If I ever love a man again, I will give myself to him without being bound by the rabbi or the law, and when that love dies I will leave without permission. - Emma Goldman, 1889.

From a biography of Emma Goldman by Alix Kates Shulman:

She was three times imprisoned - once for allegedly inciting to riot, once for giving out birth control information, and once for conspiring to obstruct the draft - and so often arrested that every time she spoke in public she routinely carried a book to read in jail.


When Emma began speaking publicly on homosexuality and on how to practice birth control, the authorities could no longer tolerate her. She, Margaret Sanger, and others had been lecturing about birth control generally for years. But general talk was one thing and telling how to do it was quite another. The latter was a crime. On March 28, 1915, addressing a mixed audience of six hundred people in New York's popular sunrise club, Emma publicly explained for the first time anywhere in America how to use a contraceptive. She was soon arrested, and after a stormy, sensational trial, she was given the choice of fifteen days in the workhouse or a $100.00 fine. Having already served a year in prison back in 1894 for an inflammatory speech, she had no qualms about fifteen days. When she chose jail the entire courtroom cheered her. Margaret Anderson of "The Little Review" observed, "Emma Goldman was sent to prison for advocating that women need not always keep their mouths shut and their wombs open." As soon as her sentence was up, Emma went right back to delivering the same lectures all over the country. Arrested repeatedly, she turned every courtroom she could into a public forum on the right of a woman to control her own body, until even the judges began to see the birth control issue in a new light.

from Woman Suffrage:

[Woman's] development, her freedom, her independence, must come from and through herself. First, by asserting herself as a personality, and not as a a sex commodity. Second, by refusing the right to anyone over her body; by refusing to bear children, unless she wants them; by refusing to be a servant to God, the State, society, the husband, the family, etc., by making her life simpler, but deeper and richer. That is, by trying to learn the meaning and substance of life in all its complexities, by freeing herself from the fear of public opinion and public condemnation. Only that, and not the ballot, will set woman free.

From Marriage and Love:

The popular notion about marriage and love is that they are synonymous that they spring from the same motives, and cover the same human needs. Like most popular notions this also rest not on actual facts, but on superstition.


On rare occasions one does hear of a miraculous case of a married couple falling in love after marriage, but on close examination it will be found that it is a mere adjustment to the inevitable.

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