A Brief Note On ' Victims Of Morality ' By Emma Goldman Essay

1139 Words Apr 6th, 2015 5 Pages
Emma Goldman on Demoralizing “Moralities”

In “Victims of Morality” Emma Goldman argued that women perceive marriage as a necessary, negotiable agreement whereby wives sell their bodies as sexual commodities in exchange for economic stability from their husbands. During the early 1900s, a woman’s virtuous sexual freedom served as a threat to a husband’s expectations, and activists similar to Goldman fought to redefine this notion of sexual freedom. Societal institutions, embedded within marriages, established expected forms of self-expression between men and women. Coerced by society, these morals fostered an emotional incompatibility between the two sexes as these ideals perpetuated women into a life of procreation. Marriage deprived women of agency, and thus reduced their status to mere sexual objects in this atmosphere of repression. Society’s “Moralities” thwarted a woman’s sexual fulfillment, and thus hindered her ability to candidly enjoy human sexuality. Goldman’s repetition of women as forced “breeders” identified her comprehension of marriage as the converse of sexual freedom. This strategic emphasis paralleled the ways in which these unjustified moralities infiltrated every dimension of society, inspiring both the attention of men and women in support of her efforts. Goldman argued that society’s overestimation of compulsory motherhood confined women in their ability to experience their sexuality and obscured a woman’s ultimate emancipation. She wrote “The…

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