Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) was an amazing woman who lived in an age of upheaval for women and the sexual experiences of human beings. She was one of the originators of the birth control movement, an original sex educator, writer, and nurse. One of her crowing achievements was to found the American Birth Control League, which eventually morphed into what is Planned Parenthood today. As a massive feminist, she is an inspiration to many and deserves incredible respect.
At 37, she started the first birth control clinic to operate in the United States. She believed that helping women to control their reproductive rights would lead to social change; specifically, the further equalization of the biological genders. These thoughts - repugnant for our society in early and mid 20th century - led to her consistent persecution and legal battles under the Comstock Act, and in the media. Nevertheless, #ShePersisted. As a matter of fact, she lived to see the triumphant defeat and repeal of the Comstock Act, one year before she passed, in 1965.
She believed in positive sexual expression - being influenced by Havelock Ellis; yet opposed excessive sexuality and thought that masturbation could be dangerous (due to her work with compulsive sexuality as a nurse). She was a proponent of positive sexual identity, believing even in the early 1900's that a gay identity is, "a thing that a person is born with." She helped to encourage the development of the first birth control pill, Enovid, by Gregory Pincus by asking philanthropist Katharine McCormick to give him funding for his research. And, she actively fought for the freedom of speech and that everyone has an equal right to be heard and to speak their mind. All women, and our society, owe her a debt of gratitude in helping us to take some steps to get where we are today.
She was bad ass, and advanced for her time. She was visionary... legendary.
Want to read more about Margaret Sanger? Check out these legit links:
How False Narrative of Margaret Sanger are Being Used to Shame Black Women
The Margaret Sanger Papers Project
PBS: People & Events, Margaret Sanger
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