, Barbara K. 1979. Mary Beard as Force in His-
closely on the development of French existential-
tory. Dayton, OH: Wright State University Press.
ist theory until his death in 1980, although the
couple never lived together. In 1945 they co-
founded the monthly magazine Modern Times.
Beauvoir, Simone de Having obtained a teaching diploma, de Beau-
(1908–1986) voir worked at lycées in Marseilles and Rouen
France (1931–1936) and returned to teach in Paris
(1937–1943), remaining there throughout the
As the woman who overturned thinking on German occupation during World War II. She
women’s sexuality and social position after gave up teaching when she published her first
World War II with her seminal work The Second novel, She Came to Stay (in French, L’Invitée,
Sex (1949—all dates given are of first publication 1943), followed by The Blood of Others (1944)
in French), the radical writer and existentialist and All Men Are Mortal (1946).

59
Beccari, Alaide Gualberta

De Beauvoir’s theories on individual choice, view of life in French intellectual circles from the
freedom, and the responsibility of the individual 1930s to 1970s: Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
for his or her actions through the creation of a (1958), The Prime of Life (1960), Force of Cir-
personal moral law in a world without God are cumstance (1963), and All Said and Done (1970).
central to existentialist thinking. They also col- De Beauvoir also explored the social problems of
ored her extensive social study The Second Sex, the neglect of the elderly in Old Age (1970) and
originally published in two volumes in 1949. In dealt with the death of her mother from cancer
it, alluding to a pantheon of literary, mythical, in A Very Easy Death (1964).
and historical sources, she expounded on what
she defined as traditional patriarchy’s perpetua- References and Further Reading
tion of the “eternal feminine.” Because of the Bair, Deirdre. 1990. Simone de Beauvoir: A Life.
continued bias toward the male as being superior London: Jonathan Cape.
Beauvoir, Simone de. 1972. [1953.] The Second Sex.
in all things and the placement of social con-
Reprint, Harmondsworth: Penguin.
straints on women that forever subordinated Francis, Claude, and Fernand Goutier, trans. 1989.
them as the physically weak “other,” women had Simone de Beauvoir. London: Mandarin.
failed to attain their freedom and independence. Heath, Jane. 1989. Simone de Beauvoir. Hemel
De Beauvoir attacked conventional male images Hempstead, UK: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
that depicted women as inferior, arguing that Whitmarsh, A. 1981. Simone de Beauvoir and the
this state of being was not the result of women’s Limits of Commitment. Cambridge: Cambridge
natural biology or psychology but of their pas- University Press.
sive acceptance of conditioning by men through
marriage and motherhood. As she famously ar-
gued, “One is not born a woman; one becomes a Beccari, Alaide Gualberta
woman” (1972, 295). (1842–1906)
De Beauvoir’s book sold 22,000 copies within Italy
weeks of publication, arousing both praise and
outrage with its bold and outright rejection of The focal point of the slow-to-develop women’s
marriage and motherhood. It urged women to movement in Italy was for many years a single
exercise their free will and fight back against journal—Woman—published by Alaide Beccari,
male domination and their own dependency in a republican, pacifist, and pioneering writer on
marriage and provided an intellectual frame- social issues. The journal lent its voice in the
work for feminist thinking that would gather 1870s and 1880s to the campaign for the reform
momentum in the 1970s. It was only then that de of the 1865 civil code and for the abolition of
Beauvoir took a public stand on issues such as state-regulated prostitution in 1888 that had been
abortion, signing a 1973 manifesto by leading introduced in the Cavour Regulation of 1860.
Frenchwomen who had themselves undergone Beccari’s father, a civil servant in Padua (then
abortions for reform of the law and organizing part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), was ac-
demonstrations through the Movement for the tive in the Italian Risorgimento. Having taken
Liberation of Women. She also denounced the part in the 1848 revolution, during which he lost
physical abuse of women by men as president of his fortune and his job, he was forced to leave
the League for the Rights of Women from 1974. Padua and took refuge with Cavour’s forces in
During the 1960s, de Beauvoir visited commu- Turin. The only survivor of his twelve children,
nist Cuba and the Soviet Union and denounced Beccari worked for a while as her father’s secre-
the Algerian and Vietnam Wars. She also tary. She returned to Padua after it was liberated
founded the feminist publications New Feminism by forces from the state of Lombardy-Venetia
(1974) and Feminist Questions (1977). and took up journalism, although she was
Simone de Beauvoir also produced a body of plagued with very poor health all her life.
essays, four books on philosophy (including At the age of only sixteen, in 1868, she
Ethics of Ambiguity in 1947), a play, and several founded the journal the Woman in Venice. Pub-
other novels, including The Mandarins, which lished fortnightly, the journal raised the issue of
won the Prix Goncourt in 1954. Her four-vol- women’s rights in Italy—but not until after the
ume autobiography provided a wide-ranging country had been unified by Giuseppe Garibaldi

60
Becker, Lydia

in 1861. On its pages, the journal drew women’s creasingly to socialist concerns, in so doing los-
attention to the growing activism for social, ing the support of moderates in the movement.
moral, and political reform being embraced by She died of German measles, which she con-
women in France, the United States, and Britain. tracted after nursing a poor child.
For twenty years under Beccari’s editorship,
Woman continued to consistently promote equal See also Butler, Josephine; Goegg, Marie Pouchoulin;
rights for women, emphasizing cooperation be- Mozzoni, Anna Maria.
tween women of all classes and acting as an im- References and Further Reading
portant stimulus to the developing Italian Berkin, Carol R., and Clara M. Lovett. 1980. Women:
War and Revolution. New York: Holmes and Meier.
women’s movement. It published the feminist
Howard, Judith Jeffrey. 1977. “The Civil Code of 1865
writings of pioneer women such as Anna Maria and the Origins of the Feminist Movement in
Mozzoni and supported her in her campaign (in Italy.” In B. B. Caroli, R. F. Harney, and L. F.
tandem with Josephine Butler’s similar cam- Tomasi, eds., The Italian Immigrant Woman in
paign in England) from 1878 against state-regu- North America. Toronto: The Multicultural His-
lated prostitution. The journal was also widely tory Society of Ontario.
read by male legislators and teachers, and its pi- Josephson, Harold, Sandi Cooper, and Steven C. Hause
oneering articles were translated and printed in et al., eds. 1985. Biographical Dictionary of Modern
the Englishwoman’s Review. Peace Leaders. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
In 1877 Beccari was gratified to see a series of
proreform articles in the Woman encourage
3,000 women to sign a petition on women’s suf- Becker, Lydia
frage, no mean feat at a time when the majority (1827–1890)
of Italian women were illiterate. In the 1870s, un- United Kingdom
der Beccari’s pacifist impetus and her vision of
woman as the “citizen mother” whose natural For thirty years, the suffragist moderate Lydia
dignity was an antidote to male militarism, the Becker rallied support for women’s franchise as a
Woman drew attention to the growing interna- basic constitutional right both at the national
tional peace movement. It publicized the 1870 level and in her own city of Manchester. Her out-
establishment of the International Association of standing Women’s Suffrage Journal became both
Women (IAW) in Geneva by Marie Goegg and an important mouthpiece for the movement and
printed announcements of peace conferences an essential source for later historians of British
and new societies as they sprang up. Although feminism. Becker made a particular point in her
Beccari fought against a tide of indifference to campaigning of supporting the rights of middle-
the cause, she continued to argue for women’s class women to have control over their property
right to a decent education if they were ade- and earnings and of identifying the particular
quately to fulfill their roles as mothers; equally, difficulties of their social position. Lacking the
she felt acknowledgement of their economic role greater independence of both working women,
as workers was long overdue. particularly in the manufacturing industries, and
In the meantime, persistent ill health had those in the aristocracy, middle-class women
blighted Beccari’s own life, so much so that she were, in her view, more commonly the victims of
was forced to edit her journal from her bed. In social ostracization if they acted independently
December 1880 she launched a drive on its pages in defense of their rights.
for women’s suffrage. She moved to Bologna in Becker was the eldest of fifteen children born
1887, but ill health finally forced her to give up in Manchester to a family that had originated in
editing the Woman a year later, and she was re- Thuringia, Germany. Her father ran a calico
placed by Emilia Mariani. Beccari continued to bleaching factory and provided a relatively com-
help other women embark on writing careers, fortable home environment in which Becker was
wrote children’s plays, and founded a children’s educated and displayed intellectual talents and a
magazine titled Mamma. love of reading from a young age. She took a par-
In 1892 Beccari moved to Turin. In her final ticular interest in science, studying astronomy
years, discouraged by the lack of popular support and botany and in 1864 publishing Botany for
for a women’s movement in Italy, she turned in- Novices. Two years later she produced a compan-

61
Becker, Lydia

ion volume, Elementary Astronomy, but it was In 1868 Becker chaired the MNSWS’s first
never published. She corresponded with Charles public women’s suffrage meeting, held at the
Darwin, with whom she discussed botanical Free Trade Hall in Manchester. As a liberal and a
research. moderate, Becker collaborated with the Liberal
By the time she reached the age of forty, un- Party in Lancashire in supporting free trade. But
married and without children, Becker was one in her suffrage campaigning, she fought to retain
of those many middle-class Victorian women the MNSWS’s political neutrality, and resisted
desperately seeking a vocation. Her first steps to- attempts to include Liberal women’s groups in
ward liberation came with the establishment of the society, a fact that prompted several mem-
the short-lived Manchester Ladies Literary Soci- bers to decamp to form the Central National So-
ety. In its modest way, the society offered women ciety for Women’s Suffrage. In 1869 Becker be-
a much-needed opportunity for intellectual ad- came engaged in lecture tours for suffrage in and
vancement, emphasizing the importance of around the north of England. In her 1869 article
their study of philosophy and science. But it was for the Contemporary Review, “On the Study of
in October 1866 at a meeting of the National As- Science by Women,” she added her voice to the
sociation for the Promotion of Social Science, growing debate over women’s learning capaci-
held in Manchester, that Becker was galvanized ties, and in 1870, with the passing of William
by a paper by feminist Barbara Bodichon enti- Forster’s Education Act, like other feminists
tled “Reasons for the Enfranchisement of Becker recognized an opportunity for women to
Women.” In February of the following year, take up public work by standing for election to
Becker was elected honorary secretary of the the newly instituted school boards. She was
Manchester Women’s Suffrage Committee—the elected in Manchester, where she criticized the
first suffrage body, albeit provisional, to be excessive emphasis on domestic skills in its girls’
founded in England. In March, Becker pub- schools. She was continuously reelected to this
lished her own article, “Female Suffrage,” in the post until her death in 1890.
Contemporary Review. In the autumn of 1867, In March 1870 Becker founded the Women’s
the committee became the Manchester National Suffrage Journal, which she would edit and also
Society for Women’s Suffrage (MNSWS), and frequently subsidize financially until 1890 (when
Becker would be its guiding force until her it folded after her death), and through which she
death, both as a first-class administrator and as almost single-handedly “kept the question of
a tireless lobbyist for private members’ bills on women’s suffrage alive in England for the next
women’s suffrage, in the preparation of which twenty years” (Chafetz and Dworkin 1986, 114).
she made a study of constitutional law and par- Thereafter the suffrage movement temporarily
liamentary procedures. stalled until the Women’s Franchise League es-
In 1867, as the result of either clerical error or tablished by the Pankhursts in 1889 began to
a simple oversight, the name of a woman shop- gain ground. The journal, which contained many
keeper, Lily Maxwell, found its way into the elec- contributions from Becker, would provide later
toral roll for a by-election in Manchester. Becker historians with a mass of invaluable material on
took full advantage of the opportunity to gain social attitudes and the position of women in
publicity for the suffrage cause from this un- Victorian England.
precedented event and persuaded the timid Back in 1867, Becker had collaborated with
Maxwell duly to cast her vote. After she had done Josephine Butler (whom she greatly admired and
so, Becker attempted to get other women house- supported) in the campaign to repeal the Conta-
holders included on the electoral roll as their gious Diseases Acts; she also worked with Eliza-
statutory right, but appeals to the courts soon beth Wolstenholme-Elmy in preparing an ad-
quashed these claims, most notably in a test case, dress to the council of the National Association
Chorlton v. Lings, mounted by Dr. Richard for the Promotion of Social Science, asking for
Pankhurst (husband of Emmeline Pankhurst) its support in reforming the laws governing mar-
with Becker’s assistance in Manchester. In this ried women’s right to their own property and
case, barristers representing 5,346 women in earnings. In 1868 she became treasurer of the
Manchester argued their right to the franchise Married Women’s Property Committee but
under ancient English law. would be forced to resign in 1874 when, after the

62
Beecher, Catharine Esther

election of a Conservative government, she en- Levine, Phillipa. 1990. Feminist Lives in Victorian
dorsed the exclusion of married women from the England: Private Roles and Public Commitment.
vote in William Woodall’s parliamentary bill on Oxford: Blackwell.
suffrage. This bill proposed that the franchise be Lewis, Jane. 1987. Before the Vote Was Won: Argu-
ments for and against Women’s Suffrage. London:
awarded only to those single women and widows
Routledge and Kegan Paul.
holding the same property qualification as men.
McHugh, Paul. 1980. Prostitution and Victorian Social
It had been primarily a tactical decision on Reform. London: Croom Helm.
Becker’s part, made in hopes of improving the Shanley, Mary Lyndon. 1989. Feminism, Marriage,
chances of at least limited legislation on women’s and the Law in Victorian England, 1850–1895.
suffrage being passed, but it lost her friends and Princeton: Princeton University Press.
left her isolated in later years, during which she Spender, Dale. 1982. Women of Ideas, and What Men
also increasingly became the butt of uncharitable Have Done to Them. London: Routledge and
comments about her plain, “bluestocking” ap- Kegan Paul.
pearance.
In 1880 Becker returned to suffrage cam-
paigning as parliamentary secretary of the Cen- Beecher, Catharine Esther
tral Committee of the National Society for (1800–1878)
Women’s Suffrage, which was based in London. United States
During the 1880s she spoke at several public
meetings in support of women’s suffrage, but her The American educational and domestic re-
health began to fail, and she traveled to France former Catharine Beecher came from a family of
for a rest cure, where she contracted diphtheria, campaigning evangelicals and was the elder sister
dying soon after in Geneva. In her day Becker of abolitionist and writer Harriet Beecher Stowe.
was admired for her statecraft by Christabel A staunch advocate of women’s separate sphere
Pankhurst, but her somewhat forbidding per- of work, which she emphasized as at all times be-
sonality, as Dale Spender (1982) points out, all ing in the service of God, she was an opponent of
too often made her the butt of parody by those the women’s suffrage movement. Beecher be-
who viewed her as an austere and embittered lieved that to invest political power in women
spinster. would cause them to turn their backs on their
duties within the home, where she saw their role
See also Bodichon, Barbara; Butler, Josephine; as teacher-missionaries engaged in the moral re-
Pankhurst, Christabel; Pankhurst, Emmeline; generation of society.
Wolstenholme-Elmy, Elizabeth. Born in East Hampton, New York, Beecher
References and Further Reading was the eldest of thirteen children of congrega-
Blackburn, Helen. 1971 [1902]. Women’s Suffrage: A
tional preacher Lyman Beecher. She was edu-
Record of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the
British Isles with Biographical Sketches of Miss
cated at home in her mother Roxana’s private
Becker. Reprint, New York: Kraus Reprint school and subsequently at a private school in
Company. Litchfield, Connecticut. But at the age of sixteen,
Chafetz, Janet, and Gary Dworkin. 1986. Female Re- Beecher became a surrogate mother to her sib-
volt: Women’s Movements in World and Historical lings when their own mother died. In 1821 she
Perspective. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Allanheld. took up a teaching post at a girls’ school in New
Crawford, Elizabeth. 1999. The Women’s Suffrage London. She was briefly engaged to a Yale math-
Movement, 1866–1928: A Reference Guide. ematics professor, Alexander Fisher, and went
London: University College of London Press. into a deep depression when he was lost at sea in
Holcombe, Lee. 1983. Wives and Property: Reform of 1823. She never married, instead accepting this
the Married Women’s Property Law in Nineteenth-
loss as a sign from God that she should devote
Century England. Toronto: University of Toronto
Press.
her life to the cause of women’s education. In
Holton, Sandra Stanley. 1996. Suffrage Days: Stories 1824 she founded a school for young ladies with
from the Women’s Suffrage Movement. London: her sister May, which later became the Hartford
Routledge. Female Seminary, a few years after another edu-
Kelly, Audrey. 1992. Lydia Becker and the Cause. Lan- cational pioneer, Emma Willard, opened her
caster: Centre for North-West Regional Studies. own similar establishment, the Troy Seminary.

63
Beecher, Catharine Esther

that 30,000 teachers were needed and that


women were the ideal candidates because they
would accept lower wages. Throughout the
1840s, Beecher worked energetically to encour-
age more women to go into the teaching profes-
sion, selecting and appointing likely candidates
through her membership in the Ladies’ Society
for Improving Education in the West and the
Board of National Popular Education, which en-
listed 500 women from New England to take up
the teaching challenge in the West. Her founding
in 1852 of the American Woman’s Educational
Association was instrumental in the establish-
ment of colleges to train women teachers in Wis-
consin, Iowa, and Illinois. Sadly, these ventures
were short-lived.
In 1837 Beecher returned to the East Coast. In
1841 she did for American homemakers what the
celebrated Mrs. Beeton would do in England by
writing a housewife’s “Bible,” in which she
lauded the vocational domestic skills of women.
The Treatise on Domestic Economy for the Use of
Catharine Esther Beecher (Bettmann/Corbis)
Young Ladies at Home and at School would be the
first American manual to approach the subject of
household management from a scientific as well
Beecher also began writing the first of numer- as a domestic point of view. It proved so popular
ous essays on women’s education as well as text- that it was regularly reprinted over the next fif-
books for schools, such as “Female Education” in teen years and provided Beecher with a welcome
1827 and the 1829 pamphlet, “Suggestions Re- income. Another later revision of this work, un-
specting Improvements in Education.” In it, she dertaken with her sister Harriet Beecher Stowe,
advocated not only the intellectual advancement was published as The American Woman’s Home
of women but also the moral training that would or Principles of Domestic Science (1869) and laid
guide them in their leadership of the regenera- down further ground rules for the running of an
tion of society through the professions of nurs- efficient and hygienic home.
ing and teaching. Her strong support for temper- Beecher’s writings were considerable, includ-
ance and women’s role in the movement was ing “An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism with
colored by her belief, as with teaching, that Reference to the Duty of American Women to
women occupied a higher moral ground than Their Country” (1837), which emphasized
men. women’s pacifism and decried their involvement
In 1832 Beecher moved to Cincinnati with her in combative campaigning. In her 1846 pam-
father when he took up a post as president of the phlet, “The Evils Suffered by American Women
Lane Theological Seminary there. She opened and American Children,” and the 1851 work,
another school, the Western Female Institute, True Remedies for the Wrongs of Women, Beecher
which she ran until 1837, when financial diffi- further argued against the lack of fresh air and
culties and her ill health forced her to give up her exercise afforded to women and the subjection to
position. Believing that a whole new generation tight corseting that caused them physical and
of women teachers were urgently needed in the mental damage. As an early advocate of calis-
new frontier towns of the West, Beecher pre- thenics—a gentle form of gymnastics that had
empted the later exhortation of Horace Greeley originated in Germany—she encouraged the
(1850) by urging not young men but young adoption of healthy and regular exercise in her
women to “go west.” In her 1835 Essay on the Ed- 1857 work, Physiology and Calisthenics for
ucation of Female Teachers, Beecher estimated Schools and Families.

64
Behruzi, Mariam

By 1871 Beecher had been obliged to compro- Behruzi, Mariam


mise on her opposition to equal pay for women (1945– )
(she had originally justified lower pay for women Iran
as a necessity if they were to gain more work),
but in Woman Suffrage and Woman’s Profession A leading female parliamentarian and lawyer
(1871) she continued to argue for women’s pri- since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Behruzi be-
mary dedication to domestic roles as wives and gan speaking out in defense of women’s rights at
mothers. Although Beecher’s insistence on this a time when the government was calling for a re-
limiting role alienated her from many feminists turn to traditional Islamic values and the exclu-
and suffragists, notably illustrated in her 1837 sion of women from many areas of public life,
debate with Angelina Grimké over women’s en- including her own profession, the law.
try into public life (Grimké had made public Behruzi was alarmed at the way in which
speeches against slavery), she did, as Olive Banks women were being deprived of a public role by
has argued, at least prompt women to enter the being encouraged to go back into the home and
less controversial movement for moral reform, return to their traditional roles as wives and
which in turn “led feminism into the attempt to mothers. She argued that women entering poli-
use the vote to transform society itself ” (Banks tics was not antithetical to Islamic law and that
1990, 88). they should be allowed a role in the majlis (the
In 1874 Beecher published her autobiography, Iranian parliament), citing the example of the
Educational Reminiscences. She also tackled reli- Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, Fatimah, who
gious and moral issues in an opus of over thirty made insightful pronouncements and public
published works, including Elements of Mental speeches on political and social issues.
and Moral Philosophy (1831), Letters on the Diffi- Born in Tehran, the daughter of a well-known
culties of Religion (1836), and Common Sense Ap- cleric, Behruzi completed high school and, al-
plied to Religion (1857). Despite her frail health though she was married at age fifteen, continued
and recurring mental and physical crises, her studies at the university level. She began giv-
Beecher thrived on hard work to live to the age of ing lectures to women on religious practice and
seventy-eight. the Qu’ran and took an active part in anti-Shah
demonstrations in the 1970s. In 1975 she was
See also Grimké, Angelina Emily and Sarah Moore; prohibited from continuing her political activi-
Stowe, Harriet Beecher; Willard, Emma Hart. ties and went underground, only to be arrested
References and Further Reading and imprisoned in 1978–1979.
Banks, Olive. 1990 [1981]. Faces of Feminism: A Behruzi was elected as one of the first female
Study of Feminism as a Social Movement. Reprint,
members of the new Iranian parliament in 1980.
Oxford: Blackwell.
Boydston, J., et al., eds. 1988. The Limits of Sisterhood:
As a member of the Committee on the Family,
The Beecher Sisters on Women’s Rights and which was set up in 1984, she called for fuller dis-
Women’s Sphere. Chapel Hill: University of North cussion of family rights, particularly with regard
Carolina Press. to the decisionmaking processes of divorce
Kerber, Linda K., and Jane DeHart-Mathews. 2000. courts. In her opinion, these courts did not place
Women’s America: Refocusing the Past. New York: sufficient emphasis on the rights of wives and
Oxford University Press. children, particularly in cases of child custody,
Melder, Keith E. 1977. The Beginnings of Sisterhood: which always favored the husbands. Behruzi also
The American Woman’s Rights Movement, lent her support to the idea of awarding com-
1800–1850. New York: Schocken. pensation to divorced women for the time they
Rugoff, Milton. 1982. The Beechers: An American
had given up to their domestic roles in the home
Family in the Nineteenth Century. New York:
Harper & Row.
and drew attention to the need to provide wel-
Sklar, Katharine. 1976. Catherine Beecher: A Study in fare in the form of shelter and jobs to “unpro-
American Domesticity. New Haven: Yale University tected” single women so that they could support
Press. themselves. However, at a congress in Beijing in
1981 she had condemned abortion and also de-
fended the precepts of the Islamic criminal code.
In 1986 Behruzi became head of the Zeinab’s

65
Belmont, Alva

Association, a group committed to promoting an active part in “all domains” (Afshar 1998,
women’s education and raising their social and 123). Again, Behruzi’s campaigning led to
political consciousness. By 1995 the association women being allowed to once again study at the
had enrolled 150 students in its course on Is- faculties of law, which had been banned under
lamic knowledge and had encouraged several Khomeini when women had been excluded from
thousand to take up the study of Arabic and En- working in the Iranian legal system. Behruzi’s in-
glish. But successes here were countered by telligent arguments placed within a feminist in-
Behruzi’s failure in the majlis to carry an adden- terpretation of Islamic law contributed to a
dum to Article 42 of the Organization Bill, which change in attitude toward the role of women in
would have sanctioned the establishment of a the legal system. They have since been allowed to
special committee to explore women’s issues. assist in the custody of minors as well as work as
In 1991 Behruzi stood for election to the advisers in administrative justice and family
fourth majlis and was one of nine women to be courts.
elected. She immediately directed her energies Behruzi has served as an organizer of the Ira-
toward issues affecting the family and women’s nian Women’s Islamic Association and is chair of
fuller participation in national affairs and Islamic studies at the University of Shaheed Be-
achieved ratification of a bill allowing women in heshti. She advocates the wearing of the hijab as
the civil service to retire after twenty years and a symbol of chastity and has criticized the Turk-
resume a role at home. She also fought to have ish government for forbidding women from
women admitted to all the various committees of wearing the veil and traditional Islamic dress.
the fourth majlis, arguing that women had an in- Her son was killed during the Iran-Iraq War of
herent sensitivity to social needs. 1980–1988.
Behruzi returned to campaigning in prepara-
References and Further Reading
tion for elections to the fifth majlis as one of only
Afshar, Haleh. 1998. Islam and Feminisms. Bas-
five female candidates. By now she had achieved
ingstoke: Macmillan.
a high public profile as a leading female politi- Mogadam, Valentine M. 1993. Modernizing Women:
cian and commentator on women’s issues and Gender and Social Change in the Middle East.
had the confidence to be more sweeping in her Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
criticism of traditional patriarchal attitudes that
undervalued the contribution of women. During
the campaign, she was emphatic that “women’s Belmont, Alva
participation in the public domain had been (1853–1933)
condoned by the Koran” and that their involve- United States
ment in the foundation of Islam was “a funda-
mental matter of creed” (Afshar 1998, 50). Al- Of all the least likely candidates for the title “so-
though Behruzi was not reelected, her efforts cial reformer,” none could have been further re-
were validated when, as a result of her cam- moved from the everyday realities of women’s
paigning, the majlis rubber-stamped the creation struggle to survive than the fantastically wealthy
of a women’s committee. American socialite Alva Belmont. Married into
After losing her parliamentary seat, Behruzi the Vanderbilt family, she spent millions of her
turned her attention to promoting the work of husband’s money building and furnishing a
women lawyers and accentuating their unique grotesque baroque marble folly at Newport,
skills and insights. This was part of a campaign Rhode Island. But having espoused the cause of
to have more women appointed to the courts as women’s suffrage with tremendous gusto, she
legal advisers to judges, although the difficulties would in later life donate much of her fortune to
of avoiding contravention of religious practice running the women’s suffrage campaign and be-
by having women working in close proximity to come one of its most efficient managers.
men have made this a difficult issue. In justifica- The daughter of a cotton planter, Alva Erskine
tion of her case, Behruzi has repeatedly raised in- Smith was born in Mobile, Alabama, in the deep
stances of women’s unique contribution to the South. After the Civil War, the family lived for a
Islamic revolution and has repeated Ayatollah time in France, where she was educated in gen-
Khomeini’s own endorsement of women taking teel private schools. In 1875, much to his family’s

66
Belmont, Alva

alarm, she married one of the most eligible bach-


elors in the United States—William K. Vander-
bilt, grandson of the famous shipping and rail-
road magnate Cornelius. With New York society
of the time notoriously snobbish about who it
would admit to its inner sanctums, the Vander-
bilts (as relatively new social interlopers) had to
buy their way into the elite of the city’s “Four
Hundred” top families (mainly old money), con-
trolled by Mrs. William Astor. They did so
through an orgy of expensive entertaining and
the construction of their Fifth Avenue and
Rhode Island mansions, the former personally
supervised by Belmont, who worked closely with
its architect. These two houses eventually cost
the Vanderbilts about $3 million and $9 million,
respectively, by the time they were completed. In
1895, having climbed her way up the greasy pole
of social ambition, Belmont invited opprobrium
by daring to divorce her husband for his adul-
tery. A few months later, she regained lost social
ground by pulling off a major coup, marrying
their daughter Consuelo to the duke of Marlbor-
ough and into the cream of the British aristoc-
racy. Alva herself quickly remarried, to a younger
man, the banker Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont. It
was not until after his death in 1908, however,
that she abandoned the social whirl of New York
high society to fight for women’s suffrage. Like
many late converts to causes from which their
social status had distanced them, Belmont es-
poused the women’s movement with the same
kind of enthusiasm and energy with which she
had conducted her assault on New York society, Alva Belmont (Library of Congress)
becoming closely involved with the militant suf-
frage wing led by Alice Paul.
From 1909, when she founded the Political articles on women’s rights in journals such as
Equality League (a New York suffrage group of Harper’s Bazaar, Collier’s, Forum, North American
which she served as president), Belmont’s money Review, and Ladies’ Home Journal, Belmont took
would fund the campaign; she also paid for the up radical activism in support of striking women
National American Woman Suffrage Association garment workers, such as the famous shirtwaist
to relocate its headquarters from Ohio to New makers’ strike in New York, in which around
York, providing it with elegant Fifth Avenue of- 20,000 women participated during 1909– 1910.
fices (at an annual rent, paid by her, of $5,000). She joined them on picket lines, donated funds,
Her various homes would also host the suffrage hired the use of the New York Hippodrome and
campaign’s high-profile fund-raising events, Carnegie Hall for major rallies, and worked for
such as the 1914 Conference of Great Women the New York Women’s Trade Union League in
held at her Newport mansion, and provide for keeping the strike alive for thirteen weeks, al-
the comforts of visiting luminaries such as though it ultimately failed to achieve all its objec-
Christabel Pankhurst, whose 1914 lecture tour to tives. Over the next few years, Belmont embraced
the United States Belmont organized. numerous welfare projects with enthusiasm: she
Aside from her many public speeches and her organized low-cost canteens for workers; estab-

67
Bennett, Louie

lished housing projects for poor women; and do- Movement, vol. 1, From Colonial Times to the Eve
nated money to hospitals, children’s homes, and of World War I. New York: Free Press.
churches. She took to picketing and lecturing Rector, Margaret Hayden. Alva, That Vanderbilt-Bel-
with aplomb, and poured her money into mont Woman. Wickford, RI: Dutch Island Press.
mounting eye-catching suffrage motorcades. In
1912 she headed a great suffrage parade down
Fifth Avenue. Bennett, Louie
In 1913 Belmont joined the newly formed (1870–1956)
Congressional Union and was voted onto its ex- Ireland
ecutive board. She was also on the executive of
the National Woman’s Party (NWP), which suc- A pacifist, suffragist, and lifelong trade unionist,
ceeded the Congressional Union in 1917. Its Louie Bennett committed herself to nonmilitant
headquarters were based at a Washington, D.C., methods in all the many areas of activism to
residence bought specifically for the purpose by which she devoted her life. She was particularly
Belmont. Elected president in 1921, she paid for vigorous in promoting the interests of Irish
and oversaw the party’s central office near the working women right up until her death at the
Capitol, and also funded its national press bu- age of eighty-six.
reau, managed by Ida Husted Harper, until her Bennett was born in Dublin into a prosperous
death. In 1916 Belmont ventured into the world Protestant family. She was educated in England
of music, with Elsa Maxwell cowriting a suf- and at Alexandra College in Dublin and, as a
fragist operetta, Melinda and Her Sisters. She young woman, studied singing on the Continent.
traveled abroad on numerous occasions as a del- She turned her hand to writing novels such as The
egate of the NWP, attending conferences in Eu- Proving of Priscilla (1902) and A Prisoner of His
rope, such as the 1925 conference of the Inter- Word (1908) before taking up the suffragist cause.
national Woman Suffrage Alliance in Paris and As cofounder, with her friend Helen Chevenix,
the 1930 Conference on the Codification of In- of the Irish Women’s Suffrage Federation in
ternational Law in The Hague, and advocated an 1911, she took an interest not just in obtaining
end to discrimination against women in inter- the franchise for women but in drawing atten-
national law. tion to the exploitation of women in the work-
One of the American suffrage movement’s place and in particular the plight of those em-
most flamboyant and wealthy figures, Belmont is ployed in sweatshops. As a pacifist, she opposed
said to have offered the sage advice, “Pray to the more militant activities of the Irish Women’s
God. She will help you.” After the vote was Franchise League but would not condemn them.
awarded to American women in 1920, Belmont Instead, she channeled her energies into coordi-
returned to a former interest in architectural de- nating the suffrage movement with the women’s
sign. She died in Paris at one of her several labor movement. In her quest to gain basic eco-
French residences where she had been carrying nomic justice for women workers, she cofounded
out restoration projects. Having been one of the the Irish Women’s Reform League in 1913 and
first women admitted to the American Institute affiliated it with the federation. She was particu-
of Architects, she was brought home to be buried larly incensed by the exploitation of female juve-
alongside the great and good in New York’s niles, who were paid even less than adult women.
Woodlawn Cemetery. Because child labor in turn created high levels of
unemployment among those older women, Ben-
See also Pankhurst, Christabel; Paul, Alice. nett campaigned to make employment of chil-
References and Further Reading dren under the age of fifteen illegal.
Adickes, Sandra. 1997. To Be Young Was Very Heaven:
During a major lockout of workers during the
Women in New York before the Great War. Bas-
ingstoke: Macmillan.
1913 Dublin strike, Bennett was inspired by the
Balsan, Consuelo Vanderbilt. 1952. The Glitter and relief work of Constance de Markievicz and Han-
the Gold. New York: Harper. nah Sheehy-Skeffington and served meals in soup
Buell, Janet W. 1990. “Alva Belmont: From Socialite kitchens and provided assistance to strikers’ fam-
to Feminist.” The Historian 52(2): 219–241. ilies. During World War I, she managed to over-
Foner, Philip. 1979. Women and the American Labor come the mistrust of the trade union movement’s

68
Bennett, Louie

leader, James Connolly, although she found him ties but instead lent her support to the wider
dictatorial to work with and resisted his interfer- concerns of world peace. Bennett had been one
ence in her trade union activities. Her firm lead- of a group of vociferous Irish women pacifists
ership as secretary of the Irish Women Workers during World War I and subsequently spent
Union (IWWU) from 1916 to 1955 ensured that much time writing and speaking in support of
it remained separate and autonomous from male disarmament, endorsing the work of the League
trade unions. It was a union organized by women of Nations, and attending its conference in
for women, a fact that opened up its appeal to a Geneva in 1928. She also represented Ireland on
wider membership, which reached 2,000 by 1918. the International Executive of the Women’s In-
Some in the trade union movement criticized this ternational League for Peace and Freedom, be-
ghettoization of women within their own sepa- coming president of its Fifth Congress, held in
rate union and called for mixed-sex unions, but Dublin in 1926.
for Bennett having single-sex unions was the only In 1932 Bennett became the first woman presi-
way of guarding against the male temptation to dent of the Irish Trade Union Conference. Speak-
subordinate women’s trade unions to their own. ing on the maintenance of basic wages for skilled
In any event, Bennett’s attitude toward women workers, she argued that women should be paid
working was always a somewhat ambivalent one, the same rates as men and suggested that this
for she looked upon their employment as being could be achieved through an international system
an “unfortunate necessity” and a “menace to fam- of labor agreements. In 1935 she opposed changes
ily life” that could cause hardships for women to women’s working rights proposed by Eamon de
with children (Ward 1983, 242). Valera’s Conditions of Employment Bill. The on-
Despite her private reservations, As general set of another war in 1939 did not slow Bennett
secretary of the IWWU, Bennett campaigned vig- down: until 1943 she served as a member of the
orously against limits being placed on women’s Commission on Vocational Organization, and
right to work and first helped working women to throughout the war she helped mobilize food and
exert their political muscle in 1917, when, despite fuel supplies and organized hot meals for school-
hating strikes because of the misery that they children. In the 1944 general election, Bennett
caused, she was galvanized into leading a women stood as a Labour Party candidate for Dublin
laundry workers’ strike. The women were cam- County but failed to win a seat; to compensate, she
paigning for an extra week’s holiday a year, better threw her energies into local work for the health
ventilation and sanitary conditions, and the pro- service and housing. At war’s end in 1945, she
vision of canteen facilities, as well as a reduction found herself in charge of a fourteen-week strike
in the working week to fifty hours. Having seen by 1,500 female laundry workers, the resolution of
the appalling conditions in which these women which brought the workers a statutory two weeks’
worked, in dilapidated buildings and outhouses paid annual holiday, and a forty-five-hour work-
with little or no heat and light, leaking roofs, and ing week.
plagues of rats, Bennett joined them on the picket During her final years, Bennett campaigned
lines in the pouring rain. An employer seeing her against the development of the atom bomb, the
thus engaged admonished her that this was inap- war in Korea, and high levels of military spending
propriate for someone of her class, to which Ben- by governments and was called upon to speak out
nett responded: “It is far more important that on behalf of exploited workers in the British
your girls should get enough to live on than I colonies. As a humanitarian and moderate, she
should keep out of the wet” (Fox 1958, 73). loathed the aggression of industrial confrontation
In 1918 Bennett declined nomination as a and the economic suffering brought upon the
Labour Party candidate in the general election. families of those on strike. In all her trade union
During the Irish Civil War of 1922–1923, she negotiating, she tried always to take a moderate
tried to avert the fighting by acting as a concilia- stand and earned the respect of employers for her
tor and led a peace campaign by the IWWU. Al- willingness to try every possible means of achiev-
though she was a passionate supporter of the ing settlement via peaceful negotiation.
Irish cause and wanted to see Ireland reunified as
an independent country on a federal system, as a See also Markievicz, Constance de; Sheehy-Skeffing-
pacifist she did not engage in nationalist activi- ton, Hannah.

69
Benson, Stella

References and Further Reading censed prostitution in Hong Kong as part of a


Fox, Richard M. 1958. Louie Bennett: Her Life and wider League of Nations–backed traveling com-
Times. Dublin: Talbot Press. mission inquiring into the international traffic in
Ó Céirín, Kit, and Cyril Ó Céirín, eds. 1996. Women women.
of Ireland: A Biographic Dictionary. Kinvara,
Working in conjunction with Gladys Forster
County Galway: Tír Eolas.
and despite their different attitudes toward the
Ward, Margaret. 1983. Unmanageable Revolutionaries:
Women and Irish Nationalism. London: Pluto causes and cures of prostitution (with Forster
Press. taking the traditional, moral, and Christian fem-
inist view), Benson worked diligently to expose
the high numbers of underage girls engaged in
Benson, Stella prostitution and the terrible toll of disease they
(1892–1933) suffered. Benson’s approach to the problem,
United Kingdom/Hong Kong based on the need for legal changes, was in fun-
damental contrast to the previous work of Chris-
The feminist novelist and suffragist Stella Ben- tian missionaries, who had offered relief and
son spent the last years of her short life leading sometimes refuge but never any real solution.
an important campaign against the brothel sys- During the course of their investigation, Ben-
tem in Hong Kong and voicing her concerns for son and Forster interviewed many young prosti-
the care of women suffering from venereal dis- tutes, and Benson took detailed and dispassion-
ease. Educated at home because of her poor ate notes that testify to the sale and enticement of
health, Benson nevertheless became active in the young girls into prostitution, their enslavement
women’s suffrage movement in England and by pimps, and the horrific disfigurement of pros-
during World War I worked in London’s East titutes suffering from incurable venereal disease.
End for the Charity Organisation Society, cam- Many were able to keep working only through
paigning for the welfare of prostitutes. She also the constant payment of bribes to inspectors, po-
ran her own business in Hoxton making paper lice, and other corrupt officials on top of high
bags. She published her first novel, I Pose, in 1915 fees to their brothel mistresses. Benson recorded
and her second, This Is the End, in 1917 before ill their misery, loneliness, and homesickness; but
health forced her to seek the warmth of Califor- she made no moral judgments, averring that “it
nia in 1918. After a succession of make-do jobs, is the coercion of a living creature to unnatural
she eventually obtained a post tutoring at the courses that hurts me” (Hoe 1996, 207). In many
University of California. Her experiences in the cases, girls had been mortgaged by their own
United States were worked into a satirical novel, families; their sale to brothels raised money often
The Poor Man (1922). used to educate and train sons of the family. Ben-
In 1920 Benson returned home via China, son was appalled by the meek acquiescence of
teaching for a while at the Diocesan Boys School the girls themselves, who were brought up to ac-
in Hong Kong and working at the American hos- cept traditional Asian attitudes of female subor-
pital in Beijing. Back in London in 1921, she dination and filial duty.
married James Anderson, an official in the Chi- The governor of Hong Kong attempted to cur-
nese Customs Service. The couple’s honeymoon, tail the work of Benson and Forster after the
spent traveling the United States in a Ford, League of Nations report had been completed.
formed the basis of her novel The Little World He looked upon the women on the subcommit-
(1925). After the couple returned to live in tee as uninformed amateurs who had been inter-
China, Benson published several more novels fering in a system that until then the British gov-
and collections of short stories, including her ernment had tolerated as a necessary evil
most successful book, Tobit Transplanted (1931; (supposedly to control the spread of venereal
published in New York as The Run-Away Bride in disease among British and Chinese servicemen).
1930), about the upheavals experienced by White But the women prevailed in their campaigning.
Russians exiled in Manchuria after the Russian In December 1931, and also under pressure from
Revolution. In 1931 she set aside her writing to the British parliament, the governor was forced
become involved in a League of Nations sub- to agree to the phased abolition of state-regu-
committee assigned to conduct a survey of li- lated brothels in Hong Kong, followed by a shut-

70
Besant, Annie

down of those run by Chinese and Europeans phy and the nationalist cause in India, although
over the next couple of years. Two years later, at her work on the subcontinent would eventually
the age of forty, Benson, who had settled in Hon- languish in the shadow of Mahatma Gandhi. Be-
gay in the province of Tonkin (then part of sant insisted that her primary objective in all
northern Indochina), took ill with pneumonia things had been to follow the truth, and she
and died. proved a fine orator, admired by Elizabeth Cady
At the time of the publication of her best- Stanton, who considered her without peer
seller Tobit Transplanted in 1931, Benson re- among women public speakers in Britain. So too
turned to England to receive the A. C. Benson did fellow social reformer Beatrice Webb, who in
Silver Medal of the Royal Society of Literature. 1887 described Besant as “the only woman I have
Weak and constantly coughing (her tuberculosis ever known who . . . had the gift of public per-
was by then well advanced), she dined with Vir- suasion” (Taylor 1992, 35). Her life falls into two
ginia Woolf, relating stories about the Hong clear phases, the first one of socialist activism in
Kong slave trade to her. A year later she was dead. England to 1885, and the second her involve-
As her friend, the writer Naomi Mitchison, re- ment in Theosophy, which took her to India,
lates: “Her books are in the chilling basement of where she would remain until her death.
the London Library, along with a few other good Besant’s family were of Irish ancestry, and she
novelists and countless more bad or indifferent grew up with an intensely devout religious faith.
ones, much read in their time, now forgotten” The family was forced to live in straitened cir-
(Mitchison 1979, 137). Also mostly forgotten is cumstances after her father’s death when she was
Benson’s humanitarian work in China. five. Denied the kind of education her brothers
received, she was sent away to Dorset to be edu-
See also Brittain, Vera; Holtby, Winifred. cated at the school of the progressive educator
References and Further Reading and friend of the family Ellen Marryatt until she
Bedell, R. Meredith. 1983. Stella Benson. Boston: was sixteen. After spending time abroad, Besant
Twayne. found herself cornered into accepting an offer of
Brittain, Vera. 1979 [1957]. Testament of Experience:
marriage from the uninspiring and conventional
An Autobiographical Story of the Years 1925–1950.
Reprint, London: Virago.
Frank Besant, a schoolmaster at Cheltenham.
Grant, Joy. 1988. Stella Benson: A Biography. London: She did so “out of sheer weakness and fear of in-
Macmillan. flicting pain,” as she later observed (Harrison
Hoe, Susanna. 1991. The Private Life of Old Hong 1977, 51), when she was only twenty, and lived to
Kong. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press. regret it. Two children were born in quick suc-
———. 1996. Chinese Footprints: Exploring Women’s cession in 1869 and 1870, and Besant felt in-
History in China, Hong Kong and Macau. Hong creasingly isolated and enslaved by her situation
Kong: Roundhouse Publications. at a time when she was also rapidly losing her re-
Mitchison, Naomi. 1979. You May Well Ask: A ligious faith. When her husband took up a curacy
Memoir 1920–1940. London: Flamingo. in Lincolnshire, she tried to find an outlet in
nursing local villagers during a typhoid epi-
demic. With her spiritual life in crisis, she wrote
Besant, Annie a pamphlet entitled “The Deity of Jesus of
(1847–1933) Nazareth by the Wife of a Beneficed Clergyman”
United Kingdom/India in 1873 and refused to attend communion. Her
husband asked her to leave.
A small woman of enormous energy, one of the After briefly trying to run her own school, Be-
first to take a stand in support of birth control in sant was drawn to the ideas of the radical atheist
Britain, Annie Besant was an indefatigable pro- and freethinker Charles Bradlaugh. She also dis-
pagandist for the causes that she so fervently covered a talent for public speaking (the timbre
adopted during an extremely active life. These of her voice was noted by many in later years),
ranged from freethinking, socialism, trade and after Bradlaugh heard Besant speak in 1874,
unionism, and the rights of working and mar- he offered her a job writing for and coediting a
ried women to the care of the homeless and de- freethinker journal, the National Reformer. Now
prived. In her later years, she espoused Theoso- militant in her atheism, Besant began touring

71
Besant, Annie

pamphlet advocating birth control, The Fruits of


Philosophy, originally written by U.S. doctor
Charles Knowlton in 1832 in support of the so-
cial, medical, and economic needs for popula-
tion control. The book explained the functioning
of the reproductive system and some methods of
contraception with accompanying diagrams
(later deemed obscene), and was brought out by
Besant and Bradlaugh with additional medical
notes by Dr. George Drysdale, who supported
Bradlaugh and the Malthusian League as a result
of his own concern over population control. The
pamphlet was produced without any support
from English feminists, who were fearful that any
endorsement they might give to Besant’s cause
might damage their own.
After publication of the pamphlet, Besant and
Bradlaugh were charged with obscenity and the
promotion of sex outside marriage. In court, Be-
sant distinguished herself with an eloquent and
impassioned account of the suffering of the
poor, describing her own firsthand observations
made in the slums of the East End. The core of
her argument challenged Victorian hypocrisy,
Annie Besant (Library of Congress) with Besant asserting that “it is more moral to
prevent the birth of children than it is after they
and lecturing at meetings of freethinkers in her are born to murder them . . . by want of food,
desire to do away with religious bigotry and su- and air, and clothing, and sustenance” (Manvell
perstition in the fight for truth and a just society. 1976, 91).
Besant’s atheism placed her always outside the She and Bradlaugh were found guilty, fined
suffrage movement, whose conservative main- £200 for selling an indecent book, and sentenced
stream could never accept this attitude nor her to six months in prison. On appeal the sentence
status as a separated wife (she would never be was quashed over a legal technicality, but Besant
able to get a divorce and marry Bradlaugh). Be- paid a high price for her legal triumph. As a re-
sant’s response to the hostility she constantly en- sult of the scandal attached to the case and the
countered in her defense of women’s rights was subsequent publication by Besant of yet another
pragmatic: “If the Bible and Religion stand in the controversial pamphlet, “Atheism and Malthu-
way of women’s rights then the Bible and Reli- sianism,” Besant’s estranged husband succeeded,
gion must go” (Longford 1981, 146). after a long legal battle throughout 1878 and
In 1874 Besant became vice president of the 1879, in gaining custody of her daughter Mabel,
National Secular Society and became fanatical in who had until then lived with Annie; her son
her very public advocacy of secularism to such a Digby had remained with his father. Her access
degree, indeed, that she alienated some would-be to her children was so restricted thereafter that
supporters—particularly in works such as her Besant made the painful decision that it would
1877 book, The Gospel of Atheism. In the late be better for them if she cut herself off for the
1870s, she embraced a new cause, determined time being (she was reunited with them in the
both to aid poor working-class women forced to late 1880s, when they left their father to go and
endure endless unwanted pregnancies and to live with her).
counter the high infant mortality rates and the Meanwhile, in the wake of the trial, sales of
unhealthy, overcrowded conditions in which so The Fruits of Philosophy rocketed from a few
many poor families lived. In 1877 she and Brad- thousand to 185,000 sold between 1878 and 1881
laugh organized the republication of a sixpenny by the Freethought Publishing Company. Besant

72
Besant, Annie

published another pamphlet in 1879, “The Law contributed to an important collection of articles
of Population: Its Consequences, and Its Bearing edited by Shaw, the Fabian Essays in Socialism
upon Human Conduct and Morals,” in which (1889). Along with many other women activists,
she updated the limited medical information Besant made use of a rare opportunity for
provided in Knowlton’s 1832 work. Dedicating women to enter public service by standing for
this work specifically to the poor, she discussed election to the boards that controlled state
the increasing social problems brought about by schools. During 1887–1890 she served as a mem-
the population explosion and overcrowding in ber of the London School Board for Tower Ham-
urban slums. The first birth control tract written lets, introducing free school meals for poor chil-
by a woman for women, the pamphlet was tar- dren and lobbying for free medical care to be
geted specifically at working-class women, de- provided.
scribing methods of contraception such as the In 1888 Besant found herself at the center of
“safe period,” coitus interruptus, and the use of another cause célèbre—this time the first strike in
douches and sponges. By 1887, when it appeared support of unskilled women factory workers in
in its 110th printing (it sold 175,000 copies by London’s East End. In June of that year, she had
1891), Besant was also advocating the use of a published an article entitled “White Slavery in
kind of pessary, the new cervical cap, but it London” in The Link, denouncing the long hours
would be more than forty years before the first worked by women who did piecework in their
birth control clinic would eventually be opened homes and in the sweatshops and singling out the
by Marie Stopes in 1921. Meanwhile, in Britain, plight of those employed at the Bryant and May
Besant’s efforts to disseminate birth control liter- match factory, whose lives, she argued, were sac-
ature contributed to a drop in the birth rate from rificed for a paltry four shillings a week in the
the 1870s to the end of the century. cause of giving shareholders their 23 percent. Like
During this difficult period, Besant consoled Alice Hamilton in the United States, Besant cata-
herself by taking advantage of new university logued the appalling physical effects of factory
rules on the admission of women and studied for employment on women workers, such as hair loss
a degree in science at Birkbeck College in Lon- and the condition known as “phossy jaw”—a de-
don, passing the preliminary exams in botany generative disease of the teeth, gums, and jaw-
with first-class honors. The powers that be at bones caused by ingesting phosphorus fumes
Birkbeck chose not to publish her name in the during the manufacturing process. She was asked
list of results, however. The stigma of the Fruits with Clementina Black to organize and publicize
of Philosophy case would dog her for the rest of a strike by 1,400 of these women. It became a
her time in England. landmark in the history of English women’s trade
Undaunted, in 1878 Besant produced a pam- unionism, equaling the famous shirtwaist makers
phlet in which, writing from all-too-painful per- strike of 1909–1910 in the United States. After a
sonal experience, she argued against legal mar- three-week strike, the management of Bryant and
riage so that unhappy marriages might be May’s caved in and agreed to introduce a radical
avoided and proposed that if women were ac- overhaul of working conditions. Besant herself
corded greater equality with men in relation- went back into the slums and factories after the
ships, they would not need to marry. strike and wrote and lectured on the miserable
During 1881–1884, Besant had an intense af- lives of other workers, from those who made
fair with the socialist Edward Aveling, but he matchboxes in their own homes to workers in the
subsequently left her for Eleanor Marx. In 1884 gas and printing industries.
after meeting George Bernard Shaw, Besant sub- At the end of the 1880s, becoming dissatisfied
sumed her need for passion in her life into so- that socialism alone could not offer her all the
cialism. (Shaw would later base the character of answers she sought to the ills in society, Besant
Raina in his play Arms and the Man on her.) She rediscovered her spiritual self in a new esoteric
had already been active in the Social Democratic religious cult, which would unfortunately invite
Federation and had joined the Fabians in 1885. further derision and once again set her apart
She and journalist William Thomas Stead from many of her former colleagues and friends,
founded a socialist journal, The Link, to cham- including Shaw and even her closest ally, Charles
pion the rights of the oppressed and she also Bradlaugh. She became a member of the circle

73
Besant, Annie

surrounding Madame Helena Petrovna Blavat- under the title New India as a vehicle for Indian
sky, a Russian émigré who founded Theosophy, a self-government. As an associate of Mahatma
religious movement that combined philosophy, Gandhi, Besant supported Indian home rule,
mysticism, and Hindu and Buddhist teachings. founding the India Home Rule League in 1916.
Having been captivated by Blavatsky’s The Secret Although she rejected Gandhi’s policies on civil
Doctrine (1888), an overview of her basic Theo- disobedience as being too militant, she cam-
sophical teachings, Besant visited her and by paigned in earnest for Indian nationalism from
1889 had become a dedicated handmaiden, turn- 1913, publishing a collection of her lectures,
ing to vegetarianism and spiritualism and whole- Wake Up India: A Plea for Social Reform, and tak-
heartedly adopting Blavatsky’s beliefs in reincar- ing on much speech making and pamphlet writ-
nation. Before long, Blavatsky’s inner sanctum ing. Her high public and political profile also at-
had decamped to Besant’s home in St. John’s tracted many Indian women into the campaign
Wood, which became the society’s official head- for women’s suffrage in India, with Besant
quarters. Besant took over the editorship of the adamant that real reform there could only be
Theosophist magazine Lucifer and, after achieved when women had the vote.
Blavatsky’s death in 1891, became head of the In 1917 Besant was arrested and interned on a
movement in Europe and India. hill station for her vociferous condemnation of
It was this newfound religion that took Besant British rule, but the resulting public protest in
to India, a country that, because of Theosophy, India was so unprecedented that the authorities
represented for her the source of all ancient wis- had to release her. That year she was also elected
dom and that she began to look upon as her true as the first woman president of the Indian Na-
spiritual home. But, having arrived there in tional Congress (a post she held until 1923), al-
1893, true to character she was soon expending though she was by no means the only woman as-
her energies on a myriad of new causes in edu- sociated with it. But Besant, the ersatz Indian for
cation and social reform—in particular cam- all her sari, found that her appeal as a spiritual
paigning against child marriage, the caste sys- and political leader was rapidly being eclipsed by
tem, and the plight of the untouchables—and that of a native leader—Gandhi—and her influ-
enlisting the support of Indian members of the ence further waned with her disapproval of his
Theosophical Society. She learned Sanskrit and policies of noncooperation with British officials
oversaw the publication of works on Hinduism, from 1919. Besant left the Indian National Con-
in 1895 translating the classic Indian work The gress in 1923 after disagreeing over its campaign-
Bhagavad Gita. In 1898 she founded Central ing methods. She remained a confirmed advo-
Hindu College at Benares, the first of several ed- cate of constitutional reform in India (in 1924
ucational institutions (including the Central founding the National Constitutional Conven-
Hindu Girls’ School in Benares) that she would tion) and retained the respect she had earned as
establish in India, founded on Indian ideals and a social reformer by turning to other activities,
culture rather than Western models. In addition such as founding the Indian Boy Scout move-
to all this activity, she still retained her links with ment in 1917 and serving as president of the
English reformers and gave her continued sup- Women’s Indian Association in 1917.
port, from a distance, to the English suffrage In her final years, Besant adopted a protégé,
movement. Jidda Krishnamurti, whom she proclaimed to be
From her first days in India, Besant was criti- Theosophy’s new spiritual leader. She toured and
cal of British rule and the imposition of English lectured on his behalf, until in 1929 he seceded
mores on its ancient culture. After she was from the movement. In 1933 Annie Besant died
elected president of the Theosophical Society in at the Theosophical Society’s headquarters in
1907, she settled in Madras. By this time, she had Adyar, near Madras, still searching for the answer
adopted an Indian lifestyle and wore a sari. She to life’s riddles. She was given a traditional In-
encouraged the dissemination of Indian litera- dian cremation. In its obituary, the Hindu Patriot
ture and philosophy and promoted indigenous summed up her unique contribution: “An ex-
Indian arts and crafts and the Swadeshi boycott traordinary woman, Irish by birth, English by
of British textiles. She bought the Indian news- manner, Indian by adoption” (Bennett 1988, 54).
paper the Madras Standard and relaunched it She was the author of over 100 books and pam-

74
Bethune, Mary McCleod

phlets, including On the Nature and Existence of Roosevelt, and Harry S. Truman—Mary Mc-
God (1875), Reincarnation (1892), Esoteric Chris- Cleod Bethune was a highly influential figure in
tianity (1901), Theosophy and the New Psychology the U.S. government. She also set out to invest a
(1904), Lectures on Political Science (1919), and sense of pride in young black men and women
Shall India Live or Die? (1925). by opening up further education to them and
advancing their employment in the professions.
See also Black, Clementina; Hamilton, Alice; Stanton, But above all, she dedicated herself to obtaining
Elizabeth Cady; Stopes, Marie; Webb, Beatrice. for black Americans the basic civil rights enjoyed
References and Further Reading
by whites as laid down in the U.S. Constitution.
Bennett, Olivia. 1988. Annie Besant. London: Hamish
Hamilton.
Bethune’s parents had been slaves in South
Besant, Annie. 1903. An Autobiography. 2d ed. Lon- Carolina, and during her deprived childhood at
don: T. Fisher Unwin. Mayesville as one of seventeen children, she
Burton, Antoinette. 1994. Burdens of History: British struggled to educate herself while working on
Feminists, Indian Women and Imperial Culture the family’s cotton and corn fields. She won a
1865–1915. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University scholarship to the Scotia Seminary, a Presbyte-
Press. rian school in North Carolina, in 1888 and in
Chaudhuri, Nupur, and Margaret Strobel, eds. 1992. 1894 studied at the Moody Bible Institute in
Western Women and Imperialism: Complicity and Chicago, graduating in 1895 with the intention
Resistance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. of becoming a Presbyterian missionary in Africa.
Dinnage, Rosemary. 1987. Annie Besant. Har-
But when her application to do so was turned
mondsworth: Penguin.
Harrison, Fraser. 1977. The Dark Angel: Aspects of
down, Bethune taught at mission schools in
Victorian Sexuality. London: Sheldon Press. Georgia and South Carolina until 1903.
Jayawardena, Kumari. 1995. The White Woman’s After her marriage failed, Bethune founded a
Other Burden: Western Women and South Asia small school in 1904, the Daytona Normal and
during British Rule. London: Routledge. Industrial Institute for Girls in Daytona Beach,
Longford, Elizabeth. 1981. Eminent Victorian Women. Florida. Bethune’s school had extremely modest
London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. beginnings in a four-room frame house with five
Manvell, Roger. 1976. The Trial of Annie Besant and girl pupils and her own son. She raised money by
Charles Bradlaugh. London: Elek/Pemberton. soliciting funds from local clubs, churches, and
Nethercot, Arthur. 1960. The First Five Lives of Annie businesses, and even resorted to selling potato
Besant. London: Rupert Hart-Davis.
cakes and ice cream to workers on a nearby con-
———. 1963. The Last Four Lives of Annie Besant.
London: Rupert Hart-Davis.
struction site, but such was her shortage of funds
Parker, Julia. 1988. Women and Welfare: Ten Victorian that she used “charred splinters for pencils,
Women in Public Social Service. Basingstoke: mashed elderberries for ink, and a packing case
Macmillan. for a desk” (Trager 1994, 369). A year later, the
Reynolds, Moira Davidson. 1994. Women Advocates of number of pupils had risen to 100. Further fund-
Reproductive Rights: 11 Who Led the Struggle in the ing given to Bethune by the industrial magnate
United States and Great Britain. Jefferson, NC: and philanthropist James Gamble in 1912 helped
McFarland. the school expand its site and erect more build-
Taylor, Anne. 1992. Annie Besant: A Biography. ings. In 1923, with the support of the Board of
Oxford: Oxford University Press. Education for Negroes of the Methodist Episco-
Tuson, Penelope, ed. 1997. The Queen’s Daughters: An
pal Church, the 300 pupils of Bethune’s school
Anthology of Victorian Feminist Writings on India
1857–1900. Reading, Berkshire, UK: Ithaca Press.
merged with a men’s college, Cookman Institute,
to become Bethune-Cookman College. With its
motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” the col-
Bethune, Mary McCleod lege would eventually have 1,000 students.
(1875–1955) Bethune served as its president and was a major
United States fund-raiser until the end of 1942.
Meanwhile, Bethune also worked tirelessly for
One of the first black women to serve as a presi- the black community by bringing black women
dential adviser on black and minority groups— into the movement for civil rights, first through
to Presidents Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano the National Association of Colored Women (as

75
Bhatt, Ela

president, 1924–1928). In 1935 she founded the ticle in Who, the Magazine about People (“Faith
influential National Council of Negro Women Can Move a Dump Heap”): “For I am my
(NCNW), an amalgamation of several smaller mother’s daughter, and the drums of Africa still
associations of black women. As its president beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while
from 1935 to 1949, working from its headquar- there is a single Negro boy or girl without a
ters in Washington, Bethune liaised with other chance to prove his worth.” It was this self-sacri-
groups, such as the National Association for the fice and dedication that brought her many hon-
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP, of ors during her lifetime, including the NAACP’s
which she served as vice president in Spingarn Medal (1935), the Francis A. Drexel
1940–1945), the Young Women’s Christian Asso- Award (1936), and the Thomas Jefferson Award
ciation (YWCA), and the League of Women Vot- (1942). She also received the Italian Medal of
ers, to combat segregation and racial discrimina- Honor and Merit in 1949.
tion at the national level.
Bethune secured a first for American black See also Roosevelt, (Anna) Eleanor.
women in 1936, when she became an adviser to References and Further Reading
President Roosevelt after he appointed her head Bethune, Mary McCleod. 1999. Mary Mcleod
Bethune: Building a Better World: Essays and
of the Office of Minority Affairs (later changed
Selected Documents. Edited by Audrey Thomas
to director of the Division of Negro Affairs) of McCluskey and Elaine M. Smith. Bloomington:
the National Youth Administration (NYA). Dur- Indiana University Press.
ing her tenure until 1944, Bethune became a Holt, Rackham. 1964. Mary McCleod Bethune: A
close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. It was thanks Biography. New York: Doubleday.
to Bethune’s tutelage that Eleanor Roosevelt Lerner, Gerda, ed. 1972. Black Women in White
would become a leading advocate of black civil America: A Documentary History. New York:
rights. Bethune’s work on numerous youth proj- Pantheon Books.
ects for the NYA went a considerable way toward McKissack, Patricia C. 1991. Mary McCleod Bethune:
achieving higher employment levels for blacks in A Great Teacher. Hillside, NJ: Enslow.
the state administration and the enrollment of Peare, Catherine Owen. 1951. Mary McCleod
Bethune. New York: Vanguard.
more black men and women in colleges and
Sterne, Emma Gelders. 1957. Mary McCleod Bethune.
graduate programs through her administration New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
of the Special Negro Fund, which provided Trager, James. 1994. The Women’s Chronology: A
grants to black college students. Bethune herself Year-by-Year Record, from Prehistory to the Present.
became an important voice in Roosevelt’s “black London: Aurum Press.
cabinet,” the unofficial name given to the Federal
Council on Negro Affairs, which she established
in 1936 to encourage greater participation by Bhatt, Ela
blacks in New Deal economic projects and to ed- (1933– )
ucate governmental officials about black civil India
rights.
During World War II, Bethune assisted the Ela Bhatt’s work as founder and general secretary
secretary of war in the appointment of black of the Self-Employed Women’s Association
women to train as officers in the Women’s Army (SEWA) has made a huge difference in the work-
Corps, and at war’s end she was a delegate of the ing lives of poor women in India. By offering
State Department at the foundation of the moral and legal support about issues of low pay
United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. She and exploitation and by teaching self-reliance
published numerous articles in Ebony, the Jour- through the innovative provision of a union-run
nal of Negro History, the Pittsburgh Courier, and cooperative bank that provides share capital, her
the Chicago Defender, one of her most notable organization has helped many impoverished In-
being “Certain Unalienable Rights” in the 1944 dian women start up and maintain their own
collection What the Negro Wants. A devout small businesses.
Christian who worked for the constitutional Following family tradition, Bhatt trained as a
rights of all American blacks, Bethune wrote of lawyer and, as an admirer of the work of Ma-
her unshakeable commitment in a June 1941 ar- hatma Gandhi, committed herself to taking up

76
Bhatt, Ela

social concerns. Between 1955 and 1958, she


worked on labor law proposals for the Textile
Labour Association, and after the birth of her
children, from the late 1960s she specialized in
labor issues for the association’s newly estab-
lished women’s section, based in Ahmadabad in
west-central India, the country’s sixth most pop-
ulous industrial center.
Until the 1960s, the women’s section had con-
fined itself to training women in conventional
skills such as sewing, embroidery, and typing,
but Bhatt realized that there was a whole army of
unskilled, destitute women who could benefit
from access to training and welfare. She had been
observing with growing concern, particularly in
the light of the decline of the city’s cotton indus-
try, the struggle to make a living of poor women
market sellers from Ahmadabad’s slums. These
women, often accompanied by their children,
would sit for long hours by their stalls trying to Ela Bhatt (Archive Photos)
make a few rupees; many of them were migrant
workers and had only the barest kind of
makeshift shelters. Bhatt recognized the desper- tance of hard work would be encouraged
ate need for some kind of association or union to through the provision of bank loans so that they
protect these women from exploitation, police could develop their businesses and avoid being
and official harassment (mainly involving exploited by middlemen.
peremptory fines for “illegal” trading), and fi- Bhatt set up the Self-Employed Women’s As-
nancial difficulty frequently brought on by re- sociation (SEWA) on 3 December 1971, and it
course to unscrupulous moneylenders. Initially, was recognized by the government as a legiti-
she helped organize a small group of twenty-four mate trade union in April 1972. In its first years,
women who worked in the cloth market carrying its membership was only a few thousand, but by
loads on their heads after they discovered that no the end of 1995 it had grown to become the
proper records were being kept of the number of biggest trade union in India, with 218,700 mem-
loads they carried and thus they were being bers from all castes. The growth of union mem-
cheated out of their full earnings. bership gave the union much more bargaining
But there were many other women in cottage power and enabled it to negotiate numerous
industries needing Bhatt’s help: women who health care and maternity benefits for its mem-
made incense sticks and rolled cigarettes or made bers, as well as offering them help with housing
brooms, and women who sold a wide variety of and child care, life insurance, and legal aid. Bhatt
goods from used clothes to fruit and vegetables, also introduced literacy training. By affiliating
textiles, weaving, and basketwork. Bhatt was also itself with other large unions such as the Inter-
approached for help by other women workers in national Union of Food and Tobacco Workers
agriculture, female carpenters and metalworkers, and the International Federation of Plantation,
and even women who picked the city’s rubbish Agricultural and Allied Workers, SEWA in-
heaps for waste paper. creased international exposure of the abuses suf-
Because 89 percent of the Indian workforce fered by low-paid, self-employed workers
was self-employed, Bhatt was convinced that the throughout the world.
key to economic prosperity lay with these hard- Equally important, members of SEWA were
working people, in particular poor women in ru- encouraged by Bhatt to set themselves up in co-
ral regions. The union’s fundamental role would operative groups according to their trade. In this
be to draw public attention to their indispens- way tools and expertise could be shared, produc-
ability to the economy. In addition, their accep- tion quotas could be organized, and the members

77
Billington-Greig, Teresa

could collectively buy materials in larger, cheaper Sreenivasan, Jyotsna. 2000. Ela Bhatt: Uniting Women
quantities and subsequently even market their in India. New York: Feminist Press.
own goods. There are now more than seventy co-
operatives, each with at least 1,000 members. The
establishment in 1974 of SEWA’s own bank made Billington-Greig, Teresa
it possible for low-income women workers to ac- (1877–1964)
quire modest financial investment for improving United Kingdom
their businesses without falling prey to money-
lenders and pawnbrokers. Such was her unique An important figure in the women’s suffrage
experience in opening up banking to Third movement in Scotland, Teresa Billington-Greig
World women, exemplified in her 1975 book Pro- was also a founder of the Women’s Freedom
files of Self-Employed Women, that Bhatt became League, after finding it impossible to counte-
founder of the Women’s World Banking Associa- nance the Pankhursts’ dictatorial leadership of
tion in 1980; she has been its chairperson since the Women’s Social and Political Union
1985. And the SEWA bank itself has confounded (WSPU). She remained discontented, however,
its critics with a recovery rate on loans made to with all the women’s groups in which she became
poor women of 98 percent. involved. As an individualist, she was unable ever
Bhatt’s distinguished career as a trade unionist to quite square her own passionately held beliefs
eventually led to public life as an Indian member with organized methods of protest.
of parliament between 1986 and 1989 and as the Born the daughter of a shipping clerk in Pres-
first woman member of the Indian Planning ton, Lancashire, Billington-Greig was brought up
Commission (1989–1991). She has traveled to a strict Roman Catholic and educated at a con-
many countries to observe the varying levels of vent in Blackburn. After being apprenticed to a
women’s economic status and to see how differ- milliner, which she hated, she decamped to at-
ent societies encourage self-sufficiency in their tend extension classes at Manchester University
members. In the course of encouraging women and train as a teacher for the Municipal Educa-
to organize their working lives, she has also tion School Service there. By the time she took
taught them awareness of other social concerns up a teaching post in 1901, she had become an
and emphasized the need for literacy. outspoken agnostic and was threatened with the
A woman of great organizational gifts who loss of her teaching post for refusing to teach re-
since 1971 has inspired the belief in many people ligious subjects. She appealed to Emmeline
that they can grow and develop their own small Pankhurst, who served on the education com-
businesses, Bhatt has received many prestigious mittee, for help. Pankhurst responded by secur-
humanitarian awards for her years of service at ing Billington-Greig a new post in a Jewish
SEWA. These include the Susan B. Anthony school. At around this time, Billington-Greig also
Award for National Integration (1982), the Right joined the Ancoats University Settlement in
Livelihood Award for “Changing the Human En- Manchester (1902–1905).
vironment” (Stockholm, 1984), the Women in Having become a close friend of the
Creation Award, the Alliance des Femmes (Paris, Pankhursts, Billington-Greig was one of the first
1990), and the Ramón Magsaysay Award for to join the newly founded WSPU at the end of
Community Leadership (Manila, 1997), with 1903, where she worked with Annie Kenney,
this latter award given for “making a reality of speaking at churches, trade unions, and debating
the Gandhian principle of self-help among the groups. Kenney was impressed with Billington-
depressed workforce of self-employed women” Greig’s skill at debate and her gifts of oratory, in
(Rose 1992, 28). For further information on which she wielded her “sledge-hammer of logic
SEWA, contact http://www.sewa.org. and cold reason” (Mackenzie 1975, 23). Through
this organization, Billington-Greig also promoted
References and Further Reading
equality for women teachers, from 1904 calling for
Calman, Leslie. 1992. Toward Empowerment: Women
and Movement in India. Boulder, CO: Westview
equal pay for them as the founder and secretary of
Press. the Manchester Teachers’ Equal Pay League.
Rose, Kalima. 1992. Where Women Are Leaders. Lon- In 1905 at the request of Emmeline Pankhurst
don: Zed Books. and socialist leader Kier Hardie, Billington-Greig

78
Billington-Greig, Teresa

became the first woman organizer of the Inde- campaigns in Scotland, where she had become a
pendent Labour Party, giving up teaching and all leading figure in the Scottish suffrage movement.
her other commitments to take this on as a full- The WFL was joined by many members of the
time job. In 1906 she was also offered work as a WSPU in Scotland, and together with Despard
paid organizer for the WSPU in London, in and How-Martyn, Billington-Greig made her
which capacity she helped set up a major own political statements through acts of civil
demonstration in Trafalgar Square in May 1906 disobedience such as organizing tax resistance
in support of women’s suffrage. Soon after, hav- and a boycott of the census in 1911. But once
ing been involved in scuffles outside the home of again, Billington-Greig’s volatile personality
Chancellor of the Exchequer Herbert Asquith, made it difficult for her to accept compromises.
she was sent to Holloway Prison until her fine In her insistence on total democratic participa-
was paid by a sympathizer. tion in the league, she became rattled by
In the summer of 1906, Billington-Greig was Despard’s dominating personality, and the WFL
sent to Scotland to recruit for the WSPU and leadership was often rife with dissent. Billington-
found local branches, scoring considerable suc- Greig was depressed by this disunity and disap-
cess in the major cities; that year she also pub- pointed that the reality of campaigning life never
lished Towards Women’s Liberty. Through the matched up to her own high ideals.
semiautonomous WSPU branches in Scotland, Billington-Greig gave up her work for suf-
Billington-Greig became a popular figure in the frage in 1911 and resigned from the WFL. She
union, rivaling even Emmeline and Christabel was disappointed that the British movement had
Pankhurst. When in October 1907, Emmeline opted for a narrow concentration on women’s
announced the inception of a virtual dictator- suffrage to the exclusion of other, equally press-
ship of the WSPU in order to concentrate the ing issues of women’s rights. She gave time over
campaign for suffrage under tightly centralized to writing a scathing attack on the WSPU in her
control, Billington-Greig left in protest. As a sup- 1911 book, The Militant Suffrage Movement,
porter of the Labour Party, she was also disen- which Brian Harrison applauds for its “rare mix
chanted with the Pankhursts’ decision to forbid of intelligent analysis and participant observa-
their members from collaborating with it, thus tion” (1987, 45), and in which she criticized the
distancing themselves from the socialist tradition WSPU’s abandonment of its labor roots and the
from which the WSPU had sprung. The poor by currying support among the conserva-
Pankhursts too had found her presence disrup- tive and middle-class elite. She drifted away
tive, viewing her as a troublemaker who should from activism thereafter, deeply disillusioned
be called to heel. and sidelined by financial and domestic prob-
Billington-Greig responded by cofounding a lems. In 1914 she reemerged to give a pioneering
new, democratically structured organization, the lecture on birth control, published in 1915 as
Women’s Freedom League (WFL), with Char- “Commonsense on the Population Question,”
lotte Despard and Edith How-Martyn. For a and took a strong pacifist position during World
short while, it operated as a splinter group within War I, when she took in Belgian refugees. She
the WSPU, but by the beginning of 1908 she was briefly returned to activism for the WFL in
setting up branches across Britain. Although it 1937–1938. During World War II, she was in-
remained the smallest of the three leading suf- volved in the evacuation of children from Lon-
frage organizations, according to Andro Lin- don by the London County Council. From 1946
klater, it “defied expectations by outliving, out- to 1949, she served as honorary director of the
working and outfeminizing every other suffrage WFL’s Women for Westminster campaign, advo-
society” (1980, 120), with Billington-Greig prov- cating women’s greater involvement in the polit-
ing to be its outstanding strategist and theoreti- ical life of the country through the support of
cian and publishing numerous essays in the en- women candidates in elections. But in all her ac-
suing years. By 1914 the WFL had 4,000 tivities, Billington-Greig remained on the pe-
members, and it did not disband until 1961. riphery, unable to sublimate herself in the col-
Although Billington-Greig was elected chair lective spirit of organized groups, and asserting,
and organizing secretary of the WFL, she con- “I shall be a militant rebel to the end of my days”
centrated her efforts on organizing propaganda (Harrison 1987, 71).

79
Black, Clementina

See also Despard, Charlotte; How-Martyn, Edith; developed an interest in the rights of working
Kenney, Annie; Pankhurst, Christabel; Pankhurst, women and wage parity. She became friends
Emmeline. with Eleanor Marx and through her in 1886 was
References and Further Reading introduced to the work of Lady Emilia Dilke and
Crawford, Elizabeth. 1999. The Women’s Suffrage
Emma Paterson’s Women’s Protective and Provi-
Movement, 1866–1928: A Reference Guide.
dent League (WPPL), one of the first organiza-
London: University College of London Press.
Harrison, Brian. 1987. Prudent Revolutionaries: tions to attempt to provide medical care and help
Portraits of British Feminists between the Wars. in old age for workers. She became secretary of
Oxford: Clarendon Press. the league (later known as the Women’s Trade
Leneman, Leah. 1991. A Guid Cause: The Women’s Union League) and began lecturing on behalf of
Suffrage Movement in Scotland. Aberdeen: women’s trade unions in an attempt to establish
Aberdeen University Press. links between middle-class feminists and the
Liddington, Jill, and Jill Norris. 2000 [1978]. One male trade union movement. Eventually, finding
Hand Tied behind Us. Rev. ed., London: Virago. the WPPL insufficiently radical in its activities,
Linklater, Andre. 1980. An Unhusbanded Life: she joined the Women’s Trade Union Association
Charlotte Despard, Suffragette, Socialist, and Sinn
(WTUA) in 1889 to continue her work for better
Feiner. London: Hutchinson.
conditions in Britain’s sweatshops.
Mackenzie, Midge. 1975. Shoulder to Shoulder.
London: Penguin. Blackburn began exploring new ways of lobby-
McPhee, C., and A. Fitzgerald, eds. 1987. The ing manufacturers to improve the low wages paid
Non-Violent Militant: Selected Writings of Teresa to women workers through a new pressure group,
Billington-Greig. London: Routledge and Kegan the Consumers’ League. In 1888 she and Annie Be-
Paul. sant helped organize the strike by 1,400 East End
matchgirls at the Bryant and May’s factory,
through the efforts of the WPPL and the London
Black, Clementina Trades Council achieving a settlement that broke
(1853–1922) new ground in women’s trade unionism in
United Kingdom Britain. In 1890 she initiated the idea that employ-
ees should work only within comfortable limits
The English trade unionist and industrial re- and not have to endure long hours that precluded
former Clementina Black was one of the first all rest and relaxation. She lobbied the London
British women to support the rights of unskilled County Council to extend its concern for welfare
women employed in sweatshops. Her output as a in the workplace by ensuring that its fair wages
novelist was overshadowed by her important rules covered women sweatshop workers and that
studies of working conditions and her defense of any work the council gave out went to companies
a legal minimum wage for women. She was also a that paid a “living wage” to seamstresses—suggest-
suffragist, encouraging working women to sup- ing four-pence an hour as the minimum.
port the cause through the Women’s Industrial In 1894 the WTUA merged with the Women’s
Council, and an advocate of cooperative housing. Industrial Council, with Blackburn chosen as
Black was born in Brighton, East Sussex, president, a post she retained for twenty years.
where her father was town clerk. She was edu- During this time, she edited its publication,
cated at home with her sister Constance (who Women’s Industrial News, and published impor-
later became the noted Russian translator Con- tant propagandist studies of women in industry,
stance Garnett). But when Black was twenty-two, including Sweated Industry and the Minimum
her mother died, and Black had to take over the Wage (1907); Makers of Our Clothes: A Case for
nursing of her invalid father as well as the care of Trade Boards (1909); and her most important
seven younger siblings. She began writing and, contribution, Married Women’s Work (1915), in
after the death of her father in 1877, moved to which she advocated that women learn indepen-
London. There she published her first novel, A dence and the self-respect of undertaking work
Sussex Idyll, and continued to research several of some kind, whether or not their economic
more at the library of the British Museum as well needs dictated it. She also included forceful argu-
as lecturing on eighteenth-century literature. ments for the emancipation of those who already
In addition to her literary aspirations, Black worked long hours in industry from the addi-

80
Blackburn, Helen

tional burden of household tasks through the in- family moved to London in 1859, and in 1874 at
troduction of cooperative housing, including the age of thirty-two, Blackburn became secre-
nursery, cooking, and laundry facilities, and the tary of the London Central Committee of the
institution of a minimum wage for unskilled National Society for Women’s Suffrage, remain-
workers monitored by wage boards. She advo- ing in that post until 1895. From 1880 to 1895,
cated these and other issues relating to women’s she also acted as secretary of the Bristol and West
work as vice president of the National Anti- of England Suffrage Society, organizing local
Sweating League and at a 1906 conference she or- demonstrations in support of the cause. She
ganized in London on the minimum wage. published various pamphlets on women’s suf-
Black was also a member of the Fabian Society frage: “Some of the Facts of the Women’s Suf-
and was active in the suffrage movement as a frage Question” and “Comments on the Opposi-
member of the London branch of the National tion to Women’s Suffrage” (both in 1878) and
Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. She edited “Because: Being Reasons from Fifty Women
the suffrage journal Common Cause during 1912– Workers Why It Is of National Importance That
1913, only one of her many journalistic activities. the Parliamentary Franchise Be No Longer De-
Her fiction, including the three-volume novel Or- nied to Women as Women” (1888).
lando (1879) and a novel with a socialist message, In 1881 Blackburn began a long collaboration
An Agitator (1894), is now sadly forgotten. and friendship with Jessie Boucherett, former
editor of the Englishwoman’s Review, which
See also Besant, Annie; Dilke, Emilia; Paterson, Blackburn edited from 1889 to 1902. With
Emma. Boucherett, Blackburn wrote A Handbook for
References and Further Reading Women Engaged in Social and Political Work
Crawford, Elizabeth. 1999. The Women’s Suffrage (1881). For her, the issue of the self-determina-
Movement, 1866–1928: A Reference Guide.
tion of women workers as men’s equals was para-
London: University College of London Press.
mount, and she opposed extension of the Fac-
Glage, Liselotte. 1981. Clementina Black: A Study in
Social History and Literature. Heidelberg: C. Win- tory Acts, which provided protection to female
ter Universitätsverlag. workers different from that given to male work-
Mappen, E. 1985. Helping Women at Work: The ers. In 1885 she organized an exhibition of
Women’s Industrial Council, 1889–1914. London: women’s industries in Bristol that emphasized
Hutchinson. women’s pride in their work and its professional-
Nicholls, C. S., ed. 1993. Dictionary of National Biog- ism and that was later seen at the 1893 World’s
raphy: Missing Persons. Oxford: Oxford University Columbian Exhibition in Chicago.
Press. For two years from 1895 to 1897, Blackburn
was forced to give up her activism to care for her
invalid father. During that time, she worked with
Blackburn, Helen Boucherett on The Condition of Working Women
(1842–1903) and the Factory, which they published in 1896. In
Ireland/United Kingdom 1899 the two women, already active in the Lib-
erty and Property Defence League, founded the
The Irish suffragist Helen Blackburn, who settled Freedom of Labour Defence League to voice
in England when she was seventeen, was one of their opposition to the introduction of protec-
the first to recognize the important contribution tive legislation for women, in the belief that lim-
women made to the industrial wealth of the na- itations placed upon women’s choice of profes-
tion. She became an early campaigner for the sional career would erode their earning power.
rights of women workers and argued against sep- In 1902 Blackburn produced a classic history,
arate protective legislation for women. With written from the moderate perspective and thus
Jessie Boucherett, Blackburn founded the Free- largely ignoring the contributions of radical
dom of Labour Defence League, which promoted women: Women’s Suffrage: A Record of the Move-
self-employment in preference to wage labor. ment in the British Isles. She also contributed the
Born in Knightstown in County Kerry, Ire- chapter on the suffrage movement in Great
land, Blackburn was the daughter of an inventor Britain published in volume 6 of the classic
and civil engineer who managed a quarry. The American work, The History of Woman Suffrage,

81
Blackburn, Molly

edited by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted in the Cradock township in the eastern Cape,
Harper. In 1903 Blackburn and Norma Vynne Blackburn took up the defense of its inhabitants
cowrote Women under the Factory Acts. and gave them advice on forming their own civic
association. She also criticized the heavy-hand-
See also Boucherett, Jessie. edness of the official administration in its treat-
References and Further Reading ment of blacks and the police abuse of black civil
Banks, Olive, ed. 1985, 1990. The Biographical Dictio- rights prisoners under arrest. She compiled a
nary of British Feminists, vol. 1, 1800–1930; vol. 2, dossier on such abuses and gave the press and
1900–1945. Brighton: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
sympathetic South African members of parlia-
Crawford, Elizabeth. 1999. The Women’s Suffrage
Movement, 1866–1928: A Reference Guide.
ment access to it, warning also that the popula-
London: University College of London Press. tions of the black townships were becoming
Lewis, Jane. 1987. Before the Vote Was Won: Argu- alienated to the point of violent protest.
ments for and against Women’s Suffrage. London: Blackburn regularly courted reprisals in the
Routledge and Kegan Paul. form of criminal charges, abusive phone calls,
and death threats for her outspokenness against
apartheid at the funerals of black activists and
Blackburn, Molly for her confrontational attitude toward the gov-
(1930–1985) ernment of the National Party. In July 1985 she
South Africa was arrested after speaking at a commemorative
service for black leaders held at Zwide. That
A prominent white civil rights campaigner and same year she and another Black Sash activist, Di
member of the organization Black Sash, Black- Bishop, led the lobbying for a commission of in-
burn earned a unique position of trust among quiry by six members of parliament (including
the black community in the townships of the Helen Suzman) into the shootings of twenty
eastern Cape, with whom she worked closely in black demonstrators at Langa township at Uilen-
defense of their civil liberties. Blackburn’s valu- hage in March.
able work was cut short by a fatal car crash at the In December 1985 Blackburn was killed in a
age of fifty-five. head-on car collision on her way back from visit-
Blackburn was the daughter of Edgar Bell- ing the township of Oudshoor, where the black
house, a liberal, Progressive Party politician. She residents had been intimidated with threats of
studied at the Collegiate School for Girls in Port eviction. Blackburn’s funeral in Port Elizabeth
Elizabeth and at Rhodes University in Grahams- was attended by 20,000 mourners, many of them
town. Her first marriage took her to Europe black people who came to pay their respects to a
(1954–1963), and on her return to South Africa woman they had come to know as “Mama Molly.”
in 1967 she married a doctor named Gavin
See also First, Ruth; Suzman, Helen.
Blackburn.
References and Further Reading
In 1981 she was elected as a Progressive Party Spink, Kathryn. 1991. Black Sash: The Beginning of a
candidate to the Cape Provincial Council, which Bridge in South Africa. London: Methuen.
provided a platform from which she tirelessly Uerwey, E. J., ed. 1995. New Dictionary of South
worked for civil rights and racial justice for the African Biography. Pretoria: HSRC Publishers.
remaining three years of her life. In 1982, in-
creasingly concerned with the problems of
poverty and prejudice endured by the popula- Blackwell, Alice Stone
tions of the black townships, she rejoined Black (1857–1950)
Sash, an organization to which she had belonged United States
in the 1960s. This action group of predominantly
white, middle-class women had been formed in The only daughter of Lucy Stone and Henry
1955 to protest the withdrawal of voting rights Blackwell became her mother’s loyal helpmate
from Cape coloureds by the South African gov- early in life. Born into a family of leading aboli-
ernment and was so named because the women tionists, she was weaned on women’s rights and
protesters wore black mourning sashes at civil social justice, devoting her life not just to
rights demonstrations. Concentrating her efforts women’s suffrage but also to racial equality, the

82
Blackwell, Antoinette Brown

antivivisection movement, temperance, and In 1917 Blackwell gave up editing the Woman’s
trade union rights. Blackwell was influential in Journal but remained active in women’s politics
persuading her mother to agree to the reunion of after suffrage was won in 1920 as a member of
the divided women’s suffrage movement in the the Massachusetts League of Women Voters. She
United States in 1890, when the National Ameri- continued her literary endeavors, publishing ver-
can Woman Suffrage Association was formed. sions of poetry from literal translations made for
Born in East Orange, New Jersey, Blackwell her of Armenian, Russian, Yiddish, Spanish,
was educated at the Harris Grammar School in Hungarian, French, Italian, and Spanish origi-
Dorchester and the Chauncy Hall School in nals. In addition, she wrote a romanticized biog-
Boston. She graduated from an otherwise all- raphy of her mother, Lucy Stone: Pioneer of
male class at Boston University in 1881 and took Woman’s Rights, in 1930. A lifelong Unitarian,
up writing for and later editing her parents’ Blackwell was also active in the pacifist move-
women’s rights publication, the Woman’s Jour- ment as a member of the American Peace Soci-
nal, the official organ of Stone’s American ety. Despite the onset of blindness, she lived un-
Woman Suffrage Association. til she was ninety-two.
In 1890, Blackwell and her mother Lucy Stone
concurred on the advantages the women’s move- See also Anthony, Susan B.; Stone, Lucy.
ment would gain if Stone’s American Woman References and Further Reading
Suffrage Association merged with Susan B. An- Flexner, Eleanor. 1975 [1959]. A Century of Struggle:
thony’s National Woman Suffrage Association. The Woman’s Rights Movement in the United
States. Rev. ed. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of
Blackwell was appointed as the new organiza-
Harvard University.
tion’s recording secretary, and from the late Hays, Elinor Rice. 1967. Those Extraordinary Black-
1890s she was also coeditor of its journal, wells: The Story of a Journey to a Better World.
Progress. For most of her life as an activist, she New York: Harcourt and Brace.
stayed out of the limelight; she never married Kraditor, Aileen. 1981 [1965]. The Ideas of the Woman
but gave her time and energy to many good Suffrage Movement 1890–1920. Reprint, New York:
causes as a member of the Woman’s Christian W. W. Norton.
Temperance Union, the Anti-Vivisection Society, Merrill, Marlene Deahl. 1990. Growing Up in Boston’s
and, in support of the admission of black stu- Gilded Age: The Journal of Alice Stone Blackwell,
dents to Boston University, the National Associa- 1872–1874. New Haven: Yale University Press.
tion for the Advancement of Colored People.
Blackwell’s wide-ranging interests and liberal
sensitivities extended increasingly to socialist Blackwell, Antoinette Brown
causes as she grew older, particularly after her (1825–1921)
more conservative mother’s death in 1893, when United States
she spoke out against the persecution of Armeni-
ans by the Ottoman Empire and of political dis- The first woman in the United States to be or-
sidents in czarist Russia. She set up the Friends of dained, in 1853, and an advocate of liberal reli-
Russian Freedom and developed a friendship gion, Antoinette Brown Blackwell wrote exten-
with the grande dame of Russian women revolu- sively on philosophy, science, religion, and
tionaries, Ekaterina Breshko-Breshkovskaya, in women’s rights. She was the sister-in-law of her
1917 editing autobiographical material in Yid- friend Lucy Stone (who married Henry Brown
dish about her as The Little Grandmother of the Blackwell a year before Antoinette married his
Russian Revolution: Reminiscences and Letters of brother Samuel Blackwell) and of Elizabeth
Catherine Breshkovsky [sic]. In 1927 Blackwell Blackwell, as well as the aunt of Alice Stone
joined with many other humanitarians in Blackwell.
protesting the trial of Nicola Sacco and Bar- Blackwell grew up in a reformist and revivalist
tolomeo Vanzetti, entering into a long corre- family in Henrietta, New York, and as a young
spondence with the latter. As a supporter of free woman took up speaking in her local Congrega-
speech, she also opposed the arbitrary deporta- tional church. Educated at Monroe County
tion of radical “undesirables” under the terms of Academy and Oberlin College, she graduated
the 1917 U.S. Espionage Act. from the latter in 1847. Having discovered her

83
Blackwell, Antoinette Brown

terest in women’s rights and lectured on the sub-


ject, as well as on temperance and abolition, in
Ohio and New York state after she left college in
1850. In 1853 she attended the World’s Temper-
ance Convention in New York, and in 1860 she
took part in the tenth National Women’s Rights
Convention there, at which marriage was debated
and on which occasion she opposed Elizabeth
Cady Stanton’s resolution on reform of divorce
laws. Blackwell was a great believer in marriage as
a union of equals. The first obligation of a
woman in marriage, she felt, was to “maintain her
own independence and her own integrity of char-
acter; to assert herself, earnestly and firmly, as the
equal of man, who is only her peer” (Helsinger,
Sheets, and Veeder 1983, 34). She nevertheless
also endorsed women’s right to find “womanly
methods of working” (Leach 1981, 200) that
would enable them to have fulfilling work outside
the family. Women should marry later, at age
twenty-five or thirty, when, she believed, they
would be better equipped to choose the right
Antoinette Brown Blackwell (Library of Congress) partner. And after having their children, women
could pursue outside activities that suited their
particular natures. In particular, Blackwell en-
vocation and wishing to be a preacher, Blackwell dorsed the ideal of the married female doctor as a
studied for a further three years at the Theologi- prime example of how women could successfully
cal Seminary at Oberlin College, but because she combine their two spheres of activity.
was a woman, was not allowed to receive a de- Blackwell herself did not marry until she was
gree. After 1850 she spent two years traveling thirty-one, when she became the wife of Samuel
around, lecturing and trying to find a congrega- C. Blackwell in 1856 after a long courtship. They
tion that would accept her, eventually becoming settled in New Jersey, where she spent the next
a pastor at the First Congregational Church in eighteen years raising their five daughters. There
South Butler, New York, and obtaining her ordi- she carried on with her writing, in 1869 publish-
nation on 15 September 1853, the first woman in ing the first of ten books, a discussion of her own
the United States to do so. Soon after, however, religious theories and her interest in the new sci-
Blackwell found that her personal philosophical ence of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer.
beliefs and liberal attitudes placed her at odds Reading their theories had led her to challenge
with the church’s teaching on issues such as orig- traditional Christian doctrine, upon which she
inal sin and predestination, and she left to be- elaborated in Studies in General Science; a novel,
come a Unitarian. The Island Neighbors, followed in 1871. As a
At about this time, Blackwell went on a lecture member of the American Association for the Ad-
tour in New England with Ernestine Rose. With vancement of Science, Blackwell would also pub-
the encouragement of newspaper proprietor Ho- lish articles in Popular Science.
race Greeley, Blackwell spent time among the In 1869, when Congress passed the Fifteenth
poor Irish and German immigrants of New Amendment, granting suffrage to black men
York’s slums and visited delinquent asylums and while still denying women the vote, Blackwell felt
prisons with Abigail Gibbons. These travels that she could not, on moral grounds, join with
would be the basis of a series of articles entitled other suffragists in opposing this recognition of
“Shadows of Our Social System” that she wrote black civil rights, even if it did preempt the
for Greeley’s New York Tribune in 1855. emancipation of women. She continued the fight
From her student days, Blackwell took an in- for women’s suffrage in a theoretical rather than

84
Blackwell. Elizabeth

organizational capacity through her articles in wells: The Story of a Journey to a Better World.
the Woman’s Journal, the publication of her sis- New York: Harcourt Brace.
ter-in-law Lucy Stone’s American Woman Suf- Helsinger, Elizabeth K., Robin Lauterbach Sheets, and
frage Association. She also took her message into William Veeder. 1983. The Woman Question: So-
cial Issues, 1837–1883, vol. 2, Society and Literature
the pulpit, giving sermons covering a wide range
in Britain and America, 1837–1883. Manchester:
of social issues, including abolition, temperance,
Manchester University Press.
and women’s rights. The advancement of women Kerr, Laura. 1951. Lady in the Pulpit. New York:
in science also earned her support through her Woman’s Press.
vice presidency of the Association for the Ad- Lasser, Carol, and Marlene Deal, eds. 1987. Letters be-
vancement of Women. tween Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown Blackwell,
In 1875 Blackwell entered the controversy 1846–1893. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
prompted by publication of Charles Darwin’s Leach, William. 1981. True Love and Perfect Union:
Descent of Man, seeing his theory of evolution as The Feminist Reform of Sex and Society. London:
supporting the emancipation of women and Routledge and Kegan Paul.
publishing her own response in The Sexes
throughout Nature. This book challenged the
misogynistic assertion that women were not Blackwell, Elizabeth
physiologically equipped for the exertions of ex- (1821–1910)
cessive academic study and was an attempt by United Kingdom/United States
Blackwell to provide a scientific basis for women
being different from but equal with men. How- Elizabeth Blackwell provided herself with many
ever, in her arguments she succeeded only in em- mountains to climb in her determined pursuit of
phasizing women’s location in a separate sphere a medical career, not the least of which was to be
from men by highlighting their special, compas- rejected by twenty-nine medical schools in suc-
sionate qualities as nurturers. cession. She carried her determination to be-
In 1878 Blackwell was finally awarded an hon- come a doctor over into her mission to establish
orary M.A. by Oberlin College, and in 1908 she the first medical training school for women in
became a doctor of divinity when she was ap- the United States. She also promoted the cause of
pointed to the new All Souls Unitarian Church in women’s medical education in Britain, wrote on
Elizabeth, New Jersey, after donating the land on the importance of sex education, and gave her
which it was built. Later appointed pastor emer- support to most of the social causes of her day,
itus, Blackwell continued to preach at All Souls campaigning in particular against vivisection
on a monthly basis until her death, when the and the Contagious Diseases Acts, the latter
church went into decline. In 1902 Blackwell pub- passed in the United Kingdom in the 1860s. She
lished a book of religious poetry (Sea Drift: Or believed that woman, with her maternal instincts
Tribute to the Ocean). That same year, she of self-sacrifice, was uniquely equipped for an
preached the funeral oration at the obsequies for important role in welfare as the natural oppo-
the suffrage leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton. nent of cruelty and injustice.
Like her niece, Alice Stone Blackwell, An- Blackwell was born in Bristol, England, one of
toinette Blackwell survived into her nineties, liv- nine children (five of them daughters), whose fa-
ing for periods with one or another daughter af- ther, Samuel, a well-known local dissenter and
ter the death of her husband in 1901. But of the lay preacher, was in sugar refining. After the fam-
eminent pioneering Blackwell women, Antoinette ily business was destroyed by fire in 1832, the
was the only one to live to see the long fight for Blackwells emigrated to New York, where they
women’s suffrage achieve its goal in 1920. became involved in the abolitionist cause, help-
ing runaway slaves on the Underground Rail-
See also Blackwell, Alice Stone; Blackwell, Elizabeth;
Gibbons, Abigail Hopper; Rose, Ernestine;
road. In 1837 the family suffered further finan-
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady; Stone, Lucy. cial losses during an economic depression. They
References and Further Reading moved to Cincinnati in 1838, but Samuel Black-
Cazden, Elizabeth. 1983. Antoinette Brown Blackwell: well died soon after, and Elizabeth was faced with
A Biography. New York: Feminist Press. the doleful inevitability of teaching or working
Hays, Elinor Rice. 1967. Those Extraordinary Black- as a governess in order to help support the fam-

85
Blackwell, Elizabeth

ily. She taught music for a while and then, with tracized by the female population, who res-
her sisters Anna and Marian, opened a school for olutely refused to pay her visits or even speak to
girls. When three of her brothers set themselves her. Undaunted, Blackwell set her sights on a ca-
up in a milling business, things improved for the reer in women’s surgery, having gained valuable
family. Blackwell also continued to work in the clinical experience working in the women’s
abolitionist movement, at various times being syphilis ward at the Blockley almshouses in
active in the Abolitionist Vigilance Committee, Philadelphia during the summer of 1848.
the Anti-Slavery Working Society, the Ladies A gathering of 20,000 people witnessed Black-
Anti-Slavery Society, and the New York Anti- well’s graduation in January 1849, for which she
Slavery Society. When her private school closed wrote a thesis on ship fever that was published in
after four years, Elizabeth fell back on teaching, the Buffalo Medical Journal. Although she be-
but she had no vocation for the work and gave came an American citizen in April, it still proved
up her job, seeking greater challenges. impossible for her to obtain hospital experience
Everything changed for Blackwell in 1845, in the United States, and she was forced to go to
when she visited Mary Donaldson, a sick friend Paris. There, however, she was only allowed prac-
suffering from uterine cancer. Donaldson admit- tical training as a student midwife at the La Ma-
ted to her that she would certainly have turned to ternité lying-in hospital, where she had to endure
medical help sooner if women doctors had been a spartan life in communal dormitories with
available to her. Realizing how reticent women other trainees and work fourteen-hour days. It
were about consulting male doctors on gyneco- was here, too, that Blackwell first encountered
logical problems, Blackwell set her sights on the abuse of women patients in the charity wards
training as a doctor. But the study of medicine for the poor by doctors who subjected them to
was at that time impossible for women, and only painful and degrading examinations and med-
Blackwell’s exceptional resilience and determina- ical procedures. She viewed the forced removal
tion during the course of three years of constant of women’s ovaries in the treatment of menstrual
lobbying finally gained her admission to study. problems as particularly inhumane. Like Anna
She would later recall that “the idea of winning a Kingsford, who also studied at La Charité and
doctor’s degree gradually assumed the aspect of a was appalled at practices she saw there, Blackwell
great moral struggle” (Forster 1984, 65), which linked the abuse of women by medical science
once taken up she would not relinquish. She be- with that of the vivisectionists on helpless ani-
gan writing a stream of letters to medical acade- mals (see, for example, Blackwell’s “Scientific
mies in the United States while teaching music at Method in Biology,” published in her Essays in
an academy in North Carolina. There she Medical Sociology in 1902).
boarded with a doctor’s family, and her landlord, While she was in Paris, a tragedy overtook
John Dickson, allowed her to begin self-study us- Blackwell’s ambitions to be a surgeon: while
ing his books. But when the school where she treating a baby with purulent ophthalmia, she
was working closed, Blackwell had to move on— accidentally infected her own eyes. After weeks of
to Philadelphia this time. She took private pain and suffering, she discovered she had lost
anatomy lessons while applying to more than a the sight in one eye (which was later removed,
dozen medical schools. By a stroke of luck, she leaving her permanently disfigured); the vision
was finally allowed to enter Geneva Medical in her other eye was also severely impaired. A
School in New York state in 1847, after the ques- long convalescence and a period of fruitless
tion of her admittance was put to a vote by the travel around Europe in search of every conceiv-
male students. They condescendingly agreed to able kind of cure ensued. Finally accepting that
give her admittance their “entire approval,” con- she would never be able to undertake surgery,
vinced she would never stay the course. But Blackwell decided instead to go into general
Blackwell completed her studies, handicapped by practice. She traveled to England and undertook
subjection to a constant barrage of hostility, be- further training in the autumn of 1850, this time
littlement, and isolation. Considered immoral under the eminent surgeon Dr. James Paget at St.
for pursuing medical studies, she had great diffi- Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. Perversely,
culty in finding a boardinghouse to take her and, the hospital ruled that she was not allowed to
during the two years she spent at Geneva, was os- treat female diseases. During her time in En-

86
Blackwell, Elizabeth

gland, Blackwell made lifelong friends of femi- establishing at St. Thomas’s Hospital. While in
nist activists Barbara Leigh Smith (later Barbara England, Blackwell gave lectures on “Medicine as
Bodichon) and other radical women in the Lang- a Profession for the Ladies” in London, Man-
ham Place Circle. chester, Birmingham, and Liverpool. She was
Blackwell returned to New York in August also formally enrolled on the British medical reg-
1851, but despite her excellent credentials, no ister, having already practiced in Britain before
one would employ her as a doctor. Therefore, she the passing of the 1858 Medical Act.
decided to set up a private practice in March A year later, Blackwell returned to the United
1852, but again public antipathy toward a States, determined to establish her own medical
woman doctor meant she had so few patients school for women. In 1860 she and her sister
that she was soon in financial difficulties. She Emily cowrote one of the first important books
undertook a series of public lectures, published to promote her case, Medicine as a Profession for
in 1852 as The Laws of Life, with Special Reference Women. Again, Elizabeth undertook vigorous
to the Physical Education of Girls—effectively, the fund-raising and bought a property on Second
first medical book by a woman. The book at- Avenue. But in April 1861, the outbreak of the
tracted the attention of some Quaker women, Civil War put her plans on hold. Blackwell im-
who became her patients, and the income en- mediately called a meeting in New York to or-
abled Blackwell to open a small clinic in 1853 ganize women nurses to go to the front, but the
and to buy a house in a decent district, where she hostility of the medical profession was such that
took in several of her brothers and sisters, and a her plans were thwarted. She founded the
medical partner, German immigrant Marie Za- Women’s Central Association for Relief, which
krzewska. Although Blackwell had long since de- later became the U.S. Sanitary Commission, the
cided never to marry, by 1856 she began to feel official body that would train and send out
she had missed out on the experience of having nurses to the Union troops under the leadership
children, and she adopted a seven-year-old or- of Dorothea Dix.
phan named Kitty Barry. Blackwell’s New York Infirmary finally opened
The demand for Blackwell’s clinic was such its own Women’s Medical College in 1868, which
that she moved to bigger premises in a poor area offered the most rigorous medical training yet
on the East River. By this time, she had amassed a available to women. Elizabeth was professor of
great deal of specialist knowledge on women’s gy- hygiene for thirty years (until the school closed
necological problems, and she initiated fund- in 1899), and her sister Emily served as the col-
raising to open a hospital. Blackwell’s New York lege’s dean and professor of obstetrics and dis-
Infirmary for Women and Children opened on eases of women. Emily proved an efficient ad-
Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village on 12 May ministrator and devoted the next forty years of
1857, with Blackwell and Zakrzewska joined by her life to the infirmary’s efficient management,
Elizabeth’s younger sister, Emily (1826–1910). Af- overseeing the training of 350 women doctors
ter suffering the same rejections and setbacks of during the medical college’s lifetime and becom-
her older sister, Emily had finally qualified as a ing one of the first women in the United States to
doctor at Western Reserve University in 1854. undertake complex surgical procedures.
The hospital became an important venue where Blackwell was now able to devote time to giv-
women doctors could gain essential experience in ing lectures and spreading her message on hy-
clinical medicine, even offering home visits to the giene as well as setting up a program of public
poor, and was soon extremely busy. More staff sanitary inspection. In 1869 she returned to En-
were needed, and more money had to be raised. gland with her adopted daughter Kitty and set
Blackwell decided to return to England to en- up a private practice in London. There, in 1874,
courage Englishwomen to enter medical train- she cofounded the London School of Medicine
ing. She met Florence Nightingale in the summer for Women with Sophia Jex-Blake and was ap-
of 1858 and again in January 1859, but disagree- pointed chair of gynecology there and at Eliza-
ing with Nightingale’s view that women should beth Garrett Blackwell’s New Hospital for
confine themselves to nursing, Blackwell refused Women and Children. Blackwell was also active
to be prevailed upon to take overall charge of a in numerous organizations, such as the National
training school for nurses that Nightingale was Anti-Vivisection Society, and cofounded the Na-

87
Blatch, Harriot Stanton

tional Health Society of London in 1871. In If they would perform with strength and wisdom
1879, she settled on the south coast, in Hastings. the duties which lie immediately around them
At this time, Blackwell became increasingly every sphere of life would soon be open to them”
drawn into issues of moral reform, believing as (Forster 1984, 55).
she did in the moral superiority of women and
their natural loyalty to what is right. She became See also Butler, Josephine; Dix, Dorothea Lynde;
a member of the Social Purity Alliance, the Na- Gage, Matilda Joslyn; Jex-Blake, Sophia; Kingsford,
Anna; Nightingale, Florence; Zakrzewska, Marie.
tional Vigilance Association, and the Council of
References and Further Reading
National Vigilance, and worked with Josephine Bell, Enid Moberley. 1953. Storming the Citadel: The
Butler for repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts Rise of the Woman Doctor. London: Constable.
to combat state-regulated prostitution. In Coun- Blackwell, Elizabeth. 1914. Work for Women. Every-
sel to Parents on the Moral Education of Their man’s Library series. London: J. M. Dent.
Children (1879), she supported sex education Reprinted as Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical
and called for an end to double standards in sex- Profession to Women: Autobiographical Sketches
ual morality, which demanded that women re- [original title]. New York: Schocken, 1977.
main pure, although setting no such standard of Blake, Catriona. 1990. The Charge of the Parasols:
sexual behavior for men. However, in the 1880s Women’s Entry to the Medical Profession. London:
she would oppose the use of contraceptives, see- Women’s Press.
Bonner, Thomas Neville. 1992. To the Ends of the
ing them as encouragement for men to increase
Earth: Women’s Search for Education in Medicine.
the sexual demands they made on their wives. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Blackwell also offered her tireless energy to the Fancourt, Mary St. John. 1965. They Dared to Be
campaign for women to become Poor Law Doctors: Elizabeth Blackwell and Elizabeth Garrett
Guardians; she was active in antivaccination and Anderson. London: Longman’s Green.
antivivisection campaigns and took an interest in Forster, M. 1984. Significant Sisters: The Grassroots of
spiritualism, rabies treatment, and psychology. Active Feminism, 1839–1939. London: Secker and
In between all this, she participated in local pol- Warburg.
itics in Hastings and cooperative farming in the Hays, Elinor Rice. 1967. Those Extraordinary Black-
nearby Kent countryside. After meeting Charles wells: The Story of a Journey to a Better World.
Kingsley, the English clergyman and novelist, she New York: Harcourt and Brace.
Walsh, Mary Roth. 1977. “Doctors Wanted: No Women
converted to Christian socialism, a movement
Need Apply”: Sexual Barriers in the Medical Profes-
closely allied to the Workers’ Education Associa- sion, 1835–1975. New Haven: Yale University
tion, and supported the concept of workers’ co- Press.
operatives and the welfare state. Many of Black- Wilson, Dorothy C. 1870. Lone Woman: The Story of
well’s ideas on these themes were outlined in her Elizabeth Blackwell, the First Woman Doctor.
1902 book, Essays in Medical Sociology. Boston: Little, Brown.
Blackwell finally retired in 1894 and wrote her
autobiography, Pioneer Work in Opening the
Medical Profession to Women. She traveled on the Blatch, Harriot Stanton
Continent, but in 1907 a bad fall severely con- (1856–1940)
fined her, and she died of a stroke in 1910. She United States
was buried in Kilmun, Scotland, a beautiful spot
that was one of her favorite places. In all her As the daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of
years of vigorous work for women’s medicine, the founding mothers of American suffragism, it
she had never doubted the ability of women to was inevitable that Harriot Stanton Blatch would
take up new challenges, provided that they could continue in her mother’s campaigning tradition.
overcome their own often inbred inertia, as she She did so in a more assertive and proactive man-
wrote in a letter to Matilda Joslyn Gage in 1852: ner than Stanton had, leading from the front and
“I believe that the chief source of the false posi- advocating the development of a grassroots polit-
tion of women is the inefficiency of women them- ical movement supported by working women
selves—the deplorable fact that they are so often that was inspired by her experiences working for
careless mothers, weak wives, poor housekeep- women’s suffrage in England. With Alice Stone
ers, ignorant nurses and frivolous human beings. Blackwell she also facilitated the eventual reunion

88
Blatch, Harriot Stanton

of the two branches of the American women’s


suffrage movement.
Born in Seneca Falls, New York, the sixth of
seven children, Blatch was educated at private
schools; she studied mathematics at Vassar Col-
lege until 1878, followed by a year at the Boston
School of Oratory. She then set off to Europe in
1880 as tutor cum companion to an American
family. Returning home in 1881, she contributed
a chapter on Lucy Stone’s American Woman Suf-
frage Association, which she felt was underrepre-
sented, to her mother and Susan B. Anthony’s
monumental History of Woman Suffrage. Return-
ing to England, she married businessman
William Henry Blatch in 1882, thereby losing her
American citizenship under a U.S. law that desig-
nated women who were U.S. citizens as aliens if
they married foreigners, a fact that she would al-
ways greatly regret (the law was not revoked un-
til the 1922 Cable Act). She lived there content-
edly, bringing up two daughters (although one
died young) and returning to the United States
in 1902 when her mother was dying. During her
time in England, Blatch wrote an M.A. thesis for
Vassar College on village life in England. She
took an interest in English political life and be- Harriot Stanton Blatch (Library of Congress)
came a member of the Fabian Society, mixing
with socialists such as G. B. Shaw and Sidney and
Beatrice Webb. She eventually joined the newly 1912 parade in New York had 10,000 marchers,
formed Women’s Liberal Federation in 1887 and underlining the heightened pace of activities in
supported the election of women to local gov- New York state under Blatch’s energetic leader-
ernment as a member of the Society for Promot- ship and with support and money from women
ing the Return of Women as County Councillors. such as Alva Belmont, which had come in the
Drawn into suffrage activities and public speak- wake of partial women’s suffrage being awarded
ing, Blatch became close friends with Emmeline in some midwestern states. That year, suffragists
Pankhurst. She joined the Women’s Franchise also undertook a thirteen-day march from New
League in 1890 and took part in debates on York City to Albany and another from New York
women’s issues at the Pioneer Club in London. City to Washington; the marching tradition
On her resettlement in the United States in would do much to heighten public and press
1902 and despite her status as an alien, Blatch re- awareness of the suffrage campaign during the
solved to bring the American suffrage movement concerted two-year campaign that won women
out of the doldrums of conservatism into which in New York state the vote in 1917.
she felt it had descended. She injected new blood As an advocate of the economic independence
(particularly after the death of Susan B. Anthony of women and the unionization of women work-
in 1906) and new energy into a movement that, ers, in 1907 Blatch founded the Equality League
in the words of Aileen Kraditor, was stuck “in a of Self-Supporting Women, which in 1910, echo-
rut of tea parties and innocuous ladylikeness” ing the radicalism of the Pankhursts’ Women’s
(1981, 269). Blatch inspired the staging of open- Social and Political Union, became the Women’s
air rallies and large parades in New York from Political Union (WPU). This group pioneered
1910 and Washington, D.C., from 1912, based on the enlistment of working women into the
those of the suffrage movement in England. women’s rights movement, who were seen by
These parades became annual events; a famous Blatch as the cornerstone of large-scale activism,

89
Bloomer, Amelia Jenks

as they had proved to be in the suffrage move- be admitted to an American university to


ment in England. Under Blatch, the WPU began study civil engineering—at Cornell University
lobbying for a referendum on women’s suffrage in 1901.
to be held in New York state, and she succeeded
in further galvanizing support among women in See also Anthony, Susan B.; Blackwell, Alice Stone;
the professions and business, with membership Catt, Carrie Chapman; Pankhurst, Emmeline; Paul,
of the organization growing to reach 20,000. But Alice; Stanton, Elizabeth Cady; Webb, Beatrice.
in 1915 she rejected the opportunity to amalga- References and Further Reading
Blatch, Harriot Stanton, and Alma Lutz. 1940.
mate the WPU and Carrie Chapman Catt’s more
Challenging Years: The Memoirs of Harriot Stanton
moderate Empire State Campaign Committee in Blatch. New York: G. Putnam’s Sons.
the drive for the vote for women in New York Crawford, Elizabeth. 1999. The Women’s Suffrage
state; instead, in 1916 she allied the WPU with Movement, 1866–1928: A Reference Guide.
Alice Paul’s more militant Congressional Union. London: University College of London Press.
Soon after, this organization became the Na- DuBois, Ellen. 1997. Harriet Stanton Blatch and the
tional Woman’s Party and worked toward win- Winning of Woman Suffrage. New Haven, CT: Yale
ning a federal equal rights amendment that University Press.
would, among other things, give the vote to ———. 1998. Woman Suffrage and Women’s Rights.
women. New York: New York University Press.
Blatch’s energies were diverted into war work Frankel, Noralee, and Nancy S. Dye. 1991. Gender,
Class, Race, and Reform in the Progressive Era.
during World War I after she had witnessed that
Lexington: University of Kentucky Press.
done in Europe by women in industry and agri- Kraditor, Aileen. 1981 [1965]. The Ideas of the Woman
culture. She headed the U.S. Food Administra- Suffrage Movement 1890–1920. Reprint, New York:
tion’s Speaker’s Bureau and took the leadership of W. W. Norton.
the Woman’s Land Army, describing her work for O’Neill, William L. 1989. Feminism in America: A
it in her 1918 book, Mobilizing Woman Power. History. 2d ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.
Once the war was over, she took a clear pacifist
position supporting the establishment of the
League of Nations, sharing the view of many Bloomer, Amelia Jenks
women activists that the sooner their sex won the (1818–1894)
vote, the sooner it would have a greater influence United States
over maintaining world peace. After the war and
the winning of the vote, Blatch joined the Social- The woman whose name was given to a mode of
ist Party and supported the political campaign of dress that became synonymous with the early
its presidential candidate, Robert La Follette. advocates of women’s emancipation did not, in
Many of Blatch’s later years were spent in writ- fact, invent the Turkish-style trousers that were
ing works such as A Woman’s Point of View: Some named after her. Such was the derision with
Roads to Peace (1920), editing her mother’s di- which the newfangled women’s dress known as
aries and letters with her brother Theodore “bloomers” was greeted that Amelia Bloomer
(Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences of Eliza- and the women who wore them (including Susan
beth Cady Stanton, 1898), and completing her B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton) were
memoirs, which she wrote with Alma Lutz and eventually forced to concede that to persist in
published as Challenging Years in 1940. doing so detracted from the seriousness of the
Blatch maintained her friendship with the campaign for women’s rights.
Pankhurst family and her close links with the Born in Homer, New York, Bloomer lived a
English suffrage movement after her return to quiet backwater life, receiving a limited educa-
the United States. In 1907, 1909, and 1913 she tion followed by several years working as a
organized visits to New York by Emmeline teacher and then governess. Her sharp intellect
Pankhurst, and in 1912 her daughter Sylvia found an outlet after she married the Quaker
came to the United States for a highly successful abolitionist lawyer and newspaper man Dexter
lecture tour. Blatch’s daughter Nora followed Chamberlain Bloomer in 1840. Having made a
in the pioneering tradition of her mother and feminist point in her marriage vows by deliber-
grandmother by becoming the first woman to ately excluding the word obey, Bloomer after-

90
Bloomer, Amelia Jenks

ward took an interest in social reform. Over the


following years, she worked as an editor of and
contributor to her husband’s journal, the Seneca
County Courier, and in 1848 joined the local
Ladies’ Temperance Society. That same year she
attended the famous Seneca Falls women’s rights
convention as a reporter for the Seneca County
Courier, although she did not join in the debates.
In January 1849 Bloomer established her own
monthly temperance journal, the Lily, in Seneca
Falls, the first of its kind in the United States to
be owned and run by a woman. With an initial
circulation of 200–300, it featured articles by
Bloomer and her close associates in the women’s
movement, such as Stanton and Anthony,
quickly moving from coverage of temperance is-
sues to arguments for dress and marriage re-
form, including women’s right to divorce
drunken husbands, and women’s suffrage. By the
time it closed six years later, the magazine would
have a readership of 6,000 and would have served
as a valuable outlet for the first writings on
women’s rights in the United States.
As early as 1847, in a letter to her friend Char- Amelia Jenks Bloomer (Library of Congress)
lotte A. Joy, Bloomer had been an advocate of the
simplification of women’s dress, averring that “the
costume of woman should be suited to her wants Over the next few years Bloomer, Cady Stan-
and necessities. It should conduce at once to her ton, and Anthony doggedly courted ridicule and
health, comfort and usefulness” (3 June 1847). In constant accusations of sartorial immodesty by
1851 she openly practiced what she preached persisting in wearing their bloomers in small-
when Seneca Falls again became the venue for an- town America. Anthony and Cady Stanton soon
other pioneering venture—the wearing of Turk- gave in to public pressure and abandoned them,
ish-style pantaloons under a shortened skirt. Like but Bloomer determinedly wore her pantaloons
many other women, Bloomer rejected the un- during a speaking tour of New York state in 1853
comfortable, constricting corsets, tight lacing, and (with more people turning up to laugh at her
unwieldy skirts of her time and eagerly adopted bloomers than listen to what she had to say) and
the pantaloons, which had been introduced by continued to do so until she was forced to capit-
Elizabeth Smith Miller on a visit to her friend ulate by the late 1850s. In the end, the associa-
Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Smith had designed these tion of bloomers with emancipated, “loose”
with a view to making it easier for women to take women was having too negative an effect on the
up physical exercise such as gardening, and the suffrage movement. Bloomer was baffled at why
design had in turn been based on a style of “pan- women themselves were generally so set against
talets” worn by the English actress Fanny Kemble the idea of bloomers when, as she so rightly
(the wearing of which Bloomer had defended in pointed out, they were prepared to tolerate
the Lily in 1849). When the garment had first ap- Scotsmen wearing kilts.
peared in London, it had been known as the In 1853 Bloomer and her husband moved to
“Camilla costume.” But after Bloomer adopted Mount Vernon, Ohio, from where Amelia con-
the pantaloons as a symbol of her own emancipa- tinued to publish the Lily, using female typeset-
tion and advocated their use in the Lily, saying ters. But after the couple moved farther west, to
“we have been and are slaves, while man in dress Iowa, she was no longer able to get the paper
and all things else is free” (Rendall 1985, 258), properly distributed, and she sold the Lily in
they were nicknamed “bloomers.” 1855. After being published for another year by

91
Bloor, Ella Reeve

new owner Mary Birdsall, it closed down in De- Born on Staten Island, New York, Bloor was left
cember 1856. Nevertheless, Bloomer continued in charge of her nine siblings after their mother’s
to lecture and write about temperance and death in 1879. As a young woman eager to take up
women’s suffrage, contributing to her husband’s social reform, she was active in the Woman’s
paper, the Western Home Visitor. During the Civil Christian Temperance Union and came under the
War, she undertook relief work for the Soldiers’ intellectual influence of her great-uncle Dan
Aid Society of her hometown, Council Bluffs. In Ware, a Unitarian. But her marriage to his son
1871 she became president of the Iowa Suffrage Lucien foundered due to her increasing activism
Society, which successfully lobbied for the Iowa in the temperance and suffrage movements in
equal property rights code, passed in 1873. Philadelphia, and in 1896 they divorced, leaving
In the late 1880s, when it was no longer con- Bloor the single parent of four children (two had
sidered inappropriate for polite young women to died in infancy). By this time, she had already be-
be seen riding the new, modified ladies’ bicycle, come caught up in the organization of trade
bloomers were reintroduced for the purpose by unions and had espoused the socialist concepts of
women dress reformers such as Lady Florence worker control of industry and agriculture. She
Harberton, leader of the Rational Dress Society settled for a while in a socialist community in
in the United Kingdom, a fact that no doubt led Delaware and remarried in 1897. But this mar-
Bloomer to feel vindicated. riage, to the socialist Louis Cohen, also ended in
separation in 1902 and ultimate divorce, leaving
See also Anthony, Susan B.; Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. Bloor with two more children to support.
References and Further Reading Having joined the Social Democratic Party of
Bloomer, Dexter C. 1895. Life and Writings of Amelia America in 1897, Bloor embarked on a marked
Bloomer. Boston: Arena. phase of activism as a labor organizer and sup-
Coon, Anne C., ed. 1994. Hear Me Patiently: The Re-
porter of women’s rights. In 1901–1902, her in-
form Speeches of Amelia Jenks Bloomer. Westport,
CT: Greenwood Press.
creasing radicalism prompted her to join the So-
Gattey, Charles Neilson. 1967. The Bloomer Girls. cialist Party of America. In 1906 she moved to
London: Femina Books. Chicago to collaborate with the socialist writer
Noun, Louise. 1985. “Amelia Bloomer, a Biography: Upton Sinclair in a government commission to
Part I, the Lily of Seneca Falls.” The Annals of Iowa investigate the exploitation of workers in the
47(7): 575–617. meatpacking industry, prompted by the huge
———. “Amelia Bloomer: Part II, the Suffragist of success of Sinclair’s 1906 novel, The Jungle. Cata-
Council Bluffs.” The Annals of Iowa 47(8): 575–621. loguing the widespread abuse by management of
Rendall, Jane. 1985. The Origins of Modern Feminism: underpaid and overworked immigrants in the
Women in Britain, France, and the United States Chicago stockyards, as well as exposing the will-
1780–1860. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
ful adulteration of meat products, the novel had
a social impact equal to that of Harriet Beecher
Stowe’s 1852 work, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. For the
Bloor, Ella Reeve sake of propriety, during the course of her re-
(“Mother Bloor”) search Bloor adopted the name of her core-
(1862–1951) searcher Richard Bloor, and the affectionate epi-
United States thet given her at the time, “Mother Bloor,” would
become set in stone during her itinerant activities
Ella Bloor, the indomitable labor organizer, so- on behalf of the poor and unemployed across the
cialist, and orator, made great sacrifices in her United States during the Depression years.
personal life to work for trade union rights. She Bloor spent the years 1906 to 1918 organizing
frequently faced criticism and considerable lo- trade union activities for the Socialist Party in
gistical problems in ensuring the welfare of her Connecticut, West Virginia, and Illinois. She also
six children as she traveled around the United played a role in labor disputes among coal min-
States in her trade union work. As a socialist, she ers in Pennsylvania and among strikers in Michi-
also came under fire for her communist sympa- gan in 1913 and in Colorado in 1914, in all of her
thies, enduring persistent harassment to become campaigning encouraging the active involve-
an icon of the American labor movement. ment of women.

92
Bodichon, Barbara

A pacifist during World War I, Bloor opposed See also Stowe, Harriet Beecher.
conscription and fund-raised for the legal defense References and Further Reading
of conscientious objectors through the Workers’ Barton, Anna. 1937. Mother Bloor: The Spirit of ’76.
Defense Union. After the war, she was a founding New York: Workers Library.
Buhle, Mari Jo, Paul Buhle, and Dan Georgakas, eds.
member in 1919 of the American Communist
1998. Encyclopedia of the American Left. 2d ed.
Party, the radical left-wing faction that had bro-
New York: Oxford University Press.
ken away from the Socialist Party of America, and Dictionary of American Biography 1946–1958, and
she eventually served on its Central Committee indexes to Supplements 1–10, 1981–1996. New
from 1932 to 1948. She traveled to the Soviet York: Scribner’s.
Union in 1921 as a delegate to the Red Interna- Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley. 1942. Daughters of America:
tional of Labor Unions to see for herself how the Ella Reeve Bloor and Anita Whitney. New York:
new Soviet experiment was working. She was not Workers Library.
disappointed and visited again in 1937, by then Sicherman, Barbara, and Carol Hurd Green, eds.
deeply impressed with the state provisions made 1980. Notable American Women 1607–1950: A
for women and children, which she outlined in Biographical Dictionary, vol. 4, The Modern Period.
Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard
her 1938 pamphlet,“Women in the Soviet Union.”
University.
Like many socialists in the United States dur-
Whitman, Alden, ed. 1988. American Reformers: An
ing the 1920s and 1930s, Bloor suffered as a re- H. W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary. New York:
sult of her communist sympathies but neverthe- H. W. Wilson.
less in 1927 she campaigned for the acquittal of
the Italian anarchist trade unionists Nicola Sacco
and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Throughout the Great
Depression, Bloor took to the road, traveling the Bodichon, Barbara
United States as a labor organizer in the steel and (Barbara Leigh Smith)
mining industries, joining hunger marches, and (1827–1891)
helping impoverished farmers in the Midwest United Kingdom
through her work for the Farmers National
Committee for Action. Born into the Unitarian tradition of social cam-
In the 1930s Bloor married for the third time, paigning, the feminist and educator Barbara
to Andrew Omholt, a North Dakota farmer and Bodichon played a central role in the develop-
member of the Communist Party. Before and ment of the women’s movement in nineteenth-
during World War II, Bloor lectured regularly century Britain.Yet, by the time of her death she
against fascism. She was active in the American had been larely forgotten and was susequently
League against War and Fascism (1934–1940), in relegated to the footnotes of history, accorded
1934 enlisting U.S. delegates to the International only the most anodyne of entries in the original
Workers’ Conference Against War and Fascism in edition of the Dictionary of National Biography,
Paris. Her espousal of socialist principles and ac- which alluded only to her reputation as an artist
tivism for the Communist Party (she was head of (the entry has now been completely revised in a
its Philadelphia branch from 1941 to 1947) re- major overhaul of the DNB’s coverage). Back in
sulted in regular arrest and constant surveillance the early 1980s, when writing her book Women of
throughout her life, and she spent a month in Ideas and What Men Have Done to Them, Dale
prison when she was seventy-two. Bloor’s fre- Spender complained bitterly about the difficulty
quent attempts to run for political office, includ- she had had in finding useful biographical infor-
ing secretary of state for Connecticut and lieu- mation on Bodichon—a situation that applied to
tenant governor of New York, all failed because many of Bodichon’s feminist contemporaries. It
of her uncompromising political beliefs. She re- was not until biographers Sheila Herstein (1985)
counted her experiences in her 1940 autobiogra- and Pam Hirsch (1998) provided detailed ac-
phy, We Are Many, and remained until her death counts that Bodichon’s crucial role could be
a passionate defender of the working classes and properly assessed.
the rights of women and children, both in her Bodichon and her four brothers and sisters
many speeches on the public platform and in her were the products of a common-law union be-
interviews on the radio. tween Benjamin Lee Smith, a Unitarian preacher

93
Bodichon, Barbara

and Liberal member of Parliament (for Norwich In 1854, after spending time absorbing the
from 1838 to 1847), and a young milliner, Anne new theories on education then current and ob-
Longden, whom he refused to marry because of serving teaching methods in various primary
her lower social status. Bodichon grew up with schools, Bodichon used a large proportion of her
the stigma of illegitimacy, kept apart from her private income to open an experimental primary
upwardly mobile and legitimate relatives, such as school in Paddington. The Portman Hall School,
her cousin Florence Nightingale. She remained inspired by the work of radical Unitarian educa-
stubbornly unconventional in her own adult life tionists, was run on egalitarian principles. It
and a sympathetic friend of the writer George made no distinctions regarding sex, class, or reli-
Eliot, who was also a social outcast because of gion and rejected religious instruction, educat-
her long common-law relationship with George ing Jews and Roman Catholics alongside Unitar-
Lewes. But there were compensations: Bodi- ians and the children of freethinkers. This
chon’s upbringing was progressive and uncon- progressive school, a pioneer in coeducation,
ventional, and the family home was frequented numbered among its teachers the reformer Oc-
by radicals of all persuasions: abolitionists, tavia Hill. It also rejected learning by rote and
anti–Corn Law campaigners, and supporters of corporal punishment and encouraged extracur-
the Chartist movement. Bodichon was allowed ricular activities such as physical exercise, Satur-
to develop her talents as a fine draughtsman and day outings, and visits to museums. Bodichon
painter and might have pursued a career in art would be involved in running the school until it
had she not become drawn into the 1850s de- closed in 1862.
bate, fostered by Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Bodichon first addressed the rights of married
Mill, on women’s rights. With her lifelong friend women and the need for changes to the unjust
Bessie Rayner Parkes, Bodichon subsequently be- laws regarding their rights to divorce and to con-
came a dominant force in the group of intellec- trol their property in an 1854 pamphlet entitled
tual women who became known as the Langham “A Brief Summary in Plain Language of the Most
Place Circle and who spearheaded the British Important Laws Concerning Women.” An influ-
campaign for women’s legal rights and suffrage ential work that sold widely, it was inspired by
beginning in the 1850s. “The Enfranchisement of Women,” a pamphlet
When Bodichon was seven, her mother died of cowritten by John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor.
tuberculosis. Barbara and her siblings, who had Bodichon’s pamphlet came out the same year
been educated at home until then, were sent by that Caroline Norton argued a similar case in
their father to the progressive Westminster In- “English Laws for Women in the Nineteenth
fant School, one of the pioneering “ragged Century.” In her pamphlet, Bodichon discussed
schools” in London. In 1848 Bodichon’s father the vulnerable economic status of married
settled an income of £300 a year in stocks and women and argued against the discriminatory
shares on her, which allowed her the scope to laws that prevented their equality with men and
pursue her literary and artistic interests. She deprived them of legal rights to custody of their
studied painting and drawing at the Ladies’ Col- children. The pamphlet was duly submitted to
lege in London’s Bedford Square during 1849 the Law Amendment Society, and Bodichon,
and took lessons with the pre-Raphaelite painter Parkes, and other women organized a petition in
William Holman Hunt. With her close friend 1855 in support of Bodichon’s proposed reforms
Parkes, Bodichon spent time traveling and of marriage and divorce laws under a Married
sketching on the Continent in 1850, the two Women’s Property Bill. This petition was pre-
women arousing curiosity wherever they went sented to Parliament in March 1856, but its de-
because they were unaccompanied and favored mands were not met in the 1857 Divorce Act. Al-
rational dress (no corsets and loose clothes). though the act allowed wives to divorce their
Bodichon would exhibit her work regularly husbands (but not on the grounds of adultery
through the Society of Female Artists (of which alone) and retain some of their property as di-
she was a cofounder in 1856), as well as in vari- vorcees, it made no provisions for married
ous galleries and at the Crystal Palace at its new women. The campaign for married women’s
site in Sydenham (from 1852), where she was property rights would continue until the Mar-
awarded numerous Crystal Palace medals. ried Women’s Property Acts of 1870, 1878, and

94
Bodichon, Barbara

1882 gave wives full control over the property the women’s movement in England for many
they brought into a marriage and their own years, providing new topics of discussion for
earnings during the marriage. women beyond the mundane and domestic and
In 1857, just before she married a French doc- seeking to promote legal reform favoring them as
tor, Eugène Bodichon, whom she had met in Al- well as lobbying for women to be admitted into
giers, Barbara published her radical tract Women higher education and the medical profession.
and Work. In it, she argued that women, far from Some of Bodichon’s conclusions on the inade-
abandoning their aspirations for economic au- quate education then available for girls were out-
tonomy upon marriage, should seek admittance lined in her 1860 article in the English Woman’s
to all professions in order to secure an “honor- Journal, entitled “Middle Class Schools for Girls.”
able” independence from their husbands. She The journal’s editorial group also placed a par-
placed no qualifications on women’s ability to ticular emphasis on assisting the many re-
work, seeing neither financial security nor mar- spectable but so-called superfluous middle-class
riage as precluding them from working if they so women in financial difficulty in obtaining em-
chose. She felt that women’s paid work would ployment other than as governesses—a market
have a beneficial effect on married life and would that Jameson declared was already “glutted.” The
go some way toward alleviating the unremitting Langham Place Circle did so by setting up their
boredom of many middle-class women’s lives. own Society for Promoting the Employment of
Bodichon adhered to this belief in her own life, Women in 1859 to act as an employment bureau.
having married a man sympathetic to her femi- A library, the Victoria Press (Faithfull’s imprint,
nist views who respected her need for autonomy. which published books by women and trained
During 1857–1858, Bodichon and her hus- women to be typesetters), and an emigration so-
band traveled in the United States, visiting the ciety run by Maria Rye would all eventually be
southern states where, during the course of visits based at Langham Place.
to plantations and slave auctions, they observed Bodichon was one of the first women in
with horror the injustices of slavery. Bodichon Britain to publish articles on women’s suffrage.
took time while in the United States to meet with In 1866, encouraged by the election to Parlia-
activists in the women’s movement, including ment of the feminist sympathizer John Stuart
Lucretia Mott and Lucy Stone. Her vivid account Mill (for whose electoral campaign she had
of this visit was published as An American Diary worked), she produced two seminal tracts: her
1857–1858 in 1972. In it Bodichon drew clear “Reasons for the Enfranchisement of Women”
comparisons between the institution of slavery and “Objections to the Enfranchisement of
and the domestic subjugation of women, aver- Women Considered.” These were subsequently
ring that “slavery is a greater injustice, but it is al- read out at various venues, including the Kens-
lied to the injustice to women so closely that I ington Society and the congress of the National
cannot see one without thinking of the other and Association for the Promotion of Social Science
feeling how soon slavery would be destroyed if in Manchester. She became a member of the En-
right opinions were entertained upon the other franchisement of Women Committee in 1866,
question” (Bodichon 1972, 63). which she served as secretary until June 1867.
After her marriage, Bodichon would spend She helped to organize committees in Manches-
half of each year in England and the other half in ter and Edinburgh, which gathered 1,499 signa-
Algeria with her husband, where she became a tures on a petition that was presented to Mill in
specialist in painting watercolor landscapes; he June 1866. The proposed legislation contained in
devoted himself to homeopathic cures at his the petition was finally discussed in Parliament
clinic, a eucalyptus-planting project in the in May 1867, at the time the Reform Bill was be-
desert, and good works among the poor. In the ing debated, but was defeated.
wake of the 1856 petition to Parliament, Bodi- During the 1870s Bodichon turned her atten-
chon was encouraged by Anna Jameson to set up tion to her friend Emily Davies’s campaign to es-
the English Woman’s Journal (later known as the tablish university education for women at Cam-
Englishwoman’s Review) with Parkes and others; bridge University. In 1862 she had joined a
the journal would also be printed by a woman, committee set up by Davies to lobby for women
Emily Faithfull. It became the mouthpiece for to be allowed to take local university examina-

95
Bol Poel, Martha

tions, and in 1869 Bodichon’s donation of £1,000 1827–1891: Feminist, Artist, and Rebel. London:
enabled Davies to set up a women’s college at Chatto & Windus.
nearby Hitchin, which in 1873 moved to new Holcombe, Lee. 1983. Wives and Property: Reform of
premises in Cambridge and became Girton Col- the Married Women’s Property Law in Nineteenth-
Century England. Toronto: University of Toronto
lege. Bodichon would develop close and affec-
Press.
tionate ties with many of the college’s first stu-
Hughes, Kathryn. 1998. George Eliot: The Last Victo-
dents and teachers, visiting the college regularly rian. London: Fourth Estate.
and frequently mending rifts between students Lacey, Candida A., ed. 1987. Barbara Leigh Smith
and staff caused by Davies’s dictatorial regime as Bodichon and the Langham Place Group. London:
college principal. Bodichon financed scholar- Routledge and Kegan Paul.
ships and made a bequest of £10,000 on her Matthews, Jacquie. 1983. “Barbara Bodichon:
death; her library of 395 volumes was also ac- Integrity in Diversity.” In Dale Spender, ed.,
quired by the college in 1954. Girton College’s Feminist Theorists: Three Centuries of Women’s
website has useful background on Bodichon’s Intellectual Traditions. London: Women’s
contributions at http://www.girton.cam.ac.uk/ Press.
Spender, Dale. 1982. Women of Ideas, and What Men
html.
Have Done to Them. London: Routledge and
Barbara Bodichon suffered a debilitating
Kegan Paul.
stroke in 1877 at the age of fifty and only par-
tially recovered. She was able to publish her au-
tobiography, Perverse and Foolish: A Memoir of Bol Poel, Martha
Childhood and Youth, shortly before her death at (1877–1956)
Scalands, her country home at Robertsbridge on Belgium
the Sussex coast. A woman of considerable
beauty and charisma, Bodichon remained an in- The Belgian social reformer and fifth president
dividualist who was generous with her friend- of the International Council of Women (ICW)
ship and her money. In the light of her posthu- from 1936 to 1947 was also a noted wartime
mous feminist reputation, her landscape heroine of the Belgian resistance. Born Marthe
watercolors and sketches—well reviewed in her de Kerchove de Denterghem into an aristocratic
day and then neglected for many decades—now family in Ghent that had a reputation for philan-
command considerable prices in the auction thropy, Bol Poel’s middle school education was
rooms. Her friend George Eliot modeled the completed at the Kerchove Institute founded by
eponymous heroine of her novel Romola (1863) her grandfather. In 1895 she studied for her
on Bodichon. Brévet Supérieur in Paris and entered the
Académie Julien to study painting and drawing.
See also Davies, (Sarah) Emily; Hill, Octavia;
In 1898 she became a baroness on her marriage
Jameson, Anna Brownell; Mott, Lucretia Coffin;
Nightingale, Florence; Norton, Caroline; Rye,
to the rich industrialist and politician Bol Poel,
Maria; Stone, Lucy; Taylor, Harriet. who had a metalworks at La Louvière. Following
References and Further Reading in the family tradition for good works, Martha
Bodichon, Barbara. 1972. An American Diary set up a maternity center at the works. As her
1857–1858. London: Routledge and KeganPaul. husband’s political career burgeoned and he rose
Bradbrook, M. C. 1975. Barbara Bodichon, George to become a deputy and then a senator, the Bol
Eliot and the Limits of Feminism. Oxford: Poels’ home became a center of Belgian cultural
Blackwell. and political life.
Burton, Hester. 1949. Barbara Bodichon. London: When the Germans occupied Belgium at the
John Murray. outbreak of World War I in 1914, Bol Poel ran an
Crawford, Elizabeth. 1999. The Women’s
underground postal service for soldiers and their
Suffrage Movement, 1866–1928: A Reference
Guide. London: University College of London
families. Arrested in 1916, she was imprisoned
Press. for two years. Because she was ill with heart dis-
Herstein, Sheila. 1985. A Mid-Victorian Feminist: ease, Bol Poel was exchanged for a German pris-
Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon. New Haven: Yale oner in 1917 and went into exile in Switzerland
University Press. until war’s end. Upon her return to Belgium, she
Hirsch, Pam. 1998. Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon founded a Friendly Association for ex-prisoners,

96
Bondfield, Margaret

to which she devoted herself for the remainder of ing conditions and long hours she had to en-
her life. During the 1920s, she also became a dure—seventy-six hours a week for an annual
leading figure in the women’s movement as salary of £25—as well as the rudimentary dormi-
founder and president of the National Federa- tory accommodations she was given, Bondfield
tion of Liberal Women, which initiated the became a socialist, joining the Social Democratic
founding of the Belgian Girl Guides and Young Federation in 1890 and later the Independent
Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), both Labour Party. She began lobbying for regulation
of which involved young women in various so- of her industry as a member of the National
cial and cultural projects. Union of Shop Assistants and wrote articles on
In 1934 Bol Poel was elected president of the women’s work for the union’s journal, the Shop
Belgian National Council of Women. Such were Assistant, under the name of Grace Dare. In 1892
her organizational skills that she was invited by the Shop Act limited the working week for shop
the ICW to succeed Lady Isabella Aberdeen as its assistants under eighteen to seventy-four hours,
president, a post she held from 1936 to 1947 (her although Bondfield would continue to assert
deputy took over during the war years). that many girls worked an eighty-hour week.
In 1940 Belgium was once again invaded by In 1896 Bondfield was asked to conduct an in-
the Germans, and Bol Poel was forced to take her vestigation into the working conditions of shop
political and social activities underground, hold- assistants for the Women’s Industrial Council,
ing National Council of Women meetings in se- which prompted her to join the Women’s Trade
cret at her home. After the war, she resumed her Union League, where she met and associated with
work for the ICW, attending the first postwar Lady Emilia Dilke. In 1898, the year her report
council meeting, held in Philadelphia in 1947, on was published, Bondfield was appointed assistant
which occasion she retired, opting to continue as secretary and paid organizer of the National
honorary president. She was also a member of Union of Shop Assistants on a salary of £2 per
the Belgian Committee for Cooperation in the week, a post she held until 1908. In 1899 and on
United Nations. several subsequent occasions, she was the only
woman delegate to the annual Trade Union Con-
gress (TUC). Concurrent with these activities,
Bondfield, Margaret Bondfield was an official (1898–1938) of the Na-
(1873–1953) tional Federation of Women Workers (founded in
United Kingdom 1906) and in 1902 was called to give evidence on
working conditions to a Select Committee on
The distinguished trade union leader, pacifist, Shops.
and advocate of adult suffrage Margaret Bond- In all her work, Bondfield was driven primar-
field was the first woman in Great Britain ap- ily by her commitment to labor politics, with her
pointed to a cabinet post, as minister of labor. As feminist concerns taking second place. There-
a member of the Independent Labour Party, she fore, she did not devote time to campaigning in
had a particular concern for the working condi- the women’s suffrage movement for a limited
tions and pay of shop girls, becoming an author- franchise for women based on property qualifi-
ity on the subject through her organization of cations, which she felt would inevitably penalize
the Shop Assistants’ Union and a forceful cham- working-class women, but rather supported suf-
pion of work for women that was more than frage for all by chairing the Adult Suffrage Soci-
mere drudgery. ety. In 1907 she took part in a public debate in
Born in Chard, Somerset, Bondfield was one support of adult suffrage, challenging Teresa
of eleven children of a foreman in a lace work- Billington-Greig, who supported limited suffrage
shop who had strong radical beliefs. She had very for women.
little education but nevertheless took up teach- In 1908 Bondfield gave up her work for the
ing when she was only thirteen and a year later National Union of Shop Assistants to become a
went to work as a draper’s assistant in a shop in freelance lecturer for the Independent Labour
Brighton. She continued as a shop girl after mov- Party and secretary of the Women’s Trade Union
ing to London and would remain in this work for League. In 1913 she was elected to the party’s ex-
eleven years. Made miserable by the poor work- ecutive (remaining until 1921). With Margaret

97
Bondfield, Margaret

Davies of the Women’s Cooperative Guild, vere economic recession. It could not have been
Bondfield supported a minimum wage, child a more difficult time to become the first woman
welfare, and health insurance for women work- appointed to a government post. During her
ers and submitted a report on the possible intro- term, which ended in 1931 when the Labour
duction of maternity benefits, which were incor- government lost the general election, she
porated in the Liberal government’s 1911 Health presided over the Unemployment Insurance
Insurance Bill. Fund, which rapidly became insolvent due to the
During World War I, Bondfield took a pacifist, increase in payouts during the continuing de-
conciliatory stance and refused to support the pression, forcing Bondfield to reluctantly sup-
suffrage movement’s endorsement of the war ef- port the government’s reduction of unemploy-
fort, although she monitored the pay and condi- ment benefits to women with the 1931
tions of women munitions workers through the Anomalies Act. This effected the exclusion of
National Federation of Women Workers and was 180,000 married women from eligibility for ben-
active in the Central Committee on Women’s Em- efits, even though they had paid contributions
ployment. In 1915 she was one of 100 British while working, and the decision lost her valuable
women pacifists who signed an “open Christmas support within the trade union movement.
letter” to women in Germany and Austria, appeal- After being defeated in the 1931 election,
ing to them to call for an end to the war. Bond- Bondfield carried on with trade union work un-
field also called for British women to set an ex- til 1938, when she spent time lecturing in
ample for their menfolk and support a women’s Canada, the United States, and Mexico. She was
peace congress to be held in The Hague that year. preparing to stand for reelection to Parliament
In April 1915 she attended a national conference when war broke out in 1939, and with the gen-
of women held in London to discuss peace initia- eral election deferred, she accepted the post of
tives after the British government banned women vice president of the National Council of Social
from attending the conference in The Hague. At a Service, an organization responsible for public
subsequent meeting in May, again at London’s welfare. She maintained her interest in social re-
Central Hall, she proposed a new organization, form as chair of the Women’s Group on Public
the British Committee of the Women’s Interna- Welfare from 1939 to 1949.
tional Congress, which issued a manifesto entitled In 1948 Bondfield was made a Companion of
“Towards Permanent Peace.” Later that year, this Honour, and in 1949 she published her autobi-
committee became the Women’s International ography, A Life’s Work. Her views moderated in
League, with Bondfield serving as an executive later life as she came to place greater emphasis on
member. In December she spoke at a public meet- women’s nurturing role within the family, but
ing against conscription, which she considered she would be remembered by fellow reformer
debased the value of human life. Mary Stocks as “a woman of white-hot integrity,
In the years after World War I, Bondfield con- capable of selfless devotion, and withal most
tinued to work for the TUC, acting as a labor del- loveable” (Stocks 1970, 167).
egate to numerous international labor confer-
ences and as a TUC delegate to the Soviet Union See also Billington-Greig, Teresa; Dilke, Emilia.
in 1920. In 1923 she assumed the chair of the References and Further Reading
General Workers Union, which had merged with Banks, Olive, ed. 1985, 1990. The Biographical
the National Federation of Women Workers in Dictionary of British Feminists, vol. 1, 1800–1930,
1920, and earned the accolade of being the first vol. 2, 1900–1945. Brighton: Harvester
woman to be made chair of the TUC, in 1923. Wheatsheaf.
By this time, Bondfield had decided to enter Baylen, J. O., and N. J. Gossman, eds. 1979–1984. Bio-
graphical Dictionary of Modern British Radicals. 3
politics, but her 1923 election as a Labour mem-
vols. Hassocks, Sussex: Harvester Press.
ber of Parliament for Northampton lasted only a Bellamy, Joyce M., and John Saville. 1982. Dictionary
year, during which time she served as parliamen- of Labour Biography. London: Macmillan.
tary secretary to the minister of labor. In 1926 Bondfield, Margaret. 1949. A Life’s Work. London:
she entered Parliament again, representing Hutchinson.
Wallsend, and was appointed minister of labor Hamilton, Mary A. 1924. Margaret Bondfield. Lon-
under Ramsay MacDonald in 1929, during a se- don: Leonard Parsons.

98
Bonner, Yelena

Josephson, Harold, Sandi Cooper, and Steven C. just been endorsed by the Soviets, dissidents such
Hause et al., eds. 1985. Biographical Dictionary of as Bonner and her husband nurtured hopes that
Modern Peace Leaders. Westport, CT: Greenwood the Soviet government would adhere to the act’s
Press. clauses on human rights. Branches of the
Liddington, Jill. 1989. The Long Road to Greenham:
Helsinki Human Rights Group were set up across
Feminism and Anti-Militarism in Britain since
the Soviet Union to monitor the application of
1820. London: Virago.
Stocks, Mary. 1970. My Commonplace Book. London: the agreement in that country, with Bonner be-
Peter Davies. coming a leader of the Moscow group in 1976.
From the day she married Sakharov, Bonner
had shared the mantle of leading spokesperson
Bonner, Yelena on the abuses of human rights in the Soviet
(1923– ) Union. She and Sakharov paid a high price for
Soviet Union/Russia their outspokenness. Their tiny apartment be-
came a focus for dissent, and the Sakharovs were
The distinguished human rights activist Yelena the subject of relentless harassment, KGB sur-
Bonner was a leader, with her husband Andrey veillance, and frequent arrest—so much so that it
Sakharov, of the Soviet dissident movement of permanently impaired their health. When
the 1970s and 1980s, during which time they Sakharov denounced the Soviet invasion of
both endured considerable political harassment. Afghanistan in December 1979, the full weight of
Today Bonner continues to speak out on civil official disapproval was launched at him. He was
rights abuses in postcommunist Russia. stripped of his Soviet scientific honors and exiled
Bonner’s parents were victims of the Stalinist to the then closed city of Gorky (now Nizhniy
purges of the Soviet intellectual and political Novgorod). Bonner joined him there in 1984,
elite during the 1930s. Her father, an Armenian when she too was exiled after being arrested and
communist, was executed in 1937, and her prosecuted for anti-Soviet activities. Here, again,
mother spent sixteen years in the Gulag before their every movement was watched, with Bonner
being released in 1954. Left alone, Bonner lived remarking that the minders followed her even
with relatives in Leningrad until they, too, were when she went to buy bread.
arrested. She served as a nurse at the Russian Meanwhile, Bonner had been suffering from
front during World War II, suffering a serious in- failing eyesight, and in 1975 she had been al-
jury that would permanently affect her eyesight. lowed to go to the West for an eye operation, dur-
Nevertheless, after the war she was able to study ing which time she also collected the 1975 Nobel
medicine, qualifying to be a doctor in 1953 and Peace Prize awarded to her husband. She made
remaining in medical practice until 1983. During several return visits, but not without having to go
this time, she undertook medical aid work in on a hunger strike (and be force-fed) to be per-
Iraq. Like all Soviets who wanted to protect their mitted to travel to Italy in 1981 to see a specialist.
careers, she joined the Communist Party, but she She traveled abroad for further treatment in
did not do so until 1965, during the brief years of 1984, and in 1985, when she went to the United
the political “thaw” when Joseph Stalin had been States to see doctors about her heart trouble and
formally denounced. When the Soviets invaded glaucoma, she spoke out publicly on the persecu-
Czechoslovakia in 1968, she again became highly tion of Soviet dissidents. In 1986 the rigors of life
critical of the regime, and with the government in exile came to an end with—as it seemed at the
turning the screws on internal political dissi- time—the sweeping political rebirth of the Soviet
dents in the early 1970s, Bonner resigned her Union under Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of
membership in the Communist Party. glasnost and perestroika. Bonner and Sakharov
Bonner had first married in 1947. In 1971 she were allowed to return to Moscow. In April 1989
married her second husband, the eminent nu- Sakharov was elected to the Congress of People’s
clear physicist and academician Andrey Sakharov, Deputies, but by that time mortally ill, he barely
a pioneer of the Soviet Union’s first hydrogen had time to enjoy his new intellectual freedom
bomb who had been one of the leading cam- before dying in December.
paigners against its further development since Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991,
1961. In 1975, when the Helsinki Final Act had with Bonner comparing the destruction of the

99
Bonnin, Gertrude

Berlin Wall with the fall of the Bastille during the Bonnin, Gertrude
French Revolution, she has helped sustain the
struggle for the democratization of a country
(Zitkala-Ša/Red Bird)
(1876–1938)
that for centuries under the czars and then the
Soviets had never enjoyed real political and civil
United States
freedoms. She has not let up on her hawkish crit- The Native American writer and progressive re-
icism of the post-Soviet governments of Gor- former Gertrude Bonnin, who regularly alerted
bachev, Boris Yeltsin, and Vladimir Putin, warn- government to the abuse of her people’s rights
ing that postcommunist Russia was once more and to the corrupt practices of the Bureau of In-
turning back to totalitarianism, restoring a dian Affairs, was also known under her Lakota
strictly centralized rather than a multinational tribal name of Red Bird.
government, and one that was hijacking control Born in South Dakota on the Yankton Sioux
of the media and clamping down on freedom of Reservation, she was the daughter of a Nakota
the press. In March 2000, in the Moscow Times, mother and white father. She left her home at the
she urged the West to support Russian dissidents age of eight to study at a Quaker mission
critical of the continuing conflict in Chechnya, school—White’s Manual Labor Institute—in
the oppression of ethnic minorities, the uncon- Wabash, Indiana. After leaving when she was
trolled spread of the Mafia, and the tightening of eleven she spent the following years back on the
press controls under Putin, whose government reservation, returning to higher education in
she described as being little more than “mod- 1895, when she obtained a scholarship to Earlham
ernised Stalinism.” The increasing constraints College, Richmond, Indiana. But she was forced
upon journalists in Russia and the assassination to give up her studies after two years due to ill
of some leading figures in television and news- health. During 1897–1899, Bonnin took up the
paper reporting have since highlighted the steady violin at the New England Conservatory of Music
erosion of freedom of speech in Russia. In March in Boston, and left around 1899 to teach music at
2001 Bonner appealed via Radio Free Europe to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, during
the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of which time she played at the Paris Exposition of
Europe, asking it to take up the issue of the eth- 1900 with the school’s Carlisle Indian Band.
nic cleansing of the Chechen people by Russian By around 1900, Bonnin had begun publish-
troops. She reminded public opinion in the West ing articles on Indian life under the pen name of
that this conflict has now claimed the lives of Zitkala-Ša (Red Bird) in the Atlantic Monthly and
more than 100,000 civilians. For updates on hu- Harper’s Monthly. She was by now becoming in-
man rights appeals in the former eastern Europe, creasingly averse to the teaching methods insti-
contact Radio Free Europe at http://www.rferl. tuted at Carlisle by its diehard founder, Colonel
org/welcome/english/. Richard Henry Pratt, who ran the school like an
army camp and exploited the unpaid labor of
References and Further Reading students in local agriculture. Bonnin objected to
Bonner, Yelena. 1986. Alone Together. New York: Al- Pratt’s emphasis on assimilation and the conver-
fred A. Knopf. sion of his Native American students to Chris-
———. 1992. Mothers and Daughters. New York:
tianity in preference to nurturing their tradi-
Alfred A. Knopf.
Klose, Kevin. 1984. Russia and the Russians: Inside the
tional Indian cultural values. Nor did the school
Closed Society. New York: W. W. Norton. ever encourage its students to aspire to anything
McCauley, Martin. 1997. Who’s Who in Russia since more than menial vocational training. Bonnin
1900. London: Routledge. was eventually dismissed, probably as a result of
Sakharov, Andrey. 1990. Memoirs. London: her article “The Soft-Hearted Sioux,” which had
Hutchinson. appeared in Harper’s Monthly in 1901 and in
which she had illustrated the loss of cultural
identity experienced by a young Indian boy after
being given a Christian education.
Back in her reservation at Yankton, North
Dakota, Bonnin began collecting stories of tradi-
tional Lakota Indian life for her 1901 anthology,

100
Bonnin, Gertrude

Old Indian Legends, which had been commis- studies of the federal treatment of Native Amer-
sioned by the Boston publisher Ginn and Co. She icans and their right to suffrage and in which she
took a job as a clerk at the Bureau of Indian Af- defended tribal religion and rights to ancient
fairs at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in homelands. In 1924, under the auspices of the
New Mexico, where she met and married a GFWC, an Indian Welfare Committee was set up
mixed-blood Nakota, Raymond Bonnin, in 1902. to launch a government investigation, led by
The couple moved soon after to Utah, living for Bonnin, of the exploitation of Native Americans
fourteen years on the Unitah-Ouray reservation. in Oklahoma and, in particular, attempts to de-
During this time Bonnin remained active in local fraud them of drilling rights to their oil-rich
Indian cultural and self-help activities as a mem- lands there. She wrote a report on this, published
ber of the Society of American Indians (SAI, by the Indian Rights Association as Oklahoma’s
founded in 1911), with which she corresponded Poor Rich Indians: An Orgy of Graft and Exploita-
on local native affairs. This organization, which tion of the Five Civilized Tribes—Legalized Rob-
Bonnin served as secretary from 1916 and whose bery. Its publication prompted the establishment
journal American Indian Magazine she edited in by Herbert Hoover’s government of the Merriam
1918–1919, had dedicated itself to preserving the Commission in 1928, which reported on Native
Indian way of life and culture. It lobbied vigor- American life and eventually resulted in the pass-
ously for Indian civil and political rights; the ar- ing of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934) un-
guments were, however, essentially assimilation- der Roosevelt’s New Deal, although ultimately
ist. Bonnin’s critics have since argued that she Bonnin clashed with the U.S. government’s In-
and the SAI were misguided in their campaign- dian commissioner, John Collier, who was re-
ing on citizenship and employment rights for sponsible for the wording of the act.
Native Americans, for such legal changes were In her work for the NCAI, Bonnin also ran a
precisely those that contributed to the erosion of voter-registration drive among Native Ameri-
their traditional way of life, and diluted the Na- cans in 1924 in order to raise their support for
tive Americans’ sense of heritage. the Curtis Bill, passed by Congress that year. This
One of Bonnin’s responsibilities as secretary gave Native Americans U.S. citizenship but failed
of the SAI was to conduct correspondence with to grant them voting rights (these would not be
the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but her increasing granted in many states until as late as the 1960s).
criticism of the BIA’s corrupt practices eventu- Bonnin continued to call for civil and political
ally lost her husband his job. In 1916 the couple rights for her people and for improvements to
moved to Washington from where Bonnin lec- education and health care provisions on reserva-
tured around the USA on behalf of the SAI to tions, some of which were implemented under
promote the cultural and tribal identity of Na- the New Deal. Dressed in her traditional cos-
tive Americans. During the 1920s Bonnin in- tume, she appeared regularly on the lecture cir-
vested much time and effort in promoting the cuit speaking on issues relating to the rights and
idea of a Pan-Indian movement that would culture of her people. She published American
unify America’s many different tribes in a com- Indian Stories in 1921 and with William F. Han-
mon cause. In 1926, with the help of her hus- son in 1913 collaborated on an opera, Sun
band, she organized the National Council of Dance, based on Native American culture that
American Indians (NCAI), which she served as was premiered in New York. Throughout her life
president and major fund-raiser and speaker Bonnin remained true to her pagan beliefs, pub-
from 1926 until her death in 1938. But as such, lishing “Why I Am a Pagan” in Atlantic Monthly
the NCAI’s unifying efforts remained ineffectual in 1902. Ironically, when she died Bonnin was
and it went into limbo after Bonnin’s death, to buried, not according to traditional Indian rites
be revived in 1944 under a male leadership who in the homeland she loved, but in that most elit-
failed to acknowledge the long years during ist of American resting places—Arlington Na-
which Bonnin had run the organization practi- tional Cemetery (her husband, as a former U.S.
cally single-handedly. Army captain, had had the right to be buried
Bonnin also worked tirelessly for the General there). Since her death, the University of Ne-
Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) from braska has reissued many of Bonnin’s writings
1921, in the course of which she was involved in on Native American culture.

101
Booth, Catherine

References and Further Reading Booth at a prayer meeting. As a woman of strong


Bataille, Gretchen M., and Kathleen Mullen Sands. opinions and forceful personality, Catherine was
1984. American Indian Women: Telling Their Lives. ejected from the congregation for being too ex-
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. treme and joined a group of Wesleyan reformers,
Fisher, Dexter. 1979. “Zitkala-Sa: The Evolution of a
the Methodist New Connexion. She persuaded
Writer.” American Indian Quarterly 5: 229–238.
Booth not only to pledge total abstinence from
Hoefel, Roseanne. 1997. “Writing, Performance, Ac-
tivism: Zitkala-Sa and Pauline Johnson.” In Susan drink (which would later be mandatory for all
Castillo and Victor M. P. Da Rosa Porto, eds., Salvationists) but also to join her in taking their
Native American Women in Literature and Culture. religious crusade to the street. The couple mar-
Portugal: Fernando Pessoa University Press. ried in 1855, and despite her continual poor
Krupat, Arnold, ed. 1994. Native American Autobiog- health and the interruptions of bearing eight
raphy: An Anthology. Madison: University of children in quick succession, Catherine Booth
Wisconsin Press. took on a relentless program of social work, end-
Spack, Ruth. 1997. “Re-visioning Sioux Women: less letter writing, and proselytizing.
Zitkala-Sa’s Revolutionary American Indian Based on her careful study and understanding
Stories.” Legacy 14(1): 25–42.
of the scriptures, Booth believed in egalitarianism
Zitkala-Sa. 1985 [1921]. American Indian Stories.
in all public work and was ready to argue this
Reprint, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
point with any male preachers in her promotion
of sexual equality within the Methodist move-
Booth, Catherine ment. She outlined these ideas in her 1859 pam-
(1829–1890) phlet, “Female Ministry: Or Women’s Right to
United Kingdom Preach the Gospel,” a work she revised and re-
published in Papers on Practical Religion in 1879.
Catherine Booth was cofounder with her hus- Booth never wavered from her steadfast advocacy
band of the Salvation Army; together they initi- of women’s right to be preachers and, having won
ated a brand of fire-and-brimstone social ac- over her husband, finally decided to defend her
tivism, challenging armchair Victorian reformers position in the pulpit herself, in 1860 at the
to take their campaigning to the streets where it Gateshead Bethesda, where her husband had been
was really needed. A devout and rigorous Chris- undertaking circuit work since 1858. She proved
tian, Booth’s evangelism was devoted to the to be an exceptional orator and applied her as-
moral and social redemption of the destitute. yet-unexploited intellectual talents to speech
Unlike other reformers, she did not confine her- making on social and moral reform. Booth was
self to conveying her message to do-gooders in subsequently instrumental in molding Salvation
the middle classes but took it to the proletariat, Army policy on women’s equality, ensuring that it
preaching in the pubs, open spaces, and back enjoyed a high percentage of women officers.
streets of the East End of London. In her very William Booth would later remark that the “best
public campaign for moral purity and temper- men in my Army are the women” (Helsinger,
ance, she courted hostility and derision as well as Sheets, and Veeder 1983, 183). Catherine Booth’s
acts of violence by brothel keepers, pub land- advocacy of women’s right to be preachers would
lords, and the public alike. also become an integral part of the Salvation
Born in Ashbourne Derbyshire, Booth was the Army’s Women’s Charter.
daughter of a Wesleyan lay preacher and carriage In 1861 Booth encouraged her husband to leave
builder. She grew up in Lincolnshire and spent his post in Gateshead and become a full-time
much of her adolescence as an invalid, suffering touring evangelist. For the next four years, they
from spine, heart, and lung trouble. She was traveled around the country, living in Cornwall,
therefore educated at home and spent much time Cardiff, Walsall, and Birmingham before settling
in self-study of the Bible and theology. Her life- back in London in 1864. There in 1865 they
long abhorrence of drink took root when her own founded the Christian Revival Association (CRA)
father broke his pledge and became a drunkard. in Whitechapel (the precursor to their Christian
After the family moved to London in 1844, Mission), which operated out of a marquee set up
Catherine began attending the Brixton Wesleyan in an old Quaker burial ground. Their first prem-
Methodist Church, where she met William ises, known as the People’s Mission Hall, were

102
Booth, Catherine

opened in a building in the Whitechapel road in drawn into prostitution. The Booths’ son
1868; there they held all-night prayer vigils, Bramwell, who assisted Stead in the deliberate
known as the Midnight Meeting movement of the purchase of a thirteen-year-old girl for £5 in or-
1860s, and sold cheap food to the poor. der to expose the trade in virgins, was prosecuted
In its early guise, the East London Christian and acquitted. In the ensuing public furor over
Mission (ELCM from 1867) operated as a chari- the articles, the Salvation Army was galvanized
table religious movement that set up a network of by Catherine’s speeches on the subject and ob-
mission stations across London’s East End to tained 393,000 signatures on a petition demand-
shelter and feed the destitute and spread the ing legislation to protect children from vice. In
“good news” of God’s word. By 1869 the original August 1885 the Criminal Law Amendment Act
mission had established thirteen preaching sta- was passed, making procuring women and girls
tions, and Booth and her husband were holding for prostitution a criminal offense and raising
open-air meetings where they regularly castigated the age of consent to sixteen. Rebecca Jarrett, a
drink and prostitution and in which music and former prostitute rescued by Bramwell Booth’s
song played an integral part. Catherine proved wife Florence and Josephine Butler, who had
herself able to defend her beliefs in front of audi- acted as intermediary in the affair and had also
ences full of hecklers at revival meetings and been jailed, later worked as a brothel visitor for
preached in some of the roughest parts of Lon- the Salvation Army (her story was told by Butler
don, in and around the docklands of Rotherhithe in her 1885 Rebecca Jarrett).
and Bermondsey. She also wrote numerous tracts Aside from her work for temperance and
on temperance for the Temperance Society and against prostitution, Catherine Booth supported
oversaw the establishment of Food-for-the-Mil- the suffrage campaign in the conviction that
lions Shops, which offered hot dinners for six- women with the vote would be a powerful force
pence. At the beginning of 1878, the ECLM was for good in the world. She also did valuable work
renamed the Salvation Army, with William Booth in exposing the exploitation of cheap labor in the
appointed its general. The organization relocated East End, in particular that of women, who were
to larger premises on Queen Victoria Street, with paid a fraction of the daily rate paid to men do-
the Booths now the acknowledged leaders, with ing similar work. Like Annie Besant, Booth was
Josephine Butler, of the social purity movement. particularly disturbed by the appalling condi-
The Salvation Army’s work was extended with tions endured by women workers at Bryant and
the publication of its newspaper, the War Cry, May’s match factory. Here women frequently
which Catherine played a considerable role in succumbed to the horrifying effects of “phossy
running despite her frequent need to rest and re- jaw,” a degenerative condition of the facial bones
cover her health. She conducted a series of highly caused by constant exposure to noxious yellow
successful public meetings during the 1880s in phosphorus used in the manufacture of matches.
large London venues such as Exeter Hall and in Booth and Besant began campaigning to force
major provincial cities, where she achieved the reluctant manufacturers to use the safer but
dozens of converts at every session. The Salva- more expensive red phosphorus, adopted long
tion Army’s “Hallelujah Bands” had become a fa- since in the industry in Europe.
miliar sight on the streets of many towns, and its Sadly, Catherine Booth did not live to see this
anthem “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (an 1864 campaign succeed. After her death, William
hymn set to music in 1872 by Arthur Sullivan of Booth continued her fight against yellow phos-
Gilbert and Sullivan fame) became a rallying cry phorus by establishing the Salvation Army’s own
for evangelizing reformers everywhere. match factory in direct competition with Bryant
In 1885 the Booths joined with Josephine But- and May and offering better working conditions
ler and other social reformers in supporting the and rates of pay. So successful was the venture
journalist William Thomas Stead’s very public and the attendant publicity the factory received
campaign against the white slave trade. The se- for its humane working practices that Bryant and
ries of four articles he published in the Pall Mall May eventually was forced to capitulate in 1901
Gazette, beginning with “The Maiden Tribute of and abandon the use of yellow phosphorus.
Modern Babylon,” gave impetus to campaigning Catherine Booth made her final public ap-
to protect vulnerable young girls from being pearance before a large audience at the City Tem-

103
Boucherett, Jessie

ple on 21 June 1888 and retired to the sea at Helsinger, Elizabeth K., Robin Lauterbach Sheets, and
Clacton. She died of cancer after a prolonged pe- William Veeder. 1983. The Woman Question:
riod of suffering at the age of sixty-one. Her fu- Social Issues, 1837–1883, vol. 2, Society and Litera-
neral in London was attended by 36,000 people. ture in Britain and America, 1837–1883. Man-
chester: Manchester University Press.
By the time of her death in 1890, the Salvation
Prochaska, F. K. 1980. Women and Philanthropy in
Army had branches in Europe, India, South
Nineteenth-Century England. Oxford: Clarendon
Africa, and South America; it had 45,000 full- Press.
time officers in Britain and about 9,416 officers Sandall, Robert, et al. 1955. The History of the Salva-
worldwide. Its advocacy of social philanthropy tion Army, vol. 3, Social Reform and Welfare Work.
was firmly established in William Booth’s classic London: T. Nelson.
work, In Darkest England and the Way Out Tucker, Frederick Booth. 1893. The Life of Catherine
(1890), and it became one of the most successful Booth, the Mother of the Salvation Army. New
and influential relief agencies in Britain. Accord- York: Fleming H. Revell.
ing to the War Cry, the army was rescuing up to
5,000 destitute women a year (Prochaska 1980,
190). In one way or another, all the Booth chil-
Boucherett, Jessie
(1825–1905)
dren became proselytizers for the “Sally Ann,” as
United Kingdom
it was affectionately known as it extended its net-
work across eighty countries and six continents. A close colleague of Barbara Bodichon, the phi-
Catherine’s daughter Evangeline eventually con- lanthropist and feminist Jessie Boucherett was
trolled the Salvation Army’s operations through- one of the organizers of the women’s suffrage pe-
out London, pioneered the movement in tition of 1866 that was presented in Parliament.
Canada, and went on to oversee its establishment She made women’s right to work a particular
throughout the United States. Her granddaugh- personal concern and assisted them in finding
ter Catherine Bramwell Booth, who lived to the employment in respectable professions through
age of 104, led important programs of social the Society for Promoting the Employment of
work in England in the 1920s and 1930s and was Women. Boucherett also freely gave from her
held in great affection by the British people. own considerable wealth to various causes, sell-
ing her own diamonds to rescue the English
See also Besant, Annie; Butler, Josephine. Woman’s Journal from closure in 1866.
References and Further Reading Boucherett was descended from French Protes-
Barnes, Cyril J. 1981. Words of Catherine Booth. tant refugees and grew up on an estate near Mar-
London: Salvationist. ket Rasen in Lincolnshire, where her father was a
Bramwell-Booth, Catherine. 1970. Catherine Booth: landowner and high sheriff. Throughout her life,
The Story of Her Loves. London: Hodder and
her views would reflect the conservative
Stoughton.
Bristow, Edward J. 1977. Vice and Vigilance: Purity
landowning tradition from which she had sprung
Movements in Britain since 1700. London: Gill and and her own love of country life and hunting. In
Macmillan. later years, she would recoil in horror at women’s
Chappell, Jennie. 1910. Noble Workers: Sketches of the campaigning for the repeal of the Contagious
Life-Work of Frances Willard, Agnes Weston, Sister Diseases Acts, and with Lydia Becker, she opposed
Dora, Catherine Booth, the Baroness Burdett- the franchise being given to married women.
Coutts, Lady Henry Somerset, Sarah Robinson, The story is told by Helen Blackburn (1902)
Mrs. Fawcett and Mrs. Gladstone. London: S. W. that Boucherett was inspired to join the Langham
Partridge. Place Circle in 1858 after reading a copy of the
Green, Roger J. 1996. Catherine Booth: A Biography of English Woman’s Journal. She enthusiastically pre-
the Co-founder of the Salvation Army. Crow-
sented herself at the journal’s offices in June 1859,
borough, Sussex: Monarch.
Hattersely, Roy. 1999. Blood and Fire: William and
and soon after, encouraged by Harriet Mar-
Catherine Booth and Their Salvation Army. tineau’s 1859 tract “Female Industry,” she mooted
London: Little, Brown. the idea of an employment agency for women,
Heasman, Kathleen. 1962. Evangelicals in Action: An which she set up with Adelaide Procter and Bodi-
Appraisal of Social Work in the Victorian Era. chon in central London. Its object was “to help
London: Geoffrey Bles. those who have been born and bred ladies to pre-

104
Boucherett, Jessie

serve the habits, the dress, and the countless Boucherett sold some of her diamonds in order
moral and material associations of the rank to to revive the fortunes of the English Woman’s
which they were born” (Perkin 1993, 166). Journal, which she relaunched as the English-
Boucherett and her colleagues were aware of woman’s Review, remaining its editor until 1871
the growing numbers of middle-class women in and frequently contributing articles of her own.
reduced circumstances who were desperate for The journal survived until 1903.
work, and the agency was soon besieged by many Boucherett published pamphlets on women’s
such women, whom they assisted in obtaining need for economic independence, such as “The
clerical work, training for jobs in printing and li- Condition of Women in France” (1868) and her
thography, and positions as shop girls, book- 1869 essays “The Employment of Women” and
keepers and cashiers, and legal copyists. Bou- “How to Provide for Superfluous Women,” which
cherett was highly resourceful in her suggestions later appeared in a collection of essays edited by
for new areas of employment, arguing that wo- Josephine Butler and entitled Woman’s Work and
men could be trained to hand-tint photographs, Woman’s Culture (1869). But Boucherett op-
engrave on wood, decorate houses, carve ivory, posed protective legislation for women, believing
and make shoes, and even asserting that they that such measures would reduce their earning
were more than capable of taking up poultry power by limiting the professions that they could
rearing and pig farming. Any profession that enter. She continued to support women’s suf-
provided decent, honest work was in Bou- frage, in 1870 at a meeting of the National Asso-
cherett’s opinion better than lives lived on char- ciation for the Promotion of Social Science read-
ity or in the workhouse. The society also acted as ing a paper entitled “The Probable Use Women
an agency referring women to potential employ- Would Make of the Political Franchise.” She was
ers, and it lasted into the twentieth century, re- a founding member of the Central Committee of
ferring women to new roles as telegraphers, tele- the National Society for Women’s Suffrage in
phonists, and type writers (as secretaries were 1871 but by 1884 was supporting William Wood-
first called). In addition, it went against prevail- hall’s Representation of the People Bill, which
ing opinions and urged women to enter nursing called for a limited franchise for unmarried
and the medical profession (Boucherett was a women and widows only. With her close col-
member of the first general committee of Eliza- league Helen Blackburn, Boucherett was also a
beth Garrett Anderson’s St. Mary’s Dispensary member of the Liberty and Property Defence
for Women and Children, later the New Hospi- League and a founder of the Freedom of Labour
tal). In later years the society assisted women Defence League (1899), both of which advocated
seeking to emigrate in search of greater opportu- women’s self-employed labor.
nities in Canada and Australia, referring them to With Helen Blackburn, Boucherett published
Maria Rye’s Female Middle-Class Emigration The Condition of Working Women and the Factory
Society. Boucherett also founded a school in Acts in 1896 and then retired to her family estate
nearby Charlotte Street that offered literacy at Market Rasen, where she supported the work
classes to mature women seeking to improve of its local cottage hospital. Boucherett’s sister
their employment opportunities. Louisa was also active in women’s suffrage and
In 1863, impressed by Samuel Smiles’s land- reform and was an advocate of taking pauper
mark 1859 work Self-Help, a collection of lec- children from workhouses and boarding them
tures on self-improvement, Boucherett pub- out with good families.
lished her own response, Hints on Self-Help for
Young Women. She was one of a core of fifty See also Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett; Becker, Lydia;
women involved in the establishment of the Blackburn, Helen; Bodichon, Barbara; Davies,
(Sarah) Emily; Martineau, Harriet.
Kensington Society in 1865, a discussion group
References and Further Reading
that debated suffrage and other issues. A year Banks, Olive, ed. 1985, 1990. The Biographical Dictio-
later, she, Bodichon, and Emily Davies were in- nary of British Feminists, vol. 1, 1800–1930; vol. 2,
volved in drafting the 1866 petition on women’s 1900–1945. Brighton: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
suffrage that was submitted to Parliament by Baylen, J. O., and N. J. Gossman, eds. 1979–1984. Bio-
John Stuart Mill. Such was her commitment to graphical Dictionary of Modern British Radicals. 3
the Langham Place Circle’s work that in 1866 vols. Hassocks, Sussex: Harvester Press.

105
Braun, Lily

Blackburn, Helen. 1902. Women’s Suffrage: A Record


of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the British
Isles. London: Williams and Norgate.
Crawford, Elizabeth. 1999. The Women’s Suffrage
Movement, 1866–1928: A Reference Guide. Lon-
don: University College of London Press.
Holcombe, Lee. 1983. Wives and Property: Reform of
the Married Women’s Property Law in Nineteenth-
Century England. Toronto: University of Toronto
Press.
Jordan, Ellen. 1997. The Women’s Movement and
Women’s Employment in Nineteenth-Century
Britain. London: Routledge.
Perkin, Joan. 1993. Victorian Women. London: John
Murray.

Braun, Lily
(1865–1916)
Germany
A pacifist, feminist, and socialist who believed
that motherhood was a “social function” that
should be protected by the state through mater-
nity insurance, Braun was one of the first Ger-
man women to fight for the rights of working
mothers and support the idea of communal liv- Lily Braun (German Heritage Foundation)
ing. As an independent thinker, she soon came
into conflict with the militant socialist theoreti-
cian Clara Zetkin, who mistrusted Braun’s bour- the worse, she announced her determination to
geois background. In their ensuing debate Zetkin take control of her life and be useful to society.
labeled Braun one of the “perfumed salon social- She settled in Berlin to continue her self-educa-
ists” (Quaterat 1979, 110). She abhorred Braun’s tion, becoming a specialist in the work of Johann
move to assimilate middle-class women into the Wolfgang von Goethe and from 1893 publishing
socialist movement as being indicative of her literary articles. Having entered the radical intel-
utopian objective of a gradual reform of society lectual circuit in Berlin, Braun met and, much
toward socialism rather than through outright against her family’s wishes, married the human-
class war. itarian and philosopher Georg von Gizycki
Born into a rich, aristocratic landowning fam- (1851–1895). As a member of the Ethical Culture
ily in Halberstadt, then part of Prussia, Braun Society, he introduced her to ethical socialist the-
was the daughter of a distinguished general, and ory, atheism, and feminism; tutored her; and
the family traveled a great deal. Educated in all brought her onto the board of his journal Ethical
the requisite skills of playing piano, drawing, Culture. He also encouraged Braun to join the
cooking, sewing, and speaking French, Braun Berlin branch of the Women’s Welfare Associa-
was brought up to expect little more from life tion in 1894. After Gizycki’s death, Braun mar-
than to marry well, once ruefully remarking that ried socialist leader Heinrich Braun in 1896,
her life was “being arranged” for her. She was a inviting further criticism because he was twice
sickly, lonely child, but her temperamental out- divorced and also a Jew, but reaching a compro-
bursts were such that she was sent away to an au- mise with him over the balancing of both their
thoritarian aunt for a couple of years to be disci- commitments to work.
plined. There she read widely and on returning In 1895, having joined the Social Democratic
home became disenchanted with the social Party, Braun collaborated with Minna Cauer to
round. After the family’s fortunes took a turn for found the feminist newspaper the Women’s

106
Braun, Lily

Movement (1895–1919), the organ of the dustrialization had placed greater strains on the
Women’s Welfare Association. A late convert to family and in particular working mothers, she
socialism (after her marriage to Braun), she de- advocated communal living as a way of minimiz-
clared that it was the only means whereby mid- ing the burden of domestic duties on women
dle-class women reformers could get to the root and continued to campaign for women to be
of social ills, and she advocated cooperation by awarded maternity insurance. Braun’s arguments
radicals with the majority conservative element for this and a wide range of women’s issues are
of the feminist movement in the pursuit of their encapsulated in her book The Woman Question:
joint social objectives. This brought her into con- Its Historical Development and Its Economic As-
flict with radical leader Clara Zetkin, who sought pect (1901), in which she argued that capitalism
to bring the class struggle to the women’s move- destroys the family by taking women away from
ment and restrict women’s activities to direct ac- the family and into the workplace, thus paving
tion in support of the working classes only. the way for social upheaval. Her utopian ideal of
Braun valued motherhood as providing a system of cooperatives in which men and
women with fulfillment of their true, biological women share work and child care would, she felt,
nature, yet she saw marriage as subordinating lay the foundations for the peaceful, if gradual,
woman and destroying love between couples. In transition to socialism. But Zetkin, who had no
the belief that marital monogamy would only time for diversionary campaigns on women’s is-
survive if women agreed to subordinate them- sues, condemned Braun’s ideas as the “latest
selves, she argued that the only option was for blossoming of utopianism in its most dangerous,
the state to provide financial protection of moth- opportunistic form” (Boxer and Quaterat 1978,
ers, especially during pregnancy and their chil- 130). She increasingly marginalized Braun for re-
dren’s early years. This step would ensure that fusing to subordinate her feminist concerns for
they remained independent of their male part- the well-being of women to the liberation of the
ners. In 1897 and again in 1901, she was the first proletariat. Braun’s regular columns in Equality
woman to call for independent maternity insur- were whittled away so that by 1907, she was
ance for women. She advocated raising insurance forced out of the movement altogether. Mean-
money by taxation to provide financial assistance while, she had become involved in the establish-
during the crucial four weeks before and eight ment of Helene Stöcker’s League for the Protec-
weeks after giving birth, so that mothers would tion of Motherhood and Sexual Reform,
be allowed some time with their new babies and attending its first convention in 1905 and help-
have their jobs guaranteed for their return. ing to formulate its program of “new ethics” in
Despite becoming an excellent public speaker support of sexual reform and the rights of un-
on social issues, Braun was never accepted by married mothers and illegitimate children. From
Clara Zetkin and, as a revisionist, came into open 1909 to 1911, Braun published Memoirs of a So-
conflict with her when she set forth her own edu- cialist Woman, her best-known published work.
cational plan, published in the Social Democratic
Party’s journal Equality in 1897. She proposed the See also Cauer, Minna; Stöcker, Helene; Zetkin,
creation of four teams: to gather information on Clara.
working women; to collect and publish data on References and Further Reading
women’s employment in Germany and compare Boxer, Marilyn, and Jean H. Quaterat. 1978. Socialist
it with that in other European countries; to set up Women: European Socialist Feminism in the
a legal team to monitor all legislation affecting Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. New York:
women and offer advice; and finally, to establish a lsevier North-Holland.
group to write articles and pamphlets for the so- Fout, John C. 1984. German Women in the Nineteenth
Century: A Social History. New York: Holmes and
cialist press. But Zetkin, mistrustful of the ability
Meier.
of an upper-class woman such as Braun to suffi- Meyer, Alfred G. 1985. The Feminism and Socialism of
ciently understand the workers’ struggle, con- Lily Braun. Bloomington: Indiana University
demned her plan, and Braun left the party. Press.
In 1901 she turned to developing other ideas, Quaterat, Jean H. 1979. Reluctant Feminists in
publishing a pamphlet titled “Women’s Labor German Social Democracy 1885–1917. Princeton:
and Household Cooperatives.” Arguing that in- Princeton University Press.

107
Bremer, Fredrika

Bremer, Fredrika
(1801–1865)
Sweden
The Swedish novelist, feminist, and peace cam-
paigner Fredrika Bremer’s tireless work for social
and educational reform as a self-proclaimed
“Christian socialist” came at a time when such
activity by respectable women was not only
frowned upon but strictly circumscribed by po-
lite society in Sweden. In her outstanding social
novels, she set out to enlighten society on the un-
just sublimation of wives and daughters within
the home.
Born in Åbo, Finland, the daughter of a wealthy
merchant, Bremer’s family moved to an estate at
Årsta near Sweden in 1804. Despite being brought
up in seclusion, as a strict Lutheran, on the family
estate outside Stockholm, she received a good ed-
ucation. In 1820–1821 Fredrika enjoyed the priv-
ilege of being taken on a European grand tour, but
by the time of her return, having seen something
of the effects of poverty and social deprivation,
she yearned for a constructive role in society and Fredrika Bremer (Archive Photos)
took up charity work. Her first book, Sketches
from Everyday Life, was written to fund the good
works she had begun undertaking on a limited ger interest. Bremer was also much admired by
scale among poor workers on her family’s estate. reformers such as Barbara Bodichon.
As a woman, she was obliged to publish it anony- In 1831 and again in 1844, Bremer was
mously in 1828; two further volumes of this work awarded the Gold Medal by the Swedish Academy
followed in 1832. for her literary achievements. By this time, she
After her father’s death in 1830, Bremer was had the public recognition and respect that en-
released from many of the constraints that had abled her to take an even more active role in call-
limited her social work until then. Having re- ing for women’s rights to education and training.
solved not to marry after turning down several She also led calls for the establishment of an age
proposals, she traveled widely and published sev- of majority at which young women could (or
eral novels and short stories, adopting the style rather could not be compelled to) marry.
of the English social novel as her métier: The In 1849 Fredrika embarked on an ambitious
Neighbours (1837), The Home, or Family Cares trip to the United States in order to study social
and Chores (1843), and Brothers and Sisters and political conditions there; en route, she
(1850) all took family relationships and domes- stayed for two months in England. She spent two
tic life—and, in particular, the need women felt years in the United States, making a particular
for some kind of useful occupation—as their study of the status of women, and was heartened
theme. These novels became very popular both by inroads made into women’s education there.
in Sweden and in England, where they were She traveled extensively along the Atlantic Coast
translated and promoted by Mary Howitt, an and in New England, where she made friends
English poet and translator of Hans Andersen, in with abolitionists, and to the deep South and
an eleven-volume sequence in 1844 and 1845. Minnesota. During her visit she met and earned
Howitt, an early British feminist and Unitarian, the admiration of women such as Harriet
was one of many radicals in Britain who em- Beecher Stowe, Lydia Maria Child, Lucy Stone,
braced Bremer’s work; Howitt’s friend, the writer Dorothea Dix, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth
Elizabeth Gaskell, read Bremer’s works with ea- Peabody. Her letters home to her sister Agatha

108
Bremer, Fredrika

were quickly translated and published as The and Italy, and to the near East—and published
Homes of the New World: Impressions of America the final book in her six-volume series Life in the
in 1853. In them Bremer described many of the Old World (1860–1862), in which she described
famous U.S. literati she had met in her travels, these travels in detail. By the time of her death in
including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel 1865, Bremer’s novels had established a new re-
Hawthorne, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. alist school of Swedish writing and paved the
On her return to Stockholm, Bremer tried un- way for later feminist writers and campaigners.
successfully to implement some of her new ideas The first national women’s society to be set up in
but was thwarted in her desire to encourage Sweden, in 1885, was named the Fredrika Bre-
women to set up groups to aid deprived children mer Association after her, and its objective was
in Sweden’s cities because the moral climate of to improve women’s employment opportunities
the time precluded respectable women from and lobby for higher salaries. The establishment
leaving the home to do such work. Bremer re- of the International Committee of Women for
fused to be daunted and turned her attention to Permanent Peace at The Hague conference in
nursing those who fell victim to a cholera epi- 1915 would also testify to the growing number
demic in Stockholm in 1853, as well as founding of women expressing their dissent with man-
an orphanage and a teacher-training school for made wars.
women. During the Crimean War (1854–1856),
Bremer was appalled by the battlefield stories be- See also Bodichon, Barbara; Child, Lydia Maria; Dix,
ing reported in the Swedish press and called on Dorothea Lynde; Gaskell, Elizabeth; Mott, Lucre-
women to unite under the Christian principles of tia Coffin; Peabody, Elizabeth; Stone, Lucy; Stowe,
love and charity and use their “chain of healing, Harriet Beecher.
References and Further Reading
loving energies” to end the war (McFadden 1999,
Adams, W. H. Davenport. 1889. Celebrated Women
157). She wrote an “Appeal to the Women of the Travellers of the Nineteenth Century. London:
World to Form an Alliance,” which was pub- W. S. Sonnenschein.
lished in The Times on 28 August 1854, but it was Bremer, Charlotte, ed. 1868. Life, Letters & Posthu-
dismissed by the paper itself as the utopian idea mous Works of Frederika Bremer. Trans. Frederick
of a “mere enthusiast.” The concept of women Milow. London: Sampson Low.
acting as peace mediators resurfaced, however, Bremer, Frederika. 1968 [1853]. The Homes of the
during World War I when women pacifists held a New World: Impressions of America. Trans. Mary
peace conference in The Hague, at which copies Howitt. Reprint, New York: Negro University
of Bremer’s speech, reprinted by members of the Press.
Swedish National Council of Women, were cir- Howitt, Margaret. 1866. Twelve Months with Fredrika
Bremer in Sweden. London: Jackson, Walford, and
culated to participants.
Hodder.
In 1856 Bremer published her best-known Josephson, Harold, Sandi Cooper, and Steven C.
feminist novel, a thinly disguised social tract, Hause et al., eds. 1985. Biographical Dictionary of
Hertha, in which she argued strongly for Modern Peace Leaders. Westport, CT: Greenwood
women’s emancipation. It was particularly perti- Press.
nent for its time, for it criticized the outmoded Kleman, Ellen. 1938. Frederika Bremer and America.
Swedish Paternal Statutes of 1734 that persisted Stockholm: Åhlén and Åkerlunds.
in depriving daughters of all rights over their McFadden, Margaret. 1999. Golden Cables of
persons and property by continuing to subordi- Sympathy: The Transatlantic Sources of Nineteenth
nate them to the control of fathers or male rela- Century Feminism. Lexington: University Press of
tives. (Hertha later became the title of the journal Kentucky.
Rooth, Alice Signe. 1955. Seeress of the Northland:
of the Swedish women’s movement.) The novel
Frederika Bremer’s American Journey 1849–1851.
was influential in leading to debate over women’s Philadelphia: American Swedish Historical
equality, resulting in legislative reform in 1858 in Foundation.
favor of women’s rights, as was a subsequent Bre- Stendhal, Brita K. 1994. The Education of a Self-Made
mer novel, Father and Daughter (1858). Woman: Frederika Bremer, 1801–1865. Lewiston,
Despite the difficulties of foreign travel at that Maine: Edwin Mellen Press.
time, Bremer continued to make extensive trips
to other parts of Europe, including Switzerland

109
Brittain, Vera

Brittain, Vera
(1893–1970)
United Kingdom
The English socialist and feminist Vera Brittain
has an enduring reputation as the author of one
of the most moving accounts of the individual
experience of war in Testament of Youth (1933).
Her literary talents, however, were but one aspect
of a life spent at the center of activism for social
justice, for women’s higher education, for entry
into the professions, and for peace and indepen-
dence movements in the Third World.
Brittain was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme in
England’s industrial heartland, where her father
was a paper manufacturer. She grew up in Mac-
clesfield and Buxton and, after a rudimentary ed-
ucation at home with governesses, was sent to
school in Surrey. During her five years at St.
Monica’s, she showed great academic promise,
and although her parents were against her enter-
ing higher education, she studied Latin and
mathematics with her brother Edward’s help in
order to sit for a university scholarship. Further
encouraged by the arguments on women’s need
for meaningful work in Olive Schreiner’s 1911 Vera Brittain (National Portrait Gallery)
book, Woman and Labour, she won a scholarship
to Somerville College at Oxford University in
1914, just as war was breaking out. Unable to a women’s organization founded in 1921 and
concentrate on her studies and enthused with a dedicated to meeting the following primary
short-lived sense of patriotism, Brittain inter- goals: equal pay and opportunities for women
rupted her studies in 1915 and offered herself as teachers and civil servants, widow’s pensions,
a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse. After train- equal parental rights for women and men, and
ing in London and Malta, she was sent to a field improvement of children’s and unmarried
hospital in France. Both her fiancé and brother, mothers’ lives through the introduction of fam-
who had volunteered, perished: Roland Leighton ily allowances. She began writing for the new
was felled by a sniper in France in 1915, and Ed- feminist journal Time and Tide, founded by Lady
ward Brittain was killed on the Italian front in Margaret Rhondda, which provided a forum for
1918. Brittain’s harrowing firsthand experience many of the group’s ideas. In 1925 she married
of war in France and the loss of her loved ones Cornell University academic and political
would have a profound and disillusioning effect philosopher George Catlin, but the relationship
on her; she became a convinced pacifist and to was conducted for most of the time on a “semi-
the day she died remained a determined interna- detached” basis, as Brittain described it. She
tional critic of the arms race and the develop- found campus life in the United States unconge-
ment of nuclear weapons. nial and, frustrated by her inability to get pub-
Brittain resumed her studies in history after lished there, made the difficult choice of return-
the war and joined the final days of campaigning ing to England to pursue her career. Thereafter,
for women’s suffrage. After graduating in 1921, Catlin spent the academic year in the United
she taught for a while in Oxford and then moved States, and Brittain brought up their two chil-
to London in 1922 to take up journalism, sharing dren in England. Meanwhile, her friendship with
a flat with her college friend Winifred Holtby. In Holtby was deepened by their shared beliefs and
1922 Brittain joined the radical Six-Point Group, their commitment to pacifism and feminism.

110
Brittain, Vera

During the 1920s, Brittain published novels rity. Convinced that there could be no political
such as The Dark Tide (1923) and Not without compromises on peace, in 1936 she joined the
Honour (1926), but it was her autobiographical Christian pacifist group led by Anglican priest
work, Testament of Youth (1933), a eulogy to a Dick Sheppard and known as the Peace Pledge
“lost generation,” that became a best-seller and Union. Brittain also wrote for its publication,
established her enduring reputation. It is now re- Peace News, and during World War II established
garded as a classic woman’s account of the effects her own biweekly newsletter, Letters to Peace-
of war—not just on the soldiers who fought it Lovers. In her view, war could not be justified at
but on the women left to bear the loss of a whole any price, and she went so far as to speak out on
generation of young men who, as Brittain so effects of the Allies’ devastating saturation
poignantly remarked, “were swept from the bombing on Germany’s civilian populations in
threshold of life” (Liddington 1989, 158). The her 1944 book, Seed of Chaos: What Mass Bomb-
work is also a notable account of Brittain’s strug- ing Really Means. After the war, she was chair of
gle for admission into higher education. It is the the Peace Pledge Union from 1949 to 1951, and
first of a trilogy, with Brittain adding a second in 1957, true to character, she was a founding
volume in 1940, Testament of Friendship, a mov- member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarma-
ing tribute to her friend Winifred Holtby, who ment, taking part in many of its demonstrations.
had died young in 1935. A final volume, Testa- Brittain wrote on many women’s issues, no-
ment of Experience (1957), described her broader tably in her books Lady into Woman: A History of
social concerns, particularly her pacifism, during Women from Victoria to Elizabeth II (1953) and
the period 1925–1950. Women’s Work in Modern England (1928). She
After British women won the vote in 1918, also used her journalistic skills in promoting her
Brittain, like many, was unsatisfied with the fran- feminist beliefs in articles such as “The Whole
chise being limited to women over age thirty and Duty of Woman,” published in Time and Tide in
lobbied for changes through the Six-Point 1928, which exposed the male domination of all
Group. She joined the Labour Party in 1924 and aspects of contemporary life and work and the
briefly contemplated standing for election to usurpation by men of women’s intellectual and
Parliament in support of social reforms relating physical resources. In this article and also in
to the introduction of a national maternity ser- Women’s Work, she argued against the traditional
vice, birth control clinics, and state nursery patriarchal structures that kept women in a sub-
schools. She also attacked the double standard in servient position and exposed the invidious
sexual morality and defended the rights of ho- choices women so often had to make between
mosexuals. She was one of several witnesses who marriage and work. Men for too long had been
testified in support of the lesbian writer Rad- disdainful of women’s intellectual achievements,
clyffe Hall, when she was tried for obscenity after and clever women, she felt, had too often sacri-
publishing her 1928 novel, The Well of Loneliness. ficed themselves in order to care for and nurture
Between the wars, Brittain became prominent others. Although she recognized that the addi-
in the pacifist movement, undertaking three lec- tional domestic duties placed on women who try
ture tours in the United States. She supported the to pursue an intellectual life as well as run a
work of the League of Nations, founded in 1918 home were spiritually and physically draining, in
in the sincere hope that it could avert a second her own life Brittain fiercely defended her right
war, and volunteered as a speaker on its behalf in to work despite her obligations as a mother. Her
1921, appearing in church halls and chapels advocacy of women’s equality in marriage and
across the United Kingdom and reporting on its their right to careers and economic indepen-
activities in Time and Tide. She subsequently dence would be reflected in many of her novels,
served as vice president of both the Women’s In- such as Honourable Estate (1936), although they
ternational League for Peace and Freedom and never achieved the critical success of her autobi-
the National Peace Council. In 1934 Brittain was ographical writings.
a sponsor of the Paris conference of the Women’s After World War II, Brittain made several ex-
World Committee against War and Fascism. But tended lecture tours in Europe, the United States,
by the mid-1930s, she had lost faith in the League India, and Pakistan, speaking on pacifism and in
of Nation’s efficacy in promoting collective secu- later years nuclear disarmament. As a humanist

111
Brown, Charlotte Hawkins

she continued to promote her own brand of “old for the institution of a state school system and
feminism” based on her defense of equality for with it considerable improvements to educa-
all in the cause of the common good. Brittain’s tional facilities.
daughter Shirley Williams became a leading Born in Henderson, North Carolina, Brown
Labour politician and a founder of the Social grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After an
Democratic Party. education at the Cambridge English High and
Latin School and Salem State Normal School (the
See also Holtby, Winifred; Schreiner, Olive. latter studies funded by her patron Alice Freeman
References and Further Reading Palmer, the second president of Wellesley Col-
Bailey, Hilary. 1987. Vera Brittain: The Story of the lege), in 1901 she accepted a post from the Amer-
Woman Who Wrote Testament of Youth. Har- ican Missionary Association to return to her
mondsworth: Penguin.
home state and teach. She quickly encountered
Bennett, Yvonne. 1987. Vera Brittain: Women and
Peace. London: Peace Pledge Union.
the enormous deprivation of black children in a
Berry, Paul, and Alan Bishop. 1985. Testament of a state that would provide no tax-supported public
Generation: The Journalism of Vera Brittain and schools until 1937 and in which a few church-
Winifred Holtby. London: Virago. backed private schools could provide only the
Berry, Paul, and Mark Bostridge. 1995. Vera Brittain: most rudimentary education. The little one-
A Life. London: Chatto and Windus. room rural school of the Bethany Congregational
Brittain, Vera. 1981. Chronicle of Youth: Vera Brittain’s Church in Sedalia at which she taught fifteen
War Diary 1913–1917. London: Victor Gollancz. children, spending most of her meager salary on
Brittain, Vera, and J. S. Reid, eds. 1960. Selected Letters equipment and clothes for its pupils, soon closed
of Winifred Holtby and Vera Brittain. London: due to lack of funds. Brown resolved to raise
A. Brown.
funds to set up an establishment of her own.
Gorham, Deborah. 1996. Vera Brittain: A Feminist
Life. Oxford: Blackwell.
A year later, having returned to Massachu-
Josephson, Harold, Sandi Cooper, and Steven C. setts, where she again obtained financial support
Hause et al., eds. 1985. Biographical Dictionary of from Alice Freeman Palmer and other patrons,
Modern Peace Leaders. Westport, CT: Greenwood she acquired a former blacksmith’s workshop in
Press. Sedalia and 15 acres of land as school premises.
Kennard, Jean E. 1989. Vera Brittain and Winifred Here, in October 1902 she opened the Palmer
Holtby: A Working Partnership. Hanover: Univer- Institute, a day and boarding school for black
sity Press of New England. children, initially without a salary. At first, the
Liddington, Jill. 1989. The Long Road to Greenham: school concentrated on training black children
Feminism and Anti-Militarism in Britain since for work in industry and agriculture and ran its
1820. London: Virago.
own farm. In 1905, after further fund-raising,
Mellown, Muriel. 1983. “Vera Brittain: Feminist in a
New Age.” In Dale Spender, ed., Feminist Theorists:
the school’s Memorial Hall was constructed; af-
Three Centuries of Women’s Intellectual Traditions. ter fires in 1917 and 1922 Brown again raised
London: Women’s Press. money to replace the lost wooden buildings with
Oldfield, Sybil, ed. 2001. Women Humanitarians: A brick ones. A more academic curriculum was in-
Biographical Dictionary of British Women Active troduced during the 1920s, when the school was
between 1900 and 1950. London: Continuum. accredited by the Southern Association of Col-
leges and Secondary Schools and became known
as the Palmer Memorial Institute, by which time
Brown, Charlotte Hawkins it had 300 pupils.
(1883–1961) During her long, fifty-year tenure at Palmer,
United States Brown would see the campus grow to fourteen
buildings covering 400 acres and offering unique
The black educator and religious and civic leader educational opportunities to young blacks. She
Charlotte Hawkins Brown, the granddaughter of also turned to other social concerns, such as pub-
slaves, established one of North Carolina’s pio- lic health, child care, and the living conditions in
neering preparatory schools for black children. prisons. She held various posts, including presi-
She nurtured her pupils on pride in their cul- dent of the General Federation of Women’s
tural and historical identity and paved the way Clubs in North Carolina and vice president of

112
Brown, Olympia

the National Association of Colored Women. In Brown, Olympia


1940 Brown was appointed to the State Council (1835–1926)
of Defense of North Carolina. As a devout Chris- United States
tian, she also worked for the Young Women’s
Christian Association (in 1921 becoming the Inspired by the ordination of Antoinette Brown
first black woman appointed to its national Blackwell in 1853, Olympia Brown set out to be-
board) and for racial integration, campaigning come a preacher herself, achieving her goal in
against lynching and segregation. As a member 1863 when she was ordained in the Universalist
of the North Carolina State Federation of Negro Church. She was also a leading suffragist and
Women’s Clubs, she was involved in projects to pacifist as a member of the Congressional Union
help delinquent girls, such as the Efland Home and the Women’s International League for Peace
for Wayward Girls and the Dobbs School for and Freedom.
Girls. She collaborated with other civil rights ac- Born in a rural backwater at Prairie Ronde,
tivists such as Mary McCleod Bethune and Michigan, Brown luckily had a reformist mother
Eleanor Roosevelt. Her humanitarianism and who encouraged her inquiring mind and her
work for racial equality were recognized by the ambitions to study. At age fifteen, she taught
Council of Fair Play in 1944 with its Second An- school for a year and then attended Mount
nual Award for Racial Understanding. Holyoke Female Seminary. Disliking its authori-
Brown became highly regarded as a public tarian regime, she moved (with her entire fam-
speaker on racial understanding and black edu- ily) to Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1856, where she
cation. Her published works include a short attended Antioch College, thanks to the vision-
story about slavery, “Mammy: An Appeal to the ary spirit of its administrator, the educator Ho-
Heart of the South” (1919), and a contribution to race Mann. There Brown challenged convention,
the collection Rhetoric of Racial Revolt (1964). turning up for lectures wearing the controversial
Brown retired from the Palmer Memorial Insti- new bloomers being championed at that time by
tute in 1952, and the school itself closed in 1971 feminists. She arranged a visit by the Unitarian
after a devastating fire. But her work has contin- preacher Antoinette Brown Blackwell in the win-
ued with the establishment in 1983 of the Char- ter of 1859–1860, and upon hearing Blackwell
lotte Hawkins Brown Historical Foundation on speak in church, Brown was uplifted and re-
the school’s old campus in North Carolina. It op- solved to become a preacher. By the time she
erates as a historical center and provides scholar- graduated from Antioch with a B.A. in 1860, she
ships and research funds to preserve and promote had also become active in the abolitionist move-
the history of black people in North Carolina, on ment.
the web at http://www.netpath.net/ chb/. Brown applied for training as a minister and
was accepted at the Theological School of St.
See also Bethune, Mary McCleod; Roosevelt, (Anna) Lawrence University in New York state, one of
Eleanor. only three such institutions in the United States
References and Further Reading that would admit women at that time. It did so
Daniel, Sadie Iola. 1970. Woman Builders. Washing- reluctantly, being apprehensive about women
ton, DC: Associated Publishers.
ministers usurping the jobs of men. Ordained
Hine, Darlene Clarke, et al., eds. 1993. Black Women
in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. 2 vols.
into the Northern Universalist Association in
Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Malone, New York, in 1863, Brown studied elo-
Marteena, Constance Hill. 1977. The Lengthening cution and took gymnastics in order to improve
Shadow of a Woman: A Biography of Charlotte her performance in the pulpit. She had a succes-
Hawkins Brown. Hicksville, NY: Exposition Press. sion of appointments, in Massachusetts (six
Ploski, Harry A., and James Williams, eds. 1989. The years), Connecticut (eight years), and finally
Negro Almanach: A Reference Work on the African Wisconsin (nine years).
American. 5th ed. Detroit: Gale. In 1866 Brown became interested in women’s
Silcox-Jarrett, Diane. 1995. Charlotte Hawkins Brown: rights. She met Susan B. Anthony, and with her
One Woman’s Dream. Winston-Salem: Bandit attended the eleventh national women’s rights
Books.
convention in New York at which the American
Smith, Jessie Carney, ed. 1992. Notable Black Ameri-
can Women. Detroit: Gale.
Equal Rights Association was established. Having

113
Bukhari, Shahnaz

spoken at this meeting and being possessed of tants and began picketing the White House and
natural oratorical skills, Brown undertook an ex- staging mass rallies and demonstrations.
hausting lecture tour on women’s suffrage, trav- In 1911 Brown published her memoirs, Ac-
eling by horse and buggy around Kansas in 1867 quaintances, Old and New, among Reformers. She
when referendums on the award of suffrage to also joined the American Civil Liberties Union
women and male blacks were being held there. and supported the pacifist movement during
Although the referendums failed, Brown gained World War I. At the age of eighty-five, Brown
useful experience from the 300 speeches she gave joined the last great suffrage march—on the Re-
during this campaign. On her return to her min- publican Convention in Chicago in June 1920,
istry in New England, she was a founder, with just prior to the ratification of the Nineteenth
Lucy Stone and others, of the New England Amendment. Brown spent her final years in Balti-
Woman Suffrage Association in 1868, which in- more, undertaking a tour of Europe when she was
augurated a campaign for women’s suffrage at ninety-one. She and her original mentor, An-
the federal level, as well as endorsing the award of toinette Brown Blackwell, were the sole survivors
the vote to black males. of the first generation of women suffragists who
In 1873 Brown married a newspaper propri- lived to witness the historic achievement of
etor, John Henry Willis, but retained her maiden women’s suffrage in 1920. In 1989 Brown’s church
name, insisting on being called Reverend at Racine was renamed the Olympia Brown Uni-
Olympia Brown. In 1878 she took a post as pas- tarian Universalist Church in her honor. For fur-
tor at the Church of the Good Shepherd in ther information on Brown at Antioch college, see
Racine, Wisconsin, where, after her husband’s http://www.antioch-college.edu/ Antiochiana/.
death in 1893, she also managed his newspaper,
the Racine Times, and ran his Times Publishing See also Anthony, Susan B.; Blackwell, Antoinette
Company until 1900. Having been appointed Brown; Howe, Julia Ward; Livermore, Mary; Paul,
vice president of the National Woman Suffrage Alice; Stanton, Elizabeth Cady.
Association in 1869 and in 1884 president of the References and Further Reading
Cole, Charlotte. 1989. Olympia Brown: The Battle for
Wisconsin Woman’s Suffrage Association, she in-
Equality. Racine, WI: Mother Courage Press.
vited leading women activists such as Anthony, Green, Diana, ed. 1983. Suffrage and Religious
Julia Ward Howe, and Mary Livermore to speak Principle: Speeches and Writings of Olympia
in her church at Racine. She also assisted Eliza- Brown. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.
beth Cady Stanton in writing her controversial Nichols, Claudia. 1992. Olympia Brown: Minister of
Woman’s Bible (published in two volumes in Social Reform. Unitarian Universalist Women’s
1895 and 1898). Heritage Society.
In 1887 Brown made the decision to give up her Whitman, Alden, ed. 1988. American Reformers: An
work as a minister at Racine in order to devote H. W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary. New York:
herself full-time to women’s suffrage and the tem- H. W. Wilson.
perance campaign. By 1892 she had become in-
creasingly dissatisfied with the disunity and lack of
success of the campaign for women’s suffrage at Bukhari, Shahnaz
the state level run by the National American (active 1990s– )
Woman Suffrage Association and also dismayed Pakistan
by the granting of voting rights to newly arrived
immigrant males, and she helped form the Federal Bukhari, a Pakistani activist who has cam-
Suffrage Association in Chicago. Under Brown’s paigned for the female victims of domestic vio-
presidency (1903–1920), this organization, re- lence through the auspices of nongovernmental
named the Federal Equality Association in 1902, organizations (NGOs), has confronted in partic-
aimed at extending the national campaign for ular the question of religious-based laws that dis-
women’s suffrage by working with various non- criminate against women and children. More re-
suffrage associations, but it remained relatively cently, she has drawn international attention to
small and ineffectual. In 1913, Brown joined Alice the plight of women who have suffered deliber-
Paul’s militant Congressional Union for Woman ate attacks by burning.
Suffrage, which followed the lead of English mili- Bukhari trained as a clinical psychologist and

114
Burdett-Coutts, Angela

taught and practiced child psychology in Saudi ters and refuges to help the victims of domestic
Arabia before returning to Islamabad with her violence and burning attacks as well as to offer
four children after her divorce. A member of the counseling to those suffering other kinds of do-
Pakistani senate and its standing committee on mestic violence. During the course of her cru-
women’s development, she is a prolific journal- sade, Bukhari has received awards from both the
ist and broadcaster and edits the English-Urdu- Pakistani and French governments and a grant to
language magazine Women’s World, which fo- take her workshops on domestic violence to the
cuses on women’s issues and aims in particular United States.
at raising the consciousness of Pakistani women References and Further Reading
themselves. She has also taken on the current Curtiss, Richard H. “Shahnaz Bukhari—A Single-
military government by campaigning for it to Minded Activist for Women’s Rights,” in
restore parliamentary seats originally set aside “Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,”
for women that were withdrawn by a previous www.washington-report.org/.
military government.
Bukhari now devotes herself to voluntary work
in Islamabad as chief coordinator of the Progres- Burdett-Coutts, Angela
sive Women’s Association (PWA), through which (1814–1906)
she campaigns against domestic violence and United Kingdom
child abuse and supports the needs of women for
educational and vocational training. In 1994 she In her lifetime and for many years after her
announced on International Women’s Day that death, the British philanthropist and social re-
women’s NGOs would join together to raise pub- former Angela Burdett-Coutts was accorded the
lic awareness of continuing domestic violence, most excessive panegyrics and featured large in
most particularly the iniquitous practice of wife all biographical dictionaries of Victorian wor-
burning, which still persists as the result of dis- thies. As “the richest heiress in Europe,” she had
agreements over bridal dowries. Often called poured much of her huge banking fortune into a
“stove burning,” the groom’s family resorts to this great range of humanitarian causes in that noble
practice when the bride has failed to produce the Victorian tradition of benign (and some might
promised large dowry. After being deliberately say self-satisfied) benevolence. In her defense of
doused with kerosene, the young bride’s clothes children, the destitute, the homeless, animals,
are set on fire, and she is burned to death. After- and good Christians in the Commonwealth, she
ward, the husband’s family alleges that the burn- was the kind of woman whom queens could
ing happened accidentally while she was cooking. safely admire—until, that is, she married be-
Bukhari has been monitoring this practice neath her. After her death, the British Dictionary
through the PWA and since 1994 has docu- of National Biography (DNB) devoted eight
mented hundreds of cases of women being pages to Burdett-Coutts’s life and work, while
burned to death in this way. providing less than two pages on a far more im-
The practice of wife burning, Bukhari alleges, portant figure, the social purity reformer
has also been resorted to as the result of petty do- Josephine Butler—a reflection of the prevailing
mestic quarrels, and its victims are not just Mus- distaste, even in the 1900s, for women’s work in
lim and Christian wives in Pakistan but also Hin- controversial areas of social reform.
dus in India. Only a handful of women have Burdett’s father was the reformer and politi-
survived such attacks in Pakistan, but Bukhari cian Sir Francis Burdett. Her young life was one
has helped them obtain medical care and spe- of comfort and privilege; she received a rela-
cialist plastic surgery, if necessary abroad, while tively liberal education both at home and during
raising both government and private financial travels on the Continent and mixed with famous
support to do so. She also continues to take up figures of the day at her family’s townhouse in
the wider ramifications of domestic violence by St. James’s Place, London. At the age of twenty-
promoting the activities of various pressure three, Burdett unexpectedly inherited the for-
groups, organizing workshops, and liaising with tune of her banker grandfather, Thomas Coutts,
police and judicial officials. Her ultimate objec- through his second wife and her stepgrand-
tive is to set up a network of specialist crisis cen- mother, Harriot Mellon, a former actress. Mel-

115
Burdett-Coutts, Angela

lon had developed a particular fondness for schemes) to the arcane (a topographical survey
Burdett-Coutts and in her will ignored both her of Jerusalem) to the quixotic (goats for poor cot-
second husband, the duke of St. Albans, and all tagers and drinking fountains for dogs) to phi-
five of Angela’s siblings, leaving her a fortune lanthropy in the far-flung colonies of the British
then worth something approaching £2 million. Empire (cotton gins for Nigeria). Burdett-Coutts
In 1838 Burdett-Coutts’s high social status was created a shoeblack brigade to provide honest
acknowledged by an invitation to Queen Victo- work for young working-class boys and a flower
ria’s coronation at Westminster Abbey. By all ac- girls’ brigade for the legions of London’s Eliza
counts she was a charming, dignified woman, Doolittles. Her money provided funds to protect
both learned and virtuous and thus, inevitably, aborigines in Australia and to relieve Irish people
the most sought-after marriage prospect in the in Galway and Mayo suffering from another po-
land. There were many in the landed aristocracy tato famine in 1880 (she gave £250,000 for the
who would have married her to retrieve their purchase of seed potatoes). She also funded
ailing fortunes, but Burdett remained resolutely more modest ventures, such as youth clubs and a
single for forty years, eschewing the love and ad- sewing school in Spitalfields; a Destitute Chil-
miration of a husband for those of the thou- dren’s Dinner Society, which provided nourish-
sands of grateful beneficiaries of her multitudi- ing meals for a penny each; and a factory for
nous acts of charity. crippled girls in the East End. As a pillar of the
Burdett-Coutts became a friend of Charles established church, Burdett also built Anglican
Dickens, whom she had first met in 1835 and churches in Britain and the Commonwealth—
who introduced Burdett to some of the “more re- South Africa, Canada, and Australia—where she
mediable evils in nineteenth-century London” endowed numerous bishoprics. With her money,
(Ackroyd 1990, 404). Burdett shared his concern even such a prosaic object as a public drinking
for many social causes and a genuine compas- fountain was erected in monumental high gothic
sion for the poor. With Dickens acting as her un- style in the East End’s Victoria Park. Needless to
official agent, she began giving away her money say, such was Burdett-Coutts’s widespread repu-
to fund housing and education projects for the tation for generosity that the begging letters
poor, such as the Field Lane ragged school at Saf- poured in; she is known to have received some-
fron Hill and the model housing for the poor, times as many as 300–400 per day and made a
built on the site of one of the Dickensian “dust point of trying to read them all.
heaps” described so vividly in Our Mutual During the severe winter of 1861, she gave fi-
Friend, at Nova Scotia Gardens, Bethnal Green. nancial assistance to the tanners of Bermondsey
The four new tenement blocks raised there pro- and to weavers in the East End and helped many
vided accommodation for 200 families and weavers emigrate to Australia and Canada. Ani-
up-to-date laundry facilities and baths. With mal welfare was also high on her list, with Bur-
Dickens’s encouragement, Burdett also built Co- dett-Coutts expressing her concern for over-
lumbia Market on Hackney Road in the East End worked tram and bus horses, objecting to the
to provide a cheaper and better-quality source of popularity of feathers from exotic birds that were
fish and vegetables for the poor. Their most used on ladies’ hats, and funding school prizes
noteworthy collaboration was the 1847 establish- for essays on kindness to animals. Nor was Bur-
ment of a home for fallen women at Urania Cot- dett-Coutts reticent about helping the victims of
tage in Shepherd’s Bush, a notorious red-light religious persecution: in 1877 during the Russo-
district in West London. Dickens chose not to Turkish War, her concern for the Muslim women
publicize this act of private philanthropy, per- and children being persecuted by the notoriously
haps not wishing to alienate his straitlaced read- xenophobic Russian troops became so great that
ers. In 1844 Dickens dedicated his new novel, she founded the Turkish Compassionate Fund.
Martin Chuzzlewit, to Burdett-Coutts. The sultan returned the compliment by accord-
The DNB catalogs at length Burdett-Coutts’s ing her the unprecedented honor of the Order of
many humanitarian concerns and acts of charity. Medjidie, the only woman to receive it. Other
There were few good causes that did not benefit awards also singled Burdett-Coutts out as an ex-
in some way from her undiscriminating generos- ceptional woman of her day: in 1871 Queen Vic-
ity, ranging from the essential (model housing toria made her a baroness (the female equivalent

116
Buss, Frances

of a peerage), an honor only previously accorded timated, given away something between £3 and
by kings to their mistresses; and in 1872 Burdett- £4 million, lay in state so that 30,000 people
Coutts was the first woman to be given the Free- should be able to pay their last respects. In her
dom of the City of London. lifetime, Burdett-Coutts had come to be ac-
Burdett-Coutts proved to be a very good busi- knowledged as second in greatness in the land
nesswoman and managed her own money with only to the queen herself. As David Owen (1965)
considerable acumen. She was also an excellent points out, her lifespan almost matched that of
public speaker in the promotion of the causes the queen and both their lives encapsulated
she supported. Two of the most important and many of the qualities of the Victorian age. Bur-
enduring reform movements to receive Burdett- dett-Coutts was therefore considered worthy of
Coutts’s support were the Society for the Preven- burial in that Valhalla of the British great and
tion of Cruelty to Animals and the National So- good—Westminster Abbey. Together with Flo-
ciety for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. rence Nightingale (who turned the Abbey
Burdett-Coutts also encouraged the Ragged down), she was promoted well beyond the Victo-
School movement, endowing the Townshend rian era as the acceptable public face of women’s
Foundation Schools to provide elementary edu- philanthropy in Britain.
cation and technical training for working-class
children; she also set up science scholarships at See also Butler, Josephine.
Oxford. In all her campaigning, Burdett-Coutts References and Further Reading
remained self-effacing and modest; when she Ackroyd, Peter. 1990. Dickens. London: Sinclair
compiled a pamphlet on “Women’s Work in En- Stevenson.
Carey, Rosa Nouchette. 1899. Twelve Notable Good
gland” for the 1893 Chicago World Fair, she did
Women. London: Hutchinson.
not mention her own contribution; nor did she Chappell, Jennie. 1910. Noble Workers: Sketches of the
in her work as editor of the Year Book of Woman’s Life-Work of Frances Willard, Agnes Weston, Sister
Work, which analyzed statistical information on Dora, Catherine Booth, the Baroness Burdett-
women’s philanthropy and described the re- Coutts, Lady Henry Somerset, Sarah Robinson, Mrs.
formist activities of many charities. Fawcett and Mrs. Gladstone. London: S. W. Par-
It seemed Burdett-Coutts could do no wrong tridge.
—until she decided, at the age of sixty-seven, to Healey, Edna. 1978. Lady Unknown: The Life of
get married. Queen Victoria was withering in her Angela Burdett-Coutts. London: Sidgwick and
disapproval of this decision and did what she Jackson.
could to advise against such an ill-judged act that Hibbert, Christopher. 2000. Queen Victoria 2000.
London: HarperCollins.
might damage that most precious of her posses-
Orton, D. 1980. Made of Gold: A Biography of Angela
sions, her reputation. The groom was an Ameri- Burdett-Coutts. London: H. Hamilton.
can, William Ashmead Bartlett, who had been Owen, David. 1965. English Philanthropy 1660–1960.
Burdett-Coutts’s secretary for some time and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
who was thirty-seven years her junior. Victoria Patterson, Clara Burdett. 1953. Angela Burdett-Coutts
considered such an act demeaning in the ex- and the Victorians. London: John Murray.
treme: “the poor foolish old woman . . . looked Strachey, Ray. 1978 [1928]. The Cause: A Brief History
like his grandmother and was all decked out with of the Women’s Movement. Reprint, London: Virago.
jewels—not edifying” (Hibbert 2000, 315). Once
married, however, Burdett-Coutts found herself
a victim of the laws that then bound women’s Buss, Frances
property to their husbands. It would be William (1827–1894)
Burdett-Coutts who not only took her name (in United Kingdom
deference to her widely held reputation) but also,
by legal right, control over her money, thus cur- The title of “headmistress,” it is said, was coined
tailing the freedom with which she could con- by the pioneer educator Frances Buss in affirma-
tinue to give it away. tion of women’s dominant role in the education
Upon her death in 1906, “the magical fairy- of their own sex. As the spinsterly female equiv-
godmother of philanthropy,” as Ray Strachey de- alent of the eternal schoolmaster, “Mr. Chips,”
scribed her (Strachey 1978, 83), who had, it is es- her name was forever coupled with that of

117
Buss, Frances

Dorothea Beale, principal of Cheltenham Ladies’ In 1871 Buss changed the status of North Lon-
College. A popular verse underlined the public don Collegiate School to that of an endowed
perception of the single-mindedness with which grammar school controlled by a board of gover-
women such as Buss embraced public service in nors in order to ensure its financial future; a lower
the Victorian era at the expense of an emotional school, Camden School, was also founded in 1871
life: “Miss Buss and Miss Beale / Cupid’s darts do as a feeder for North London, with financial sup-
not feel. / How different from us, / Miss Beale port from brewers’ and clothworkers’ companies.
and Miss Buss.” Although North London was an Anglican school,
Buss was one of ten children. Her father’s Buss was a stickler for religious tolerance and put
work as a painter and etcher earned insufficient up no barriers to religious practice, admitting
money to support the family, and at the age of Catholics, Jews, and nonconformists. The atmo-
fourteen, after a rudimentary schooling, Buss be- sphere at the school was noted for its lack of social
gan teaching at her mother’s school. When she competitiveness and snobbery and its emphasis
was eighteen, they moved to another school in on cooperation. Establishment of the Girls’ Public
Kentish Town in London. In addition to her Day School Company in London was inspired by
teaching, Buss studied French, German, and ge- Buss’s efforts to educate girls to the same stan-
ography at evening classes for a diploma in dards as those for boys in grammar schools, and
teaching at Queen’s College for Ladies (1850). by the mid-1880s there were twenty similar girls’
Despite the long walk to college and the extra schools in existence.
hours involved, she had found a sense of mission Academic excellence was emphasized by Buss
in improving standards in girls’ education and as a prerequisite for taking the few examinations
making it more widely available to women. She that were then open for girls. She was adamant
hoped, in her own small way, to “lighten, ever so that education was the only way for a woman to
little, the misery of women brought up ‘to be further her economic situation and personal in-
married and taken care of ’ and left in the world dependence, and she was steadfast in her belief
destitute” (Strachey 1978, 127). In 1850 Buss that women teachers were far better equipped to
transferred the school at Kentish Town to Cam- instruct young girls than men. She became a
den, renaming it the North London Collegiate close friend of educator Emily Davies and with
School for Ladies. It began modestly with only her gave evidence to the government’s Royal
thirty-five pupils, but Buss insisted on high stan- Commission on Endowed Schools, set up in
dards from the outset and employed only quali- 1864, which among other things investigated the
fied teachers. She would remain headmistress for low standards in girls’ education.
forty-four years, from 1850 to 1894, with the Because Buss expected high standards of her
school’s numbers rising to 500. The fees were teachers, she was also active in opening colleges
kept low, at two guineas a term. and teacher-training establishments for women.
Buss’s pupils were introduced to her advanced She was a founding member of the Council for
ideas and were expected to study the kind of sub- Teacher Training and in 1874 founded the Asso-
jects usually preserved for men, such as science ciation of Headmistresses as an important venue
and mathematics. Pupils also had to take healthy for the exchange of ideas between teaching pro-
exercise in the form of walks and gentle calis- fessionals. The presidency of the association was
thenics four times a week. In 1872 Buss instituted taken over on Buss’s death by her friend
swimming lessons for her girls at the nearby St. Dorothea Beale.
Pancras Public Baths, and in 1879 the school was With Davies, Buss defended women’s ability to
one of the first girls’ schools to build a proper compete in examinations with men and cam-
gymnasium and introduce daily physical educa- paigned for their admission to universities. She
tion drills. Mindful that her girls should not supported Davies’s establishment of Girton Col-
overexert themselves, Buss appointed a part-time lege at Cambridge in 1873, and in 1885 she
doctor to check the fitness of all those taking part helped establish the Training College for Women
in gymnastics, lessons that were taken in specially Teachers at Cambridge to produce new women
designed loose-fitting clothing. In 1892 the first teachers for the two women’s colleges that had
proper gymnastics costume was introduced by been established there: Girton and Newnham.
Buss—the prototype of the school uniform. Buss’s advocacy of women’s entry into the med-

118
Butler, Josephine

ical profession was reflected in her role as a gov- a religious crusade. In her wide-reaching cam-
ernor of the London School of Medicine for paigning, she exposed the sexual and economic
Women. She served on several school boards and oppression of women in Victorian society, over-
boards of guardians and was a governor of Uni- coming private grief and illness to lead one of the
versity College. most hard-fought and controversial causes in
Buss was a member of the group of feminists nineteenth-century social reform—the repeal of
known as the Langham Place Circle, many of the Contagious Diseases Acts. She took her battle
whom were involved in the foundation in 1865 to end the white slave trade and state-regulated
of a women’s discussion group, the Kensington prostitution to Europe, collaborating with other
Society. She gave her tacit moral support to reformers such as Anna Maria Mozzoni in Italy
Josephine Butler’s campaign against the white and Mariya Trubnikova and Nadezhda Stasova
slave trade and the Contagious Diseases Acts, but in Russia in promoting the more compassionate
her position as a headmistress precluded her ac- care and rehabilitation of “fallen women.” Butler
tive support for fear of alienating parents. She did not become active in the women’s suffrage or
was a signatory of the 1866 petition on women’s other feminist political movements of the nine-
suffrage presented by John Stuart Mill to Parlia- teenth century, however, which has prompted
ment but was an advocate of universal rather considerable disagreement among commenta-
than exclusively women’s suffrage. tors as to the true nature of her “feminism” and
to assertions that the separateness of her own
See also Beale, Dorothea; Butler, Josephine; Davies, very personal campaign from the mainstream of
(Sarah) Emily. the women’s movement was ultimately divisive.
References and Further Reading Butler was born on the family estate at Dilston
Bryant, Margaret. 1979. The Unexpected Revolution: in Northumberland, the seventh of nine children.
A Study in the History of the Education of Women
She was educated at home and grew up in an
and Girls in the Nineteenth Century. London: Uni-
versity of London Institute of Education.
evangelical environment that espoused enlight-
Burstall, Sara. 1938. Frances Mary Buss: An Educa- ened reform. Her father, John Gray, an abolition-
tional Pioneer. London: Society for Promoting ist, agricultural reformer of some international
Christian Knowledge. standing, and supporter of women’s education,
Kamm, Josephine. 1958. How Different from Us: A brought her up with liberal views and an advo-
Biography of Miss Buss and Miss Beale. London: cacy of public works in an affectionate and open
Bodley Head. household that freely discussed social problems.
McCrone, Kathleen E. 1988. Sport and the Physical Her education was completed by two years at
Emancipation of English Women 1870–1914. boarding school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
London: Routledge. In 1850 Josephine met George Butler, a tutor at
Purvis, June. 1991. A History of Women’s Education in
Durham University, whom she married in 1852.
England. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Ridley, Annie E. 1895. Frances Mary Buss and Her
They proved a most compatible and devoted cou-
Work for Education. London: Longman’s, Green. ple; they were both keen supporters of women’s
Strachey, Ray. 1978 [1928]. The Cause: A Brief History education and shared the same ideas on social
of the Women’s Movement. Reprint, London: and moral reform. They settled in Oxford when
Virago. George took a post as an examiner at the univer-
sity, and there Butler helped him in the prepara-
tion of his various publications. But she disliked
Butler, Josephine the isolation of the stultifying world of academia,
(1828–1906) and in 1857 George took the post as vice presi-
United Kingdom dent of Cheltenham Boys’ College. During the
Civil War in the United States, the Butlers were
If any social reformer personified the Victorian socially ostracized for supporting the abolitionist
epitome of womanly dignity, charity, and virtue North. The accidental death in 1864 of their only
it would be the charismatic Josephine Butler. A daughter Eva proved to be a turning point in But-
woman of singular beauty and of profound reli- ler’s life. After suffering agonies of grief for
gious conviction, she devoted herself to the so- months, the family moved to Liverpool, where
cial reclamation of prostitutes as though it were George taught at Liverpool College.

119
Butler, Josephine

Butler soon found an outlet for her sense of Elizabeth Wolstenholme-Elmy and others, Butler
loss in work for women’s education, becoming was persuaded to take on its leadership. The acts,
president (1867–1873) of Anne Jemima Clough’s passed in 1864, extended in 1866 and 1869 and,
North of England Council for Promoting the defined by Dale Spender as “an archetype of sex-
Higher Education of Women. She endorsed ual harassment” (1982, 343), had brought in li-
Jessie Boucherett’s pioneering work in women’s censing of prostitutes in state brothels in eleven
economic liberation through the Society for Pro- garrison towns and ports in Britain where there
moting the Employment of Women (established was a high density of army and navy personnel.
in 1859) and was active in the feminist campaign The women who serviced these men sexually
for the Married Women’s Property Acts of 1870, were subjected to regular and often brutal physi-
1878, and 1882. Butler was one of many women cal examinations and were liable to prosecution if
to sign the 1866 petition on women’s suffrage, they refused. If found to be infected, they were
but she did not enter the suffrage campaign. confined to “lock hospitals” for treatment. How-
Butler was first exposed to the plight of pros- ever, the men who solicited their service were
titutes when she took up work with the destitute subject to neither moral condemnation nor pros-
and the poor in the 1860s in Liverpool. She be- ecution, and it was this appalling double standard
came a visitor at the workhouse at Brownlow that incensed Butler and other reformers and gal-
Hill, a grim institution housing hundreds of vanized them in the defense of the civil rights of
women and girls, many of them prostitutes. She women from the poorer classes at whom they saw
discovered that many of these women had been the acts as being primarily targeted.
forced into prostitution by economic necessity. Despite her husband’s poor health and the
Some were former domestic servants, sexually public antipathy toward any woman making
abused by their male employers and then dis- public statements on sexuality, Butler bravely led
missed; others had been seamstresses working at the campaign, supported by many male reform-
piece rates who took up prostitution in order to ers and other societies such as the National Vigi-
survive. Butler’s visits to the slums, dives, and lance Association for the Defence of Personal
docklands of Liverpool revealed to her how Rights, to have the acts repealed. She set out her
widespread the problem of women’s economic own moral objections to the acts in the LNA’s
oppression was, and she began taking some of manifesto, basing her social philosophy on her
these women into her own home. With the help conviction that the solution to prostitution lay
of her own family doctor, she established a home not in its regulation through laws that penalized
of rest for thirteen reformed prostitutes, and lob- women but in the much more fundamental re-
bied her friends for funds to help rehabilitate form of the sexual habits of men. Asserting that
them. It was this element of Butler’s redemptive “economics lie at the very root of practical
Christian work, like the Good Samaritan who morality” (Longford 1981, 115), Butler also iden-
gave shelter to social outcasts, that would charac- tified the problem as an economic one that could
terize the special spirituality of her nature. Her be tackled only through improvements in the
admirers looked upon Butler as a woman truly economic status of women. In turn, doing so re-
possessed of the spirit of God (and, indeed, she quired women’s access to better education, which
frequently experienced religious visions); she would enable them to obtain better-paid, legiti-
would be seen by them as a Victorian incarnation mate employment.
of Christlike compassion and charity, having al- Supported by Mary Carpenter, Harriet Mar-
most divine gifts that set her outside the ranks of tineau, Florence Nightingale, Lydia Becker, and a
other mortals. As Eileen Yeo attests, her husband host of other eminent and worthy men and
was one of many convinced of Butler’s sainthood women, including many Quaker reformers, the
and, placing no limitations on her proselytizing LNA launched an intensive crusade against the
activities, “patiently sat in railway stations for Contagious Diseases Acts in major garrison
hours waiting for her return from speaking en- towns. Before long, there was hardly a person in
gagements” (1998, 132). the land who had not been aroused by this con-
In 1869 when the Ladies’ National Association tentious issue, even if, as the Saturday Review re-
for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts marked in 1870, old maids were heard to ask if
(generally known as the LNA) was established by all this talk about the Contagious Diseases Acts

120
Butler, Josephine

had something to do with “cattle plague.” On posé articles, beginning in the 6 July issue of the
many occasions, Butler spoke to extremely hos- Pall Mall Gazette under the title “The Maiden
tile audiences where she had to contend with Tribute of Babylon.” The articles caused a public
verbal abuse and constant threats of violence. outcry, particularly in their revelations of the
She appealed to her listeners’ consciences and re- trade in child virgins for as little as £5, but as
ligious faith and to the need for personal repen- Ronald Pearsall points out, they were in them-
tance, arguing that if legislation was ineffectual, selves “using the weapons of pornography to
then she had a better method: “I would sit on the right a wrong” (Pearsall 1969, 302). Stead was
steps of the brothel and pray the people out” prosecuted and sent to prison, but the articles
(Pearsall 1969, 230). No wonder that later ha- prompted immediate government action and the
giographers such as Joseph Williamson looked raising of the age of consent to sixteen in 1885
upon her as a “forgotten saint.” (under the Criminal Law Amendment Act).
A Royal Commission that reported its findings The Contagious Diseases Acts were finally re-
in 1871 upheld the legitimacy of the acts and ex- pealed in 1886 by royal assent. As Joan Perkin
onerated men, famously pronouncing that “with points out, England thus became the first Euro-
the one sex [women] the offence is committed as pean country to abolish state-regulated prostitu-
a matter of gain; with the other [men] it is an ir- tion after having been the last in Europe to adopt
regular indulgence of a natural impulse” it (1993, 230). By the late 1880s, the Butlers were
(Spender 1982, 340). By 1874 Butler was ex- living in Winchester, where George had a
hausted; she temporarily passed the leadership of canonry. He retired in 1889 and died a few
the campaign to Sir James Stansfield and went to months later, leaving Josephine bereft. She re-
recuperate on the Continent. Having done so, mained unsettled for many years but finally re-
she made good use of her time to tour state turned to Cheltenham. Eventually, she also re-
brothels and hospitals that treated prostitutes in turned to the campaign against state-regulated
France, Italy, and Switzerland, including the no- prostitution—this time, in India—after discov-
torious St. Lazare prison-hospital in Paris. Re- ering that it had been covertly revived there in
turning to England in 1875, she wrote of the hor- the late 1890s despite the repeal of the Conta-
rors she had encountered. Later that year she was gious Diseases Acts in 1886. She became a mem-
one of the prime movers in the foundation of an ber of the British Committee for the Abolition of
international body, the British, Continental, and the State Regulation of Vice in India and the Do-
General Federation for the Abolition of Govern- minions, showing a particular compassion for
ment Regulation of Prostitution, based in Indian prostitutes, whom she considered to be
Geneva, and of which she became secretary. The doubly disabled both as women and as oppressed
federation held its first conference in Liverpool colonial subjects. Her views on this subject were
that year and in 1877 delegates from fifteen described in her 1893 pamphlet, “The Present
countries, including Russia, attended another in Aspect of the Abolitionist Cause in Relation to
Geneva, at which 120 papers were read on hy- British India.”
giene, morality, social economy, preventive work, Butler’s arguments, not just on prostitution,
and legislation, after which the conference’s res- vice, and social purity but across a wide range of
olutions were sent out to all European govern- topics including suffrage, Irish home rule, and
ments and the press, thus ensuring the high pro- slavery, were outlined in more than ninety pub-
file of the European campaign. lished works, notably The Education and Employ-
In 1883, after Butler and others had given evi- ment of Women (1868); Woman’s Work and
dence to another royal commission, the Conta- Woman’s Culture, which collected her essays and
gious Diseases Acts were suspended. By the mid- other seminal essays of the day (1869); and Per-
1880s the Salvation Army had become a sonal Reminiscences of a Great Crusade (1896).
powerful force in the British social purity cam- She also wrote many articles for the LNA’s jour-
paign, and in 1885 Butler and Salvation Army nal, The Shield (1870–1886), as well as for the re-
leader Catherine Booth helped journalist W. T. formist journals the Dawn (1888–1896) and the
Stead in the preparation of a secret investigation Storm-Bell (1898–1900). Barbara Caine (1992)
into West End prostitution and the trade in un- records that Butler’s support for the Boer War of
derage girls. This was published as a series of ex- 1901 distanced her from former colleagues in the

121
Butler, Josephine

women’s movement, many of whom were paci- References and Further Reading
fists, although it would appear that Butler’s sup- Bell, Enid Moberley. 1962 [1942]. Josephine Butler:
port for the war stemmed not from any imperi- Flame of Fire. Reprint, London: Constable.
alist sentiments but from her revulsion for Boer Boyd, Nancy. 1982. Josephine Butler, Octavia Hill,
Florence Nightingale: Three Victorian Women Who
maltreatment of black South Africans (see her
Changed Their World. London: Macmillan.
book, Native Races and the War, published in
Burton, Antoinette. 1994. Burdens of History: British
1900). In 1903 she returned to her home county Feminists, Indian Women and Imperial Culture
of Northumberland, where she died in 1906. 1865–1915. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University
In her study of Butler, Elizabeth Longford ob- Press.
serves: “No one worked harder for women than Butler, A. S. G. 1954. Portrait of Josephine Butler.
Josephine Butler, not even famous suffragists like London: Faber and Faber.
Millicent Fawcett and Elizabeth Garrett Ander- Caine, Barbara. 1992. Victorian Feminists. Oxford:
son. Yet where are Mrs. Butler’s honors? Mrs. Oxford University Press.
Fawcett was created a Dame; Dr. Garrett Ander- Chaudhuri, Nupur, and Margaret Strobel, eds. 1992.
son has a hospital called after her, whereas Western Women and Imperialism: Complicity and
Resistance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Josephine Butler was . . . in danger of being for-
Fawcett, Millicent Garrett, and E. M. Turner. 1927.
gotten” (1981, 109). It is Longford’s view that be-
Josephine Butler: Her Work and Principles, and
cause Butler “did not champion the right Their Meaning for the Twentieth Century. London:
women,” the Victorian reticence about public ASMH.
discussion of the sexual double standard pre- Forster, M. 1984. Significant Sisters: The Grassroots of
vented her ever from being accorded the other- Active Feminism, 1839–1939. London: Secker and
wise high public profile she had earned as a Warburg.
moral and religious reformer. Helsinger, Elizabeth K., Robin Lauterbach Sheets, and
The Fawcett Library in London contains the William Veeder. 1983. The Woman Question:
Josephine Butler Society library, a unique collec- Social Issues, 1837–1883, vol. 2, Society and
tion of books and documents on the history of Literature in Britain and America, 1837–1883.
Manchester: Manchester University Press.
prostitution and the white slave trade, with
Jordan, Jane. 2001. Josephine Butler. London: John
much material relating to Butler’s campaign for
Murray.
the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. The Longford, Elizabeth. 1981. Eminent Victorian Women.
Josephine Butler Society (as the Association for London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Moral and Social Hygiene, the LNA’s successor, McDonald, Lynn, ed. 1998. Women Theorists on
was renamed in 1953) still campaigns for a single Society and Politics. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid
moral standard for both men and women and Laurier University Press.
also exposes the sexual exploitation of children Pearsall, Ronald. 1969. The Worm in the Bud: The
in the Third World. For further information on World of Victorian Sexuality. London: Weidenfeld
both, contact http://www.lgu.ac.uk/fawcett/ and Nicolson.
Perkin, Joan. 1993. Victorian Women. London: John
butler.1.htm/ The website for the University of
Murray.
Liverpool’s Josephine Butler Collections is also a
Petrie, Glen. 1971. A Singular Iniquity: The Cam-
source of much useful information, at http:// paigns of Josephine Butler. London: Macmillan.
sca.liv.ac.uk/collections/butler/butler1.htm. Jane Sharp, Ingrid, and Jane Jordan, eds. Forthcoming. Dis-
Jordan’s recent biography of Butler, the first since eases of the Body Politic: Josephine Butler and the
the 1960s, together with a definitive five-volume Prostitution Campaigns. 5 vols. London: Routledge.
edition of many of Butler’s letters and writings Spender, Dale. 1982. Women of Ideas, and What Men
edited by Ingrid Sharp and Jordan, should Have Done to Them. London: Routledge and
greatly advance scholarship on this exceptional Kegan Paul.
woman. Tuson, Penelope, ed. 1997. The Queen’s Daughters: An
Anthology of Victorian Feminist Writings on India
1857–1900. Reading, Berkshire, UK: Ithaca Press.
See also Becker, Lydia; Booth, Catherine; Boucherett, Uglow, Jenny. 1983. “Josephine Butler: From Sympa-
Jessie; Carpenter, Mary; Clough, Anne Jemima; thy to Theory.” In Dale Spender, ed., Feminist
Martineau, Harriet; Mozzoni, Anna Maria; Theorists: Three Centuries of Women’s Intellectual
Nightingale, Florence; Stasova, Nadezhda; Trub- Traditions. London: Women’s Press.
nikova, Mariya; Wolstenholme-Elmy, Elizabeth. Walkowitz, Judith. 1980. Prostitution and Victorian

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Byrne, Lavinia

Society: Women, Class and the State. Cambridge: was a presenter on its Daily Service. In 1997 she
Cambridge University Press. branched into television, working for BBC TV’s
———. 1992. City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Religious Programmes Department.
Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London. London: In 1988 Byrne first broached the subject of
Virago.
women’s ordination—on theological grounds—
Williamson, Joseph. 1977. Josephine Butler: The For-
in Women before God. In several follow-up works,
gotten Saint. Leighton Buzzard, UK: Faith Press.
Yeo, Eileen. 1998. Radical Femininity: Women’s Self- culminating in 1994 with Woman at the Altar, she
Representation in the Public Sphere. Manchester: drew on her many subsequent encounters with
Manchester University Press. ordained women across many denominations
and elaborated on the cultural and historical sig-
nificance of women in the priesthood, giving ex-
Byrne, Lavinia amples of their many and positive contributions
(1947– ) to the life of the church. In noting the Roman
United Kingdom Catholic Church’s long-standing unwillingness to
accept the female religious message and its con-
As a radical feminist and liberation theologian, tinuing exclusion of women from spiritual life
Lavinia Byrne has been an outspoken advocate of and the ministry, Byrne drew attention also to the
women’s ordination into the Roman Catholic suppression of many of their theological writings.
priesthood, through her career in broadcasting She offered up fresh arguments in the ongoing
and journalism and in several books, notably debate on women’s ordination and with it the
Woman at the Altar (1994). However, her refusal changing role of Christians in the modern world.
to recant her perceived heresy and her continu- Religious women, she believed, had played a cru-
ing advocacy of birth control in contravention of cial role in social and philanthropic work among
Vatican rulings precipitated her departure from the poor and dispossessed. In a 1995 book, The
the Roman Catholic Church in 2000. Hidden Voice, Byrne retained her strong feminist
Byrne was born at Edgbaston in Birmingham position, affirming women’s solidarity within the
and educated at Edgbaston’s Holy Child Jesus church and what she called the “commonality of
Convent (1950–1958) and St. Mary’s Convent in the hidden tradition of women” (45), a tradition
Shaftesbury (1958–1964). After entering reli- that she argues transcends religious denomina-
gious life in 1964 at the Institute of the Blessed tion. In so doing, she cited many examples of
Virgin Mary, a noncontemplative order that has women preachers—such as Catherine Booth and
remained controversial since its establishment in Maude Royden, the latter an important forerun-
1606, she studied modern languages at the Uni- ner whom Byrne greatly admires—who had suf-
versity of London and did postgraduate studies fered prejudice, vilification, and oppression in
in education at Cambridge University. After their mission to preach the Gospel.
graduating in 1971, she taught languages at a Woman at the Altar provoked an uproar in the
succession of convent schools (1971–1985) be- Catholic Church, which shortly before its publi-
fore working for the Institute of Spirituality at cation had brought out an “Apostolic Letter of
Heythrop College (part of the University of Lon- His Holiness Pope John Paul II on Reserving
don). There she was involved in organizing re- Priestly Ordination to Men Alone.” Much pres-
treats and spirituality training programs and sure was put on Byrne by the Vatican’s Congre-
taught a postgraduate course in pastoral studies. gation for the Doctrine of the Faith (historically,
Further retreat work and the organization of the Holy Inquisition), which immediately
training courses followed during 1991–1995 at banned the book, to repudiate it and also her po-
the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland, sition in support of birth control. As a feminist
as associate secretary for the Community of and an advocate of a woman’s right to control
Women and Men in the Church. During her own fertility, Byrne had also repudiated the
1995–1996 Byrne ran postgraduate information rulings of Pope Paul VI’s Humae Vitae and Pope
studies at the University of North London. John Paul II’s Ordinato Sacerdotalis, criticizing
Byrne’s work in the media began in 1988 with practicing Roman Catholics for their hypocrisy
regular contributions to the Thought for the Day in privately practicing birth control while pub-
slot on BBC Radio 3. From the mid-1990s, she licly supporting the Church’s rulings.

123
Byrne, Lavinia

Byrne was deeply saddened by the Church’s Hidden Journey, on women’s missionary work
response but unrepentant; for her women’s ad- (1991); Traditions of Spiritual Guidance (1990);
mission into the priesthood was the fulfillment The Dome of Heaven (1999); and The Journey Is
of centuries of church teaching and not, as My Home (2000). She has also published articles
church officials perceived it, an aberration. Un- in The Way, Review for Religious, The Tablet, The
able to accede to the Vatican’s demands and crit- Universe, and the Church Times. She has traveled
ical of its intimidation, she made the painful de- widely, lecturing and running retreats in North
cision to remain true to her conscience and leave America, Australia, and on the Continent. In
religious life, albeit much against her will. In Jan- 1997 she was made an honorary doctor of divin-
uary 2000 she left her order, the Institute of the ity by the University of Birmingham. She is the-
Blessed Virgin, her home for twenty-five years, ological adviser to the Churches Commission on
and requested dispensation from her vows. Al- Inter-Faith Relations and a trustee of the
though she has since begun giving religious in- Catholic Media Trust.
struction to male and female ordinands in the
Church of England, she remains a Catholic by See also Booth, Catherine; Royden, Maude.
References and Further Reading
faith and retains her links with the Catholic
Byrne, Lavinia. 1994. Woman at the Altar. London:
Church, working with Catholic laywomen at the Mowbray.
Cambridge Theological Foundation. ———. 1995. The Hidden Voice: Christian Women and
Byrne is the author of numerous works on re- Social Change. London: Society for Promoting
ligious figures, spirituality, and women’s role in Christian Knowledge.
Christian ministry, including The Hidden Tradi- ———. 2000. The Journey Is My Home. London:
tion, on women’s spiritual writings (1989); The Hodder and Stoughton.

124
C
Caballero de Castillo Ledón, was the first woman to address the Mexican Sen-
ate on women’s suffrage. She represented Mexico
Amalia Gonzalez at the UN Commission on the Status of Women
(1902–1986)
and became the first Mexican woman to serve as
Mexico a diplomat—taking up posts in Sweden, Finland,
A feminist writer, social activist, and later diplo- and Switzerland in the 1950s. At the end of her
mat who was leader of the Mexican women’s diplomatic career, she held several government
rights movement of the 1930s, Caballero dissem- posts: from 1958 to 1964 she was undersecretary
inated the Latin American feminist viewpoint for cultural affairs in the Ministry of Education.
and experience at numerous international con- She also served as a member of the board of di-
gresses. She was born in San Jerónimo, Tamauli- rectors of the National Association of Children’s
pas, in northeastern Mexico. After completing Welfare and as a leader of the Pan American
her graduate studies in the humanities at the Na- Women’s League.
tional University, she married a prominent histo-
rian, Luis Castillo Ledón. In 1933 Caballero See also Carrillo Puerto, Elvia; García, María del
founded the International Women’s Club with Refugio; Gutiérrez de Mendoza, Juana Belén;
other women activists from Switzerland, the So- Jiménez y Muro, Dolores.
viet Union, the Netherlands, and the United References and Further Reading
Soto, Shirlene. 1990. Emergence of the Modern
States.
Mexican Woman: Her Participation in Revolution
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Caballero
and Struggle for Equality, 1910–1940. Denver:
took part in several women’s conferences as a Arden Press.
Mexican representative. In 1945 she was the Tenenbaum, Barbara A., ed. 1996. Encyclopedia of
Mexican delegate for the Inter-American Com- Latin American History and Culture. Vol. 2. New
mission of Women and acted as chairperson. York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Later she became vice president, and after the
commission joined the Organization of Ameri-
can States in 1948, president (1949). At the inau- Cai Chang
gural UN conference in 1945 in San Francisco, (1900–1990)
Caballero was one of several female delegates China
who lobbied for the new UN Charter to include
the phrase “the equal rights of men and women,” Along with Xiang Jingyu, another outstanding
a motion that was later carried. She took charge leader of the Chinese women’s movement in its
of the Sixth Committee at the First Congress of first phase and, like her, a first-generation com-
Women held in Guatemala in 1947, which in- munist activist, Cai was one of the first women
cluded in its agenda a discussion of the topic to take part in Mao Zedong’s New People’s Study
“The Civil and Political Rights of Woman, and Society and the May Fourth Movement in 1919,
Her Access to Posts of Responsibility.” from which sprang several early leaders of the
Not until 1953 were Mexican women given women’s movement in China. She was, from
equal rights with men in politics, and Caballero 1949 to 1956, the lone woman’s voice on the

125
Caird, Mona

Central Committee of the Chinese Communist involvement, Cai has earned criticism for con-
Party (CCP). doning the CCP’s official, chauvinistic view of
Cai came from an impoverished middle-class women, a view based on cultivating the elite few
family; her mother had left her husband and sold for skilled work while placing a greater empha-
her possessions to send her children to school sis on technological advances and economic
and had helped Cai avoid an arranged marriage. change, which would soon sideline issues of wo-
In any case, Cai had resolved to renounce mar- men’s liberation.
riage and remain celibate, believing in the liber-
ating power of women’s education. She attended See also Xiang Jingyu.
References and Further Reading
the progressive Zhunan Girls’ Middle School at
Andors, Phyllis. 1983. The Unfinished Liberation
Changsha. After she left in 1916, she was one of of Chinese Women, 1949–1980. Bloomington:
the first women involved in the New People’s Indiana University Press.
Study Society, a work-study movement set up by Fan Hong. 1997. Footbinding, Feminism and Freedom.
Mao Zedong and her brother Cai Hesen in the Portland, OR: Frank Cass.
winter of 1917–1918, which encouraged women Gilmartin, Christina Kelly. 1995. Engendering the
to set up self-help groups and take an active role Chinese Revolution: Radical Women, Communist
in political change. She went to Europe with her Politics and Mass Movements in the 1920s.
mother and Cai Hesen, later to be joined in the Berkeley: University of California Press.
work-study group by Xiang Jingyu, who became
her sister-in-law when she married Cai Hesen.
Cai Chang remained abroad for five years, work- Caird, Mona
ing in factories and studying anarchism and (Alice Mona Henryson)
Marxism in France, collaborating with other (1854–1932)
Chinese feminist and socialist students in exile United Kingdom
and studying Leninism at the University of the
Toilers of the East in Moscow. On her return to Thanks to recent scholarship, the work of the
China in 1921, Cai trained to teach physical edu- radical feminist novelist Mona Caird is at long
cation and taught at the Zhunan Girls’ School for last enjoying a revival of interest. With Sarah
four years. In 1923 she joined the CCP. Grand and Eliza Lynn Linton, she is one of sev-
In 1925 Cai began working in the Central eral English women writers of the late nineteenth
Women’s Department of the Nationalist Party, century who were central to the debate on the
and in 1927 she became a member of the Central “new woman,” with Caird contributing one of
Women’s Committee, which she ran while its the first and most challenging discourses on
head, Xiang Jingyu, was away studying in mother-daughter relationships to come out of
Moscow. In this capacity, she had a role in the that era. Less well known and equally important,
drafting of the Marriage Decree of 1930 and the however, is her groundbreaking and outspoken
Constitution of 1931. As the wife of a commu- campaign on antivivisection, in support of
nist leader, Li Fuchun (whom she had married in which Caird produced several important tracts.
1922), she was one of an elite group of around Together with Frances Power Cobbe and Anna
fifty women who took part in the Long March of Kingsford, she reflected in her writings the grow-
1934–1935. ing concern of many feminists and suffragists for
After 1949, Cai had a high profile in the new animal rights and vegetarianism, drawing close
People’s Republic of China. As chair of the All- parallels between the abuses and subjugation of
China Democratic Women’s Federation, she women and the treatment meted out to animals,
headed a program to train elite women to spear- particularly in the course of scientific experi-
head scientific and cultural change. This plan mentation.
would, however, relegate the mass of Chinese Born into a wealthy family on the Isle of Wight,
women who had served the revolution with Caird spent some of her early life in Australia, but
tremendous self-sacrifice to their old subordi- the details have yet to be uncovered. In 1874 she
nate roles, working in service industries as road published her first novel, Lady Hetty, anony-
sweepers and shop assistants and primarily mously, after which she adopted the pseudonym
rearing and caring for children. Because of her G. Noel Hatton for Whom Nature Leadeth (1883)

126
Caird, Mona

and One That Wins (1887). All three failed to sell. arch of her own considerable brood. The articles
In 1877 she married a Scottish landowner, James provoked an unprecedented, voluminous corre-
Alexander Henryson-Caird, but although their spondence on the subject in the Daily Telegraph,
marriage produced a son, Alister, in 1884, it was under the heading “Is Marriage a Failure?” The
from the start a marriage-at-a-distance. Caird newspaper received an estimated 27,000 letters.
spent little time on the family estate at Cassen- These and Caird’s other essays on marriage (for
cary, in Dumfries and Galloway. Preferring to re- the Fortnightly Review) were subsequently re-
main in London, she began earning her own liv- published as The Morality of Marriage and Other
ing from journalism and making frequent trips Essays in 1897.
abroad. Nor was she ever close to her son, Alister. Caird published two more novels, The Path-
In adulthood, he disappointed Caird by becom- way of the Gods (1898) and The Stones of Sacrifice
ing fiercely gung-ho and volunteering during (1915), the latter a further discourse on the con-
World War I (while she remained a pacifist); flict in women’s lives between domestic duty and
more disturbingly (from Caird’s viewpoint), Alis- the desire for self-improvement, but much of her
ter was a lover of the English country pursuits of time from the late 1890s was given over to a pas-
hunting, shooting, and fishing, which Caird as an sionate campaign for animal rights. In it, she was
antivivisectionist and vegetarian abhorred. as characteristically outspoken and uncompro-
It was not until she published the somewhat mising as she was in her views on women’s
lurid and sensational Wing of Azrael in 1889 that rights. She believed, as did many other feminists
Caird’s writing caught the public imagination, who loathed vivisection and supported animal
with its story of Viola Sedley’s murder of her rights, that animals, like women, were oppressed
sadistic husband and her subsequent death by and subjugated by men and by the male-domi-
suicide in order to avoid prosecution. In her next nated world of science. The barbarity of men was
and most famous novel, The Daughters of also symbolized in the slaughtering of animals
Danaus (1894), Caird laid out many of her most for food. Seeing women as innately pacific and
important ideas on women’s rights and their do- altruistic and occupying the moral high ground,
mestic duties. Although little is known of the she invested them with the task of setting an ex-
true nature of Caird’s own marriage, her antipa- ample for men. It was, she felt, a primary duty of
thy to the institution and its inhibiting effects on mothers to educate their children to feel sensitiv-
women’s development are patently clear in this, ity and compassion toward animals, and she
her best-selling novel. As a fiercely argued urged women to consult only those male doctors
polemic on women’s need for creative fulfillment who were against antivivisection. She was also
in the face of the constraints of domestic life and extremely vocal in her criticism of the fashion of
filial duty, Caird depicts her heroine Hadira’s at- using exotic birds’ feathers in women’s dress.
tempts to escape the confines of the home, leav- Hand in hand with her hatred of vivisection
ing behind her sons, and make her own choices went her distaste for blood sports and an advo-
by adopting a daughter and attempting to estab- cacy of vegetarianism; the latter became a cor-
lish an artistic life in Paris. Caird thus suggested nerstone of her promotion of a healthier lifestyle
an alternative to the traditional domestic milieu based on exercise, rational dress, and the casting
for independently minded women, based on a aside of tight corsets.
network of feminist support and sisterhood Caird’s moral discourse on vivisection, replete
through which they might focus on their own as it is with individual case histories and con-
development. taining horrific descriptions of the brutalization
In 1888 Caird’s journalism sparked heated de- of animals, often without use of any anesthetics,
bate in the British press and with it the discus- does not make for an easy read. It appeared in
sion of the nature of the “new woman” when she three major pamphlets: “A Sentimental View of
published two articles, “Marriage” and “Ideal Vivisection” (1894), “Beyond the Pale: An Appeal
Marriage,” in the August and November issues of on Behalf of the Victims of Vivisection” (1896),
the Westminster Review. In them, she boldly and “The Inquisition of Science” (1903). These
challenged the sacred cow of domesticity—a tracts provide a chilling account of the arbitrari-
Victorian ideal perpetuated in the public imagi- ness of man’s power over the animal kingdom
nation by imagery of Queen Victoria as matri- and call into question what Victorian society

127
Caldicott, Helen

perceived as being its “civilizing” influence in the decided she wanted to be a doctor at the age of
world. By making only too clear the atrocities eleven and studied at the medical school of the
committed in the name of science, Caird pre- University of Adelaide (1956–1961). After her
sented a compelling argument on how moral marriage and the birth of three children,
and ethical standards all too easily “dwindle Caldicott moved to the United States to take up a
down in regard to the less powerful, and disap- fellowship in pediatrics at the Harvard Medical
pear altogether as soon as we reach the utterly School (1966–1969) and work at the Children’s
defenceless” (1896, 64). Hospital Medical Center.
After returning to Australia, she specialized in
See also Cobbe, Frances Power; Grand, Sarah; Kings- pediatrics at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in
ford, Anna; Linton, Eliza Lynn. Adelaide in 1971, especially the treatment of cys-
References and Further Reading tic fibrosis in the young, and in 1975 founded the
Bland, Lucy. 1996. Banishing the Beast: English Femi- Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at the Children’s Hospital
nism and Sexual Morality, 1885–1914. Har-
there. Inspired by the empowering feminist mes-
mondsworth: Penguin.
Caird, Mona. 1896. “Beyond the Pale: An Appeal on
sage of Germaine Greer’s Female Eunuch, she de-
Behalf of the Victims of Vivisection.” London: Bi- cided to take a stand against French atmospheric
jou Library. nuclear testing on the Mururoa Atoll in the
Crawford, Elizabeth. 1999. The Women’s Suffrage South Pacific and launched a major campaign
Movement, 1866–1928: A Reference Guide. Lon- for a nuclear test ban in the area. As a doctor
don: University College of London Press. mindful of the terrifying genetic defects and can-
Gullette, Margaret Morganroth. 1989 [1894]. After- cers caused by radiation, she investigated the
word. In Mona Caird, Daughters of Danaus. health threats from radioactive fallout in Ade-
Reprint, New York: Feminist Press. laide, particularly in the food and water supply,
Heilmann, Ann. 1995. “Mona Caird (1854–1932): and began raising awareness among trade union-
Wild Woman, New Woman, and Early Radical
ists on the dangers of uranium mining for the
Feminist Critic of Marriage and Motherhood.”
Women’s History Review 5, no. 1: 67–95.
manufacture of nuclear warheads. She orches-
———. 1998. The Late-Victorian Marriage Question: trated a series of demonstrations and boycotts of
A Collection of Key New Woman Texts. 5 vols. Lon- French goods. Her political lobbying on nuclear
don: Routledge Thoemmes Press. weapons helped to elect a Labour government
———. Forthcoming. New Woman Strategies: Sarah sympathetic to the cause in 1972. A ban by the
Grand, Olive Schreiner, Mona Caird. Manchester: International Court of Justice ended atmo-
Manchester University Press. spheric nuclear testing in the Pacific in 1975.
Sage, Lorna, ed. 1999. The Cambridge Guide to Subsequently, Caldicott headed a high-profile
Women’s Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge Univer- campaign in the press and on television and ra-
sity Press. dio and returned to the United States in 1977 to
Schlueter, Paul, and June Schlueter. 1998. An Encylo-
lobby for controls on the nuclear power industry.
pedia of British Women Writers. London: St. James
Press.
She taught pediatrics at Harvard Medical School
Shattock, Joanne, ed. 1993. Oxford Guide to British until 1980. In 1979 she published her influential
Women Writers. Oxford: Oxford University Press. book, Nuclear Madness: What You Can Do!, and
Todd, Janet, ed. 1989. Dictionary of British Women was much in demand as a public speaker, visiting
Writers. London: Routledge. Europe and Japan, where she lectured on the ef-
fects of radiation on the human body. Her lec-
tures to doctors led to the revival in 1979 of the
Caldicott, Helen Society of Physicians for Social Responsibility
(1938– ) (SPSR), of which Caldicott was president until
Australia/United States 1983, when she resigned to take an independent
stand favoring abolition of nuclear power as well
Since the mid-1970s, the Australian activist as weapons. She was also a founder of Women’s
Helen Caldicott has been a leading international Action for Nuclear Disarmament, based in Wash-
antinuclear protester who has persistently ington, D.C., and became a member of the
warned of the dangers to health from nuclear SPSR’s successor, the International Physicians for
fallout and radiation. Born in Melbourne, she the Prevention of Nuclear War, a nonpartisan

128
Campoamor, Clara

umbrella group of 135,000 members worldwide Campoamor, Clara


dedicated to the prevention of nuclear war. In (1888–1972)
1985, this group was awarded the Nobel Peace Spain
Prize for its promotion of peace education.
Caldicott returned once more to Australia in As a radical lawyer and penologist and one of the
1987 and stood for election to Parliament on an first women to be admitted to the bar in Spain,
independent ticket but was narrowly defeated. In Clara Campoamor was an outspoken defender
1990–1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed and of women’s rights and suffrage during the draft-
the Cold War ended, Caldicott’s mission was par- ing of the constitution of Republican Spain in
tially accomplished as the threat of global nuclear 1931. She later became director of public welfare
war receded. After living in Leongatha, Victoria, in 1933–1934 before being forced into exile by
for two years, she again spent time in the United the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.
States after 1995, where she resumed her work in Born into a working-class family in Madrid,
pediatrics as well as continuing a career in broad- Campoamor went out to work at the age of thir-
casting, broadening her activism to cover envi- teen and studied part-time for the qualifications
ronmental issues. She returned to New South that enabled her to enter the University of
Wales and in 1998 became patron of Parents Pro- Madrid to study law. After gaining her degree in
tecting Our Children Against Radiation. In 1999 1924 she became a member of the Royal Acad-
she was founder and president of the Star Foun- emy of Jurisprudence and Legislation and was
dation (Standing for Truth About Radiation) active in the Lawyers’ Association of Madrid, as
and, to promote her concern about the ravaging well as becoming a regular participant in intel-
of the world’s natural resources, a founder of the lectual and debating societies such as the
Our Common Future Political Party. Athenaeum and the Lyceum Club. In 1927 she
Caldicott has received many honors for her pioneered new children’s laws and changes to the
distinguished career in antinuclear activism, in- electoral law of 1907. In 1931 the law was
cluding nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize, the amended to allow women to stand as candidates
Gandhi Peace Prize in 1981, and the distin- for the first constituent assembly of the Second
guished Peace Leadership Award of the Nuclear Republic, even though they were not allowed to
Age Peace Foundation in 1994. Her antinuclear vote. Campoamor was, with Victoria Kent,
campaigning was the subject of a documentary elected in June (Margarita Nelken joined them in
film by the National Film Board of Canada, If October) as a representative of the Radical Party.
You Love This Planet, which won an Academy On 1 October 1931, she became the first woman
Award in 1983. Her published works include in Spain to address the constituent assembly. In
Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War her speech, she reminded the assembled male
(1984) and a book based on the documentary, If politicians that although they might hold politi-
You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth cal power, their right to do so while continuing
(1992). A website on Caldicott, with links to to exclude women by denying them suffrage was
many other sites about her life and work, can be not endorsed by natural law, which respected
found at http://www.macronet.org/women/ men and women equally. Furthermore, Cam-
helen.html. See also the International Physicians poamor felt that their actions contravened the
for the Prevention of Nuclear War website, basic democratic principles of the republic.
http://www.ippnw.org. Her call for sexual equality and women’s suf-
frage was greeted with hostility by conservative
See also Greer, Germaine. and Catholic elements who opposed women’s
References and Further Reading emancipation and even by male activists on the
Caldicott, Helen. 1997. A Desperate Passion: An left, who doubted women’s ability to think ra-
Autobiography. New York: W. W. Norton. tionally. She found herself fighting not just male
Uglow, Jennifer, ed. 1998. Macmillan Dictionary
prejudice but also the indifference of many
of Women’s Biography. 3d ed. Basingstoke:
Macmillan.
Spanish women to suffrage and women’s rights
Who’s Who in Australia. 2001. Melbourne: Herald in general, partly as a result of their poor educa-
and Weekly Times. tion. Worse still, Campoamor found herself in
open opposition to Victoria Kent, herself also a

129
Carmichael, Amy Wilson

trained lawyer, who did not favor women’s im- Keene, Judith. 1999. “‘Into the Clean Air of the Plaza’:
mediate enfranchisement, since she felt that Spanish Women Achieve the Vote in 1931.” In
Spanish women were ill-prepared to use the vote Victoria Lorée Enders and Pamels Beth Radcliff,
judiciously. eds., Constructing Spanish Womanhood: Female
Identity in Modern Spain. Albany: State University
Opposition from right-wing Catholic ele-
of New York Press.
ments was finally overcome by Campoamor and
Offen, Karen. 2000. European Feminisms 1700-1950:
her supporters when Article 36 of the new con- A Political History. Stanford: Stanford University
stitution was passed, giving Spanish women over Press.
the age of twenty-three the vote in October 1931
(ratified in December).
During the 1930s, Campoamor wrote exten- Carmichael, Amy Wilson
sively on women’s rights and founded the Re- (1867–1971)
publican Feminine Union (one of five women’s Ireland
organizations she set up), which later ran under
the name Women’s Heritage. Alarmed at the rise The Northern Irish evangelist Amy Carmichael
of fascism in Spain and Italy, she was one of sev- went as a missionary to southern India, where
eral Spanish activists who joined with French- she devoted herself to campaigning against child
women in 1933 to set up the Worldwide Com- marriage, the ill treatment of widows, and tem-
mittee of Women Against War and Fascism. But ple prostitution. Born in County Down, the
in 1933 a right-wing government ousted the so- daughter of a mill owner, Carmichael was
cialists and republicans and banned the group’s brought up as a strict Presbyterian. She defied
activities. Having lost her seat in the assembly, convention and religious propriety in 1887 by
Campoamor turned to activism among the living with fellow widowed evangelist Robert
working classes. In 1934, during a general strike Wilson as his daughter. In 1893 she left Northern
in Asturias led by a mixture of socialists and an- Ireland with Wilson and spent two years as a
archists, Campoamor helped found Pro Infancia missionary in Japan and Sri Lanka before travel-
Obrera, a society to relieve the sufferings of the ing to India in 1895 to join in the work of the
children in the region. Church of England Zenana Missionary Society.
In her book My Mortal Sin: Women’s Vote and Never one to be reticent in expressing her
Me (1936), Campoamor described her private views, Carmichael quickly stirred up controversy
conflict in reconciling her feminist and reformist among the British expatriate community still
concerns with her commitment to Socialist Party steeped in the ways of the old Raj. She took pow-
politics. After the Spanish Civil War and the es- erful, controversial stands on many issues involv-
tablishment of the fascist regime of General ing the British administration in India, criticiz-
Francisco Franco, Campoamor went into exile, ing the complacency of the resident Anglican
first in France, and then in 1938 settled in Buenos community, among whom she soon caused gos-
Aires, Argentina. Meanwhile, in Spain General sip and scandal when she took to wearing a sari
Franco suppressed women’s suffrage during the and traveling around evangelizing with her
Spanish Civil War; it was not fully restored in group of followers, known as “The Woman’s
Spain until after his death, in 1975. In 1955, Band,” in a bullock cart. Although her primary
Campoamor moved back to Europe and lived in concern was the plight of Indian women,
Lausanne, Switzerland. She wrote a notable Carmichael constantly had to fight prejudice
monograph on the Spanish poet Sor Juana Inés among other white missionaries and colonial of-
de la Cruz, which was published in 1983. Like all ficials toward her own activities.
too many other reformers of her time, she died In 1901, having based herself at Dohnavur,
forgotten; her work remains untranslated. Carmichael founded the Dohnavur Fellowship
to fund the education of Indian girls and boys
See also Nelken i Mausberger, Margarita. who had been sold into prostitution, and in
References and Further Reading 1926 the Dohnavur Fellowship became a mis-
Hannam, June, Mitzi Auchterlonie, and Katherine sion in its own right. In 1903 Carmichael’s rep-
Holden. 2000. International Encyclopedia of utation reached a wider audience with the pub-
Women’s Suffrage. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. lication of Things as They Are, her account of her

130
Carpenter, Mary

travels proselytizing among villagers in southern Jayawardena, Kumari. 1995. The White Woman’s
India. Other Burden: Western Women and South Asia
Carmichael had begun taking in destitute During British Rule. London: Routledge.
women and children in the late 1890s. In 1900, es- Skoglund, Elizabeth R. Amma: The Life and Words of
Amy Carmichael. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
tablishing herself at Dohnavur, she founded a
Wellman, Sam. 1998. Amy Carmichael: A Life
mission and orphanage that eventually became
Abandoned to God. Uhrichville, OH: Barbour
known as the Dohnavur Fellowship, where she Publishing.
raised funds to provide for the education of In-
dian girls and boys whom she had rescued from
temple prostitution, several of whom converted to Carpenter, Mary
Christianity under her influence. Meanwhile, (1807–1877)
Carmichael had been publishing a stream of reli- United Kingdom
gious and evangelizing tracts and books to sup-
port and publicize her work, the most well-known The English Unitarian reformer and educator
of which are Things as They Are, which aroused Mary Carpenter was a pioneer of the ragged
public interest back home in Britain, and a dis- schools in Britain and the establishment of refor-
course on her religious faith in Overweights of Joy matories for juvenile offenders. Her philan-
(1906). In 1912, after years of being marginalized thropic concerns also took her to the United
by British officialdom, which disapproved of her States, where she supported the abolitionist
insistence on “going native” in order to further her cause, and to India, where she undertook pioneer
campaigning, Carmichael’s work achieved greater work in education. As the eldest of the six chil-
respectability when it was acknowledged by dren of an eminent Unitarian minister, Dr. Lant
Queen Mary. In 1916 Carmichael founded the Sis- Carpenter, she enjoyed the rare privilege of being
ters of the Common Life, a hands-on group of brought up in a family atmosphere where learn-
like-minded missionaries and reformers, and re- ing and scientific and philosophical debate were
moved herself to a remote retreat, known as “Gray positively encouraged. Thus it is no accident that
Jungle,” where she began taking in orphaned and her brother William later became an eminent bi-
destitute children and in 1929 added a hospital. ologist, zoologist, and neurologist.
In 1919 Carmichael was awarded the Kaiser-i- Carpenter was born in Exeter, Devon, and re-
Hind Medal for her service to India. But despite ceived an education at the school run by her fa-
her good works and humanitarian concerns, her ther there. The family moved to Bristol, a notable
reputation has been somewhat tarnished by her center of radicalism and nonconformity, where
vehement dislike of Hinduism and her some- Dr. Carpenter founded a local philosophical soci-
what lurid descriptions of those aspects of ety and literary institution and with his wife ran a
Hindu practice, particularly child marriage, of boarding school for boys. Carpenter took full ad-
which she disapproved in her own moral terms. vantage of any opportunities for education there
Carmichael described the work of the Dohnavur with the direct encouragement of her father, who
Fellowship in her 1932 book Gold Cord. was a staunch supporter of education for girls.
She remained in India until her death, sur- Contemporary accounts describe her as an
rounded at Dohnavur by her devoted Indian fol- earnest little girl who joined in on lessons with a
lowers, many of them rehabilitated prostitutes seriousness and concentration that belied her
who revered her as “amma” (Mother). young age. Her dedication is unsurprising consid-
ering the subjects she was already tackling, such as
References and Further Reading Latin, Greek, science, natural history, and mathe-
Carmichael, Amy. 1903. Things as They Are: Mission matics—this at a time when most young women
Work in Southern India. New York: Fleming H.
were being instructed in little more than the less
Revell.
Elliot, Elisabeth. 1987. A Chance to Die—the Life and
strenuous arts of sewing, dancing, and singing.
Legacy of Amy Carmichael. New Jersey: Fleming All her life, Carpenter would remain devoutly
H. Revell. religious and dedicated to good works (she never
Houghton, Frank. 1954. Amy Carmichael of married). Inspired by her father’s example, she
Dohnavur: The Story of a Lover and Her Beloved. soon began teaching in Dr. Carpenter’s Sunday
London: SPCK. school, and in 1829, together with her mother

131
Carpenter, Mary

and sister Anna, set up a school for girls in order bringing them back to the paths of holiness,” as
to provide an income for the family after her fa- the commemorative tablet there describes it
ther was forced to retire due to ill health. As a su- (Mayne 1929, 427). Kingswood and the Red
perintendent for the Lewin’s Mead Sunday Lodge would become models for many similar
School, in 1835 Carpenter set up a Working and establishments set up throughout Britain. In
Visiting Society to visit the homes of poor chil- 1859 Carpenter also founded the Park Row Cer-
dren in the Bristol slums. She was distressed by tified Industrial School for boys; a Workmen’s
the dismal conditions in which they lived and the Hall followed in 1865, where young working
devastating effects of cholera epidemics brought men and boys could gather for leisure activities
on by overcrowding. Her resolution to devote (Carpenter hoped that this would keep them out
herself to working with the poor took on the of the public houses).
complexion of a religious crusade, in which she In all her schools, Carpenter not only ad-
saw education and enlightenment as the route to dressed the discipline and rehabilitation of her
salvation from both moral depravity and social pupils with compassion and a minimum of coer-
oppression. In particular, she chose to address cion but also placed considerable emphasis on
the problems of those rejected even by conven- the quality of the teaching, insisting on hiring
tional Victorian charities—juvenile delinquents. trained teachers. The regime she set up was
In 1846 the founding of the Ragged School based on what she considered to be the three key
Union gave Carpenter the impetus to set up her qualities: love, faith, and obedience, with consid-
own school in the slums of Bristol, with a roll call erable attention paid to teaching the children
of twenty mostly homeless, barefoot boys. She some kind of trade and finding them suitable
was gratified by the response she received; soon employment. Carpenter’s tireless work in this
her school was welcoming up to 200 children a area was directly influential in the passing of the
week into its doors, and Carpenter set up a night Youthful Offenders Act of 1854, which sanc-
school for another 160 pupils. In 1849 she pub- tioned the establishment of reformatory schools
lished an account of her work in the pamphlet run by volunteers under government supervi-
“Ragged Schools: Their Principles and Modes of sion, and the Industrial Schools Acts of 1857,
Operation.” Carpenter henceforward cam- 1861, and 1866. In 1858–1859 Carpenter was as-
paigned vigorously for the establishment of spe- sisted in her work at Red Lodge by Frances Power
cial schools for delinquent children and the re- Cobbe, but the women proved incompatible, and
habilitation of young criminals, by lobbying in Cobbe, unable to cope with Carpenter’s self-
Parliament and visiting prison chaplains and denying lifestyle and the frugal diet she provided,
magistrates. She argued her case in her 1851 left after a few months.
tract, “Reformatory Schools for the Children of Since the 1830s, Carpenter had been im-
the Perishing and Dangerous Classes, and for Ju- pressed by the work of the Unitarian minister,
venile Offenders” and “Juvenile Delinquents: social pioneer, and philanthropist Dr. Joseph
Their Condition and Treatment” (1953), advo- Tuckerman in the United States. He had drawn
cating the early and humane rehabilitation of her attention to the issue of abolition (a cause
child criminals in order to save them from be- she long supported) and to the desperate need
coming persistent offenders. for welfare for destitute children. In the 1860s
In 1852 Carpenter used much of her own after slavery had been ended, Carpenter turned
money to found the Kingswood Industrial her attention to the plight of the destitute in In-
School for Boys and Girls. After a change in the dia and the work being done there by the re-
law in 1854, she was able to convert this estab- former Rajah Rammohun Roy, who had visited
lishment into a reformatory for boys (known Britain in 1831 and had stayed with the Carpen-
simply as the Boys’ Reformatory) and simultane- ters in Bristol. Carpenter had long nursed an
ously establish the first reformatory for girls. The ambition of traveling to India, which she finally
famous Red Lodge Reformatory, as the latter was achieved in 1866, and returned there on three
known, was housed in premises purchased in further occasions (until 1876). During these vis-
Bristol by philanthropist Lady Noel Byron—who its, she set up the Model High School for Hindu
had also funded Kingswood—“for the purpose Girls from her own finances, campaigned on be-
of rescuing young girls from sin and misery, and half of women and child workers in Indian cot-

132
Carrillo Puerto, Elvia

ton mills (which led in part to the passing of the and Resistance. Bloomington: Indiana University
Indian Factory Act after her death), and lectured Press.
in support of women’s education and prison re- Gardner, P. 1984. The Lost Elementary Schools of
form. She was unable, however, to overcome Victorian England. London: Croom Helm.
Hollis, Patricia, ed. 1979. Women in Public: The
caste prejudices and establish a teachers’ train-
Women’s Movement 1850–1900. London: Allen
ing college.
and Unwin.
Carpenter published accounts of her work in Jayawardena, Kumari. 1995. The White Woman’s
Six Months in India (1868), in which she detailed Other Burden: Western Women and South Asia
her visits to girls’ schools, prisons, and mental during British Rule. London: Routledge.
asylums in several cities, describing her abhor- Manton, Jo. 1976. Mary Carpenter and the Children
rence of child marriage and calling on other En- of the Streets. London: Heinemann.
glish radicals to help raise the social conscious- Mayne, Ethel Colburne. 1929. Life and Letters of Lady
ness of Indian women. She met and collaborated Byron. London: Constable.
with Florence Nightingale, whose work for pub- Parker, Julia. 1988. Women and Welfare. London:
lic health in India, as well as sanitary reforms in Macmillan.
Saywell, Ruby J. 1964. Mary Carpenter of Bristol.
the British Army there, she supported. During
Bristol: Historical Association.
her visits to India, Carpenter gave numerous
Schupf, Harriet Warm. 1974. “Single Women and So-
public lectures on women’s education (particu- cial Reform in Mid-Nineteenth Century England:
larly on the merits of secular schools for girls), The Case of Mary Carpenter.” Victorian Studies
juvenile offenders, prison reform, and public 17(2): 307–319.
health. In December 1866 she addressed the Tobias, J. J. Crime and Industrial Society in the
Bengal Social Science Association. In 1870 she Nineteenth Century. London: Batsford.
set up the National Indian Association in Tuson, Penelope, ed. 1997. The Queen’s Daughters:
Britain, to disseminate information about India An Anthology of Victorian Feminist Writings on
and forge closer links between England and the India 1857–1900. Reading, Berkshire, UK: Ithaca
subcontinent; her series of popular lectures in Press.
India was published as Addresses to the Hindoos.
Not content with doing good works in India,
Carpenter also visited the United States, Carrillo Puerto, Elvia
Canada, and France, where she threw her energy (1878–1965)
into the reform of their prison systems. Al- Mexico
though she was never involved in the general
campaign for women’s rights and suffrage in Carrillo was one of a group of radical women ac-
Britain, Carpenter supported the expansion of tive in the Yucatán in the 1920s who initiated
women’s education and was an active member campaigns for birth control, sex education, and
and speaker for the National Association for the rights of illegitimate children. As a socialist,
the Promotion of Social Science, established she insisted on a sound economic basis for all re-
in 1856. form relating to women’s rights. As sister of the
See also Cobbe, Frances Power; Nightingale, president of the Socialist Party of the Yucatán,
Florence. Felipe Carrillo Puerto, who governed the prov-
References and Further Reading ince from 1922 to 1924 and endorsed women’s
Burton, Antoinette. 1994. Burdens of History: British rights to initiate divorce, use birth control, and
Feminists, Indian Women and Imperial Culture have a life beyond the domestic one, Carrillo was
1865–1915. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University instrumental in lobbying him to grant the vote to
Press. women in the Yucatán and allow them to stand
———. 1995. “Fearful Bodies into Disciplined
for public office.
Subjects: Pleasure, Romance and the Family
Drama of Colonial Reform in Mary Carpenter’s
The Yucatán peninsula where Carrillo grew up
Six Months in India.” Signs 20(3): 545–574. is a remote rural area in southeastern Mexico. She
Carpenter, J. Estlin. 1879. The Life and Work of Mary married at the age of thirteen and was widowed
Carpenter. London: Macmillan. by the age of twenty-one. Her second marriage
Chaudhuri, Nupur, and Margaret Strobel, eds. ended in early separation, after which she worked
1992. Western Women and Imperialism: Complicity as a schoolteacher in the Yucatán. She began to

133
Carrillo Puerto, Elvia

take an interest in women’s issues and in 1912 control, despite being met with hostility from
founded an organization for peasant women. the predominantly conservative, middle-class
In 1919 Carrillo set up a Feminist League at delegates.
Mérida, named after the poet and teacher Rita When her brother was assassinated in 1924,
Cetina Gutiérrez, and encouraged the establish- Carrillo, who for several years had been paying
ment of a network of other leagues. Despite its regular visits to Mexico City to meet with other
geographical isolation, the Yucatán was, for a feminist and socialist leaders, extended her activ-
brief period, a region that pioneered social re- ities to campaigning for women’s greater in-
form and feminist activities, with one of its most volvement in all aspects of government. She
active leaders being Gutiérrez (1846–1908). The moved her activities to the state of San Luis Po-
Feminist League took part in campaigning for tosí in response to a program of limited suffrage
local and national elections as well as helping to reform that had been introduced there in 1923.
set up education programs. Taking advantage of the law allowing literate
Carrillo’s most socially active phase came women to vote in local elections, she stood as a
during her brother’s governorship of the Yu- deputy for the fourth district. In the ensuing
catán. She represented its progressive govern- election she won a seat but was barred from tak-
ment not only in Mexican state affairs but also ing it by the new military junta, which had taken
at national and international feminist con- over in Mexico in 1925 and had rescinded the
gresses, such as the 1922 Pan American Confer- suffrage law of 1923. Faced with the lack of con-
ence of Women, held in Baltimore, and the first stitutional backing for her campaign, she re-
international women’s congress in Mexico, held turned to the Yucatán.
in Mexico City the following year. In 1922 the Carrillo now faced growing opposition to her
Feminist League became involved in setting up a feminist activities, not only from government
school, and Carrillo encouraged teachers to take but also from conservative, Roman Catholic
on the challenge of teaching groups of twenty il- women activists who took exception to her crit-
literate peasants to read and write in three ical stance on the church’s opposition to birth
months by offering a cash prize. The league control and her views on “free love” and set up a
brought out the monthly magazine Feminism, rival Yucatán Women’s Protective Association.
which Carrillo edited. Undeterred, and by now one of the few early
While setting up branches of the Feminist feminists in Mexico to still be active, she peti-
League, Carrillo was able to extend her activities, tioned the government in 1926 to introduce
helping to set up conferences and meetings that universal women’s suffrage. She became a
would educate women about improving their founding member of the Feminist Socialist
lives through greater awareness about hygiene, Guiding League, set up in 1927 as a forum for
child care, birth control, and the dangers of alco- employees in the Ministry of Agriculture, and,
holism. She also offered literacy classes and dis- in 1932, of the Feminine Action Guiding League,
cussion of women’s rights, suffrage, and the which that year demonstrated at the opening of
eradication of traditional superstitious practices. Congress in February and petitioned in Novem-
During her time in the Yucatán, she had made a ber in an attempt to try to persuade the Cham-
personal crusade of her concern for the rights of ber of Deputies to accord full political rights to
illegitimate children and had encouraged her women. By the 1930s, women’s suffrage had
brother the governor to introduce a program been granted in Spain, but this step did not in-
aimed at giving them the same rights as their le- fluence events in Mexico, to the disappointment
gitimate counterparts. of Mexican campaigners. The struggle for suf-
In 1923 Carrillo was one of the first women to frage would continue throughout the 1930s and
be elected to the state legislature (at the age of women would not achieve full suffrage until
twenty-eight) for the fifth district of the Yu- 1958.
catán, with a majority of more than 5,000 votes. By 1938, sick and reduced to poverty, Carrillo
That same year she was one of three outspoken retired from activism. Although she was awarded
women delegates from the Yucatán to attend the the Legion of Honour by Mexican president Ruiz
first international women’s congress mentioned Cortinas in 1952 for her services to the nation, as
earlier and campaign on issues such as birth Shirlene Soto points out, she died lonely, desti-

134
Carson, Rachel

tute, and “largely forgotten” in Mexico City in five years, she struggled with financial difficul-
1965. ties, supporting her widowed mother and her
nieces (her sister had died in 1936) and teaching
References and Further Reading zoology at the University of Maryland (1931–
Macías, Anna. 1983. Against All Odds: The Feminist 1936). She then managed to secure a better salary
Movement in Mexico to 1940. Westport, CT: as a marine biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fish-
Greenwood Press.
eries (1936–1952) (one of the first women to
Soto, Shirlene. 1990. Emergence of the Modern
Mexican Woman: Her Participation in Revolution
achieve a nonclerical appointment there), where
and Struggle for Equality, 1910–1940. Denver: she wrote a series of radio programs. During the
Arden Press. war, she published bulletins on conservation for
Tenenbaum, Barbara A., ed. 1996. Encyclopedia of the government and in 1949 became editor-in-
Latin American History and Culture. Vol. 2. New chief of publications for the U.S. Fish and
York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Wildlife Service.
In 1937 after publishing an article titled “Un-
dersea” in Atlantic Monthly, Carson was encour-
Carson, Rachel aged to write a full-length study, publishing Un-
(1907–1964) der the Sea-Wind: A Naturalist’s Picture of Ocean
United States Life in 1941. This book would be the first of a
trilogy of books about the complex ecology of
Few women in history can have had a more far- the sea and the delicate balance maintained be-
reaching influence on the way people view the tween marine species; it was followed by a best-
world in which they live and the way they have selling book on oceanography, The Sea around
thoughtlessly destroyed it than the biologist Us (1951), which had been serialized in the New
Rachel Carson. In 1962, after she alerted the Yorker and won several literary prizes. Carson
American people to the increasingly destructive was financially secure enough to retire from her
long-term effects on wildlife and humanity of government post in 1952. She bought a seashore
the unrestrained use of synthetic pesticides— retreat on the coast of Maine, where she wrote a
what she called “the elixirs of death”—American book about its marine life, The Edge of the Sea
agriculture was forced to accept accountability (1955), combining scientific erudition with her
for its widespread use of 600 million pounds of unique literary skill for evoking the beauty of na-
pesticides per annum. It was Carson’s seminal ture. In doing so she also conveyed a powerful
book Silent Spring, probably one of the most in- underlying message about the pollution of the
fluential in the second half of the twentieth cen- sea and the urgent need for the preservation of
tury, that laid the foundations of the environ- its ecology.
mental movement that grew up during the 1970s During the 1950s, Carson became alarmed at
and ensured that both governments and individ- the sophisticated new technologies that were
uals would henceforth have a greater sense of hu- producing a wide range of synthetic chemicals
mility toward the natural environment, which and pesticides, particularly the increasing use of
they had assumed was theirs to control. the wartime miracle cure-all, DDT, which had
Carson was born in a farmhouse in rural proved highly effective in the eradication of the
Springdale in the Allegheny Valley of Pennsylva- body lice that spread typhus fever among troops.
nia. A naturally solitary and intellectual child, From 1956 to 1958, after being alerted to the de-
she grew up with a deep love for nature and the struction of the bird life at her friend Olga
wildlife of the nearby river. By the age of ten, she Owens Huckins’s private bird sanctuary in
had begun writing, and she went on to study En- Duxbury, Massachusetts, as a result of DDT
glish at Pennsylvania College for Women (now spraying, Carson took upon herself a mission to
Chatham College), soon changing subjects to warn the public of the dangers of chemical poi-
major in zoology and graduating in 1929. She sons used in agriculture and, in particular, the
conducted postgraduate research at the Marine use of DDT sprays to combat mosquitoes. With
Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole in Massa- the help of an assistant, Carson spent several
chusetts and was awarded an M.A. in zoology at years assembling painstaking research in the
Johns Hopkins University in 1932. For the next United States and in Europe on the effect of tox-

135
Carson, Rachel

Rachel Carson (Library of Congress)

ins, both on land and in the water supply. With her work. Even eminent scientists doubted the
relentless precision, she catalogued the disap- wisdom of what they perceived as Carson’s
pearance of fish from the rivers; of birds such as alarmist, if not hysterical, message and were pre-
the robin, dove, and jay from gardens; and the pared to publicly aver in support of the chemical
frightening correlation between the rise of companies that pesticides did not harm either
leukemia in areas where pesticides were heavily wildlife or humans. Meanwhile, Carson was vili-
used and the threat of pesticides to human fied and accused of fear-mongering.
health through the food chain. By the time the book was published, Carson
During her research, Carson often found that was terminally ill with breast and bone cancer
people were reluctant to talk to her or to openly and, having undergone a mastectomy, was facing
condemn widespread federal agricultural pro- her critics between debilitating courses of radia-
grams. She then faced the obstacle of finding a tion treatment. But she lived long enough to see
publisher prepared to publish her controversial forty U.S. states introduce some form of pesti-
findings. The Readers Digest declined, but Car- cide control by the end of the year. Such was the
son was subsequently encouraged by the editor widespread interest in her case and the high me-
of the New Yorker, William Shawn, who pub- dia profile given it, with Silent Spring eventually
lished extracts from the book beginning in June being translated into twenty-two languages, that
1962. Rejected by several publishers, the book Carson was called to testify before Congress on
Silent Spring was published by Houghton Mifflin her findings. President John F. Kennedy’s science
in September of that year. But even after it was advisory committee was appointed to investigate
published and became an instant best-seller, Carson’s claims and eventually endorsed her ar-
Carson found herself up against the big guns of guments on the high toxicity of chemical pesti-
the U.S. chemical giants, who, with access to un- cides, advocating a tough new federal pesticide
limited funds and astute lawyers, did everything policy, which was introduced to curb the use of
they could to undermine and discredit her and toxic agricultural chemicals. In 1970 the Envi-

136
Cary, Mary Ann Shadd

ronmental Protection Agency was established, Cary, Mary Ann Shadd


but it was not until ten years after the publication (1823–1893)
of Silent Spring that the final ban on DDT use in United States/Canada
the United States came into force.
Carson never married but during her life One of the first to resettle escaped American
showed a compassionate concern for children, slaves in Canada was Mary Shadd Cary, a free
helping to raise her nieces after her sister died and black from Delaware. A combative and hard-
in 1955, at the age of forty-eight, adopting the working woman, she founded the Provincial Free-
five-year-old son of one of them. She lived long man to promote this work and advocated the full
enough to receive numerous awards: in 1956 she integration of immigrants into Canadian society.
was awarded the Literary Award of the Council of Cary grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. One
Women of the United States and in 1963 the Al- of thirteen children of a freed slave and notable
bert Schweitzer Prize for Animal Welfare (Silent abolitionist, she inherited her father’s forthright-
Spring was dedicated to Schweitzer), the ness in promoting a sense of pride in their own
Audubon Medal, and the Cullen Medal of the worth among blacks. She attended a Quaker
American Geographical Society, as well as elec- school for the children of free blacks in West-
tion to the American Academy of Arts and Sci- chester, Pennsylvania, and, at the age of sixteen,
ences and the Conservationist Award from the back in Wilmington, established her own school
National Wildlife Federation. She was also for black children. She spent the next eleven
posthumously awarded the President’s Medal of years teaching there and in New York, New Jer-
Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Car- sey, and Pennsylvania.
son’s untimely death at the age of fifty-six robbed In 1849 she published a pamphlet, “Hints to
the burgeoning environmental movement of a the Colored People of the North,” extolling the
key prophetic figure, but thanks to her work and virtues of hard work among black people and
that of others, humankind has come to realize cautioning them against seeking to imitate the
that it arrogantly abuses its natural environment profligacy of whites. She decided to do some-
at its peril. More important, governments have thing positive for her people when she moved to
also had to learn that a healthy, unpolluted envi- Windsor, Ontario, in 1851 to avoid the possibil-
ronment is as much a human right as any other, ity of being enslaved under the Fugitive Slave
one upon which ordinary citizens are entitled to Act, passed the previous year. Arriving in
insist. The Rachel Carson Organization can be Canada, she used funding from the American
found online at http://www.rachelcarson.org/. Mission Association (AMA) to set up a school
for the children of free black emigrants and those
References and Further Reading
Brooks, Paul. 1972. The House of Life: Rachel Carson
of escaped slaves coming into Canada on the Un-
at Work. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. derground Railroad from the United States.
Graham, Frank, Jr. 1970. Since Silent Spring. Boston: After publishing her call to free blacks to emi-
Houghton Mifflin. grate from the United States to Canada in “A Plea
Hendricksson, John. 1991. Rachel Carson: The for Emigration: Or, Notes of Canada West, in Its
Environmental Movement. Brookfield, CT: Moral, Social and Political Aspect . . . for the In-
Millbrook Press. formation of Colored Emigrants” in 1852, Cary
Lear, Linda J. 1998. Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. also founded a nonsectarian black newspaper,
London: Allen Lane. the Provincial Freeman (1853–1859), in which
McKay, Mary. 1993. Rachel Carson. Boston: Twayne she published antislavery editorials, accentuated
Publishers.
women’s work in safeguarding the welfare of es-
Waddell, Craig, ed. 2000. And No Birds Sing:
Rhetorical Analyses of Rachel Carson’s Silent
caped slaves, and advocated the integration of
Spring. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University blacks into Canadian society. These activities
Press. brought her into conflict with other male ac-
Wadsworth, Ginger. 1991. Rachel Carson: Voice of the tivists who, more reliant on donations from pa-
Earth. New York: Lerner Publications. trons and well-wishers, sought to ghettoize
Wheeler, Leslie. 1991. Rachel Carson. Englewood blacks by settling them in their own separate
Cliffs, NJ: Silver Burdett Press. communities. A very public controversy erupted
between segregationists and integrationists, par-

137
Casely Hayford, Adelaide Smith

ticularly black activist Henry Bibb, a supporter of Pease, William H., and Jane H. Pease. 1963. Black
settlements founded by the Refugee Home Soci- Utopia: Negro Communal Experiments in America.
ety, which ended with the AMA, rattled by Cary’s Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
outspokenness, withdrawing its financial sup- Quarles, Benjamin. 1969. Black Abolitionists. New
York: Oxford University Press.
port for her school. Despite these developments,
Sadleir, Rosemary. 1994. Leading the War: Black
Cary continued to condemn black separatism,
Women in Canada. Toronto: Umbrella Press.
where some of her people chose to live in special Winks, Robin. 1971. The Blacks in Canada: A History.
settlements. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Also in the 1850s, Cary returned to the United
States to raise funds to keep her school and
newspaper going through lecturing, and she re- Casely Hayford, Adelaide Smith
turned to Canada in early 1854 to bring the pa- (1868–1960)
per out more frequently from its new premises in Sierra Leone
Toronto. It struggled on through numerous fi-
nancial crises for another five years, moving One of the first black women in Africa to pioneer
again to Chatham. Cary married in 1856 and had women’s education that rejected colonial meth-
two children, but her husband died in 1860. De- ods, emphasized African talents, and nurtured a
spite her loss, she was buoyed up by hopes of an pride in traditional culture, Adelaide Casely Hay-
end to slavery after meeting John Brown in ford was also the first African woman to make a
Canada in 1858. During the years 1859–1864, lecture tour of the United States.
Cary went back to running her own school in One of seven children, Adelaide Smith moved
Chatham. Anxious to play her part after the with her family to London in 1872. Later she was
American Civil War broke out in 1861, she re- sent to study at the Ladies College on the island
turned to the United States in 1863 to encourage of Jersey and at the age of seventeen went to Ger-
black recruitment in the Union Army in Indiana, many to study music. Returning to Freetown in
Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. After the war 1892, she became a teacher at a Methodist school
was over, Cary decided to stay in the United and in 1897 set up an elementary girls’ school
States to take up much-needed work in the reset- with her sister Emma.
tlement and education of its emancipated slaves. Adelaide returned to London in 1900, where
She studied for a teaching qualification and in after three years she met and married J. E. Casely
1868 returned to teaching, first in Detroit and Hayford, a lawyer and leading Ghanaian nation-
then in several public schools in Washington, alist. In 1907 Adelaide joined her husband on the
D.C., during 1872–1874 serving as principal of a Gold Coast, but the marriage ended in 1914 (al-
grammar school. In 1869 when she was forty-six, though they never divorced), and she returned to
she decided to take up the law, studying until Sierra Leone to take up local community work in
1871 at Howard University; but her studies were Freetown. In 1915 she expressed her interest in
interrupted for some time. It was not until 1883 women’s education in a speech she gave as presi-
that she finally received her law degree. In the dent of the Young Women’s Christian Associa-
meantime, she had become engaged in activism tion, entitled “The Rights of Women and Chris-
for women’s suffrage and promoting better edu- tian Marriage,” elaborating on her vision of an
cation facilities for blacks. It is not known African-run school for girls that emphasized tra-
whether she ever practiced as a lawyer. ditional African culture and arts and provided
vocational training.
References and Further Reading In 1923 in Freetown, she finally began fund-
Bearden, Jim, and Linda Jean Butler. 1977. Shadd: raising for her Girls’ Vocational and Industrial
The Life and Times of Mary Shadd Cary. Toronto:
Training School, assisted by her niece Kathleen
NC Press.
Hill, Daniel G. 1981. The Freedom-Seekers: Blacks in
Easmon. In 1920–1923 and again in 1926–1927
Early Canada. Agincourt: Book Society of she also toured the United States, speaking at
Canada. Radcliffe and Bryn Mawr Colleges, visiting black
Litwack, Leon, and August Meier. 1988. Black Leaders schools in Alabama and Georgia, and raising
of the Nineteenth Century. Urbana: University of more money for her own school. The school
Illinois Press. opened in 1926, with Casely Hayford affirming

138
Casgrain, Thérèse

its objectives as being to offer “an education was sidelined by illness, where she discovered her
which would instill into us a love of country, a talents for public speaking and became active in
pride of race, an enthusiasm for a black man’s ca- promoting the suffrage cause in Quebec, in 1922
pabilities, and a genuine admiration for Africa’s being a founding member of the Provincial
wonderful art work” (Cromwell 1986, 102). Franchise Committee (PFC). After a split in the
Casely Hayford was assisted in school adminis- PFC’s leadership in 1927, Casgrain became sole
tration by her daughter Gladys, but in 1940, a president. In November 1929, the PFC changed
combination of age, insufficient funding, and the its name to the League for the Rights of Women
difficulties of educating children during wartime and launched a long, concerted battle to win vot-
forced Casely Hayford to close the school down. ing rights for women in provincial elections in
Casely Hayford was made a Member of the Quebec. It would take twelve years to wear down
Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1949. the opposition to women’s suffrage in the ultra-
Through her work as president of the women’s conservative provincial legislature, and Casgrain
section of the Universal Negro Improvement As- worked hard to involve women in remote rural
sociation, formed by Marcus Garvey in the 1910s parts of Quebec to support the campaign,
Casely Hayford had throughout her life encour- achieving a high profile for campaigning
aged black people to take pride in their color and through her regular radio program Femina dur-
their culture. ing the 1930s.
References and Further Reading
Casgrain also devoted much energy to her
Cromwell, Adelaide M. 1986. An African Victorian many social concerns as a member of the Na-
Feminist: The Life and Times of Adelaide Smith tional Health Council and the National Welfare
Casely Hayford 1868–1960. London: Frank Cass. Council. She lobbied in particular for legal
changes relating to the position of women. In
November 1929 she gave evidence to the Dorion
Casgrain, Thérèse Commission on reform of the civil code, arguing
(1896–1981) in particular for married women’s control of
Canada their own earnings, their right to bring lawsuits
without their husband’s permission, and their
The Québecois suffrage leader and preeminent right of consent to the marriage of daughters
woman politician Thérèse Casgrain was the first who were minors. Sixteen changes were subse-
female leader of a political party in that province quently recommended to the Canadian legisla-
and headed a twelve-year fight for women to be ture, some of which were enacted in 1931.
granted the provincial vote, which was finally The Quebec movement for women’s provin-
achieved in 1940. Revered by English- and cial suffrage encountered endless disappoint-
French-speaking Canadians alike, she went on to ments and the rejection of its annual petitions to
become the first woman promoted to the Senate government, but it was greatly aided by Cas-
of the Canadian federal government. In later grain’s spirit, wit, and dedication. During
years, she was a leading Canadian pacifist. 1936–1940, when her husband was serving as
Casgrain was born into a wealthy Montreal speaker of the Federal House of Commons, she
family, the daughter of a conservative politician, became a high-profile figure. In 1936 she helped
Rodolphe Forget, himself a lawyer and notable organize a petition to King George V on the
philanthropist. She was educated at the Convent provincial vote and did much to defuse antisuf-
des Dames du Sacré-Coeur in Sault-aux-Récol- fragist criticism as a mother of four children—
lets and married in 1916. Her husband, Pierre proving thereby, she argued, that suffragists were
François Casgrain, was a liberal politician and not embittered spinsters. On 25 April 1940,
lawyer. Québecois women finally won the vote.
In 1918 women in Canada were awarded the Casgrain continued her work for the Liberal
vote in federal elections, but they were still ex- Party of Canada, lobbying for child protection
cluded from provincial elections in Quebec, even laws and reform of the civil code and the prison
after all other Canadian provinces had awarded system. In 1942, after her husband had left Parlia-
suffrage to women by 1922. She took up work for ment to become a judge, she stood unsuccessfully
her husband’s 1921 election campaign when he as a Liberal candidate for the Canadian federal

139
Castle, Barbara

Parliament in her husband’s seat of Charlevoix- Companion of the Order of Canada.


Saguenay, the first woman to do so. Undeterred In 1970, in recognition of Casgrain’s status as
by defeat, she stood unsuccessfully for provincial elder stateswoman, Canadian prime minister
and federal elections nine times in all from 1942 Pierre Trudeau called her to the Senate, where
to 1962. Such determination demonstrated the she took the opportunity of opposing the supply
depth of her conviction that the presence of more of Canadian-manufactured napalm and agent
women in government would transform tradi- orange for U.S. use in Vietnam. Forced by law to
tional power politics. She constantly argued that retire nine months later, she went out fighting—
women would provide government with a more to formally oppose compulsory retirement.
compassionate face in addressing the plight of the Shortly after her death, a Thérèse Casgrain
exploited and dispossessed. Foundation was established in 1982 to further
During World War II, Casgrain organized the the ideals and objectives that Casgrain had es-
Women’s Surveillance Committee of the War- poused, particularly relating to the advancement
time Prices and Trade Board and also its Con- of women. It now offers a fellowship for research
sumer Branch, receiving an Order of the British on women and social change in Canada under
Empire for her wartime services. In 1946 she fi- the auspices of the Social Sciences and Humani-
nally abandoned the Liberals, joined the socialist ties Research Council of Canada. For informa-
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (from tion, contact http://.www.sshrc.ca/english.
1955 the National Democratic Party [NDP]),
References and Further Reading
and was elected one of its national vice chairs in
Brown, George W., et al., eds. 1966. Dictionary of
1948. In 1951 she became leader of the NDP’s Canadian Biography. Toronto: University of
Quebec branch—the first woman party leader in Toronto Press.
Canada—and was reelected to that office twice Casgrain, Thérèse. 1972. A Woman in a Man’s World.
more until she stood down in 1957. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.
In her later years Casgrain gave up more and Cleverdon, Catherine Lyle. 1950. The Woman Suffrage
more time to the pacifist movement. In 1961 she Movement in Canada. Toronto: University of
established the Quebec branch of the Voice of Toronto Press.
Women peace group (founded in 1960) and, as its Dadson, True. 1973. The Golden Strings. Toronto:
national president from 1962, led opposition to Griffin House.
Canada’s acquisition of nuclear missiles. She re- Josephson, Harold, Sandi Cooper, and Steven C.
Hause et al., eds. 1985. Biographical Dictionary of
signed after a year to stand unsuccessfully as an
Modern Peace Leaders. Westport, CT: Greenwood
NDP candidate on a pacifist ticket in the 1963 Press.
federal election. For the rest of her career, Cas- Lazarus, Morden. 1983. Six Women Who Dared.
grain remained an international peace cam- Toronto: CPA Publishers.
paigner and was a regular delegate at conferences. Munnings, Gladys. 1993. Canadian Women of
She took a strong stand against U.S. intervention Distinction: Emily Ferguson Murphy, Agnes
in Vietnam and served as president of the Quebec Campbell, Thérèse Casgrain, Molly (Mary) Brant,
Medical Aid to Vietnam Committee. Frances Anne Hopkins. Newmarket, ON: Quaker
Casgrain’s wide-ranging interests prompted Press.
her involvement in 1967 in the founding of the
Federation of Women of Quebec, an umbrella
organization for various women’s groups estab- Castle, Barbara (Baroness Castle
lished during the UN Year for the Celebration of of Blackburn)
Human Rights. She also served as president of (1910– )
the League of the Rights of Man, the Canadian United Kingdom
Consumers Association for Quebec, and the
French section of the Canadian Adult Education During her long life in public service as the “First
Association, and was a founder of the French Ju- Lady of Socialism,” the indomitable Labour
nior League and the French Federated Charities. politician Barbara Castle has been a passionate
In 1967 Casgrain was nominated Woman of the advocate of the welfare state, public health care
Century by the National Council of Jewish and pensions, and women’s equality. In the
Women of Canada; in 1974 she was made a words of fellow member of Parliament (MP)

140
Castle, Barbara

Shirley Williams, “The words social justice are vice charges.


written on her heart” (BBC Radio 4, Any Ques- From 1950 to 1979, Castle was a member of
tions, 1998). Castle’s espousal of the idealism of the National Executive of the Labour Party and
the Bevanite vision of social reform and public subsequently held important government posts.
welfare allowed no compromise. She became leg- She became the fourth woman in British history
endary, not just for her passion but also for her to attain cabinet rank, when she was appointed
stubbornness with regard to the causes in which minister of overseas development (1964–1965),
she believed, a fact that would lead to her repu- during which time she injected new energy into
tation as the eternal maverick of Labour politics. its programs. Subsequently, as minister of trans-
As Anne Perkins points out (1999), the story port (1965–1968), she pushed through a 70-
of Castle’s life parallels the rise and changing for- mile-per-hour speed limit and breathalyzer tests.
tunes of the Labour Party in Britain, stretching In the newly created post of secretary of state for
from her election campaigning in 1931 through employment and productivity (1968–1970),
close involvement in the establishment of the Castle had to deal with an unpopular prices and
building blocks of the welfare state under Labour incomes policy, producing a controversial policy
governments. The title of Castle’s autobiography, document on trade union reform, In Place of
Fighting All the Way, attests to her long career in Strife. In 1970 she succeeded in getting the Equal
activism. She was born in Chesterfield, the Pay Bill through Parliament, which was finally
daughter of a tax inspector who was editor of the ratified in 1975 as part of the Sex Discrimination
Independent Labour Party’s newspaper, the Pio- Act. In her last major post, as secretary of state
neer. Her mother was also a socialist and a for social services in 1974–1976, Castle intro-
Labour councilor in Bradford. Educated at Brad- duced legislation to improve wage-linked pen-
ford Girls Grammar School, Castle won a schol- sions, to have child benefits paid directly to
arship to St. Hugh’s College at Oxford University. mothers (replacing the payment of family al-
Castle began her career in public service by lowances in men’s wage packets), and to ensure
working for St. Pancras Borough Council in Lon- equal pay for women. When the Labour moder-
don from 1937 to 1945 and for the Metropolitan ate James Callaghan took over the leadership of
Water Board from 1940 to 1945. During World the Labour Party from Harold Wilson (who de-
War II, she was an administrative officer at the scribed Castle as his best minister), she was
Ministry of Food (1941–1944). In 1943, she sacked, just before she was due to introduce a bill
backed Labour MPs who attacked Winston to phase out private pay beds in national health
Churchill’s wartime government for postponing hospitals.
the implementation of proposals for social wel- In 1979, having retired from Parliament, Cas-
fare reform under the 1942 Beveridge Report on tle stood for election as a member of the Euro-
Social Insurance and Allied Services (Castle had pean Parliament for Greater Manchester North,
worked behind the scenes on its preparation). remaining in that position until 1989. She was
The report contained the guiding principles of also vice chair of the Socialist Group within the
the new postwar Labour government, which won European Economic Community (1979–1986)
a landslide victory in the 1945 elections and in and leader of the British Labour Group (1979–
which Castle would be a leading light as MP for 1985).
Blackburn. Elected in 1945, she would remain in After finally retiring from political life, Castle
Parliament for thirty-four years and undoubt- was made a life peer in 1990. But she still kept on
edly was one of the leading Labour politicians of campaigning, concentrating her efforts on the
her generation. As a dedicated Bevanite—a rights of the elderly and for the continued link-
group of left-wing MPs in the Labour Party who age of wages with old-age pensions. The Castle
supported Minister of Health Aneurin Bevan’s Diaries, covering her time in office from 1974 to
introduction of the National Health Service and 1976 (vol. 1) and from 1964 to 1970 (vol. 2), were
new housing programs—Castle would criticize published in 1980 and 1984. Castle is also the au-
escalating government expenditure on the arms thor of The NHS Revisited (1976), Pensions as of
race during the Cold War, which was funded by Right for All (1999), and We Can Afford the Wel-
cutbacks in expenditure on welfare programs; fare State (1996). In 1987 she published a vivid
she also opposed the introduction of health ser- biography of the Pankhurst sisters, Sylvia and

141
Catt, Carrie Chapman

Christabel. bringing the American movement into close


Throughout her long defense of women’s contact with suffragists around the world
equal rights in the workplace, Castle has been through her presidency of the International
adamantly opposed to any promotion of a sex Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA). Her political
war, herself combining femininity with steely re- acumen and powers as an organizer prompted
sourcefulness and political acumen. She has long her to reorganize the suffrage movement on po-
argued that women do not need to be man haters litical district lines during 1905–1915, between
in order to compete successfully alongside them, her two presidencies of the National American
nor did she ever exploit her sexuality when in Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) from
government, averring that she had too much re- 1900 to 1904 and 1916 to 1920.
spect for her male colleagues. Even in her late Born in Ripon, Wisconsin, Catt grew up on a
eighties, Castle was still writing articles and ad- remote prairie farm near Charles City, Iowa. Her
dressing Labour constituency party meetings, in- early life in this frontier area taught her indepen-
sisting that despite the hard times, she had en- dence and a tough-mindedness that would stand
joyed the challenges and responsibilities of being her in good stead in her later life as an activist.
in government. After graduating from Iowa State College in
When the twenty-fifth anniversary of the pass- 1880, she considered entering law school but in-
ing of the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act, which stead accepted a post as high school principal in
she introduced in Parliament, was marked in Mason City, Iowa, in 1881, becoming one of the
2001, Castle had lost none of her passion, argu- first female school superintendents in the state in
ing at the age of ninety that the battle for sexual 1883. She married the newspaper proprietor Leo
equality was still not over and that “women have Chapman in 1885 and helped edit his Mason
to do more to help themselves. If there is no fire City Republican. But he died of typhoid fever the
in women’s bellies it will all become a very dainty following year, and she returned to Charles City,
process. Organize yourselves and speak out” (In- trying to come to terms with her grief by devot-
dependent on Sunday, 21 January 2001). A small ing herself to women’s suffrage. From 1887 to
and feisty woman renowned for her mesmeriz- 1890 she was an active member of the Iowa
ing powers of oratory, her intelligence, and de- Woman Suffrage Association, joining NAWSA in
termination, Barbara Castle remains one of the 1890.
great movers and shakers of British social ac- When Carrie remarried in 1890, she and her
tivism of the twentieth century. husband signed a prenuptial agreement allowing
her to spend four months of every year working
References and Further Reading for suffrage. Indeed, George William Catt was a
Castle, Barbara. 1993. Fighting All the Way. London: considerable encouragement to Carrie in her
Macmillan. suffrage work. They settled in New York, where
De’Ath, Wilfred. 1970. Barbara Castle: A Portrait from
Catt soon lent her skills to the administration of
Life. London: Clifton.
Martineau, Lisa. 2000. Barbara Castle: Politics and
the organizational committee in charge of field-
Power. London: Andre Deutsch. work for the NAWSA, beginning in 1895. Al-
Perkins, Anne. 1999. “Red Queen in the Pink.” [The though Catt succeeded Susan B. Anthony as its
Guardian profile.] Guardian, 25 September: 6–7. president in 1900, the ill health of her husband
forced her to abandon the post in 1904. His
death in 1905 dealt Catt another severe emo-
Catt, Carrie Chapman tional blow, but it left her financially secure so
(1859–1947) that she could once more devote her energies to
United States women’s suffrage, which she did with great en-
ergy and efficiency.
The central figure in the final years of the Amer- Catt became a familiar figure in the interna-
ican suffrage campaign, Carrie Chapman Catt tional women’s movement as a founding mem-
was a leading moderate feminist with innate ber and president of the IWSA, which she served
qualities of leadership, public oratory, and states- from 1902 to 1923, regularly attending con-
manship. She worked hard for unity, training gresses in Europe. A powerful presence and dig-
women to take up direct political action and nified speaker, she lent great weight and social

142
Catt, Carrie Chapman

acceptability to the public face of the interna- guished Service Medal.


tional and U.S. suffrage movements. In 1911– Once President Woodrow Wilson’s support for
1912 she undertook an ambitious fact-finding a federal amendment had been won, particularly
world tour in support of women’s suffrage in the after several American states passed suffrage bills
company of the leading Dutch suffragist Aletta in 1917–1918, Catt had to face a tough fourteen-
Jacobs. Together they visited Egypt, Palestine, In- month battle for final ratification of the Nine-
dia, Burma, China, Japan, Java, the Philippines, teenth Amendment across the remaining states,
and Hawaii. In 1922–1923 during another tour from June 1919 until the final nail-biting conclu-
to South America, Catt offered considerable sion in the summer of 1920, when Tennessee was
moral support to the yet-to-be-enfranchised the last state to decide the matter. She wrote an
women of that continent. account with Nettie R. Shuler, Woman Suffrage
In 1913–1914 Catt led a high-profile suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Move-
campaign in New York state, working for a state ment (1923), and thereafter supported the estab-
referendum on votes for women, and a year later lishment of a League of Women Voters, based on
she resumed the presidency of NAWSA. In 1915 the 2-million-strong membership of the
she set about reorganizing and galvanizing the NAWSA, which continued to lobby for progres-
suffrage movement, which had in her absence sive reforms and give women electors impartial
become polarized between Alice Paul’s militants information on political candidates in elections.
in the Congressional Union, who sought suffrage After Catt’s death in 1947, the league set up a
at the federal level, and the moderates. Catt’s so- Carrie Chapman Catt Memorial Foundation in
called winning plan attempted to combine cam- her honor to encourage women’s participation in
paigns at both the federal and state levels. She be- political life through the exercise of their vote.
lieved that state campaigns were more likely to By the early 1920s, having already devoted forty
succeed in the political climate of the 1910s. In years to women’s suffrage, Catt felt that the time
1915 she also headed an ambitious and vigorous had come to pass the torch of women’s work on to
campaign for the vote in New York state, which, a new generation of women activists, preferring
despite its failure, provided Catt with valuable to devote her time instead to the peace movement
organizational experience preparatory to the fi- and disarmament, although she remained hon-
nal onslaught for women’s suffrage, launched in orary president of NAWSA until her death. In
1917. 1924, with the backing of several national
As a pacifist, Catt had attended the women’s women’s organizations, Catt began planning the
peace convention in Washington, D.C., in Janu- Conference on the Cause and Cure of War. This
ary 1915 at which the Woman’s Peace Party had was held the following year in Washington, where
been founded. The entry of the United States Catt was a founding member and was elected
into the war in 1917 prompted Catt to make a chair of the Committee for the Cause and Cure of
pragmatic compromise of her beliefs and lend War (in which she remained active till 1932). As
her support to the war effort. Like suffragists in an amalgam of eleven national women’s organi-
other countries, such as Christabel and Sylvia zations, the committee was dedicated to peace
Pankhurst, Catt saw the war as offering a prime and the establishment of an international body to
opportunity for women to prove their worthi- promote it. Catt also endorsed the work for peace
ness of the vote, with women’s suffrage following mediation and the peaceful coexistence of mem-
as a natural democratic progression of the ideals ber states of the League of Nations and its succes-
of the wartime allies. She served on the Woman’s sor the United Nations, where she was influential
Committee of the Council of National Defense in securing the appointments of women to im-
during the war while adamantly refusing to suc- portant commissions. In 1935 she published Why
cumb to pressure to abandon the suffrage cam- Wars Must Cease.
paign altogether during the war—a fact that pre- During the 1930s Catt became aware, through
cipitated regular attacks on her for being her European contacts in the IWSA, of the perse-
insufficiently patriotic and even accusations of cution of the Jews in Hitler’s Germany. Some of
her having communist leanings. At the end of her Jewish colleagues, such as Rosa Manus (who
the war she was, however, presented with the died in Auschwitz) and Rosika Schwimmer (who
prestigious national civilian honor, the Distin- fled to the United States), had appealed to Catt to

143
Cauer, Minna

help Jewish refugees, which she did by founding Harvard University Press.
the Protest Committee of Non-Jewish Women Fowler, Robert Booth. 1986. Carrie Catt: Feminist
against the Persecution of Jews in Germany, Politician. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
work for which in 1933 she received the Ameri- Jacobs, Aletta. 1996. Memories: My Life as an Interna-
tional Leader in Health, Suffrage, and Peace. New
can Hebrew Medal. She would continue her
York: Feminist Press.
work for Jewish refugees until her death.
Kraditor, Aileen. 1981 [1965]. The Ideas of the Woman
Catt’s commitment to playing the role of con- Suffrage Movement 1890–1920. Reprint, New York:
ciliator within the women’s suffrage movement W. W. Norton.
and her instincts as a subtle political strategist O’Neill, William L. 1989. Feminism in America: A
were at the root of her reluctance to prejudice History. 2d ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.
unity by resorting to militancy in a belief that Peck, Mary Gray. 1944. Carrie Chapman Catt: A
“organization is the only assurance of final tri- Biography. New York: H. W. Wilson.
umph of any cause” (Van Voris 1987, vii). She re- Rupp, Leila J. 1997. Worlds of Women: The Making of
fused to kowtow to more radical activists who an International Women’s Movement. Princeton:
might alienate male liberal support (although in Princeton University Press.
Van Voris, Jacqueline. 1987. Carrie Chapman Catt:
the end she did concede that their direct action
A Public Life. New York: Feminist Press.
had helped the cause); nor did she openly criti-
Weatherford, Doris. 1998. A History of the American
cize the racism and elitism of right-wing ele- Suffragist Movement. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-
ments within NAWSA in the South. These deci- CLIO.
sions have led to criticism of her political
leadership, in particular her willingness to accept
partial suffrage at the state level rather than Cauer, Minna
holding out for full federal suffrage alone. Her (1841–1922)
backing for U.S. entry into World War I while Germany
herself remaining an avowed pacifist has also
come under fire. Nevertheless, Catt’s commit- Minna Cauer was an energetic woman of many
ment to the overriding objective of the cause talents: feminist, publisher, educator, and suf-
above personal political differences and preju- fragist. Through her leadership of the Women’s
dices could not have allowed her to adopt a dif- Welfare Association she enlisted German women
ferent position. As a persuasive speaker and in a wide range of social work and represented
revered international figure, she lent a dignity to the interests of working women as leader of the
the suffrage movement both at home and abroad Commercial Union of Female Salaried Employ-
and ensured her own immortality as one of its ees, founded in 1889. As a radical, she felt let
major icons alongside Susan B. Anthony and down by male liberal and social democratic
Elizabeth Cady Stanton. politicians because of the insufficient emphasis
Catt’s childhood home in Charles City, Iowa, they gave to women’s suffrage and from 1902 de-
is now on the National Register of Historic voted her energies to the fight for the vote within
Places and is currently being restored as the Car- the women’s movement.
rie Chapman Catt Museum. Information on the Born in Freyenstein (Osprignitz), the daugh-
museum and on Catt’s life and works can be ter of a pastor, Cauer married the left-wing edu-
found on its website at http://www.catt.org/. cator August Latzel in 1862. Widowed in 1866,
she trained as a teacher and worked in Paris for a
See also Anthony, Susan B.; Jacobs, Aletta; Manus, year, before marrying school inspector Eduard
Rosa; Pankhurst, Christabel; Pankhurst, (Estelle) Cauer, a fellow advocate of women’s higher edu-
Sylvia; Paul, Alice; Schwimmer, Rosika.
cation, in 1869. The couple moved to Berlin.
References and Further Reading
Bolt, Christine. 1995. Feminist Ferment: The
Widowed again in 1881, Cauer resumed work
Woman Question in the USA and Britain as a teacher and began studying women’s history.
1870–1940. London: University College of In 1889 she joined with Helene Lange and med-
London Press. ical pioneer Franziska Tiburtius in enlisting sup-
Flexner, Eleanor. 1975 [1959]. A Century of Struggle: port for the establishment of the Realkurse girls’
The Woman’s Rights Movement in the United high school in Berlin, which opened in October
States. Rev. ed. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of 1889 with 214 students, offering a two-year

144
Cauer, Minna

course in mathematics, science, history, econom-


ics, Latin, and modern languages.
As a founding member, in 1888, and later
president of the Women’s Welfare Association,
Cauer was a firm believer that women should
work for their own emancipation. She wanted
women’s education to be valued as a means of
growth and self-improvement, not just in terms
of making better mothers. She endorsed the as-
sociation’s provision of education and vocational
training opportunities for women as well as its
encouragement of their participation in charity
and social work, such as running homes for the
blind and day nurseries, in the belief that female
activism in social welfare and reform played a
crucial role in nation building. In 1889 Cauer es-
tablished one of the first nonpolitical women’s
trade unions when she formed the Commercial
Union of Female Salaried Employees, which by
the time of her death would represent over
100,000 female members in 400 local branches.
In the 1890s Cauer took on a range of roles that
sought to bring women into social activism. In Minna Cauer (German Heritage Foundation)
1893 she was cofounder of the Girls’ and Wo-
men’s Groups for Social Assistance Work and an
organizer of the German delegation to the and the Commercial Union of Female Salaried
World’s Fair in Chicago. She presided over the In- Employees, both of which she supported, also
ternational Congress of Women’s Work and joined the union.
Women’s Endeavors in Berlin in 1896, the first in- Cauer had long been an advocate of women’s
ternational conference of women to be staged in suffrage, but it was not until 1902 that the suf-
Germany, attended by 1,700 delegates from Eu- frage movement in Germany finally gained head-
rope and the United States. In 1894, in a major way with the backing of the FGWA. As cofounder
step forward for the German women’s movement, that year of the German Union for Women’s Suf-
Cauer, Anita Augspurg, and Marie Stritt estab- frage with Anita Augspurg, Lida Gustava Hey-
lished the Federation of German Women’s Asso- mann, and Marie Stritt, Cauer combined lobby-
ciations (FGWA) to unite German women’s ing for the vote with a moral crusade that sought
groups in a joint campaign for improvements to to regenerate society under the guiding influence
women’s legal, economic, and social position; to of women. In 1903 the union affiliated itself with
strive for suffrage and changes to those elements the FGWA. Operating from Hamburg, where the
of the civil code that favored men; and to abolish law of association permitted women to be politi-
state-regulated prostitution. The reinvigorated cally active (elsewhere in Germany, women’s po-
women’s movement was well served by Cauer’s litical activities were illegal until 1908), the union
establishment of, with Lily Braun, and her editor- campaigned strenuously for the abolition of
ship of, a new journal, the Women’s Movement state-regulated prostitution, with Cauer being
(1895-1919). fined for defying the ban on speaking at public
But Cauer soon became frustrated at the dom- meetings. In an attempt to further challenge the
ination of the movement by moderates and with government on female suffrage, she tried in 1906
Augspurg founded the Union of Progressive to have herself added to the electoral roll in Berlin
Women’s Associations in 1898, with a more rad- by challenging ambiguities in the law that re-
ical program on women’s rights, serving as its ferred to those eligible to vote as “persons”—that
president until 1907. Although Cauer remained is, not specifying men only.
in the FGWA, the Women’s Welfare Association By 1908 Cauer had become disenchanted with

145
Chattopadhyaya, Kamaladevi

attempts by the union to gain support for suf- culture throughout her life. She did so in her ca-
frage from male politicians in the Liberal Peo- pacity as chair of the All-India Handicrafts
ple’s Party, which after long prevarication ulti- Board, under whose auspices she encouraged
mately refused to add votes for women to its cottage industries that supported poor women
program. She therefore founded a more radical throughout the country.
group,