Introduction
in Infidel feminism
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This chapter introduces the issue of women's rights in relation to the creation of modern definitions of ‘religion’ and ‘secularism’ in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when feminists and anti-feminists, Christians and Freethinkers battled over who had women's best interests at heart. These debates were fundamental to the development of feminist thought in England, but have been almost entirely passed over in the historiography of the women's movement. The study treats the subjects not simply as ideologues of infidel feminism but as activists within a movement, whose ideas emerged out of the messy reality of public meetings, arguments, encounters with the enemy and attempts to carve out a space for themselves in a male-dominated world.

Infidel feminism

Secularism, religion and women's emancipation, England 1830–1914

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