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Letter 13607

Darwin, C. R. to Kennard, C. A.

9 Jan 1882

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    Thinks that "women though generally superior to men [in] moral qualities are inferior intellectually". Believes that men and women may have been aboriginally equal in this respect but that to regain equality women would have to "become as regular ""bread-winners"" as are men". Suspects the education of children and "the happiness of our homes" would greatly suffer in that case.

Transcription

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Jan. 9th. 1882

Dear Madam

The question to which you refer is a very difficult one. I have discussed it briefly in my `Descent of Man'. I certainly think that women though generally superior to men to moral qualities are inferior intellectually; & there seems to me to be a great difficulty from the laws of inheritance, (if I understand these laws rightly) in their becoming the intellectual equals of man. On the other hand there is some reason to believe that aboriginally (& to the present day in the case of Savages) men & women were equal in this respect, & this wd. greatly favour their recovering this equality. But to do this, as I believe, women must become as regular `bread-winners' as are men; & we may suspect that the early education of our children, not to mention the happiness of our homes, would in this case greatly suffer.

I have written this letter without any care of style, as it is intended only for your private use.—

Dear Madam | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin

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