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Sarah Grimke (1792 – 1873)


Abolitionist, attorney, judge, and feminist.
Sarah Grimke
I am persuaded that the rights of woman, like the rights of slaves, need only be examined to be understood and asserted.
Grimke quotes
Oh, had I received the education I desired, had I been bred to the profession of the law, I might have been a useful member of society, and instead of myself and my property being taken care of, I might have been a protector of the helpless, a pleader for the poor and unfortunate.
Grimke
At sixty I look back on a life of deep disappointments, of withered hopes, of unlooked for suffering, of severe discipline.




Grimke Sarah quotes
Is it not clear that to give to such women as desire it and can devote themselves to literary and scientific pursuits all the advantages enjoyed by men of the same class will lessen essentially the number of thoughtless, idle, vain and frivolous women and thus secure the [sic] society the services of those who now hang as dead weight?
Grimke Sarah
[Girls] study under the paralyzing idea that their acquirements cannot be brought into practical use. They may subserve the purposes of promoting individual domestic pleasure and social enjoyment in conversation, but what are they in comparison with the grand stimulation of independence and self- reliance, of the capability of contributing to the comfort and happiness of those whom they love as their own souls?
Sarah Grimke quotes
There has been a comparatively greater proportion of good queens, than of good kings.
Sarah Grimke
Many a woman shudders ... at the terrible eclipse of those intellectual powers which in early life seemed prophetic of usefulness and happiness, hence the army of martyrs among our married and unmarried women who, not having cultivated a taste for science, art or literature, form a corps of nervous patients who make fortunes for agreeable physicians.
Grimke Sarah quotes
I know nothing of manís rights, or womanís rights; human rights are all that I recognise.
Grimke
Had Adam tenderly reproved his wife, and endeavored to lead her to repentance instead of sharing in her guilt, I should be much more ready to accord to man that superiority which he claims; but as the facts stand disclosed by the sacred historian, it appears to me that to say the least, there was as much weakness exhibited by Adam as by Eve. They both fell from innocence, and consequently from happiness, but not from equality.
Grimke Sarah
If the minds of women were enlightened and improved, the domestic circle would be more frequently refreshed by intelligent conversation, a means of edification now deplorably neglected, for want of that cultivation which these intellectual advantages would confer.
Sarah Grimke
Fashionable women regard themselves, and are regarded by men, as pretty toys or as mere instruments of pleasure; and the vacuity of mind, the heartlessness, the frivolity which is the necessary result of this false and debasing estimate of women, can only be fully understood by those who have mingled in the folly and wickedness of fashionable life.




Sarah Grimke quotes
Thus far woman has struggled through life with bandaged eyes, accepting the dogma of her weakness and inability to take care of herself not only physically but intellectually. She has held out a trembling hand and received gratefully the proffered aid. She has foregone her right to study, to know the laws and purposes of government to which she is subject. But there is now awakened in her a consciousness that she is defrauded of her legitimate Rights and that she never can fulfill her mission until she is placed in that position to which she feels herself called by the divinity within. Hitherto she has surrendered her person and her individuality to man, but she can no longer do this and not feel that she is outraging her nature and her God.
Sarah Grimke
All history attests that man has subjected woman to his will, used her as a means to promote his selfish gratification, to minister to his sensual pleasures, to be instrumental in promoting his comfort; but never has he desired to elevate her to that rank she was created to fill. He has done all he could to debase and enslave her mind; and now he looks triumphantly on the ruin he has wrought, and say, the being he has thus deeply injured is his inferior.
Grimke quotes
The virtue of female slaves is wholly at the mercy of irresponsible tyrants, and women are bought and sold in our slave markets, to gratify the brutal lust of those who bear the name of Christians.
Grimke Sarah
Intellect is not sexed;... strength of mind is not sexed; and ... our views about the duties of men and the duties of women, the sphere of man and the sphere of woman, are mere arbitrary opinions, differing in different ages and countries, and dependent solely on the will and judgment of erring mortals.
Grimke Sarah quotes
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.
Sarah Grimke
The reason why women effect so little and are so shallow is because their aims are low, marriage is the prize for which they strive; if foiled in that they rarely rise above disappointment.
Sarah Grimke quotes
It would be as wise to set up an accomplished lawyer to saw wood as a business as to condemn an educated and sensible woman to spend all her time boiling potatoes and patching old garments. Yet this is the lot of many a one who incessantly stitches and boils and bakes, compelled to thrust back out of sight the aspirations which fill her soul.
Sarah Grimke
I want my sex to claim nothing from their brethren but what their brethren may justly claim from them.
Grimke Sarah
If the sewing societies, the avails of whose industry are now expended in supporting and educating young men for the ministry, were to withdraw their contributions to these objects, and give them where they are more needed, to their advancement of their own sex in useful learning, the next generation might furnish sufficient proof, that in intelligence and ability to master the whole circle of sciences, woman is not inferior to man.


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