Floyd Dell

novelist, poet, playwright, critic, editor

Floyd Dell (June 28, 1887July 23, 1969) was an American author, feminist, journalist, and socialist. He wrote extensively on controversial social issues of the early 20th century. He played a major part in the political and social movements originating in Greenwich Village, New York City during the 1910s & 1920s. His work is cited in numerous books, essays, and scholarly articles.


  • In a word, the home is a little dull. When you have got a woman in a box, and you pay rent on the box, her relationship to you insensibly changes character. It loses the fine excitement of democracy. It ceases to be companionship, for companionship is only possible in a democracy. It is no longer a sharing of life together—it is a breaking of life apart. Half a life—cooking, clothes, and children; half a life—business, politics, and baseball. It doesn’t make much difference which is the poorer half. Either half, when it comes to life, is very near to none at all.

    Of course, this artificial distinction does not strictly obtain in any particular marriage. There is an attempt to break it down. It is an honourable attempt. But our civilization is nevertheless built on that distinction, In order to break down that distinction utterly, it will be necessary to break down all the codes and restrictions and prejudices that keep women out of the great world. It is in the great world that a man finds his sweetheart, and in that narrow little box outside of the world that he loses her. When she has left that box and gone back into the great world, a citizen and a worker, then with surprise and delight he will discover her again, and never let her go.

Quotes about Floyd DellEdit

  • Two editors of the Masses, Crystal Eastman's brother Max and Floyd Dell, used that journal for vigorous advocacy of feminist issues... The Masses was the only male-edited socialist journal that consistently affirmed the importance of equality as essential for the full development of the lives of both men and women. In a satiric piece, Floyd Dell took up the arguments of the antifeminists. "I thought, you see, that [women] were persons like myself. Well, they aren't. I know better now."
    • Margaret S Marsh, Anarchist Women, 1870-1920 (1981)

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