“It seems to me,” I observed, “that when the women once fairly opened their eyes to what the revolutionary program meant for their sex by its demand of economic equality for all, self-interest must have made them more ardent devotees of the cause than even the men.”
“It did indeed,” replied the doctor. “Of course the blinding, binding influence of conventionality, tradition, and prejudice, as well as the timidity bred of immemorial servitude, for a long while prevented the mass of women from understanding the greatness of the deliverance which was offered them; but when once they did understand it they threw themselves into the revolutionary movement with a unanimity and enthusiasm that had a decisive effect upon the struggle. Men might regard economic equality with favor or disfavor, according to their economic positions but every woman, simply because she was a woman, was bound to be for it as soon as she got it through her head what it meant for her half of the race.” Equality by Edward Bellamy
Yes, women are in a pretty good position compared to the 1800s, but we’re still not where we should be. The MeToo movement is giving me hope the women get it.
Published in 1887, Looking Backward: 2000-1887 introduced us to the idea of a truly humanist society. The follow up to it – Equality – delves deeper into the revolution which occurred for the women and men in the previous book. Edward Bellamy certainly seemed to have a great grasp of what it meant to inhabit a world where the value of all humans was understood.
I’ve been recommending this book for more than twenty years. If you’ve not heard of it before, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of each. Bellamy was ahead of his time, but I think we might actually be ready for his vision now.