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ERIC Number: EJ870096
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1938-9809
Circumcision of the Female Intellect: 19th Century Women Who Opposed Scholarly Education
Holmes, Marbeth
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2009 n2 2009
In 19th century America, some women decried the opportunity for scholarly education as rebellion against religion and predicted a grim decline in the quality of life, home, and hearth for American families and for American culture and politics. In particular, women who opposed scholarly education argued that God had not created men and women equally; therefore, women should not desire nor be granted equality in social expectations or roles but remain in the sphere of gender difference. These women preferred the Biblical submission to male-dominant authority, the domestic tranquility of doilies and embroidery, the notion of the morality of motherhood, and the absence of intellectual stimulation and development--objecting to academic education and its consequential outgrowths of political participation, gainful employment, matrimonial choice, and independent living. It is here among these women one finds the desire for womanly piety, purity, social graces, and the necessity of the development of Christian character. The intellectual circumcision was deeply rooted in the Protestant faith and was fostered through all branches of religious service. The idea that harmonious development of Christian character was more rewarding and stimulating than scholarly education pulverized the intellectual growth of women. This article examines the pursuit of perfected womanhood and the damning predictions regarding the quality of life for those women who strayed from their true purpose, which is a fascinating reflection of a truly circumcised female intellect and a thoroughly mutilated spirit. (Contains 72 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A