In Her Place: A Documentary History of Prejudice against Women

Overview

The long history of prejudice against women has been the focus of many academic studies, but until now there has been no attempt to collect actual examples of this prejudice from books, articles, and scholarly monographs. In Her Place gathers together dozens of works - mostly by American writers over the past two centuries but also by some European writers who influenced American thought - that embody the scorn and contempt for the "weaker sex" that most women endured for countless generations until very ...
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Overview

The long history of prejudice against women has been the focus of many academic studies, but until now there has been no attempt to collect actual examples of this prejudice from books, articles, and scholarly monographs. In Her Place gathers together dozens of works - mostly by American writers over the past two centuries but also by some European writers who influenced American thought - that embody the scorn and contempt for the "weaker sex" that most women endured for countless generations until very recently. Masterfully edited by S. T. Joshi, who has included brief biographies of the writers as well as footnotes to explain obscure historical, literary, and other allusions, much of this material has never been reprinted since its original publication.

As Joshi points out, this is the work, not of a few isolated cranks, but of the leading members of the intellectual, social, and political communities. They published their opinions through prestigious publishers, magazines, and newspapers. Scientists purported to discover physiological evidence for woman’s supposed intellectual deficiencies and their absence of the "creative faculty." Fear of women’s sexuality was a prime motivator of a great deal of prejudice, ranging from disapproval of coeducation to a defense of the double standard of morality, whereby men but not women were permitted sexual dalliance without undue censure. Religion, always a pillar of social conservatism, emphasized women’s subordination to men as a commandment handed down by God. So thorough was men’s indoctrination of sexual prejudice throughout society that even women absorbed it and came to believe in their own inferiority.

Reading the unabashed bias against women so evident in these pages brings the entrenched misogyny of American society into vivid focus and makes one appreciate all the more the immense efforts of feminists who for more than a century have worked to overcome the stereotypes of "womanly" behavior long enforced by men.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Anyone wishing to understand the overwhelming challenges faced by women’s-rights activists from the movement’s earliest days to the dawn of the Second Wave need look no further than Joshi’s illuminating, and downright infuriating, examples of pervasively misogynistic thinking."
Booklist

"Reading these exposés is an eye opening look into the mindset and roots of this ancient bias; they show how very far we have come in some ways...and also demonstrate how far this conservative culture has to go before true equality may be realized."

Monsters and Critics.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591023807
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Pages: 450
  • Sales rank: 586,924
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

S. T. Joshi is a freelance writer, scholar, and editor. His books include The Unbelievers: The Evolution of Modern Atheism; Documents of American Prejudice; In Her Place: A Documentary History of Prejudice against Women; God’s Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong; Atheism: A Reader; H. L. Mencken on Religion; The Agnostic Reader; What Is Man? and Other Irreverent Essays by Mark Twain and The Angry Right: Why Conservatives Keep Getting It Wrong.
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Table of Contents

1 Woman's rights 29
2 Evils of woman's revolt against the old standards 41
3 The entrenchment of the American witch 48
4 Woman, in her social and domestic character 57
5 The curse of Eve 63
6 The home builder 69
7 The normal American woman 74
8 Woman : physiologically considered 83
9 Sex and character 95
10 The inevitability of patriarchy 113
11 Mental differences between men and women 127
12 On the absence of the creative faculty in women 139
13 The weaker sex : a scientific ramble 149
14 Sex in education; or, a fair chance for the girls 155
15 Higher education of women and race suicide 167
16 Womanly education for women 178
17 Women's mistakes about work 191
18 The education and efficiency of women 198
19 The psychology of supervising the working woman 207
20 Memo to the American woman 214
21 Feminism : its fallacies and follies 221
22 Female sexuality 229
23 How to get and keep a husband 235
24 Commentaries on the laws of England 247
25 The young wife 252
26 These women 258
27 Men and marriage 272
28 Female influence, and the true Christian mode of its exercise 287
29 Woman's profession as mother and educator 293
30 "The war of the sexes" 302
31 The influence of women and its cure 309
32 The decline of femininity 314
33 The woman question 323
34 Woman suffrage : the reform against nature 336
35 The blank-cartridge ballot 346
36 The wrong and peril of woman suffrage 352
37 Woman adrift : the menace of suffragism 359
38 Socialism, feminism, and suffragism : the terrible triplets 369
39 The fundamental error of woman suffrage 375
40 Discontented women 385
41 The abdication of man 396
42 The busines of being a woman 407
43 For maids and mothers : the woman of to-day, and of to-morrow 417
44 Equal rights for men 425
45 So why do rapes occur? 435
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