New York Times


A Thorough Radical Who Repudiates All Restraint

To the Editor of The New York Times:

There seems to be a growing misapprehension among journalists as to the present meaning of the word "feminist" in the discussion now on as to woman's position.

In The Tribune for Nov. 6, the wife of John Purroy Mitchel is referred to as a "feminist" because she "stays close to the hearthstone," although a believer in suffrage for women. The Congregationalist in the current issue refers to the "feminist element" in the National Council just ended. The writer alludes, evidently to the presence of two women who are ordained clergymen doing noble work.

In the generally accepted sense of the word, as used to-day among well-read people who have been studying the "woman movement," the word "feminist" is known to refer to the most advanced type of women, who are outspokenly radical regarding the subservience of women to established customs, traditions — even moralities.

"A feminist is always a suffragist, but a suffragist is not always a feminist," writes Mrs. Winnifred Harper Cooley in a recent article in The Younger Suffragists. In that article the beliefs and intentions of "feminists" are quite clearly outlined, and have been outlined before by writers from Bebel in Germany to Ellen Key in London and Inex Milholland (Boissevain) in this country. We have been told that "a feminist recognizes no social or moral limitation." Surely the world to-day everywhere recognizes the feminist movement as one of the most revolutionary and dangerous, one of the most radical movements of the time.

The woman suffrage movement is but a phase of it. The worldwide endeavor to free women from any sort of restraint has gone to great lengths, as a careful study of the subject will enable any one to realize.

New York, Nov. 9, 1913.


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