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Sophia, a Person of Quality
“No country pleases a man so well as his own, nay, so far is he apt to carry prejudice, that he can seldom be induced to do justice to any other nation, even where truth is on its side, if the honor and interest of his own is at stake ...”
“... such is the prevalency which custom, ever so wrongly introduced, has over the minds of the Men, that it requires much less difficulty to wean them from sentiments, which they themselves have built on the most convincing evidences of reason and truth, than to draw them from the prejudices which custom has instilled into them.”
“... the learned and illiterate alike are prepossest with the opinion that Men are really superior to Women, and that the dependence we now are in, is the very state which nature pointed out to us. So that to advance the contrary doctrine, after so long a prepossession, must appear as great a paradox, as it did some years ago to assert, that on the nether surface of the globe, there were men who walked with their heads downwards to us ...”
“... were the Men philosophers in the strict sense of the term, they would be able to see that nature invincibly proves a perfect equality in our sex with their own.”
“... what a wretched circle this poor way of reasoning among the Men draws them insensibly into. Why is learning useless to us? Because we have no share in public offices. And why have we no share in public offices? Because we have no learning.”
“... the greatest fools, when active, may blunder into the right sometimes ... ”
“... we have not been excluded from a share in the power and privileges which lift their sex above ours, for want of natural capacity, or merit, but for want of an equal spirit of violence, shameless injustice, and lawless oppression, with theirs.”
“Were we [women] to express our conceptions of God, it would never enter into the head of any one of us to describe him as a venerable old man.”
“If two heads are better than one; two thousand enquiries must in course be better than one thousand, and in all probability make at least double the discoveries. So that, if it be but allow'd that the Women are equal in numbers to the Men; we may modestly conclude that, at the lowest computation, one half the profitable knowledge which the human species might by this time have been possessed of is irreparably lost, through the indolence of some Women in not exerting their talents, and the mean tyranny of most Men, in putting it out of their power to improve those talents.”
Sophia, a Person of Quality, French philosopher, women's rights activist
This brilliant thinker is apparently still unidentified today.