Tag Archives: Lydia Becker

Darwin and Feminism

As previous posts have shown, Darwinian evolution acted in some ways to shore-up established Victorian ideas about intellectual, breadwinning masculinity and reproductive, maternal femininity. In identifying patriarchal gender order in the natural world, Darwin might be charged with putting the ‘gender … Continue reading

Darwin, Becker & Sexual Equality

Charles Darwin is not well known as a promoter of women’s rights. Indeed, much of his work explicitly opposed the arguments for sexual equality put forward by first wave feminists of the nineteenth century. In The Descent of Man, for example, Darwin makes … Continue reading

Women and Science, Past and Present

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women, particularly those who have struggled to participate in society on an equal footing with men. Darwin’s correspondence is a rich source of evidence of extraordinary women who did just that; from international travellers and diamond prospectors to … Continue reading

Dawkins, Darwin and friends

In an article and book review published in The Guardian in 2003, Richard Dawkins excitedly reported that “an obscure letter in a library” suggested that Charles Darwin was the forefather not only of the theory of evolution but also of modern genetics. The … Continue reading

Science – no job for a lady!

Darwin’s female correspondents give us a glimpse of just how many Victorian women were involved in scientific projects. They may have seen themselves as enthusiastic amateurs but the letters show that they carried out valuable observations and experiments in their own … Continue reading