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Lizzie M. Holmes

"There might ... have arisen a 'woman's rights question' in those old Mosaic days, had not the priests, who feared any loosening of their control over the people, issued a 'Thus saith the Lord,' and so riveted her chains for another three thousand years. 'Thy desire shall be unto thy husband, and he shall rule over thee,' settled the problem for the time."

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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"... woman's subordination came to be complete. She was first knocked down, dragged away senseless, and made a slave. She was bought and sold, or traded; she became a thing, a piece of property, a bond slave. Her degraded position among men became a custom, then an institution, then a tradition."

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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"Why do we hesitate to trust woman free, when she has fulfilled so many precious trusts in bondage?"

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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"All forms of slavery had their inception in some kind of economic dependence, but the slavery often exists long after the dependent condition has passed away. A thing, once established, once made an institution, is very apt to outlast the economic phase which determined its existence, and become a very troublesome matter. Institutions are crystallized ideas; they stand still: people grow -- grow beyond and outside of them. Yet there they remain, unwieldy, mischief-breeding; to get rid of them at all is to tear them out by the roots at great cost of life and suffering. The bonds made ages ago, by economic conditions prevailing at the time, have become sacred; they bear another strength than that which they possessed when first formed. Though no longer with any economical basis for existing, they are even more effective in power than when first established."

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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"It is flattering to man to think that it takes all of a woman's whole life to carry out her duty to him and his children."

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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"Woman has been considered too much as woman, and not enough as a human being. The constant reference to her sex has been neither ennobling, complimentary, nor agreeable. Either as slave, toy, pet, or queen, this ceaseless thinking of her sex instead of herself has been degrading. To finally arrive at her best she simply needs consideration as a fellow member of society."

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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"A woman's life stretches over many periods, as does man's. In a lifetime she is capable of being much more than a mother, as man is expected to be much more than a father."

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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"The male portion of the race already feel as though fatherhood were a mere incident in their lives, and would be insulted were you to intimate that fatherhood should be the crowning glory of their lives. They know that they possess powers and capabilities that the world needs and appreciates, and that fatherhood, blessed though it be, is not the fullest and best manifestation of their existence. The idea is in every way as applicable to woman as to man. Why should all the faculties and energies of woman be turned to the fulfilment of this one function of her being?"

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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"What is it that woman wants? What is it she hopes to attain? What is it she lacks that men are not willing to give? It is no wonderful thing; nothing preposterous or presumptuous. She simply wants to be a human being, not a slave, not a toy, not a queen. She wants the equal personal liberty that every man demands in order to become a fully developed, well-balanced, happy, and useful being. Only this and nothing more."

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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"To become 'mannish' is in the eyes of conventional society worse than to commit a crime. But what do we mean by this term? If it is anything reprehensible, believe me, it is as bad in man as in woman. Does it apply to the manners, morals, or the intellect? It is very vague at best. For those qualities which we call 'good' are as beautiful in man as in woman."

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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"For I hold another heresy: that there is no sex in intellect, sentiment, or morals. The same environment, the same treatment, the same teachings would result in a similarity of characteristics. There will never cease to be variety, but we should not find a greater tendency toward any particular group of faculties in one sex over the other."

Lizzie M. Holmes, "Woman's Future Position in the World," in The Arena (1898)

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Lizzie M. Holmes, U.S. anarchist, writer, feminist, editor
(1850 - 1926)

Full name: Lizzie May Swank Holmes.