Woman is not the intellectual inferior of man. She has lacked not mind, but opportunity. In the long night of barbarism, physical strength and the cruelty to use it, were the badges of superiority. Muscle was more than mind. In the ignorant age of Faith, the loving nature of woman was abused. Her conscience was rendered morbid and diseased. It might almost be said that she was betrayed by her own virtues. At best she secured, not opportunity, but flattery — the preface to degradation. She was deprived of liberty, and without that, nothing is worth the having. She was taught to obey without question, and to believe without thought. There were universities for men before the alphabet had been taught to women. At the intellectual feast, there we’re no places for wives and mothers. Even now they sit at the second table and eat the crusts and crumbs. The schools for women, at the present time, are just far enough behind those for men, to fall heirs to the discarded; on the same principle that when a doctrine becomes too absurd for the pulpit, it is given to the Sunday-school.
Robert Green Ingersoll – “Men, Women, And God” (1885)