Amelia Jenks Bloomer Quotes

Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818 - 1894)

Amelia Bloomer, American feminist and champion of dress reform, c1850s.
Amelia Bloomer, American feminist and champion of dress reform, c1850s. Print Collector/Getty Images / Getty Images

Amelia Bloomer (born Amelia Jenks) was a temperance reformer who became interested in women's rights, and started the publication The Lily. In The Lily, she advocated for dress reform, and wore one of the new costumes herself: a bodice, short skirt, and trousers. Her name became associated with the Bloomer costume.

Selected Amelia Jenks Bloomer Quotations

  1. When you find a burden in belief or apparel, cast it off.
  2. The costume of women should be suited to her wants and necessities. It should conduce at once to her health, comfort, and usefulness; and, while it should not fail also to conduce to her personal adornment, it should make that end of secondary importance.
  3. That lady must be a wretched cook indeed who cannot make apple dumplings, mince pie, or cake palatable without the addition of poisonous substances. [she refers to brandy]
  4. It will not do to say that it is out of woman's sphere to assist in making laws, for if that were so, then it should be also out of her sphere to submit to them.
  5. If then home be indeed the sphere of woman, why has man so wholly failed to make her supreme within its limits? If the domestic circle comprise within it the whole sphere of woman, why has she not been made secure in the exercise of her authority over it? If the intellect of woman is to be wholly expended in rearing and educating her offspring, and if it be true, as it is affirmed to be, that her sway over the youthful mind is so potent and enduring, why has her authority over her offspring been so cramped and restricted? And instead of being made only the agent of another, why has she not been made secure in its exercise from the interference and control of the impure and vicious?
  1. Although the doctrine of innate equality of the race has been proclaimed, yet so far as woman is concerned it has been a standing falsehood.
  2. It was a needed instrument to spread abroad the truth of a new gospel to woman, and I could not withhold my hand to stay the work I had begun. I saw not the end from the beginning and dreamed where to my propositions to society would lead me.
  3. Although woman is the mother of the human family, yet man, with a strange perverseness, has insisted that he derived his existence from a being possessed of secondary powers to his own. Not only has he done this, but he has also acted upon the maxim that it was of little or no importance what was the character of that mother, or whether or not her mind was improved by education and culture.
  4. The human mind must be active, and the thoughts of woman's heart must find vent in some way; and if the garden of the mind instead of being highly cultivated, so that it may produce a rich harvest of fruits and flowers, is suffered to run to waste, it is not surprising that it yields nothing but weeds, briars, and thorns.