Daniel Defoe Daniel Defoe, The Education of Women Vol. 27, pp. 148-150 of The Harvard Classics Lack of education, writes Defoe, makes a woman "turbulent, clamorous, noisy - " Defoe defied his generation and preached equal education for women. To-day we have co-education, but have we the benefits Defoe predicted? (Defoe pilloried for defiance of public opinion, July 31, 1703.) I HAVE often thought of it as one of the most barbarous customs in the world, considering us as a civilized and a Christian country, that we deny the advantages of learning to women. We reproach the sex every day with folly and impertinence; while I am confident, had they the advantages of education equal to us, they would be guilty of less than ourselves. One would wonder, indeed, how it should happen that women are conversible at all; since they are only beholden to natural parts, for all their knowledge. Their youth is spent to teach them to stitch and sew or make baubles.