WOMEN
03/10/2014 10:02 am ET Updated Mar 10, 2014

Mike Huckabee's Worst Nightmare: Meet The Radical Sisters Who Revolutionized 19th Century America

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Underneath the Victorian cloak of unctuous morality, sex was everywhere—except in the marriage bed, Victoria Woodhull argued. “Marriage,” she said, “is a license to cohabit sexually… [yet] the enforcement of this method eventually defeats the original object… it is the common experience among the married who have lived together strictly according to the marriage covenant, for from five to ten years, that they are sexually estranged… I know there are exceptions to this rule but they are the exceptions… Sexual estrangement in from five to ten years!”

On stages across the country, in 150 performances, Victoria delivered this strong brew, addressing the crowd directly: “Marriage,” she shouted, “is a fraud upon human happiness!… Think of it, men and women, whom nature has blessed with such possibilities for happiness as are conferred on no other order of creation! Your God-ordained capacity blasted, prostituted to death, by enforced sexual relations where there is neither attraction or sexual adaptation; and by ignorance of sexual science!… from the moment that the sexual instinct is dead in any person, male or female… a person begins actually to die. It is the fountain from which life proceeds. Dry up the fountain and the stream will disappear.”

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