Margaret Sanger's The Women Rebel

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As one of her eleven siblings in a poor family, Margaret couldn’t help but to feel inferior and long for a rich and comfortable lifestyle. When Sanger’s mother died at the age of forty, Margaret believed that her mother’s premature death was a consequence of excessive childbirth. Along with this mindset, as a young girl, Margaret formed a mindset that poverty, illness, and strife were all fates for large families, whereas small families enjoyed wealth, leisure, and positive parental relationships (Croft). It came to no surprise that Sanger, with such a harsh childhood, grew up to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, advocates for birth control. Soon after her mother’s death, Margaret decided to become a nurse. During her years as …show more content…

This eventually drove Sanger to research the topic on her own by moving to Europe for some time. Upon returning from Europe, Sanger started “The Women Rebel” with a mission to stimulate working women to think for themselves and to build up a conscious, fighting character. However, the Comstock Act of 1873 prevented The Women Rebel to function legally since it was illegal to mail out information about contraception. Because of this, Margaret was indicted by the grand jury on nine counts of violating federal Comstock statutes. Refusing to plead guilty, she fled to England, where she continued to study and learn of other philosophers’ views on birth control. During her stay in Europe, Sanger got in touch with a number of British radicals, feminists, and neo-Malthusians whose social and economic theories helped Sanger develop an even broader justification for the use of birth control. From all the people she met while in Europe, Margaret was especially influenced by a psychologist by the name of Havelock Ellis. Havelock’s theories on the importance of female sexuality helped Margaret broaden her arguments for birth control claiming that it will fulfill a critical

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