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30

THE ANTI-SLAVERY MOVEMENT AND THE BIRTH OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS

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Y. Davis, A. (1983). THE ANTI-SLAVERY MOVEMENT AND THE BIRTH OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS. In Y. Davis, A. Women, Race & Class. Vintage, pp. 30-45

32

Actually, woman’s place had always been in the home, but during the pre-industrial era, the economy itself had been centered in the home and its surrounding farmland. While men had tilled the land (often aided by their wives), the women had been manufacturers, producing fabric, clothing, candles, soap and practically all the other family necessities. Women’s place had indeed been in the home—but not simply because they bore and reared children or ministered to their husbands’ needs. They had been productive workers within the home economy and their labor had been no less respected than their men’s. When manufacturing moved out of the home and into the factory, the ideology of womanhood began to raise the wife and mother as ideals. As workers, women had at least enjoyed economic equality, but as wives, they were destined to become appendages to their men, servants to their husbands. As mothers, they would be defined as passive vehicles for the replenishment of human life. The situation of the white housewife was full of contradictions. There was bound to be resistance.

—p.32 by Angela Y. Davis 1 year, 3 months ago

Actually, woman’s place had always been in the home, but during the pre-industrial era, the economy itself had been centered in the home and its surrounding farmland. While men had tilled the land (often aided by their wives), the women had been manufacturers, producing fabric, clothing, candles, soap and practically all the other family necessities. Women’s place had indeed been in the home—but not simply because they bore and reared children or ministered to their husbands’ needs. They had been productive workers within the home economy and their labor had been no less respected than their men’s. When manufacturing moved out of the home and into the factory, the ideology of womanhood began to raise the wife and mother as ideals. As workers, women had at least enjoyed economic equality, but as wives, they were destined to become appendages to their men, servants to their husbands. As mothers, they would be defined as passive vehicles for the replenishment of human life. The situation of the white housewife was full of contradictions. There was bound to be resistance.

—p.32 by Angela Y. Davis 1 year, 3 months ago