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Unformatted text preview: P a g e | 1 Sarah Hall Thurber, Section 004 Emma Goldman and Ellen Richards In Contending Voices chapter four, we compare and contrast the lives and political views of Emma Goldman and Ellen Richards. Richards was a progressive who saw “greater efficiency and education as keys to social improvement,” 1 while Goldman, a radical, put her “faith in dramatic reconstructing of social institutions.” 2 Despite their differences though, both “rejected woman suffrage as a means for elevating the status of women.” 3 I. The view of what a proper woman should be differed greatly between Goldman and Richards. Goldman supported birth control. She believed that the number of children a woman had was her choice and that they should wait three to five years in between births. She also supported it because it loosened financial problems within a family and having fewer children kept a woman happier, thus keeping their marriage in a better place. 4 At the same time, though, she did not think it was a woman’s responsibility to get married. She preached and practiced free love and held numerous affairs. Goldman spoke out against marriage because it was almost “primarily and economic agreement, an insurance pact.” 5 She explained that marriage “incapacitates the average woman for the outside world.” 6 P a g e | 2 Richards also believed that marriage was an economic arrangement and that it had a negative effect on women. However, she believed that women needed to take power within their home and that they needed to be more efficient. She believed that, if efficiency was reached, the woman’s power would extend outside of her home as well. She did not think women needed to be seen as equals to men though. Like Goldman, she didn’t feel that women needed the right to vote. Richards felt that women could gain independence by staying at home, instead of venturing out of it into the work force. The back-round of each woman seemed to play a role in their beliefs. Richards was born to parents who were both teachers. She grew up to be a teacher. In the process, she was the first to achieve many tasks and worked to create higher education more readily available for women. 7 She later helped found the American Home Economics Association and was recognized as the “mother of home economics.” 8 From the beginning, Richards was set out to help the female race....
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This essay was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course HIST 104 taught by Professor Thurber during the Spring '08 term at VCU.
- Spring '08