Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Marie Stopes

signature image

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Marie Stopes
b. 1880, Edinburgh; d. 1958, near Surrey, England

In 1904, Marie Stopes received a doctorate in botany, became the first woman to teach science at Manchester University later that year, and around 1916 began focusing on birth control as a way to solve marital problems by freeing women from the stresses of childbirth. Two years later, she published Married Love and Wise Parenthood, both addressing the subjects of contraception, sex, and marriage. In 1921, Stopes and her second husband, Humphrey Verdon Roe, opened the Society for Constructive Birth Control in London, the first family planning clinic in Britain. Stopes' Contraception: Its Theory, History, and Practice, published in 1923, was the most comprehensive treatment of the subject in its time. But the genuine contributions to reproductive freedom embodied in Stopes' crusade must be weighed against her equally passionate commitment to eugenics and repeated calls for compulsory sterilization of the "unfit."

Related Place Setting

Margaret Sanger

Related Heritage Floor Entries

Jane Addams
Inesse Armand
Sylvia Ashton-Warner
Angelica Balbanoff
Catherine Beecher
Ruth Benedict
Yekaterina Breshkovskaya
Rachel Carson
Dorothea Dix
Vera Figner
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
Elizabeth Fry
Emma Goldman
Dolores Ibarruri
Mary "Mother" Jones
Rachel Katznelson
Helen Keller
Aleksandra Kollantay
Nadezhda Krupskaya
Rosa Luxemburg

Margaret Mead
Golda Meir
Louise Michel
Katti Moeler
Maria Montessori
Federica Montseny
Emma Paterson
Frances Perkins
Sofia Perovskaya
Gabrielle Petit
Jeannette Rankin
Ellen Richards
Eleanor Roosevelt
Augustina Saragossa
Hannah Senesh
Henrietta Szold
Beatrice Webb
Vera Zasulich
Clara Zetkin