Katie Grubbs, Marie Hause, and Alexis Neal discuss the feminism of Dorothy Sayers as expressed in the essays “Are Women Human?” and “The Human-Not-Quite-Human” and the novel Gaudy Night. This episode, Part 1, includes discussion of the two essays. Our thoughts on Gaudy Night and our recommendations will appear in Part 2.




  • Background on Dorothy Sayers: her academic credentials and career as a mystery writer


  • Our Personal History with Dorothy Sayers: when and how we first became acquainted with Sayers; our initial encounters with her essays on women; our favorite Sayers novels





  • “Are Women Human?”: discussion of Sayers’ reluctance to identify as “feminist”; the historical theory that men stole women’s jobs before women began seeking men’s jobs; the big idea of men and women as fellow creatures and Sayers wanting women to simply be seen as human; Queen Elizabeth!
  • “The Human-Not-Quite-Human”: discussion of Sayers’ theory of vir vs. femina vs. homo; the extended thought experiment of what it would be like if men were treated as women are; employment theory again; the exceptional way that Jesus treated women; tonal differences between this essay and the other

***These essays are very difficult to access online for free, which is why we are not able to give listeners a link. There is text of “Are Women Human?” on Project Muse, so listeners who have Project Muse authentication can access it there: Project Muse: “Are Women Human?”

For listeners who cannot access Project Muse and/or would like to read both essays, they are collected in this text, available for less than $10.00 on Amazon: “Are Women Human?”  ***


Join us in two weeks as the Sayers’ discussion continues in Part 2 with the novel Gaudy Night!

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