Quotes from Marie Stopes’ Radiant Motherhood

Here is a list of quotes take from Marie Stopes’ book Radiant Motherhood published in 1920. The book can be read in it’s entirety by  CLICKING HERE . Her eugenicist and racist remarks are especially contained in the chapter titled “The Creation of a New and Irradiated Race” which starts on page 208. Here are some selected quotes from that chapter:

“It is my prayer that I may live to see in the generation of my grandchildren a humanity from which almost all the most blackening and distressing elements have been eliminated.. The materialization of this vital racial vision is in the hands of the mothers for the next twenty or thirty years.” Pg 217 

“A second and almost greater danger is not a simple ignorance, but the inborn incapacity which lies in the vast and ever increasing stock of degenerate, feeble-minded and unbalanced who are now in our midst and who devastate social customs.” Pag2 218 -219

“These populate most rapidly, these tend proportionately to increase, and these are like the parasite upon the healthy tree sapping its vitality. These produce less than they consume and are able only to flourish and re- produce so long as the healthier produce food for them” Pg 219

“It must deal with the terrible debasing power of the inferior, the depraved and feeble-minded, to whom reason means nothing and can mean nothing, who are thriftless, unmanageable and appallingly prolific. Yet if the good in our race is not to be swamped and destroyed by the debased as the fine tree by the parasite, this prolific depravity must be curbed. How shall this be done ? A very few quite simple Acts of Parliament could deal with it” Pg 220

“When Bills are passed to ensure the sterility of the hopelessly rotten and racially diseased, and to provide for the education of the childbearing woman so that she spaces her children healthily, our race will rapidly quell the stream of depraved, hopeless and wretched lives which are at present ever increasing in proportion in our midst” Pg 223

“The miserable, the degenerate, the utterly wretched in body and mind, who when reproducing multiply the misery and evil of the world, would be the first to be thankful for the escape such legislation would offer from the wretchedness entailed not only on their offspring but on themselves.” Pg 224

“it will be the change in the attitude of the mother, the return to the position of power of the mother, her voluntary motherhood, the conscious and deliberate creation by the mother and her mate of the fine and splendid race which to-day, as God’s prophet, I see in a vision and which might so speedily be materialized on” Pg 226

“The best, the thriftiest, the most serious-minded, the most desiring of parenthood are today those who are forced by circumstances into the position of the ancient slave and allowed to rear but one or two children as a result perhaps of a lifetime of valuable service and of loving union with a wife well fitted to bear more offspring. While on the other hand, society allows the diseased, the racially negligent, the thriftless, the careless, the feebleminded, the very lowest and worst members of the community, to produce innumerable tens of thousands of stunted, warped, and inferior infants.” Pg 210-211

“It is the urgent duty of the community to make parenthood impossible for those whose mental and physical conditions are such that there is well-nigh a certainty that their offspring must be physically and mentally tainted, if not utterly permeated by disease.” Pg 212