Margaret Sanger Woman and the New Race

ISBN 13: 9781489515650

Woman and the New Race

 
9781489515650: Woman and the New Race
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“The basic freedom of the world is woman's freedom. A free race cannot be born of slave mothers. A woman enchained cannot choose but give a measure of that bondage to her sons and daughters. No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.”

The chronicle of Sanger’s decades-long battle to legalize and develop information on the prevention of venereal disease and then methods of birth control, during which she endured indictment, exile and prison.

Margaret Sanger wrote this book in 1920 at the high water mark of the first wave of feminism. Women in the United States could now vote, own property, acquire higher education, and many other rights won through hard struggle. Sanger saw a woman's right to control her own body (specifically her reproductive system) as the next big goal. It took more than forty years before a new wave of feminism, along with advances in medical technology, made this attainable. Of course, this is still the fault-line which runs through the topic of women and religion. The themes which Sanger raises in this book still arouse vehement debate, and pertain to contemporary issues which would have seemed unimaginable to Sanger, such as human cloning and stem-cell research.

Margaret Sanger was an American sex educator and nurse who became one of the leading birth control activists of her time, having at one point, even served jail time for importing birth control pills, then illegal, into the United States. Woman and the New Race is her treatise on how the control of population size would not only free women from the bondage of forced motherhood, but would elevate all of society. The original fight for birth control was closely tied to the labor movement as well as the Eugenics movement, and her book provides fascinating insight to a mostly-forgotten turbulent battle recently fought in American history.

(cover image courtesy of Stephanie Hofschlaeger)

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About the Author:

American activist MARGARET HIGGINS SANGER (1879-1966) was an early advocate of birth control; she served as president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation from 1952 to 1959. She also wrote Happiness in Marriage (1926) and her autobiography (1938).

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