Louise Lind-af-Hageby - Ideas - Feminism


She was also active in several women's organizations, including the Women's Freedom League, arguing that the kinship she felt between humans and non-humans had implications for the enfranchisement and education of women, and that support for animals and women was connected to a "general undercurrent of rising humanity." Indeed, the connection between rights for women and animals, neither of them regarded as persons during Lind af Hageby's lifetime, had been starkly illustrated a century earlier when Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) was swiftly followed by a parody and reductio ad absurdum, Vindication of the Rights of Brutes, written anonymously by a Cambridge philosopher.

Following the lead of Frances Power Cobbe, Lind af Hageby regarded feminism and animal rights (and, in particular, vegetarianism), as strongly linked, seeing the advance of women as essential to civilization, and the tension between women and male scientists as a battle between feminism and machismo. Craig Buettinger writes that feminism and anti-vivisection were strongly linked in the UK, where the comparison between the treatment of woman and animals at the hands of male scientists (and, indeed, their husbands) dominated the discourse. But in the United States, the antivisectionists based their need to protect animals on their duties as mothers and Christians, and did not see advancing women's rights as part of that.

Lind af Hageby saw the spirituality and Christianity of the American anti-vivisectionists as directly tied to women's rights and progress in general. "hat is called effeminacy by some ...," she wrote, "is really greater spirituality ... and identical with the process of civilization itself." Leneman writes that this view accounted for the involvement of feminists in the theosophy and other spiritual movements; Lind af Hageby was herself involved with the London Spiritualist Alliance from 1935 until 1943.

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