Study Guide

Thit Jensen in The Children's Era

By Margaret Sanger

Thit Jensen

Thit Jensen was a Danish writer, feminist, and birth control advocate…because Thit didn't get behind the idea that you can only be awesome in one field.

Her many novels share two common themes: the struggle for women between finding their identity in love and marriage and finding their identity in work and the limitations placed on both men and women by sharply defined traditional gender roles. (Bonus: many of the characters in her contemporary novels are readers of Ellen Key.)

Jensen founded the Organization for Sexual Awareness, which performed abortions, in Denmark in 1924. While Jensen was personally opposed to abortion, she wanted women to be able to make individual choices.

Jensen is often criticized for trying to do too much in her novels. Sometimes, she lets the plot go in order to discuss her ideas for social reform—she couldn't keep her ideas about changing society tamped down, even if the context of her own books. (We think that's kind of admirable, ever though we love a tightly-knit plot as much as anyone.)

Jensen herself said:

[I was] informed by competent critics that my social propaganda weighed down my books and was harmful to my writing. And that was true, as I understood when I was told directly. Perhaps that is why I chose to give lectures as well, for there I had all possible outlet for my desire for social reform. (Source)

Hmm. That's probably why she chose to speak alongside Margaret Sanger.