[p. 57]

   My later speeches were also successful, yet I have always regarded speaking engagements as being the most difficult and unpleasant aspect of my career as a feminist. With lectures, I have often made the mistake of overestimating my

[p. 58]

audience. Here I am particularly thinking of the lectures held in 1900 in connection with my Dutch translation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Women and Economics. In this book, the writer attempts to prove that many social problems are to a large extent due to married women’s economic dependence. I encountered so much resistance and sheer incomprehension, in discussing her ideas, that I eventually had to drop the whole subject. I am also thinking of a lecture in which I tried to demonstrate the way that militarism has perpetuated woman’s subordinate role. My words provoked a storm of protest that included a barrage of hate mail.


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