The Forgotten First Wave: Sheila Rowbotham’s DREAMERS OF A NEW DAY

Winnifred Harper Cooley, Ada Nield Chew, Mary Beard, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Emma Goldman, Jane Addams, Mary Church Terrell, Mona Caird, Ernestine Rose, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Phillis Wheatley, Catherine Webb, Beatrice Webb, Charlotte Wilson, Mary Gawthorpe, Mary Ware Dennett, Octavia Hill, Margaret McMillan, Selina Cooper, Vida Scudder, Eleanor Marx Aveling, Annie Besant, Dora Montefiore, Olive Schreiner, Marie Jenny Howe, Nella Larsen, Voltairine de Cleyre, Edith Ellis, Elsie Clews Parsons, Suzanne La Follette, Rosa Graul, Angela Heywood, Lois Waisbrooker, Elmina Slenker, Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, Rose Witcop, Dora Russell, Eleanor Rathbone, Alice B. Stockham, Georgia Kotsch, Crystal Eastman, Helen Campbell, Mary Macarthur, Hannah Mitchell, Lillie D. White, Lizzie Homes, Clara Zetkin, Christine Frederick, Lillian Gilbreth, Sarah Lees, C. Helen Scott, Helena Borm, Miriam Daniell, Isabella Ford, Eleanor Rathbone, Anna Julia Cooper, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Olive Schreiner, Maggie Lena Walker, Ellen Gates Starr, Vida Dutton Scudder, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Darlene Clark Hine, Sylvia Pankhurst, Jane Hume Clapterton, Teresa Billington-Greig, Margaret Ashton…

These names represent only a fraction of the ordinary and extraordinary women, rich, middle class, poor, black, white, radical, conservative, liberal, socialist, communist who from the 1880s to the end of the 1920s in England and the United States, fought to reform, transform, and re-imagine every aspect of daily life. The agendas of these adventurous innovators were myriad, their policies and utopian ideals often incompatible, but their common goal was for an improved world economically, politically, socially, culturally, sexually, and spiritually, for women — and men. They advocated for the vote, equal pay, education, contraception, equal rights within a marriage, divorce, legalized abortion, free love, childcare, healthcare. They reconsidered their clothing, their role in the global economy, gender divisions, motherhood, housework, sex practices, language, even consciousness itself. Sheila Rowbotham’s unique and revelatory book Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century is a seminal work of history profiling an astonishing number of visionary women who incontestably changed life as we know it — then were preeminently forgotten.

Read on at Bookslut

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One Reply to “The Forgotten First Wave: Sheila Rowbotham’s DREAMERS OF A NEW DAY”

  1. I love this post because I am able to look into others lives, and as a young female who has worked in a male dominated profession and was able to get out of it on my own I love to look at people who inspire me. I do have to say the only problem with this post is that I wish you linked each person. I for one took enough time to copy and paste each person so that I was able to see who they were, but if they really meant that much you could take that time to link it to their Wikipedia. The only reason I say that is because there is TONS of wonderful info on each of those people but young people for some reason will not take the time to look into each person. I didn’t know how to contact you in person so I’m sorry I’m saying this on a post put I do suggest that you link each person. It’s something that EVERY woman needs to read, EVERY young woman needs to read and yes MEN need to read it too. Thank you…..<3

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