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« Steampunk: The Light Ages and (a bit of) The House of Storms | Main | The Silver Swan »

July 05, 2008



Thinking Allowed on Radio 4 did a show about feminism a few weeks ago that touched on your points (especially on Linton and Ward). You can still grab a streaming version of it off the site. Interesting show.


Even people who are supposed to know about this historic connection are ignorant, cf. nancy Fraser's recent essay in _The Future of Gender_, where she writes, "feminists have not succeeded in understanding what it is [religion's attraction for women] and how it works. Nor have we figured out how to talk to them or what feminism can offer them in its place" (29), as if no feminists were ever religious. It's so annoying to anyone who knows anything about anything that happened before 1975...

Brandon Watson

Very true (and Astell's a great example for your point, because Astell is well-and-away more religiously conservative than most people would expect). Even Wollstonecraft's feminism gives religion an essential, if very much secondary, place; for all her distaste for fanaticism, she argues in a number of places that religion, consisting of at least belief in God and hope in eternal happiness, is essential to healthy society, and shows herself in a number of others to be suspicious of certain kinds of deists and freethinkers, whom she sees as dangerous to society and especially to the position and happiness of women in society. I doubt that most people today, going simply on Wollstonecraft's religious views, which are liberal in the sense of being 'broad' but very conservative in a number of other ways, would be able to predict the character of her feminism.

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