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The Fight For Women's Rights A Struggle Against Human Nature

1899 words - 8 pages

The Fight for Women’s Rights, A Struggle Against Human Nature
For an American in the twenty first century, for whom it is illegal to discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, color, or gender, it is almost incomprehensible that there was a time when women were more than just discriminated against, they were in fact denied all basic rights. Although the Enlightenment thinkers proposed the ideas of the inalienable rights of man in the mid seventeenth century, it took almost a century until the first thought was given to the rights of women, and many more years until women were granted these basic rights. All change is a gradual process, and changing the attitude of society towards ...view middle of the document...

In another work, “Desultory Thoughts upon the Utility of Encouraging a Degree of Self-Complacency, Especially in Female Bosoms”, Murray mocks the way females ignore the existence of their intellect and let themselves to “be hung as a pleasing picture.” Murray rightfully held that the intellectual inferiority of women was not from a lack of capability to reason, but rather because they were not given equal education to man. She also saw how society viewed women merely as domestic beings who could do nothing more than taking care of the house and being a pretty charm around her husband’s neck. In so women were not thought of as having any intellectual capabilities as this would make them unattractive to their husbands. This attitude was the result of prevailing culture of women being completely dependent on their husbands, and the only means of being successful was to marry a wealthy man. Still today men do not want a girl to be more intellectual than them, and they want to feel like ladies depend on them. And though today women can be financially independent, they still subjugate themselves to men. Furthermore, while it is true that men generally want their female companions to be educated at least minimally, the greatest value a women has to a man will always be the fact that she is a women and that is why the prostitution business is high.

Marquis de Condorcet was a member of the National Assembly during the French Revolution. He was a strong voice during the Enlightenment, and he spoke about the equality of all people: men, women, blacks, and whites. In his work “on Giving Women the Right to Citizenship,” he questions how one can say that women are in any way not deserving of rights. He asks how revolutionists can possibly say they are establishing the rights of people if they are “depriving half of mankind” of rights? He explains that the idea of man having inalienable rights is an extension of him being a rational, feeling being who has the power to reason. He says that “since women have the same qualities, they necessarily have equal rights.” He says that if not everyone is equal, either no one has true rights, or one is denying his own rights. He writes that if one were to say that man were intellectually smarter by nature, and not just as a result of greater education, it still would not be sufficient reason to deny women citizenship. Citizenship is not limited to men of genius, and one can not say that the average man and the average female are on much different levels. He explains that there is no more reason to exclude women than to exclude “those men who are inferior to a greater number of women.” Although the rights of women have come a long way since De Condorcet, still today women are not viewed completely equal to men. There are women politicians, and there are women who have their eyes on the White House, still almost a hundred years after women have been granted the right to vote, these women are seen as weaker and...

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