Male voices on women's rights

An anthology of nineteenth-century British texts

Edited by Martine Monacelli

Male voices on women's rights


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9277-4
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99
  • Published Date: June 2017
  • BIC Category: Gender studies: women & girls, Social & cultural history, Feminism & feminist theory, HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century, HISTORY / Social History, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: women, Feminism & Feminist Theory, History, Modern History


Male voices on women's rights is a timely complement to the studies undertaken in recent years on men's roles in the history of feminism.This unique collection of seminal, little-known or forgotten writings, spanning from 1809 to 1913, will help the revision of many common assumptions and misconceptions regarding male attitudes to sex equality, and give some insight into the tensions provoked by shifting patterns of masculinity and re-definitions of femininity. The documents, drawn from a wide range of sources, throw a light on the role played by the radical tradition, liberal culture, religious dissent and economic criticism in the development of women's politics in nineteenth-century Britain.

The collection includes a substantial historical introduction and a short contextualising essay before each excerpt, making it an accessible resource for students and teachers alike.


'Martine Monacelli's collection of texts written by men in favour of women's rights could hardly have come at a better time to redefine the contours of the extent of men's political engagement throughout the 20th century for women's rights. The question of men and women's equality is one that concerns everyone.'
Nicolas Pierre Boileau, E-rea


Part I: Comrades in struggle
1 'Arouse! Awake! Rescue your sex' (William Thompson, 1825)
2 'Throw off the degrading yoke' (R. J. Richardson, 1840)
3 The root causes of women's subjection (J. S. Mill, 1869)
4 Against the sexual double standard (W. T. Stead, 1885)
5 'A thousand-times-told tale' (Edward Aveling and Eleanor Marx Aveling, 1886)
6 The time is come to act (George Holyoake, 1892)
7 'Woman . cast aside the chains' (R. P. Downes, 1900)
8 Banding together in the fight for human liberty (Dr W. Moore Ede, 1912)
9 What is feminism? (W. L. George, 1913)
Part II: Provisions to be made for the education of women
1 The cultivation of a woman's understanding (The Rev. Sydney Smith, 1809)
2 What is learnt from teaching girls (The Rev. F. D. Maurice, 1865)
3 'The highest aim of any true system of education' (W. Cooke Taylor, 1868)
4 A system of public education for girls (Charles Kingsley, 1869)
5 'They will not be unsexed by education' (Alexander Grant, 1872)
6 Admission of women to University degrees (William Forsyth, 1875)
7 Progress in the cause of women's higher education (The Rev. J. L. Davies, 1879)
8 Are women's brains inferior to men's? (D. G. Ritchie, 1889)
9 'The moral benefits of co-education' (The Rev. Cecil Grant, 1908)
Part III: The vindication of women's civil rights
1 A proposal to make marriage a civil contract (W. B. Adams, 1833)
2 'Talents merely to fold in a napkin?' (W. J. Fox, 1833)
3 A law to protect married women's property (Lord Brougham, 1857)
4 'The remnant of an old barbarous law' (Arthur Hobhouse, 1870)
5 A question of justice (Henry Fawcett, 1873)
6 A eugenicist point of view on the marriage question (Karl Pearson, 1885)
7 'A sanatorium with female attendants' (Henry W. Nevinson, 1909)
8 'Why I went to prison' (Victor D. Duval, 1910)
9 Women's share in the Co-operative movement (Joseph Clayton, 1912)
Part IV: Towards a new sexual culture
1 'The most important discovery made upon mankind' (Richard Carlile, 1826)
2 A man's devotion to his children (William Cobbett, 1829)
3 United only by nature's laws (Robert Owen, 1844)
4 'The return of powerful sexual feelings' (G. R. Drysdale, 1855)
5 A father's role in the education of his children (J. R. Seeley, 1870)
6 A Malthusian view of married life (Montague Cookson, 1872)
7 'A new code of manners between the sexes' (Edward Carpenter, 1896)
8 A new age about to commence (The Rev. Frederick A. M. Spencer, 1912)
9 'A new avatar of love' (Havelock Ellis, 1912)


Martine Monacelli is Professor Emeritus at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis

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