Essay On Women In The Enlightenment Era

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Women of the Enlightenment Era

The Enlightenment era was an opportune time for radical women to prove their individualism and pursue social equality in regard to education. Since the beginning of time, women were characterized as inferior to men and were merely seen as the traditional caretakers and mothers of the household. An Enlightenment thinker, specifically Rosseau was challenged by British radical writer, Mary Wollstonecraft regarding inequality of education and that women should be treated as rational beings because women to have intellect and have the ability to contribute to society. During this era, female “Enlightenment” thinkers were inspired to use their intellect to move feminism forward based on the understanding of natural
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Thus, women should be afforded the same formal education that is provided to males. Wollstonecraft’s challenged Rosseau that the inequality between men and women were unjust and benefited only men. As a result, men obviously had the authoritative power which did not allow married women property rights or involvement in government. Wollstonecraft’s argument against Rosseau was based on his writing in which he refers to sovereignty as a “legitimate agreement between a body of its members based on social contract that is equitable.” Wollstonecraft disagreed that men and women do not share the same values and virtues, Wollstonecraft advocated that the education of a woman should lead to liberty, self-reliance and political rights. These challenges brought upon the radical movement and the rights of women for formal education equality. This era was a time of rational thinking and was the beginning of change in social practices of child rearing, marriage and education for women. The change had a positive impact on women in regard to education. Women felt more confident in pursuing education to become educators and contribute intellectually to their society. If it wasn’t for Wollstonecraft rational thinking, the educational rights of women would not have transpired for
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