Margaret Sanger Essays - StudentShare
Historical Essay: Margaret Sanger Papers
After conducting research on European contraceptive methods and meeting with socialist theorists and French syndicalists during a 1913 trip to Paris, Sanger had returned to the U.S. convinced that women could become the primary agents of social and economic change. In March of 1914, she published the first issue of , an eight-page monthly newspaper, designed and written from her New York apartment. On its masthead, etched in crude, block letters, was the defiant slogan drawn from the Industrial Workers of the World strikes, "No Gods, No Masters." Sanger wanted the paper to be a fulcrum for uniting women around issues of class and gender oppression. She called on women "to speak and to act in defiance of convention." Her immediate aim was to challenge the laws that prevented contraceptive education and the distribution of contraceptive devices. "Birth Control," a term first coined in the pages of , provided the foundation and rallying point for Sanger's burgeoning new feminism, one that focused on sexual and reproductive autonomy for women. Sanger argued that unless a woman could be the "absolute mistress of her own body," all other gains -- suffrage, economic equality, education -- were peripheral.
Margaret Sanger Essay - 1428 Words | Bartleby
Her work as a nurse accompanying doctors to immigrant neighborhoods in New York's Lower East Side, where she saw first-hand the suffering of women from home abortions and incessant childbearing, shocked and angered her enough to become an activist determined to find a means of educating women about their bodies. Her experiences in New York Socialist politics and as a labor organizer during the I.W.W.-led 1912-1913 strikes in Lawrence, Massachusetts and Paterson, New Jersey grounded her in the methods of protest and propaganda. In her personal life -- she was estranged from her husband and often uprooted from children and home -- she drew sustenance from a newfound sexual freedom and pursuit of sexual gratification. When, in the spring of 1914, Sanger decided to articulate her doctrine of women's sexual emancipation in the pages of , her personal compulsions and political convictions merged to engender a crusade for birth control that would develop into one of the major reform movements of the twentieth century and fundamentally alter women's sexual, reproductive and professional lives.