How beautiful, how truly captivating, is
an intellectual woman! We have many such
among us, and their number is increasing.
13 november 1715 – 13 juni 1762
tysklands första kvinnliga läkare
En del av det som George Weaver* skriver i sin bok "Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women, On the Various Duties of Life, Physical, Intellectual, And Moral Development; Self-Culture, Improvement, Dress, Beauty, Fashion, Employment, Education, The Home Relations, Their Duties To Young Men, Marriage, Womanhood And Happiness" skulle nog många — förmodligen de flesta — småle åt och betrakta som gammaldags. Och vilken bok skriven 1855, skulle inte betraktas som ålderdomlig i dag?
30 augusti 1797-1 februari 1851
Men jag måste säga, att förvånansvärt mycket av det författaren säger är gångbart även i dag, fast säkerligen inte lika kontroversiellt nu, som jag föreställer mig att det var för bortåt 160 år sedan. Ändå var det inte unikt att män på hans tid ansåg att kvinnor skulle studera och förvärvsarbeta — jag tror att många fler än vi tror, tyckte så. Men få stack ut hakan och sa det.
"I should be glad to see a class of our strongest young women go through Dartmouth, Yale, and Cambridge colleges with the same preparation and stimulants that our young men possess. If I mistake not, they would graduate with honors, and be heard from in the high field of intellectual life."
Men så, liksom för att kompensera dessa förfärliga tankar, så målar han upp en ouppnåelig bild av hur en kvinna ska vara.
4 februari 1868 – 15 juli 1927
den första kvinnliga parlamentsledamoten
i EnglandIdealbilden av kvinnan som George målar upp den, kan driva vem som helst till vansinne.
"Thus we see that Mother, Home, and Heaven—these three words of such universal interest and power—are associated and related words. They convey a blessed trinity of ideas meeting in one associated glow of spiritual beauty. They belong together and can not be separated.
Home will always be woman's world. She will be queen over its rich and far-stretching realms. In the studios of Home she will carve the statuary of her moral heroism, and picture the spiritual beauty of her faith and love. Home is her kingdom, and she will always reign over it. Though she may go out to do great deeds of goodness in the world, though she may speak from forums, teach from college chairs, write books, fill offices of trust and profit, go on missions of truth, peace, and mercy among her fellows, she will still love best of all places the sequestered scene of Home. I would not, either by law, or custom, or public opinion, confine woman's powers to the routine of domestic duties. I would open the whole world to her, and tell her to find employment, usefulness, and happiness wherever she can; but in so doing I should feel that not a Home would be desolated; not a woman would become less a lover and blesser of Home. On the contrary, woman would love her Home all the more, and make it all the purer and nobler. She would choose its sweet vocations, not from the stern dictation of society, but from her soul's choice. Every family must have a Home; and every Home must have a head, a heart, a guardian. Woman is nobly fitted to fill this responsible post of honor and trust; but let her do it from choice. Do not compel her to do it. Woman does not like compulsion. It is not human to like compulsion. Give to woman the same freedom you do to man. Open the whole width of the field of life to her, and she will choose with avidity her own appropriate place. She has a strong sense of propriety and a good judgment in the choice of her sphere of activity.
What is womanhood? Is there any more important question for young women to consider than this? It should be the highest ambition of every young woman to possess a true womanhood. Earth presents no higher object of attainment. To be a woman, in the truest and highest sense of the word, is to be the best thing beneath the skies. To be a woman is something more than to live eighteen or twenty years; something more than to grow to the physical stature of women; something more than to wear flounces, exhibit dry-goods, sport jewelry, catch the gaze of lewd-eyed men; something more than to be a belle, a wife, or a mother. Put all these qualifications together, and they do but little toward making a true woman. A true woman exists independent of outward attachments."
6 maj 1914 - 1 mars 2003
en av de tre första prästvigda
kvinnorna i SverigeEn bok som kastar mig mellan förtjusning och förtvivlan - min lästid är fortfarande begränsad, men jag vet med säkerhet att jag kommer att återvända hit, så snart jag kan
23 maj 1846 – 1 augusti 1911
U.S.A.s första kvinnliga jurist
Still another duty presses upon Girlhood. It relates to a livelihood, to the practical work of pushing its way through life. Woman must eat, wear, be sheltered, educated, protected, warmed, and amused, as much as any other human being. She can not be thus supplied except by charity or her own labor. It is degrading to accept of all life's necessities at the hand of charity. No woman possessed of a genuine womanly character will do it. The character would forbid that she should do it. She must then be independent, or as much so as any are. She must have some livelihood. She must not only have a good character and good health, but an ability to do something for herself and others. Both character and health would be of little avail if she was a shiftless, homeless, useless know-nothing in relation to all the great activities of life, by which we secure the necessaries and comforts of our existence. It is through useful industry and labor that the rarest beauties and forces of character shine. Men show themselves great and good in their professions and callings. The man whose hands are taught no skill, who is trained to no profession, is a ninny, or nearly so. Why is not a woman who is equally useless? Characters must have some way to embody themselves in an outward form to be of service to the world. The best way is in devotion to some useful calling or profession, by which our powers may be called upon for their best efforts in a direction that shall promise a full reward for ourselves and a good surplus for our fellow-men.
Our minds are all different. No two think exactly alike, or look exactly alike, or feel exactly alike. Then why should we not be free and use our own reason for our own purposes and give others the same privilege? Why be such slavish conformists, and brand as traitors or heretics all who differ from our party or church?
We talk much about female education; we have female schools and colleges; and one might think, to read of them, that we educated the female mind. But it is a sad mistake. The greater part of our female seminaries and colleges are mere shams. They do not develop mind. They do not train its muscles to hard work; they do not discipline its nerves to close application and vigorous research; they do not harden its hands to the toil of thinking, nor strengthen its arms to battle with the intricacies of science nor the problems of metaphysics. They are mere gilding shops, whitewashing establishments, paint factories, where girls are polished to order with the etiquette of boarding-school finish.
* Allt jag hittar om mannen bakom dessa tankar är:
Reverend George Sumner Weaver (1818-1908) was an American author. He was born in Rockingham, Vermont. He studied law but quit to study and practice theology. His works include: Lectures on Mental Science According to... Phrenology (1852), Hopes and Helps for the Young of Both Sexes (1853), Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women on the Various Duties of Life (1854), The Ways of Life (1855), The Christian Household (1855), The Open Way (1873), Moses and Modern Science (1874), The Heart of the World (1883) and Lives and Graves of Our Presidents Biography (1884).