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Wednesday
Jul112007

Longer Honeymoons, Happier Wives (1923)

Margaret Sanger wrote a short piece about the year 2022 for the February 12, 1923 Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, Connecticut).

Birth control will have become a part of education in health and hygiene. Women especially will be demanding it. They will realize that it is a foundation of freedom and intellectual development for them. Women cannot make real progress today so long as they are haunted by the fear of undesired pregnancy.

The results, in much shorter time than four or five generations, will be happier homes, greater mutual respect between husband and wife, honeymoons lasting two to three years before children arrive, with husband and wife thoroughly [unreadable] to one another, because there has been time for mutual understanding and development before parenthood is entered upon. There will be far more consideration for the mother and more understanding of her needs, with the result of better health and development for the infant as well as greater comfort for the mother. Four or five generations will develop new men and women with finer susceptibilities, nobler sentiments toward each other and a worthier sense of responsibility toward the race.

See also:
Thinking Men and Women Predict Problems of World Century Hence (1923)

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Reader Comments (9)

I find that more prophetic than anachronistic. Birth control has give women great freedom. Married couples do spend many happy years together before reproducing.

July 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterleonsp

As a reminder for some of our newer readers, not everything I post is of "the future that never was." I hope to highlight all types of hopes, dreams and fears for the future, some that came to be and some that didn't.

There is no doubt that family planning options have helped countless people.

Thanks for reading,
Matt

July 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

And there are people trying as hard as they can to roll it all back.

July 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Well, husbands and wives certainly are unreadable to each other!Ha ha!

July 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The author certainly was a visionary. It's too bad that the respect between men and women hasn't developed to such keen heights, though. The writer hoped that birth control would give women back their self-esteem, but unfortunately this is not always the case. Certainly birth control is a wonderful thing, but not the panacea this writer hoped for.

Love your site, BTW. And I've been a devotee of Plan59 for well over a year. Glad you found it!

July 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMs. Bizarro

I think the extra time does help. We got married quite young (I was 20, Jim was 22), and we assured our family we had no plans for kids for a few years. Once we'd been married for a few years and were reasonably financially secure, we had a child. And we're still married now, 30 years later.

July 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie Mann

A visionary? It doesn't take a rocket science to predict that building a family culture around technology to reduce births results in fewer, delayed births. As for happier marriages--who in their right mind could argue that we live in a time of happier marriages? Greater freedom: it depends on what one's definition of freedom is. For the more privileged (in talent or otherwise), it certainly has meant one could pursue a professional career more easily. For most though, the extra available labor has meant both husband and wife working outside of the home in order to support their children just to keep the household afloat. That may be good or bad, but it isn't necessarily any freer. Sanger's predictions simply do not pan out(and indeed could arguably point in the opposite direction). If you're going to argue that access to birth control in itself is a good thing because it increases that individual's choices, then simply argue that. But the idea of it creating happy marriages is absurd--and Sanger certainly made a very poor prophet in that regard.

October 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

With husband and wife thoroughly [unreadable] to one another.
Yep, they got that right. :)

March 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOdon

"But the idea of it creating happy marriages is absurd--and Sanger certainly made a very poor prophet in that regard."

Birth Control has done more for the equality of women than the 19th amendment.

The author suggested that an intimate couple who spent time together before starting a family would be more stable than a couple who rushed into parenthood. This has become routine now. Most marriages occurred after a few months of courtship a hundred years ago. Now 1 year or 2 year engagements are common.

This isn't a complete argument, I'm just raising a few points.

July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack

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