Skip to content

Virginia Woolf ..when womanhood ceases to be protected

Woolf was writing in 1929, and here is one of her projections. “In a hundred years, I thought, women will have ceased to be the protected sex. Logically they will take part in all the activities and exertions that were once denied them. The nursemaid will heave coal. The shopwoman will drive an engine….Remove that protection, expose them to the same exertions and activities, make them soldiers and sailors and engine-drivers and dock labourers, and will not women die off so much younger, so much quicker, than men that one will say, “I saw a woman today,” as one used to say, ‘I saw an airplane.’ Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation.”