Diderot on Maidenly Education

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Benjamin Ricketson Tucker


To the Editor of The New Freewoman.


False shame and concentration on dress as powerful causes of the subjection of woman have seldom been dealt a neater double blow than in the following from Diderot, whose bi-centenary is about to be celebrated in France:—

"If we men have more reason than women, they have much more instinct than we. The only thing that has been taught them is to wear properly the fig-leaf that they received from their first ancestor. All that is said and repeated to them during their first eighteen or nineteen years comes down to this: 'My daughter, have an eye to your fig-leaf; your fig-leaf sets well, your fig-leaf sets badly.'"

Benj. R. Tucker.

  • Benjamin R. Tucker, “Diderot on Maidenly Education,” The New Freewoman 1, no. 2 (July 1, 1913): 37.