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The Power of Womanhood

by Ellice Hopkins

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Category : Literary

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In a banquet given in honor of Heinrik Ibsen by a Norwegian society known as the Woman's League, in response to a speech thanking him in the name of the society for all he had done for the cause of women, the poet, while disclaiming the honor of having consciously worked for the woman's cause—indeed, not even being quite clear as to what the woman's cause really was, since in his eyes it was indistinguishable from the cause of humanity—concluded his speech with the words:
"It has always seemed to me that the great problem is to elevate the nation and place it on a higher level. Two factors, the man and the woman, must co-operate for this end, and it lies especially with the mothers of the people, by slow and strenuous work, to arouse in it a conscious sense of culture and discipline. To the woman, then, we must look for the solution of the problem of humanity. It must come from them as mothers: that is the mission that lies before them.

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Ellice Hopkins

Ellice Hopkins was a Victorian social campaigner and author, who vigorously advocated moral purity while criticising contemporary sexual double standards.

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