English author H.G. Wells envisioned a future of alien invasion and time travel. He dabbled in dystopian nightmares and conjured up mad scientists and invisible men. And, to the disgust of two of his feminist lovers, he imagined a utopia where “women are to be as free as men.”

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“No nation can have grown-up ideas till it has a ruling cast of grown-up men and women; and it is possible to have a ruling caste of grown-up men and women only in a civilisation where the power of each sex is balanced by that of the other.”

Edith Wharton
Quoted in “The Lesbian and the Novelist Who Escaped the Gilded Age” (click to read)

Sweden’s history provides insight into how it has quietly established itself as one of the most gender equal countries in the world, while the United States continues to loudly squabble over legislation guaranteeing equal legal rights regardless of gender.

As the World Economic Forum suggests gender parity is 200 years away, a look at how researching and writing about women from the past 600 years give me purpose and motivation, and constantly remind me that another 200 years is far too long.