By Kathleen Rice Adams
|Men of sense in all ages abhor those customs|
which treat us only as the vassals of [their] sex.
—Abigail Adams (1744-1818)
second First Lady of the U.S.
|I do not wish women to have power|
over men, but over themselves.
—Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
writer and advocate of women’s rights
“It would be ridiculous to talk of male and female atmospheres, male and female springs or rains, male and female sunshine...,” women’s rights pioneers Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote in one of their suffrage speeches. “[H]ow much more ridiculous is it in relation to mind, to soul, to thought…?”
That is one reason I feel historical romance novels can be important beyond the obvious entertainment. Unlike much literature written in previous ages, primarily by men, romance novels written during the past twenty to thirty years, primarily by women, portray heroines and female villains with courage, determination, and strength equal to the hero’s. Call me a man-bashing feminist if you must, but I believe it is critical for readers, particularly younger ones, to be presented with women characters who are much more than decorative pedestal dwellers.
|If women could go into your Congress,|
I think justice would soon be done
to the Indians.
—Thoc-me-tony (aka Sara Winnemucca,
1844-1891), Pauite educator, interpreter,
|The best protection any woman can have|
… is courage.
—Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)
social activist, abolitionist,
women’s rights crusader
The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.
—Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), social reformer, women’s suffrage leader