All I ask of our brethren is that they will take their feet from off our necks
A mixed (fe)mailbag for International Women's Day 2022
The civilization of any country may always be measured by the degree of equality between men and women; and society will never come truly into order until there is perfect equality and copartnership between them in every department of human life.
Lydia Marie Child
Letter to Mrs. S. M. Parsons
10th February 1877
I’ve been working for over 40 years and the worst curse I could put on any man is: “In your next life may you be born a talented and creative woman.”
Letter to Katherine White
26th June 1974
I feel there is something unexplored about women that only a woman can explore.
Letter to Mabel Dodge
As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success. One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw. People call me one of the “world’s greatest female athletes”. Do they say LeBron is one of the world’s best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? They are certainly not female. We should never let this go unchallenged. We should always be judged by our achievements, not by our gender.
Serena Williams Letter to all women (published in Porter magazine) 2016
Everyone seems to agree upon the necessity of putting a stop to Suffragist outrages; but no one seems certain how to do so. There are two, and only two, ways in which this can be done. Both will be effectual.
1. Kill every woman in the United Kingdom.
2. Give women the vote.
Bertha Brewster Letter to the Daily Telegraph February 1913
Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation. That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend.
Letter to John Adams
31st March 1776
Women in this country have been over-celebrated for too long. Just last night there was a story on my local news about a “missing girl,” and they must have dedicated seven or eight minutes to “where she was last seen” and “how she might have been abducted by a close family friend,” and I thought, “What is this, the News for Chicks?” Then there was some story about Hillary Clinton flying to some country because she’s secretary of state. Why do we keep talking about these dumdums? We are a society that constantly celebrates no one but women and it must stop! I want to hear what the men of the world have been up to. What fun new guns have they invented? What are they raping these days? What’s Michael Bay’s next film going to be?
Letter in reply to a troll
I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask of our brethren is that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright on that ground which God designed us to occupy.
Letter to her sister, Angelina
17th July 1837
In June 2016, British writer Sarah-Louise Jordan became the latest in an impossibly long line of women to be sent, without so much as a warning, an unsolicited photograph of a penis belonging to a stranger. Thankfully for us, Sarah-Louise chose to respond by letter.
Thank you for the unexpected and unsolicited submission of your penis portrait for our consideration. We regret to inform you that it has failed to pass our most basic standards of quality control at this time. However, for a nominal fee we can offer you a report that will help you change that.
The A4 report, provided via postal service, will include a personalised booklet that covers the following: Why genitals are not an acceptable conversation opener (a step-by-step guide to saying hello); How to appear as though you weren’t raised by wolves; Better ways to deal with your sexual frustration; How to dress your penis for social media (a rough guide to pants); and, Penis Reading: a new form of palmistry that may help you unlock the key to your future.
We will also answer questions you might have such as: Do I have too much time on my hands? And: Why did my penis fail basic standards of quality control? (Note: The number one reason for this occurring is that it is attached to a bigger dick than itself.) Finally, as a gesture of goodwill, we intend to offer two free samples with all of your future penis portrait submissions: An inventive critique of your pride & joy AND a surprise consultation with your closest available family member about your portfolio.
We trust this exciting offer is acceptable and look forward to working with you in the near future.