Evaluation of "Women's 'Rights'" by Dora Marsden

In Volume One, Number 19 of The Egoist magazine from October 1914, Dora Marsden argues in the article "Women's 'Rights'" that women are psychologically conditioned to believe that they are supposed to be weaker and lesser than men because of the patriarchy's grasp on women's minds. Marsden also argues that women's "rights" are not a thing because they should merely be human "rights" if any human has any rights at all (1). She claims that the war killed feminism because as soon as it started, no one was thinking about women's rights, rather, they were thinking about anyones rights. The war drew attention from the topic, and now it is forgotten about and barely anyone is fighting as hard for it anymore, and it caused people to believe that no one initially had "rights," and so arguing for women's rights was a moot point. Marsden believes that women see themselves as "valuable property," and a man's "possession" which causes them to adhere to the societal structure better and not rebel. Instead of being complacent, Marsden claims, women should use "physical force" to pry themselves away from the "womanly" label (3).