Tuesday, April 17, 2007

J. K. Ingalls, Woman's Industrial Subjection

Joshua King Ingalls was one of the most tireless of the radical writers of the second half of the 19th century, and one of those most interested in the "social problem" in all its aspects. Although land reform was his primary interest, he also addressed women's rights in several of his writings. The four parts of "Woman's Industrial Subjection" appeared in 1889 in The Woman's Tribune, an important woman's newspaper. They contain Ingalls' attempt at a historical or anthopological account of the origins of women's subjection to men, and an analysis of how this subjection paralleled the creation of modern economic systems. He depicts a pair of "inversions," by which women, once the very model of the "productive class," ended up doubly marginalized, and their labor doubly devalued.

On the question of "value," #4 includes some interesting observations, including the definition of "value" as "simply 'an estimate of the mind.'"

The four essays are now available From the Libertarian Library:

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