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Infidel feminismSecularism, religion and women's emancipation, England 1830–1914$
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Laura Schwartz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085826

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085826.001.0001

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Freethinking feminists and the women's movement

Freethinking feminists and the women's movement

Chapter:
(p.154) 5 Freethinking feminists and the women's movement
Source:
Infidel feminism
Author(s):

Laura Schwartz

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719085826.003.0006

This chapter examines the contributions of Freethinking feminists to the women's rights movement and how they negotiated its predominantly Christian culture. The Freethinking emphasis on the sanctity of individual private judgement and moral autonomy shaped attitudes towards the social purity campaigns that came out of repeal work, deterring some Secularists from endorsing the more repressive aspects of this movement. Remaining true to a longstanding, ultra-democratic tradition, Freethinking feminists tended to cohere around the radical fringes of the new suffrage organisations emerging in the early 1900s. The legacy of their commitment to female enfranchisement was evident across the twentieth-century suffrage movement.

Keywords:   Freethinking feminists, Christian culture, women's rights movement, suffrage movement

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