1938 Dorothy Sayers

Indeed, it is my experience that both men and women are fundamentally human, and that there is very little mystery about either sex, except the exasperating mysteriousness of human beings in general. And though for certain purposes it may still be necessary, as it undoubtedly was in the immediate past, for women to band themselves together, as women, to secure recognition of their requirements as a sex, I am sure that the time has now come to insist more strongly on each woman’s — and indeed each man’s — requirements as an individual person.

It used to be said that women had no esprit de corps; we have proved that we have— do not let us run into the opposite error of insisting that there is an aggressively feminist “point of view” about everything. To oppose one class perpetually to another — young against old, manual labour against brain-worker, rich against poor, woman against man — is to split the foundations of the State; and if the cleavage runs too deep, there remains no remedy but force and dictatorship. If you wish to preserve a free democracy, you must base it — not on classes and categories, for this will land you in the totalitarian State, where no one may act or think except as the member of a category. You must base it upon the individual Tom, Dick and Harry, on the individual Jack and Jill — in fact, upon you and me.

Are Women Human? By Dorothy Sayers
Address given to a Women’s Society 1938

How Free Is The Press 1941

If an interviewer misinterprets the novelist whom we have all seen, what does he do with the foreign statesman whom we have never seen? If the papers can be convicted of False Emphasis, Garbling, Inaccuracy, Reversal of the Fact, Random Invention, Miracle-Mongering and Flat Suppression in cases where such distortions are of advantage to nobody, what are we to suppose about those cases in which vested interests are closely concerned? And, above all, what are we to make of the assumptions on which all this is based— that the reader is too stupid to detect falsehood and too frivolous even to resent it?

From Unpopular Opinion 1946

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