“Outward beauty is not enough; to be attractive a woman must use words, wit, playfulness, sweet-talk, and laughter to transcend the gifts of Nature”

“There is in every true woman’s heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”
Washington Irving

Minna Canth -Thoughts of 1893
compiled by Maya

Minna Canth –
women rights, emancipation, thoughts on men and women Minna Canth (1844-1897)

Finnish writer and social activist is the first woman to receive her own flag day in Finland, starting on 19 March 2007.
It is also the day of social equality in Finland.

Her work addresses issues of women’s rights, particularly in the context of a prevailing culture she considered antithetical to permitting expression and realization of women’s aspirations.
So, here is another one to whom we should thank for standing tall for us, women!

It certainly wasn’t easy to publicly criticize society of those times and it took a lot of courage, but some women were ahead of their times and although many did not live long enough to see the results of their dreams and fights putting up with all the discomfort and often danger, we all should know who they were.
Here are some excerpts from her writings:

Minna Canth on Men

… I tell you this: no matter what principles they might hold, men are attracted only to beautiful and elegant women, not homely or poorly dressed ones, even though they might be angels at heart.
That class of derelicts created by the bad ways of men among the female sex cries and longs for salvation and help…

A man has not the slightest right to a dissolute life, any more than a woman has: the judgment and the punishment should be equally severe to both the one and the other.

You have probably read Wirsén’s critical review of Björnson’s “Det Flager.” I read it today and flew into a rage.
“It’s not so serious if a man lapses.” The fools! How can a man backslide unless there’s a woman to backslide with him?

[I] marvel at the men, who have even yet failed to get through their heads the first clear and simple truth stated to them on this planet, namely:
“It is not good that the man should be alone.”

In their male pride, they rejected this divine wisdom and did not take their women with them but went ahead building their society on their own. There they now stand bewildered because no angle is straight. The foundations shake, the pillars sway. Nor do they, poor wretches, know where the fault lies.

Minna Canth on Women

Why, one wonders, do we cling so tenaciously to age-old traditions, especially in connection with women: that the world is supposedly a vale of tears, where a woman is the more blessed, the more she suffers and the more she denies herself…

Then it is yet said, “Through emancipation, women will lose their womanliness.” It all depends on what you mean by “womanliness.” Is it that shy creature that sits on a sofa and crochets, that keeps count according to the rules and raises her eyelids and does not consider it proper to express a single sensible thought…
Now I will tell you what has distressed my soul: women are too feminine, too patient, too docile, too forbearing, too taken, too softhearted, too, in a word, Christian.

********My note:
Poor darling, she should see women of today. What mixed feelings she would have. She dreamed about achievements and the same rights for women and we have it, but I doubt she would be happy about the “sexual revolution” where women lost what was (not docile) but womanly in them.
So, in this case, good for her she never will…

cont.”Even the most talented woman has a thousand times more obstacles and difficulties in her path than her male colleagues. The issue of women’s rights is not only one of the rights of women but of human rights.
In the future women have a lot of work to do, their task is an important one. Whatever past centuries, past millenniums, have shattered and neglected, they have to repair and heal.
Minna Canth, in 1893

The Boswell Sisters – Mood indigo (1933)

Like it here? Please comment and share…

An Old Lady’s Poem

One Comment on “Minna Canth-Thoughts 1893

  1. Pingback: What Woman Should Have Mayagalaxy What Woman Should Have

Leave a Reply