From Woman in the Nineteenth Century
We would have every arbitrary barrier thrown down. We would have every path laid open to Woman as freely as to Man….
Yet, then and only then will mankind be ripe for this, when inward and outward freedom for Woman as much as for Man shall be acknowledged as a right, not yielded as a concession. As the friend of the negro assumes that one man cannot by right hold another in bondage, so should the friend of Woman assume that Man cannot by right lay even well-meant restrictions on Woman….
What Woman needs is not as a woman to act or rule, but as a nature to grow, as an intellect to discern, as a soul to live freely and unimpeded, to unfold such powers as were given her when we left our common home….
I think women need, especially at this juncture, a much greater range of occupation than they have, to rouse their latent powers….
In families that I know, some little girls like to saw wood, others to use carpenters' tools. Where these tastes are indulged, cheerfulness and good-humor are promoted. Where they are forbidden, because "such things are not proper for girls," they grow sullen and mischievous….
I have no doubt, however, that a large proportion of women would give themselves to the same employments as now, because there are circumstances that must lead them…. The difference would that all need not be constrained to employments for which some are unfit.
Woman in the Nineteenth Century, by Margaret Fuller (1855; reprint W.W. Norton, 1971).