In the writings of the 19th and early 20th century, the questions we associate with feminism were addressed under a variety of labels, one of the most economical of which was “the sex question,” which referred, in practice, to a wide range of question concerning sex, gender, sexuality, etc. The texts collected here cover a wide range of “women’s issues.” The current collection includes material previously contained in the following archives: La Frondeuse (Black and Red Feminist History), Anarchy and the Sex Question and A Beautiful Nihilist.
ABOUT the middle of the last century a little girl was growing up in North Carolina among slaves and slaveholders. Her mother was a Southerner, but her father came from New England. He had there had a position as master of a high school, and afterward taught a school for young men in North Carolina. Susan Dimock was accustomed to say in later life, “I am slow to take an idea; I was always slow: I was eight years old before I perceived the sin of slavery.” […]
[translation in progress]
Men’s wars are grotesque and bloody; but wars between men’s and women’s eyes and ideas will become unique and renovating, and the unsheathed, two-edged sword will be the human tongue. Religion will repent of the subjection it has imposed on women; learning will confess its ignorance to us; books (simply become they are he books) will move forward from their alcove-shelves and come down ashamed longer to be books; and male science will dissolve itself to escape from the infamy of its rude and savage treatment of us. The impression that man can do as he likes without being responsible therefor is base folly, and arises largely from the great selfishness which grows out of his unnatural ascendency over woman through property usurpations and the subtle relations of physical force to her as his mate in primitive stages of growth, as from the animal to the human animal. Having arrived at a human identity, we wish to be recognized as a part of the collective identity […]