WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY• JULY 12TH • 6:30pm
The Strange Marriage of Birth Control and Politics in America
Although women even from ancient cultures were interested in regulating their fertility, the public discussion of birth control began with the public lives of women in the 1840s. There are a lot of odd twists to the story. Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President in 1872, believed in birth control and free love. Some of the early twentieth century feminists advocated birth control for purposes of guaranteeing race purity. Throughout most of American history, doctors were against birth control, because of its potential impact on the virtue of young women. This lecture will take the long view, the social historian’s view, with the hope of stimulating discussion about why a topic so central to adult women’s lives remains so controversial.
Margaret Lynn Brown is an Associate Professor of American history at Brevard College, where she teaches a course in U.S. Women’s history.