Margaret Sanger's "My Fight for Birth Control" is truly a moving and emotional text depicting the pregnancy/abortion related horrors women had to live through (and very often, died for). She had worked as a nurse, able to witness first hand the suffering of these mostly poor/middle class women and also the ignorance in which this problem stemmed from. This is exemplified by her opening quote, " I came to a sudden realization that my work as a nurse and my activities in social service were entirely palliative and consequently futile and useless to relieve the misery I saw all about me." What she had realized was that it was vital to society as a whole for women to be educated about birth control, to have viable access to such contraceptives, and to utilize them properly. Sanger connected many of the problems in that day with the lack of birth control, the root being overpopulation. Low wages, overcrowding, and warped childhoods were just some of the harms that stemmed from the population problem. .
Marriage is heralded as one of, If not the highlight of one's life - especially for a woman. Modern views are somewhat more lax, but in the time when Emma Goldman wrote her essay on "Marriage and Love" (1910) this was society's general sentiment regarding the role of women. Marriage was a desperately sought apex, a priority which could not be ignored. Failure to find a husband meant failure in life, and this was just finding a husband, not a "good" husband. Even the definition of a good husband was highly questionable - in most cases it meant one who was financially apt. Goldman speaks in bitter tones of the wrongs imbedded in the institution of marriage, calling it a "travesty" and comparing the life journey of an average girl waiting for marriage to a "mute beast fattened for slaughter." E.G. also goes to provide insight as to why many marriages crumble. .
It was Margaret Sanger's piece that I connected with more.