Structures of Antifeminism: Drugs and Women’s Education in the Texts of Dr. Clarke

Structures of Antifeminism: Drugs and Women’s Education in the Texts of Dr. Clarke

Peitho Volume 21 Issue 1 Fall/Winter 2018

Author(s): Andrew Fiss

Abstract: Focusing on Dr. Edward Hammond Clarke, this article explores the formal structures linking nineteenth-century texts about drug abuse and women’s education. Although Clarke’s Sex in Education (1873) has been extensively studied for its antifeminist arguments, this article is unique in incorporating the materia medica (pharmacy) lectures he delivered at Harvard. Through the similar organization and use of clinical case reports in both types of texts, Clarke framed women’s education as a potentially dangerous drug, and encouraged the treatment of female students as objects of medical research. This article analyzes formal patterns linking pharmaceutical literature with antifeminist arguments against women’s education. 

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