February Monthly Gathering – The Man Who Hated Women: Sex, Censorship, and Civil Liberties in the Gilded Age

Anthony Comstock, the infamous anti-vice activist, was one of the most important men in the lives of nineteenth-century women: The eponymous Comstock law, passed in 1873, penalized the mailing of contraception and obscenity, with long jail sentences and steep fines.

Join us on Zoom at 7:00pm (EST), on February 18 when New York Times–bestselling author Amy Sohn presents a narrative history of Comstock, and eight remarkable women, especially for their time. They were all charged with violating state and federal Comstock laws in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, while opposing his war on women’s rights.

Ms. Sohn will bring these stories to life, including the first woman presidential candidate, Victoria C. Woodhull; birth control activist Margaret Sanger; the anarchist Emma Goldman, and more. Risking imprisonment and death, these women redefined birth control access as a civil liberty. Without them, there would have been no Pill, no Planned Parenthood, and no Roe v. Wade.

Amy Sohn is the New York Times-bestselling author of twelve books, including the novels Prospect Park West, Motherland, and The Actress. Her books have been published in eleven languages and on five continents. In 1995 Amy graduated from Brown University. She has written columns for the weekly New York Press and the New York Post, and was a contributing editor at New York magazine for six years. As a freelance journalist she has written for the New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, Details, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Men’s Journal, Playboy, and many others. Amy is also a screenplay and television writer, including pilots for HBO, ABC, and Fox.

Sound interesting? Join us on Saturday, February 18, for a trip back to the turn of the 20th century, when American women endured economic and educational inequities, restrictive laws on marriage and property rights, and social and cultural norms that prevented them from enjoying all the rights and privileges of men. And, oh yeah, they also couldn’t vote. The Zoom room opens at 6:30pm (EST) for mingling. The program starts at 7:00pm (EST). Please remember that all attendees need to pre-register by clicking on the following link: https://tinyurl.com/SEMM-0223-Gathering .