Gender Feminism and Ifeminism: Wherein They Differ

by Wendy McElroy

 

0002_wendy_mcelroyABSTRACT

Individualist feminism argues that the slogan “a woman’s body, a woman’s right” should extend to every peaceful choice a woman can make. For example, it demands that all sexual choices, from motherhood to participating in pornography, be legally respected. The cost of such freedom is personal responsibility and a refusal to appeal to government for privilege or protection. As a school within the broader feminist tradition, individual feminism contrasts sharply with gender feminism both in its theory and its history. Indeed, the two schools define the ideological extremes of the feminist movement. Their differing interpretations of such concepts as “equality,” “class,” and “justice” stand in opposition to each other and could restimulate what many consider to be a dying movement by breaking through the shell of dogma that surrounds it. And, yet, because gender feminism has dominated the movement for decades, the disagreements expressed by individualist feminism have been labeled as “anti-feminist” and even “anti-woman.” It is time to reclaim this neglected and rich tradition, including the many heroic figures who struggled and suffered so that contemporary women can enjoy their many freedoms.

Currently, the dominant voice of feminism is what the iconoclastic Christina Hoff Sommers has called “gender feminism” — the sort of feminism espoused by the National Organization for Women. (1) One of the myths that gender feminists have been able successfully to sell is the idea that anyone who disagrees with their approach on almost any issue — from sexual harassment to child custody, from affirmative action to abortion — is anti-feminist and, perhaps, even anti-woman. That accusation is absolutely false. The truth is, there are and there always have been many schools of thought and a broad range of opinions within the feminist tradition. The broader feminist movement embraces a wide variety of approaches from socialist to individualist, liberal to radical, Christian to atheist, pro-life to pro-choice. And, when you think about it, this diversity of opinion makes sense. After all, if feminism can be described as the belief that women should be liberated as individuals and equal to men, then it is only natural for disagreement and discussion to exist on what complex concepts like “liberation” and “equality” mean, especially when translated into the specifics of individual lives. Indeed, it would be amazing if all the women who cared about liberation and equality came to exactly the same conclusions as to what those abstract and controversial terms meant in their lives. When you uncover some of the less publicized aspects of feminist history, it becomes clear that liberated women have always disagreed on the specifics of important issues. Consider: although modern feminism is critical of the Religious Right and of Christianity in general, the roots of American feminism are largely religious, drawing strongly upon the Quaker tradition. When Elizabeth Cady Stanton published the Woman’s Bible that condemned Christianity’s view of women, she was widely rebuffed by the feminists of her day. (2) Or consider the issue of abortion. It is current dogma that there is only one possible feminist position on this issue: pro-choice. But both Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, whom modern feminists claim as “founding mothers,” spoke out against abortion. (3) Referring to a more modern shift of position on issues, consider prostitution. The Prostitutes’ Rights Movement first appeared in the United States in the early ’70s through the organization known as COYOTE, an acronym for Call Off Your Tired Old Ethics. COYOTE’s spokeswomen called themselves “liberated whores” and crusaded under the slogan “A woman’s body, a woman’s right.” How did ’70s feminism react? (4) In 1973, NOW endorsed the decriminalization of prostitution. Ti Atkinson, a popular feminist of the day, expressed a common sentiment in calling the prostitute a “truly liberated woman.” Ms Magazine lauded COYOTE and profiled favorably its founder Margo St. James. As late as 1979, prostitutes and mainstream feminists actively cooperated. For example, COYOTE aligned with NOW in what was called a Kiss and Tell campaign to further the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment. A 1979 issue of COYOTE Howls, the organization’s newsletter, declared: “COYOTE has called on all prostitutes to join the international “Kiss and Tell” campaign to convince legislators that it is in their best interest to support…issues of importance to women. The organizers of the campaign are urging that the names of legislators who have consistently voted against those issues, yet are regular patrons of prostitutes, be turned over to feminist organizations for their use.”(5) By the late ’80s, however, prostitute activists and feminist were in enemy camps, with feminists viewing the prostitute as the penultimate victim of patriarchy — that is, of white male culture. Whenever someone refers to the positions, the points of theory that define feminism, you should always inquire, “to which feminism or feminists are you referring?” If the issue is abortion, then 19th century feminism would disagree with today’s movement.

If the issue is prostitution, then feminists from NOW in 1973 would disagree with present-day NOW members. There is no one feminism, there is no dogmatic position on issues. Feminism is and should be an ongoing dialogue among women — and men who are 50 percent of the population — on issues of special interest to women. As long as the dialogue is civil, then disagreement is a sign of health. Dissent is a vital aspect of what keeps theory alive and true; dogma is its death. I am presenting a dissenting view: individualist feminism, or ifeminism, which is a deep and rich school within the movement.(6) The ideas of gender feminism are diametrically opposed to those of ifeminism, and the two schools form the extremes of theory that define the broader feminist movement itself. To illustrate this, you should ask of feminism the most fundamental question that can be asked of anything: what is it? What is feminism? Earlier I described feminism as personal liberation and equality with men. I now offer a more formal definition. Feminism is the doctrine that states, “women are and should be treated as the equals of men.” It is the political movement that focuses on women and protests inequality between the sexes. “Women are the equals of men.” As simple as that statement sounds, debate is already enjoined: because what does “equality” mean? For example, does the term refer to equality under existing laws and equal representation within existing institutions, which requires only the reformation of current society? Or is the definition of equality more revolutionary? Does it require existing laws and institutions to be swept away and replaced so that society becomes different in a fundamental sense? The definition of “equality” employed is a litmus test by which various schools of feminism can be distinguished, one from the other. Throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries, mainstream American feminism defined “equality” as equal treatment under existing law and equal representation in existing institutions. Thus the drive for suffrage in the 19th century did not call for an overthrow of government, only for the right of women to vote within the existing structure. Equally, the drive for the ERA in the 20th century did not seek revolution but reform. Mainstream feminism said, “treat us equally under existing law. Give us equal representation within existing institutions.” More revolutionary feminists protested that existing laws and institutions were the source of injustice to women and, as such, they could not be reformed. The system — or large, defining parts of it — had to swept away and rebuilt according to a new vision. In simplistic terms, the two most revolutionary traditions were socialist feminism, from which contemporary gender feminism draws heavily, and individualist feminism of which current ifeminism is a continuation. These two traditions argued that equality required revolution but they differed dramatically about the direction the revolution should take. (7)

To socialist feminists, equality was a socio-economic goal. Women could be equal only by eliminating capitalism and the other institutions that were said to favor men, such as the traditional family and the church. Socialist feminists declared, “don’t reform capitalism to include women in its injustice; sweep capitalism away and start with an entirely new economic slate.” As socialist feminism evolved through the 19th into the late 20th century, it became what the key theorist of the ’70s and ’80s Catherine MacKinnon called “post-Marxist feminism” but the fundamental goal remained basically the same: a legal restructuring of society to ensure a “just” distribution of power and wealth. (8) The revolution envisioned by individualist feminists was (and is) quite different. To them, equality was achieved when the human rights — that is, the individual rights — of women and men were treated equally under laws that protected person and property. Individualist feminists said nothing about equal distribution of wealth or power. It spoke only to the equal protection of rights. In order to concretize the difference in approach between these two schools of feminism, consider one example. According to gender feminism, society has a right to regulate businesses in order to ensure the proper distribution of wealth and power in the marketplace: that is, you have the right to ensure that businesses do not hire, fire, or promote on the basis of gender except, of course, if it is deemed necessary to privilege women or minorities to achieve the “correct” balance. By contrast, individualist feminism argues that every individual — including employers — have the right to peacefully use their own property and how they use it is not open to social control. Businesses have a right to hire, fire, and promote anyone they choose for whatever reason they choose. Individualist feminists defend that right because they want to claim it themselves. They want their peaceful choices to be protected by law, not punished by it. Individualist feminism’s emphasis on individual rights derives from its historical roots. In the 19th century, individualist feminism arose from abolitionism, the radical antislavery movement in the 1830s which called for an immediate cessation to slavery on the grounds that every human being, white or black, to be a self-owner. (9) That is, everyone simply by being human had a right to his or her own person and the products of thereof — that is, they had a right to their own labor and property. Otherwise stated: humanity was the primary characteristic from which human beings derived the right to freedom. Secondary characteristics — such as gender, race, religion, or hair color — were just that: secondary. In fighting for the rights of slaves, abolitionist women began to ask themselves a question. They asked, “do we not have these rights as well?” The abolitionist Abby Kelley observed, “we have good cause to be grateful to the slave…in striving to strike his irons off, we found most surely that we were manacled ourselves.” What manacled them were laws that discriminated against women in a manner strikingly similar to how they discriminated against blacks. In short, the original individualist feminists sought to destroy the institution of slavery and to rewrite the law from scratch so that it made no distinction between black or white, male or female. They wanted the law to speak only of equal human beings. That was their revolutionary vision. How does the foregoing analysis translate into modern terms? Previously, I stated that gender feminism and individualist feminism define the two extremes of the movement. In a brief essay, it is not possible to render an adequate sense of how dramatically these two revolutionary traditions differ but it is possible to contrast one or two of the key concepts. Having examined “equality,” consider the concept of “class.” Again, the most fundamental question that can be asked of anything: “What is it? What is a class?” A class is an arbitrary grouping of entities that share common characteristics. The arbitrary part is that the person doing the grouping does so solely for his or her own purposes. For example, a researcher studying drug addiction may break society or his research subjects into classes of drug using and non-drug using people, into classes of cocaine and caffeine addicts. Classes can be defined by any factor salient to the definer: hair color, sexual orientation, deodorant use… For gender feminists, gender is the salient factor. There is nothing inherently wrong about using gender to separate one class from another. Indeed, many fields use biology as a dividing line. For example, medicine often separates the sexes in order to apply different medical treatments and techniques; women are examined for cervical cancer and men for prostate problems. But, in dividing the two genders into classes, medicine does not claim that the basic biological interests of men and women as human beings conflict. Medicine recognizes that the two sexes share a biology that requires the same basic approach of nutrition, exercise, and common sense lifestyle choices. In short, although the biologies of the genders may be classified differently for the purposes of the medical definer, there is no attempt to say that the two biologies are not fundamentally the same or that men and women are not the same species, with the same requirements for oxygen, Vitamin C, and so forth. By contrast, gender feminism advocates a theory of fundamental class conflict based on gender. It makes two claims: first, males share not only a biological identity but also a political and social one; and, second, the political and social interests of men necessarily conflict with those of women. Gender feminism claims that there is no common political interest between men and women based upon their shared humanity. Thus, what many of us would consider a basic human right shared equally by both genders and benefiting each equally — such as freedom of speech — becomes a tool by which men oppress women. Speech must be controlled to prevent it from being used by men to oppress women and, so, we have speech codes on campus, anti-harassment speech laws in the workplace, hate speech laws in society. How did the idea that men and women are separate and antagonistic classes become so entrenched within society? The concept of class conflict is widely associated with Karl Marx, who used it as a tool to predict the political interests and social behavior of individuals. Once the class affiliation of an individual was known, his or her behavior became predictable. To Marx, the salient feature defining a person’s class was his relationship to the means of production: was he a capitalist or a worker? Gender feminism adapted this theory: thus, MacKinnon’s reference to gender feminism as “post-Marxism.” By the reference, she meant that gender feminists embrace the general context of Marxism but do not believe economic status is the salient factor that determines a class. For them, it is gender. Are you male or female? Being male becomes so significant that the classification predicts and determines how the individuals within that class will behave. Being male — regardless of who you are as an individual — defines what is in your self-interest because “maleness” is your class affiliation and that overrides your individuality. (10) Thus, gender feminists can level accusations of “oppressor” at non-violent men because every man is a beneficiary of patriarchy, of “the rape culture” and, so, every man oppresses every woman. In other words, men as a class are said to have constructed institutions that oppress women as a class. To eliminate the oppression of women, it is necessary to deconstruct those institutions, such as the free market and the traditional family, and to reconstruct them according to a gender feminist vision. By contrast, individualist feminism looks at men and women and sees — first and foremost — individual human beings with a common, shared humanity. Just as men and women share basic biological needs, we share the same basic political needs: the same rights and responsibilities. The most basic political human right is to the peaceful enjoyment of our own bodies and of our own property. The most basic political human responsibility is to respect the peaceful decisions other people make with their bodies and their property. At bare minimum, we must legally tolerate the peaceful choices of others, even if we do not personally respect or consider those choices to be moral. In short, the highest political good for both men and women doesn’t come from their sexuality but derives, instead, from their status as human beings. Although men and women can be sorted into separate classes for many valid reasons — from medicine to marketing strategy — their basic political rights and responsibilities cannot be sorted in a similar manner. Those rights and responsibilities precede any consideration of sexuality just as they precede any consideration of skin color: they are fundamental. Laws protecting those rights and enforcing those responsibilities should make no distinction between men and women. Accordingly, for ifeminism, the burning priority is to remove from the law all privileges and disadvantages based on sex, which includes removing privileges for women such as affirmative action. The law must become gender-blind and no longer see men or women but merely individuals. The concept of ‘class’ is only one of many areas of ideological warfare between gender and individualist feminism. Another concept is “justice.” Gender feminism approaches justice as an end state; this means it provides a specific picture of what constitutes a just society. A just society would be one without patriarchy or capitalism in which the socio-economic and cultural equality of women is fully expressed. In other words, justice is a specific end state, a specific arrangement of society that embodies well-defined economic, political, and cultural ideals. For example, the gender feminist ideal dictates that employers pay men and women equally, pornography and prostitution does not exist, sexual comments in the workplace disappear…and so forth. By contrast, the individualist feminist approach to justice is means-oriented, not endsoriented. In other words, its concept of justice refers to the method by which society operates and not to any particular arrangement of society itself. The methodology has been called by different names: “anything that is peaceful,” “society by contract,” “the non-initiation of force,” voluntaryism. In other words, any outcome to which all of the people involved have consented is, by definition, just. The only end-state individualist feminism envisions is the protection of person and property — that is, the removal of force and fraud from society to protect the method of choice. After peaceful choices have been protected, whatever society results is a just society. If that society is socialist, fine. If it is capitalism, fine. Perhaps it will express both ideals in a manner similar to the rural Canadian county in which I live: the booming commerce of a small town abuts a large Amish community. Because both arrangements are voluntary, both arrangements are just. Another way to approach an understanding of justice being ends-oriented or meanoriented is by applying it to a specific issue, such as marriage. Gender feminists have specific answers to the question, “what is a proper or just marriage?” They believe that the definition of marriage should include gay couples; it should be a 50/50 arrangement in terms of responsibilities; the traditional family is flawed because it is a prop of patriarchy, etc. By contrast, individualist feminism argues that any arrangement to which the people involved have freely consented is a “proper” marriage. The specific arrangement is not important; the method by which the arrangement is reached is. Not every peaceful choice will be moral. For example, a voluntary society may have strains of racism. I am anti-racist. I have married into an Hispanic family and I feel very strongly about anyone slandering, arbitrarily refusing to hire, or otherwise demeaning members of my family. Anyone who refuses to hire my nieces or nephew because of their race can take my business as a customer, my contract as an employee and tear it in two. I would use every peaceful means at my disposal to change the vicious behavior of those who so discriminate. What I couldn’t use is force — either directly or in the indirect form of government — to make people treat my family differently. Why? Because freedom of association means that other people have the right not to associate with me or mine for any reason they see fit, including race or gender. They have a right to not invite me into their homes and to not hire me. I have no right to use force to override their judgment however wrong or immoral I believe that judgment to be. Again, the compelling is I want my family to be able to exercise an identical right to shut their door on the people they do not wish to invite into their homes, on people they do not wish to hire. The conflicting concepts of justice between gender and individualist feminism highlight, in turn, a key difference in their approaches to social problems: namely, gender feminists are willing to use the institutionalized force of the State and individualist feminists are not. This difference is not surprising when you realize that the gender feminist ideal of justice can by established by the use of force, by the State. Gender feminists aim at particular end-states and it is possible to impose specific arrangements on society. For example, you can impose affirmative action and arrest or otherwise penalize people who engage in “wrong” hiring practices. Individualist feminism doesn’t have the option of using the State to impose an endstate. It is not possible to impose the methodology of a voluntary society: such an attempt reduces to a contradiction in terms. Guns can never establish a voluntary society because you cannot put a gun to a person’s head and say, “you are now free to choose.” Freedom of choice involves taking the gun away. And, in the final analysis, this is what individualist feminism advocates, over and over again: Choice. In the place of violence, individualist feminism seeks private solutions to social problems. It recognizes the right of a human being to pull a gun on another only in self-defense against a direct attack on person or property. Theory can be a dry thing and individualist feminism is not a dry pursuit. It is not just a network of theory or a set of positions of issues, such as affirmative action. Individualist feminism is an entire system of thought, with a unique history and a unique interpretation of historical events such as the Industrial Revolution, with poets and novelists, with heroines and heroes. It is a rich tradition that can be appreciated, perhaps, through considering a tiny sliver of its significance. Imagine it is 1889. You are sitting in a print shop in Kansas that publishes a pro-birth control periodical entitled Lucifer the Light Bearer. (11) You open an envelope and begin its contents, written by an average woman who is struggling to feed her family. The woman pleads: “I know I am dreadful wicked, but I am sure to be in the condition from which I risked my life to be free, and I cannot stand it…Would you know of any appliance that will prevent conception? If there is anything reliable, you will save my life by telling me of it.” A woman wrote that exact letter to Lucifer — published and edited by Moses Harman — because, in the late 1800s, Lucifer was one of the few forums openly promoting birth control, insisting that women’s self-ownership be fully acknowledged in all sexual arrangements. Accordingly, Lucifer was also one of the first periodicals in North America to argue that forced sex within marriage should be considered rape. In advocating women’s sexual self-ownership in Lucifer, Harman ran counter to the Comstock Act of 1873, which prohibited the mailing of obscene matter including birth control information and the discussion of graphically sexual issues like rape. A witch hunt ensued. In 1887, the staff of Lucifer was arrested for the publication of three letters and indicted on 270 counts of obscenity. One of the offending letters had described the plight of a woman whose husband forced sex upon her even though it tore the stitches from a recent operation; another letter advocated abstinence as a form of birth control. Interestingly, when the authorities came to arrest Harman in 1887, his 16-year old daughter Lillian was not present. She had been imprisoned earlier for being wed in a private marriage ceremony: that is, a ceremony consisting of a private contract, without Church or State involvement. At the ceremony, Moses had refused to give his daughter away, stating that she was and should always remain the owner of her person. The arrest of Moses Harman is not part of individualist feminist history because he championed birth control: a number of feminist traditions did that. Harman is part of individualist feminist history because of the ideological approach and the methodology he employed in fighting for women’s reproductive rights. Harman based his arguments on women’s self-ownership and he extended that principle of self-ownership to all arrangements — sexual and economic — of all people, male and female. In terms of methodology, he refused to use the State to intrude his definition of “justice” into personal relationships because he considered the State — at least as it existed then — to be the institutionalization of force in society. The State did not protect the person and property of people; it controlled them — and, to that, he was unalterably opposed. He so vigorously opposed laws restricting peaceful behavior that his legal battles against the Comstock laws continued from 1887 through 1906. Harman’s last imprisonment was hard labor for a year, during which he often broke rocks for eight hours a day in the Illinois snow. He was 75 years old at the time. Harman was not an obscure figure. He was acknowledged by both Margaret Sanger and Emma Goldman as a pioneer in the area of birth control without whom their work would not have been possible. On September 26, 1905, on the front page of the New York Times, the British playwright George Bernard Shaw stated, “…a journal has been confiscated (meaning Lucifer) and its editor imprisoned in American for urging that a married women should be protected from domestic molestation when childbearing.” 

Two years later, Shaw explained to London journalists why he never visited America. “The reason I do not go to America is that I am afraid of being arrested…like Mr. Moses Harman…If the brigands can…seize a man of Mr. Harman’s advanced age, and imprison him for a year under conditions which amount to an indirect attempt to kill him, simply because he shares the opinion expressed in my Man and the Superman… what chance should I have of escaping.” (12) Moses Harman was a prominent figure in the life-and-death fight for women’s sexual freedom. Where in the canons of feminist orthodoxy is this man celebrated? His status should equal or surpass that of Margaret Sanger. Where is the nod of gratitude and acknowledgement to Lillian Harman? Nowhere. Where is the biography of Gertrude B. Kelly, a political activist and medical doctor who specialized in caring for poor tenement women in New York City? (13) Where in feminist literature can you read about J. Flora and Josephine S. Tilton — two sisters who toured the Northeastern states and Canada, going into factories to pass out birth control literature to working people, and being arrested for their efforts? Where is Angela Heywood who wrote what I believe to be the first defense of woman’s right to reproductive control based explicitly on “a woman’s body, a woman’s right.” Angela agitated and wrote for decades advocating women’s rights; she was instrumental in high-profile organizations like the New England Labor Reform League. It cannot be that these men and women are too obscure for feminism to even mention them in passing within a footnote. Consider Angela’s husband, Ezra Heywood. Heywood was arrested in 1877 under the Comstock laws for distributing a birth control pamphlet entitled Cupid’s Yokes, which argued for abstinence. In protest, a petition for his release received over 70,000 signatures — the largest number of signatures in U.S. history to that date. (14) Six months after his imprisonment, Heywood received a full pardon from President Hayes. Where is feminism’s tribute to Ezra Heywood? Look in standard reference works, you will not find the names of these heroic people. Nor the names of dozens and dozens of other women and men who suffered and fought to secure the rights and dignity of every women. They deserve better. Feminism deserves better. Feminism needs to have fresh air blowing through its moribund corridors; it needs new ideas and vigorous debate. Feminism needs to respect the voices of women, especially the voices of women who disagree because that is where women’s liberation has always resided: in the words, “I disagree.”

 

Notes

(*) First delivered as a lecture 09/27/03 at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies.

 

(1) A description of gender feminism: “A fundamental move for early feminism was to distinguish between sex and gender, where sex, male or female, is about physical differences between the sexes, while gender, masculine or feminine, is about characteristics of behavior, demeanor, or psychology which feminism wished to claim are culturally constructed and conditioned and so ultimately arbitrary. Since the moral and political program of “gender feminism” was essentially to abolish gender differences, so that men and women would end up living the same kinds of lives, doing the same kinds of things, and perhaps even looking pretty much the same in “unisex” grooming and clothing, it was important to distinguish between the class of cultural and alterable items, matters of gender, and the class of physical and unalterable items, matters of physical sex differences.” http://www.friesian.com/feminism.htm – note- 0Christina Hoff Sommers popularized the term “gender feminism” in “Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women (New York: Touchstone/Simon & Shuster, 1994).

(2) “The Woman’s Bible” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Other Members of the Revising Committee as Named with Their Comments al. was published in two parts in 1892 & 1895. (Online: http://www.undelete.org/library/library0041.html.)

(3) In her periodical “The Revolution,” Anthony referred to abortion as “child murder.”

4(1):4 July 8, 1869. In the same periodical, Stanton called abortion a form of “infanticide.” 1

(5):1, February 5, (4) For more information, see Wendy McElroy, “Prostitution” in Sexual Correctness: The Gender-Feminist Attack on Women. (North Carolina: McFarland, 1996), pp. 119- 134. (5) COYOTE Howls 1979,p.1.

(6) See ifeminists at http://www.ifeminists.net/

(7) For a more extensive discussion of the difference between gender feminism and ifeminism, see Wendy McElroy (ed) Liberty for Women: Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-First Century (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2002).

(8) Perhaps the best single presentation of Post-Marxist feminism is Catharine A. MacKinnon’s Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (Cambridge: Harvard university Press, 1989).

(9) Overview of this key period of individualist feminism can be found in Lewis Perry’s Radical Abolitionism: Anarchism and the Government of God in Antislavery Thought (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1973) and Blanche Glassman Hersh’s The Slavery of Sex: Feminist Abolitionism in America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978).

(10) For more on the difference between gender feminism and ifeminism on the subject of class analysis, see Wendy McElroy “Mises Legacy to Feminism,” The Freeman, September, 1997, Vol.47, No.9, pp.558-563. Available online, http://www.zetetics.com/mac/mises.htm.

 

(11) For more on the Lucifer circle, see Hal D. Sears’s The Sex Radicals: Free Love in High Victorian America (Lawrence, Kansas: Regents Press, 1977).

(12) Letter reprinted two years later in London Opinion, 30 January 1909, p.202.

(13) For more on Gertrude B. Kelly, see http://www.independent.org/tii/news/981000McElroy.html

(14) Cupid’s Yokes: The Bidning Forces of Conjugal Life: An Essay to consider Some Moral and Physiological phases of Love and Marriage, Wherein is Asserted the Natural Right and Necessity of Self-Government (Princeton, Mass., 1876) had a circulation variously estimated at 50,000 t0 200,000. Many of Heywood’s essays can be found in The Collected Works of Ezra H. Heywood (Weston, Mass.: M&S press, 1985). A microfilm run of The Word is available from the Massachusetts Historical Society.

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