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Thu Mar 8, 2012, 12:09 PM


In honor of International Women's Day I give you: Emma Goldman


In 1915 and 1916, Goldman became an advocate for women's rights to birth control, and ultimately, general reproductive choice. She smuggled birth control into the country and was arrested several times, though that campaign was cut short by World War I. Speaking out on conscientious objection, Goldman served a prison term and then was deported to the Soviet Union for her views.

During her time in the United States, Goldman focused not only on birth control, but on sexual freedom for women in general. The Jewish Women's Archive describes her radical views she felt that the patriarchy was oppressive and restrained women, that marriage was legalized prostitution, and that requiring women to bear children limited them socially and economically. Interestingly, she was opposed to the suffrage movement because she felt that its approach was illusory and rooted in middle-class privilege, and that it would not bring any real improvement to women's inferior position.

Here's some great quotes:

To the moralist prostitution does not consist so much in the fact that the woman sells her body, but rather that she sells it out of wedlock.

EMMA GOLDMAN, Anarchism and Other Essays

Nowhere is woman treated according to the merit of her work, but rather as a sex. It is therefore almost inevitable that she should pay for her right to exist, to keep a position in whatever line, with sex favors. Thus it is merely a question of degree whether she sells herself to one man, in or out of marriage, or to many men!... The economic and social inferiority of woman is responsible for prostitution.


Emma Goldman, my heroine...

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