Quotation by Catherine E. Beecher

The ability to secure an independent livelihood and honorable employ suited to her education and capacities is the only true foundation of the social elevation of woman, even in the very highest classes of society. While she continues to be educated only to be somebody's wife, and is left without any aim in life till that somebody either in love, or in pity, or in selfish regard at last grants her the opportunity, she can never be truly independent.
Catherine E. Beecher (1800–1878), U.S. educator and author. As quoted in Catherine Beecher, ch. 15, by Kathryn Kish Sklar (1973).

Written in 1851. Though never a classic feminist—e.g., she opposed woman suffrage—Beecher devoted her life to female education and vocational training. She herself always worked and never married.
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