Love Essay

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Tyrin Harris History 100 Peter Hohn January 31, 2013 Free Love And Feminism: John Humphrey Noyes And The Oneida Community In “Free And Feminism: John Humphrey Noyes And The Oneida Community,” Lawrence Foster argues that Noyes had a mission to free woman (as well as men) from the servitude to stereotyped behaviors and attitudes, and he made specific and often highly controversial changes at every level of community life to end discrimination against women, encourage their participation, and reestablish harmonious relations between the sexes. Noyes write in his newspaper in 1850, mentioned a woman’s rights convention in Ohio at which Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke and compared married woman’s legal status to that of slaves. Noyes also tells that he is strongly opposed to the current legal restriction on women as any feminist: “Woman needs surely to be emancipated to be permitted to stand up as a responsible individual in society; and any statute or institution that denies this privilege cannot long stand before the scrutiny of the age.” Lawrence Foster also argues that, Noyes was in effect, therefore, both men and woman at Oneida shared a common personal and religious commitment which radically undercut normal social restriction. Noyes also shared that although some men were more spiritual than woman that most woman were more spiritual than most men and that’s why most women are ahead of men and that there are no one gender higher than the other. Thus, instead of stressing gender as the basis for authority at Oneida, life in the community gradually came to be governed by a philosophy of “ascending and descending fellowship,” in which those of higher “spirituality” exercised more authority than those of lesser attainment. “In these and other ways, authority relations between men and women were restructured at Oneida.” Although there were a lot of other people

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