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Women Without Superstition: No Gods--No Masters: The Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

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Collected writings of women freethinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries.


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Collected writings of women freethinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

30 review for Women Without Superstition: No Gods--No Masters: The Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

  1. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    Women Without Superstition is a collection of excerpts from the writings of female free-thinkers, almost exclusively American and white, which I think is the collection's greatest weakness, spanning the years from the founding of the Republic to the late '90s, when the volume was published. A revised edition or second volume (of which there is sore need considering the state of affairs in the world today) should seek out more women of color and non-American/non-West European voices.* That aside, Women Without Superstition is a collection of excerpts from the writings of female free-thinkers, almost exclusively American and white, which I think is the collection's greatest weakness, spanning the years from the founding of the Republic to the late '90s, when the volume was published. A revised edition or second volume (of which there is sore need considering the state of affairs in the world today) should seek out more women of color and non-American/non-West European voices.* That aside, the excerpts here (with some exceptions) are a fascinating look at the concerns of free-thinking women (including two of my personal heroes, Emma Goldman and Margaret Fuller), which I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in the same.** * A by-no-means exhaustive Google search pulled up Butterfly McQueen (most well known for her role as the slave in "Gone With the Wind"), Lorraine Hansberry, Jamila Bey, Robin Quivers (of "The Howard Stern Show"), and a Nigerian author, Oge Igboegbunam. ** While there were some questionable inclusions, they were far out numbered by the women who you wanted to know more about. Particularly, in my case, Voltairine de Cleyr (1866-1912), an anarchist who hobnobbed with Goldman.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Continuously reading. Every woman must read this. Annie L. Gaylor has written a short historical introduction of different women who have contributed a major impact during their time. They spoke openly about their heretical beliefs--in a disapproving society. Such courage is still required today, which makes this book inspiring reading. Note: This is a very large hard cover book and it is not really a book you would carry around. It's a type of book you keep in you personal library. Great intelle Continuously reading. Every woman must read this. Annie L. Gaylor has written a short historical introduction of different women who have contributed a major impact during their time. They spoke openly about their heretical beliefs--in a disapproving society. Such courage is still required today, which makes this book inspiring reading. Note: This is a very large hard cover book and it is not really a book you would carry around. It's a type of book you keep in you personal library. Great intellectual conversation starters. This is an ongoing read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    It has taken me four years but I've finally finished this book. It has been a pleasure. Each chapter lead to further reading such as Margaret Sanger's "Motherhood in Bondage". It has taken me four years but I've finally finished this book. It has been a pleasure. Each chapter lead to further reading such as Margaret Sanger's "Motherhood in Bondage".

  4. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    A collection of biographies, lectures, and writings of over fifty admirable women. Some well known such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and many new to me. Reminds me of a collection I read years ago, Herstory. Both books share backgrounds, achievements, and contributions. A few favorite quotes: Pg.10 Freethought has no gender. "Books and opinions, no matter from whom they came, if they are in opposition to human rights, are nothing but dead letters..." -Ernestine L. Rose Pg.23 "Free thought, free speech A collection of biographies, lectures, and writings of over fifty admirable women. Some well known such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and many new to me. Reminds me of a collection I read years ago, Herstory. Both books share backgrounds, achievements, and contributions. A few favorite quotes: Pg.10 Freethought has no gender. "Books and opinions, no matter from whom they came, if they are in opposition to human rights, are nothing but dead letters..." -Ernestine L. Rose Pg.23 "Free thought, free speech and a free press" and "Good works instead of long prayers." -Anne Newport Royall Pg.111 "The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the miseries of others." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pg.116 "...but to no form of popular religion has woman ever been indebted for one pulsation of liberty. Obedience and subjection have been the lessons taught her..." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pg.118 "The women are the chief, untiring pertinacious beggars for the church... In return, the whole tone of church teaching in regard to woman is, to the last degree, contemptuous and degrading." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pg.129 "Truth for authority, not authority for truth." -Lucretia Mott Pg.131 "Good schools and homes where the young could ever be surrounded by an atmosphere of purity and virtue, would do much more to prevent immorality and crime in our cities than all the churches in the land could ever possibly do toward the regeneration of the multitude sunk in poverty, ignorance, and vice." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pg.140 "It is as disastrous to true government in the state, and home, to teach all womankind to submit to the authority of man, as divinely ordained, as it is to teach all mankind to bow down to the authority of kings and Popes, as divinely ordained." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rhianna

    This collection was huge and heavy to lug around but very interesting and worthwhile. As a longtime atheist, feminist, and woman it was fantastic to read thoughts from our foremothers dating as far back as the 1700s. Sometimes it feels like atheism is a boys club but reading this helped put the spotlight on the history of women as free thinkers. I also love Wisconsin's roll in all of this, makes me want to find others like me here today! This collection was huge and heavy to lug around but very interesting and worthwhile. As a longtime atheist, feminist, and woman it was fantastic to read thoughts from our foremothers dating as far back as the 1700s. Sometimes it feels like atheism is a boys club but reading this helped put the spotlight on the history of women as free thinkers. I also love Wisconsin's roll in all of this, makes me want to find others like me here today!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Judy, Judy, Judy

    Women Without Superstition is a book about women who do not believe in anything that is not logical or reasonable or without proof. 1CFreethought means the use of reason in forming opinions about religion, rather than basing belief on faith, authority or tradition, 1D says Annie Laurie Gaylor who edited the book. Because of this it is a book that has a lot of content that is anti-religion. But even if you are a person of religious bent it is worth reading as it is a close look at 51 women who ha Women Without Superstition is a book about women who do not believe in anything that is not logical or reasonable or without proof. 1CFreethought means the use of reason in forming opinions about religion, rather than basing belief on faith, authority or tradition, 1D says Annie Laurie Gaylor who edited the book. Because of this it is a book that has a lot of content that is anti-religion. But even if you are a person of religious bent it is worth reading as it is a close look at 51 women who have shaped our country. Women of courage who have given of their time, their safety and dignity, their very lives so that we can do simple things like vote, own property or receive property in wills, wear what we want, have reproductive options, divorce men who abuse us or our children, and so on and so on and so on. I can not imagine the dark country we would live in today without the sacrifices of these women. Many of these women were also abolitionists who worked courageously against slavery until it was finally outlawed. The women range in ages from the oldest, now dead, of course, Mary Wollstonecraft, born in 1759 to the youngest, Taslima Nasrin, born in 1962. Of the 51 Taslima is the only one covered who is a woman of color. I can only speculate that this is because there is not as much information available about the women of color who also surely worked alongside these women in their efforts to better the lives of all of us. The quotes and the looks into the lives of these women is very inspirational: From the first woman - Mary Wollstonecraft who said, 1C 26the being cannot be termed rational or virtuous, who obeys any authority, but that of reason. 1C A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) To the last woman - Taslima Nasrin the 18Bengali Blasphemer 19 born in 1962 who at the writing of the book was in hiding as she had been sentenced to death by the theocracy of Bangladesh since the publication of her novella Shame. A physician she is outspoken about the atrocities she sees done to women and children everyday in the muslim society and calls for abolishing all religions. (Outside the scope of this book, according to Taslima Nasrin 19s official website, she is still writing and lecturing. She is still in and out of hiding due to muslim persecution. She, and her written works, are not allowed back into her country of Bangladesh or in certain parts of India.) To every woman in between -they changed our country for the better and their back story is well worth the read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate Laws

    As a woman and an atheist I cannot tell you how powerful it was to read this book. It took me several years, but whenever I was feeling alone and crazy I could pull this out and read about a woman free thinker, read her writings and about her life, and remember that I'm not alone. We have always existed. And we have always had important, insightful things to say. As a woman and an atheist I cannot tell you how powerful it was to read this book. It took me several years, but whenever I was feeling alone and crazy I could pull this out and read about a woman free thinker, read her writings and about her life, and remember that I'm not alone. We have always existed. And we have always had important, insightful things to say.

  8. 5 out of 5

    RosalĂ­a

    Margaret Sanger, George Elliot, Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and so many more share their views about the oppression caused by Christianity. WOMEN WITHOUT SUPERSTITION is a collection of works by freethinking women in history.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chantay

    "History is written by the victors" Winston Churchill A hefty tome about the feminist history of women that have come unbound by religion. Most of our history is fraught with only events written by white men. It would seem during this time women and people of color were patiently standing behind these men caring for the children, cooking, and knitting. Women Without Superstition is about the women that seem to have fallen through the cracks. Little is known of the women that helped propel tha "History is written by the victors" Winston Churchill A hefty tome about the feminist history of women that have come unbound by religion. Most of our history is fraught with only events written by white men. It would seem during this time women and people of color were patiently standing behind these men caring for the children, cooking, and knitting. Women Without Superstition is about the women that seem to have fallen through the cracks. Little is known of the women that helped propel that Atheist movement in society. These women screamed the loudest, fought the hardest seemed to be written out of the lexicon of notable Atheists (we can mention Hickens, Dawkins, and Sagan off the top of our heads, but how many know of Madalyn Murray O'Hair or that Margaret Sanger was a staunch Atheist) there are no best-selling New York Times authors writing biographies speaking of the triumphs of the glorious lives of any of these self-identified free-thinkers, atheists, feminists, suffragists, abolitionists. filling in the gaps of the lost rebels of Atheism. This book acknowledges these women. It gives you biographies, along with excerpts from their own biographies or books they have written. They were so much more than their sex. This is worth-reading for the fact that most biographies written by revolutionary women are centered around the men in their lives rather than their own accomplishments. Annie L. Gaylor gives you an entire picture of the person, other than the just being only determined that person by her sex. My only issue is that I wish other notable Atheists had written about their favorite women and picked the experts that really meant a lot to them. Gaylor seems to back the book with large experts from books that are the same rhetoric from all the ladies. So that makes it a bit boring.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Madmadam

    This book is one of the most treasured books on my heavily laden shelves. It profiles 50 some Amazing women. Women who with strength held tight to their own beliefs; women who refused to conform, and women who refused to cease questioning. Whether you believe in God or not, you have to admire the courage and strength of the women in this volume. Some are famous, who for their contributions to history, often for championing womens' rights, are familiar. The most fascinating, however, are the wome This book is one of the most treasured books on my heavily laden shelves. It profiles 50 some Amazing women. Women who with strength held tight to their own beliefs; women who refused to conform, and women who refused to cease questioning. Whether you believe in God or not, you have to admire the courage and strength of the women in this volume. Some are famous, who for their contributions to history, often for championing womens' rights, are familiar. The most fascinating, however, are the women who are obscured by a male-centric focus in our media (past and present). Even more happily surprising was the fact that not all profiled are from the past. Several of the women listed are still alive & kicking! I can't recommend this book enough to readers interested in free-thinking & in the history of free thought.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan Baggott

    An absolute MUST READ. I plan to buy this book! 51 women who dedicated their lives to separation of church and state, women's rights, and free thought are profiled, then their writings, speeches, letters, etc follow each short profile. Amazing and exhilarating. Many of the writings have not been published prior to this book. Highly recommended. An absolute MUST READ. I plan to buy this book! 51 women who dedicated their lives to separation of church and state, women's rights, and free thought are profiled, then their writings, speeches, letters, etc follow each short profile. Amazing and exhilarating. Many of the writings have not been published prior to this book. Highly recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    William Frost

    So, I read this book a long time ago, and who knows, maybe now I'd have more trouble with it (I know that many of those quoted in it, while progressive on some issues, were HORRIBLY racist as well), but it really did help break me out of some of the orthodoxy I grew up in and helped me be more feminist as well. At the least, it's a good start, esp. for high schoolers like I was. So, I read this book a long time ago, and who knows, maybe now I'd have more trouble with it (I know that many of those quoted in it, while progressive on some issues, were HORRIBLY racist as well), but it really did help break me out of some of the orthodoxy I grew up in and helped me be more feminist as well. At the least, it's a good start, esp. for high schoolers like I was.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ronald

    Thank you, Annie Laurie Gaylor for assembling this remarkable collection of gifted women freethinkers for our edification. And thanks to you and your mother, Anne Gaylor for founding the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which does such fantastic work in exposing the frauds and miscreants who are living off the fatted golden goose of religion in America.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    This is an excellent, out of print anthology--one of the only of its kind, I believe. It's a shame that most people know of only a handful of women in this book. Some great and courageous thinkers here, many of whom were ahead of their time. This is an excellent, out of print anthology--one of the only of its kind, I believe. It's a shame that most people know of only a handful of women in this book. Some great and courageous thinkers here, many of whom were ahead of their time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    WT Sharpe

    A valuable addition to the library of any freethinker, but it could improved by editing. In her efforts to leave no stone unturned, Annie Laurie Gaylor seems to fear leaving out any comment by any woman on free thought ever, no matter how insignificant it is to the overall picture.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    from the library

  17. 5 out of 5

    T. Smith

    short biographies of freethinking women, published by the freedom from religion foundation www.ffrf.org short biographies of freethinking women, published by the freedom from religion foundation www.ffrf.org

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Fantastic collection, though it falls short by excluding most women of color who should have been included.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Diane Smith

    especially enjoyed the writings of the 20th century women,loved Zona Gale's " Why". especially enjoyed the writings of the 20th century women,loved Zona Gale's " Why".

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Wika

  22. 4 out of 5

    JHC

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rosalie

  24. 4 out of 5

    M.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Surin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jone Lewis

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vanesa

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ify Ikea

  30. 5 out of 5

    Monica

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