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I don’t want to feel a whole spectrum of sexual harassment every time I go out. I really want to demonstrate exactly what it feels like. Undercover: Sexual Harassment, Ellie Flynn reporting, Channel 4 2022
71% of women of all ages in the UK have experienced some form of sexual harassment in a public space. 1 in 4 women have been raped or sexual assaulted as an adult. ibid. caption
I want to call them and confront them about why they’ve sent me these pictures. ibid.
Over half of girls have experienced public sexual harassment while wearing school uniform. ibid.
1 in 10 women have had their drink spiked on a night out. ibid.
Can man be free if woman be a slave?
Chain one who lives, and breathes this boundless air
To the corruption of a closed grave?
Can they whose mates are beasts condemned to bear
Scorn heavier far than toil or anguish dare
To trample their oppressors? In their home,
Among their babes, thou knowst a curse would wear
The shape of woman – hoary crime would come
Behind and Fraud rebuild Religion’s tottering dome. Percy Bysshe Shelley
Are simple women only fit
To dress, to darn, to flower, or knit,
To mind the distaff, or the spit?
Why are the needle and the pen
Thought incompatible by men? Esther Lewis, A Mirror for Detractors, 1754
From the first dawn of life unto the grave,
Poor womankind’s in every state a slave. Sarah Egerton, 1670-1723, The Emulation
We will our rights in learning’s a world maintain;
Wit’s empire now shall know a female reign. ibid.
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great;
A woman’s noblest station is retreat. George Lyttelton, Advice to a Lady, 1773
The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments, Seneca Falls Convention July 1848
The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race ... marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man’s bounty for all her material wants. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American Suffragist
Woman’s degradation is in man’s idea of his sexual rights. Our religion, laws, customs, are all founded on the belief that woman was made for man. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women’s emancipation. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Free Thought Magazine 1896
Womanstock is rising in the market. I shall not live to see women vote, but I’ll come and rap at the ballot box. Lydia Maria Child, 1802-80, American abolitionist & suffragist
We were basing our request for the vote on inequalities and injustices and lack of opportunity. Dame Margery Corbett Ashby, interview BBC 1972
Why is a woman to be treated differently? Woman suffrage will succeed, despite this miserable guerrilla opposition. Victoria Claflin Woodhull
We are here to claim our right as women, not only to be free, but to fight for freedom. That it is our right as well as our duty. Christabel Pankhurst
And women still weren’t allowed to vote. On the morning of 13th October 1905 Christabel Pankhurst was still respectable. She was a well-dressed middle-class law student. But she was on her way to break just about every taboo she could think of. She was walking along here with her new friend Annie Kenney – a working-class mill-girl known as the Blue-Eyed Beggar. But what they were planning was truly shocking. Because they were on their way to a huge political meeting in Manchester’s Free Trade Hall. And they were determined at all costs to be arrested. The meeting was a Liberal rally attended by the MPs Sir Edward Gray and Winston Churchill. Christabel and Annie jumped up on to their seats and shouted, ‘Will the Liberals give women the vote?’ They refused to answer. So the women unfurled a banner emblazoned with the words, Votes for Women! Andrew Marr’s Making of Modern Britain, BBC 2009
I love man as my fellow; but his sceptre, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man. Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women
I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves. ibid.
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison. ibid.
The pure animal spirits which make both mind and body shoot out, and unfold the tender blossoms of hope, are turned sour and vented in vain wishes, or pert repinings, that contract the faculties and spoil the temper; else they mount to the brain, and sharpening the understanding before it gains proportional strength, produce that pitiful cunning which disgracefully characterises the female mind and I fear will characterise it whilst women remain the slaves of power. ibid.
A slavish bondage to parents cramps every faculty of the mind. ibid.
From the tyranny of man, I firmly believe, the greater number of female follies proceed. ibid.
I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists. I wish to persuade women to endeavour to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings are only the objects of pity, and that kind of love which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt. ibid.
Women have seldom sufficient employment to silence their feelings; a round of little cares, or vain pursuits frittering away all strength of mind and organs, they become naturally only objects of sense. ibid.
My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone. ibid.
Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority. Mary Wollstonecraft
Was not the world a vast prison, and women born slaves? Mary Wollstonecraft, ‘The Wrongs of Woman, or Maria’, 1798
If the abstract rights of man will bear discussion and explanation, those of women, by a parity of reasoning, will not shrink from the same test. Mary Wollstonecraft
Join the Union, girls, and together say, Equal Pay for Equal Work! Susan B Anthony, 1820-1906
The fact is, women are in chains, and their servitude is all the more debasing because they do not realize it. Susan B Anthony