author, feminist, socialist campaigner (1894-1986)
- We want better reasons for having children than not knowing how to prevent them. Nor should we represent motherhood as something so common and easy that everyone can go through it without harm or suffering and rear her children competently and well.
- Hypatia (1925), Ch. 4
- Nothing whatever is to be gained by driving the timorous and weak by lies or compulsion into pain which they will resent and responsibility which they will evade. Everything is to be gained by training a woman in knowledge, courage, and physical strength, and leaving it then to her own instinct and her mind to tell her that to create new human beings is worth the discomfort and the suffering she must necessarily undergo. Those in whom the courage to create survives when choice is free and all the facts are known are those best fitted to bring children into the world, and breed in them eagerness and intrepidity. The others will only pass on fear and distaste for life from which individuals and the community suffer far too much already.
- Hypatia (1925), Ch. 4
- Feminists have emphasized for a long time the importance of each woman’s individual entity and the necessity of economic independence. Perhaps it was necessary. But now I think we need some emphasis on the instinctive side of life, sex and motherhood.... Life isn’t all earning your living. Unfortunately we fall in love and Feminism must take that into consideration.
- "Who is Dora Black?" Equal Rights (5 June 1926)
- Humanity will ever seek but never attain perfection. Let us at least survive and go on trying.
- The Religion of the Machine Age (1983)
- We have never yet had a Labour Government that knew what taking power really means; they always act like second-class citizens.
- As quoted in The Observer (30 January 1983)
- We do not want our world to perish. But in our quest for knowledge, century by century, we have placed all our trust in a cold, impartial intellect which only brings us nearer to destruction. We have heeded no wisdom offering guidance. Only by learning to love one another can our world be saved. Only love can conquer all.
- Challenge to the Cold War (1985) Vol. 3, Ch. 14
The Right to Be Happy (1927)Edit
- It has taken us centuries of thought and mockery to shake the medieval system; thought and mockery here and now are required to prevent the mechanists from building another. Without falling into a mystical vitalism that reverences organic nature as sacred, we can at least try rather to serve than to subdue the prancing seas of life. With this in view I have taken as impulses, instincts, or needs certain driving forces in the human species as we know it at present, and argued for such social and economic changes as will give them new, free, and varied expression. To take even this first step towards a happy society is a herculean task. After it has been accomplished, generations to come will see what the creature will do next. We none of us know; and we should be thoroughly on our guard against all those who pretend that they do.
- Strictly speaking, no person who believes that wars between classes and nations are inevitable is fit to be in charge of the destiny of children. To believe in the unity of the human race and get children to believe it in early youth would mean the creation of that unity and the end of war.
- Ch. V, p. 205
- Art that means anything in the life of a community must bear some relation to current interpretations of the mystery of the universe. Our rigid separation of the humanities and the sciences has temporarily left our art stranded or stammering and incoherent. Both art and science ought to be blended in our early education of our children's emotions and powers of observation, and that harmony carried forward in later education.
- Ch. V, p. 235
- Marriage laws, the police, armies and navies are the mark of human incompetence. We have not yet found the right road to conquering ourselves and our environment.
- p. 241
The Tamarisk Tree (1975)Edit
- All my life I have tried to do too many different things. I wonder if this is not a perpetual dilemma for women. A man enters on a job or profession, needs to stick to it to earn his living, and is unlikely to have to change it on marriage. For a woman marriage presents not only practical problems, but she finds herself emotionally pulled all ways, and tends by tradition and impulse to put the needs of others before her own. What is more, opening her eyes on the world, she feels intensely responsible for setting it to rights.
- Ch. IX
- Women must not merely imitate men. Women have more to give than performing any job in society like neutered robots. Those who talk today of rousing the 'consciousness' of women contribute an idea of real importance. It was such a grievous mistake to leave out women. For whence can come love, compassion and understanding if not out of the relations of men and women and of them to their children?
- Ch. XIV