July 01, 2007

A Russian Feminist

Anna Filosofova, 1837-1912 

In the 19th century, women’s movements were active in many countries. In Paris, George Sand was strutting about like a dandy in men’s clothing, shocking even the literary elite with her independent behavior. In England and America, suffragettes were beginning to demand the impossible – that women be given the vote. 

All of this was unexpected and shocking. Suffice it to recall the passage in Gone with the Wind, where the doctor felt he did not need to warn Scarlett about drinking when she was pregnant: “Of course, there were unfortunate women who drank, to the eternal disgrace of their families, just as there were women who were insane or divorced or who believed, with Miss Susan B. Anthony, that women should have the vote.  But as much as the doctor disapproved of Scarlett, he never suspected her of drinking.”

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