Margaret Anna Fridays

Every Friday, I’m going to share a quote from the founder of my groovy sisters, Margaret Anna Cusack, known in religion as Mother Francis Clare. This week’s installment …

In the early part of the present century women were almost exclusively the toys or the slaves of men. The old, and in one sense true, tradition, that women were to be subject and nothing more, held undisputed sway.
Women's Work in Modern Society, 1874


Anne Welch said...

Susan -
I've appreciated other quotations from your Founder; however this is a generalization with no context, and not in the spirit of your "nonviolent language."

Susan Rose Francois, CSJP said...

Anne - thanks for your comment!

Hopefully the next few MAC Fridays will put this quote in contex, as it is the beginning of a section of her "Women's Work in Modern Society."

One thing to keep in mind is that when she is talking about the early part of the "present" century, she is talking about the 1800's. And she is also writing out of and for the context of Ireland which had suffered great poverty, hunger, and oppression - and women suffered greatly as well. For one thing, they had little or no legal rights and were in many ways considered "property" of the men in their lives.

Don't know if that helps, but I just wanted to clarify that unlike many of her quotations here I was not intending it as a blanked generalization but rather an insight into her social analysis of the day.

Thanks again for your comment!

Anne Welch said...

I feel sorry that she never knew a man who she felt deserved her respect. She was certainly a powerful woman and not anyone's toy.

Susan Rose Francois, CSJP said...

Anne, thanks again for your comment. I do not pretend to be an expert of the life and writings of Margaret Anna Cusack. But I have spent a lot of tme reading her letters and writings.

I know that she dearly loved and respected her father, Doctor Samuel Cusack who died helping the poor in a cholera epidemic.

I know that she dearly loved and respected the man she hoped to marry before he himself died.

I know that she loved and respected Bishop Bagshawe, who helped her to found the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace in Nottingham, England.

I think she also had a keen intellect and an understanding of women as equal that is prophetic for our own day, let alone hers. Her social analysis and writings are very strong and speak to the reality of her day. But I think they also speak to us today which is why I have been sharing them.

Yes, she was a powerful woman. But she was also a women who loved God and her brothers and sisters in Christ deeply. Her letters - which I plan to start excerpting later this summer - show that side of her. She suffered pain and sadness, but also I hope some joy as well.

Like all of us, I think she was a complicated soul.

Anyway, just thought I'd share those insights. Thanks again for visiting the blog and commenting!

Easter Peace,

Ave said...

Thanks, Susan. Context makes a huge difference.

Brittany said...

You found my blog. Yay! Keep the quotes coming!