21 January 2010 at 11:47 am 3 comments

In a recent discussion, I contended that throughout history — where ever there was a good and decent man, women have always had equal rights.

Here is a little proof that my argument holds some validity:

In 1837, when the celebrated Theodore Parker married Miss Lydia Dodge Cabot, he entered in his journal on his wedding day the following resolutions:

“1. Never, except for the best of reasons, to oppose my wife’s will.
2. To discharge all duties for her sake freely.
3. Never to scold.
4. Never to look cross at her.
5. Never to weary her with commands.
6. To promote her piety.
7. To bear her burdens.
8. To overlook her foibles.
9. To save, cherish, and forever defend her.
10. To remember her always most fervently in my prayers.
Thus, God willing, we shall be blessed.”


Entry filed under: word of the week. Tags: , , .

categorization the victorian mindset

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rebekah  |  21 January 2010 at 7:44 pm

    What a stud! I wonder how the resolutions stood up…

    “…where ever there was a good and decent man, women have always had equal rights.”

    But doesn’t that imply that the women have been mercy of men, that if there are NOT good, decent men in power the women must resign themselves to being treated as servants or prostitutes? It’s almost a cousin of the idea that slavery really wasn’t so bad if you had a benevolent master. Food and shelter are lovely, but you can’t overvalue the freedom to choose one’s own life.

  • 2. hazelnutmegan  |  25 January 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Rebekah: Point well taken. I certainly realize that women have often been denied the same basic rights as men, and that definitely needed to change, and I am very glad it did!

    I probably should have written about how the subject came about… We were discussing a book about the history of women in science, but the author who wrote the book wrote it as if every woman throughout history has always been belittled and downtrodden by every man in society, which is not true. She seemed to bear this tremendous grudge against all men throughout history and this vehemence not only poisoned the book’s point, but also made her sound very silly.

    And when I came across this little snippet in my research at the museum, it reminded me of that discussion.

  • 3. Rebekah  |  27 January 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Ahhh, that makes sense.

    Man-hating is no better than woman-hating, sexism CERTAINLY goes both ways.

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