Annie Besant

On the Political Status of Women

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Annie Besant made a name for herself as a women’s rights activist, socialist, and orator. Her first public speech, “On the Political Status of Women,” launched her into the field of advocacy around which she built a career. She stated that forcing an educated, free-thinking woman to stay home was akin to imprisoning her. Such women “are being driven into bitterness and into angry opposition, because their ambition is thwarted at every step, and their eager longings for a fuller life are forced back and crushed,” she said, “[but] A tree will grow, however you may
try to stunt it.”


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