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'For equality only, we wish to contend'

I would calmly ask, is it reasonable, that ... an intelligent being, who is to spend an eternity in contemplating the works of the Deity, should at present be so degraded, as to be allowed no other ideas, than those which are suggested by the mechanism of a pudding, or the sewing of the seams of a garment? Pity that all such censurers of female improvement do not go one step further, and deny their future existence; to be consistent they surely ought....

...for equality only, we wish to contend.

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* Excerpt from 'On the Equality of the Sexes,' by Judith Sargent Murray (under the pseudonym Constantia). It was published in 1790 in Massachusetts Magazine.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society