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Einstein the Misogynist

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To gain a view of what male privilege looks and sounds like, I can think of no better example than a document written by one of the greatest human minds in history: Albert Einstein.

This is a contract written by Albert Einstein during the course of his first marriage to Maric. Although Albert and Maric married in 1903 and produced two sons, their correspondence shows they had a daughter born out of wedlock in 1902. Her fate remains unknown to this day. 

Sometime in 1912, Albert traveled to Berlin where he began a long affair with his cousin, Elsa. During the course of that affair, Albert and Maric experienced a turbulent married life and lived apart for several years. At one juncture, Albert deemed it appropriate to write this Marriage Contract and to try to induce his wife to agree to it. This contract is sometimes passed around the internet, incorrectly, as a “Wedding Contract”, but it was much later in their marriage that Albert chose to wield the hammer of male privilege over Maric. 

Maric did adopt some of the points in this document in order to have Albert living back in the home with she and her sons, thereby securing her place, both socially and financially, through the only means available to females during that era–that of her husband’s status and financial means. 

Maric and Albert later divorced and he married his cousin, Elsa. 

His wife never agreed to this contract, though, nor would anyone who wasn’t entirely dependent on the author’s good will for their own survival. What a piece of history we have in this document, demonstrating the privileged position of “Master” to which males automatically assumed they were entitled and, even by the brightest among us, the subordinate position of the female who existed merely to satisfy their needs. 

What a horrid piece of historical documentation. 

 

 

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