The Subjection of Women, by John Stuart Mill
Amy: Welcome to Breaking Down Patriarchy! I’m Amy McPhie Allebest.
Today we are going to be reading our first and possible only male author in this series, John Stuart Mill. His book, The Subjection of Women, written in 1869, is important to me personally because it’s the first philosophical critique of patriarchy that I ever read. About six years ago I was searching for books on the history of Patriarchy - I had never read any - and this book “The Subjection of Women” popped up as a suggestion. I thought the title looked intriguing so I bought it and read it. It is not an exaggeration to say that it was life-changing for me - I saw so many of my own private thoughts and feelings represented as legitimate cultural and political issues, and I couldn’t believe that this analysis had been written a century and a half earlier. My copy is marked up and dog-eared, and I’m really excited to discuss it with my reading partner today, Franceskay Allebes.
Franceskay: Hi, Amy!
Franceskay and I are dear friends and are also in the same family! She is my husband’s aunt, and she has always been one of those cool, hip young aunts who is more like an older sister than an aunt. And I remember from the time I met you when Erik and I were engaged, you were so welcoming and warm to me… and then your children have been such an important part of my children’s lives. And as a bonus it turns out that we’ve discovered over the years that we are quite like-minded and kind of kindred spirits. So thank you so much for being here today. And so our listeners can get to know you a bit more, I’m going to share a brief bio that you wrote.
Franceskay is the youngest of 4 children. First generation American, she was born to Frans and Margaretha Allebes who immigrated to the United States from the Netherlands shortly following WW2 and after joining the LDS Church (or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). With their 3-year-old son Edward in tow (if you want you can add that this is your father in law😊) they decided to start a new life in the great American West starting in Salt Lake City then on to Wyoming and then to California. Franceskay was born in Northern California in a typical suburban community climbing trees, catching frogs, and popping wheelies on her Schwinn bike, anything her brother Brigham was doing cuz doing boy stuff was way more fun.
Her first foothold as a feminist probably started there - questioning adults why girls couldn’t do the same fun things as boys, wearing pants to elementary school and wondering why scientists, presidents and famous artists were mostly men.
Fast forward…with a degree from BYU she moved to Los Angeles in the mid 80’s and embraced the big city life, loving this treasure trove of arts, education and enrichment as well as a diverse ocean of people and ideas. She worked at UCLA as a special events planner for several years and after walking the bowels and bones of the university she walked with her diploma and a master’s in education and became a full-fledged Bruin. At the same time, she met her wonderful husband, Orell and they started their exciting lives together.
Her second career, as a teacher, started in her early 30s and a move back to Orange County, where she and Orell started their family. It was a soft landing, with jobs, home prices within reach and the help of an Oma and Opa (Dutch for grandma and grandpa) to help raise their kids. They have 3 amazingly creative and smart children. Soren who just graduated and now working as a Mechanical Engineer, Dane who should be graduating in a year in Applied Design and Holland who is a super star senior.
After a short retirement Franceskay went back to teach art at elementary schools and that became a springboard to what she does now, using art as therapy in rehab treatment centers for those dealing with addiction and mental health issues.
She enjoys hiking, yoga,...