When Anna Bugge received an offer of non-marriage from Knut Wicksell, she hesitated. Wicksell did not believe in the institution of marriage, being of the opinion that the legal definition of a wife as the property of the husband degraded women. Anna Bugge agreed, but the step from principle to action was perilous.
Anna Bugge was born in Norway in 1862, and belonged to the first generation of girls to be granted an education almost equal to that of boys. At school she helped form a female debating society, discussing topics such as “What defines a woman, and should one exert oneself to remain feminine?”. (The conclusion: “Every woman’s goal ought to be to get rid of her femininity, and it would be glorious to see the day when this term is deemed old-fashioned”.)