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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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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.217) Conclusion
Source:
Infidel feminism
Author(s):

Laura Schwartz

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719085826.003.0008

This chapter notes that first-wave feminism involved a fierce battle of ideas over religion, a battle which was itself crucial in the creation of modern understandings of religion and secularisation. It suggests that Freethought was a significant current in the women's movement, existing alongside and in competition with the Christian values which dominated it. The Woman Question became a key ground upon which Christians clashed with Secularists over which belief system offered most to women. The stories of the Freethinking feminists traced a distinctive and continuous tradition of Freethinking feminism from the 1830s through to the First World War. The chapter concludes that the Secularist rejection of God-given gender roles and Christian-influenced ideas about marriage, birth control and sexual morality enabled alternative visions of relations between the sexes.

Keywords:   secularism, feminism, anti-Christian, secularisation, religion, women's movement, Freethought, Freethinking feminists

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