Posted by Will Sperry on April 01, 2002 at 22:18:03:
I came across an interesting book by Barbara Goldsmith.
Victoria Woodhull was an interesting character but I think her philosophy of "free love" was not a good one for the 19th century woman.
Men held all the advantages in the axis of the sexes and marriage was about the only option a woman had other than live with their family a la Emily Dickinson.
Without contraceptions and economic opportunities and sufferage I think women and free love would have been another road to exploitation.
Of course even Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton had to shout and raise money to further the women's movement.
But I think Woodhull used her snake oil spirituality to further herself and make her money and that in the end that was what she was after.
Of coursse Tildon and Heney Ward Beecher were no better or probably all the patriarchal structure of America, but I don't think we should make Woodhull to be a saint or an example of an enlightened example of what the feminist movement should expound.
Probably what was best was Frederick Douglas and the harmonious relationship between Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton were the best thing about the abolionist/suffrage movement.
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