Mary Wollstonecraft And John Stuart Mill And Harriet Taylor Mill

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History informs society about the past and gives it hope for the future. People use the lessons other individuals learned in the past to create a better tomorrow. Feminists are still fighting for gender equality, a struggle that began in the seventeenth century (Andersen, 2015). Many people are aware of feminist principles, even if their views of feminism are slightly inaccurate. However, they likely do not know about many significant feminists in history. Three influential people that affected liberal feminism in their own ways are Mary Wollstonecraft as well as John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill. Before there can be an accurate understanding of how Wollstonecraft and the Mills contributed to liberal feminism, there needs to be a clear …show more content…
It is also meaningful for modern-day feminists because from their relationship, The Subjection of Women (1851) evolved. Even though John’s name appears as the work’s only author, Andersen (2015) notes it was a collaborative effort. The Mills’ argument had three main topics. Following Wollstonecraft’s ideologies, the Mills believed the current gender socialization patterns kept women in an unnatural position in society. Thus, they asked society to consider different roles for women by listening to women’s voices. Both John and Harriet, along with Wollstonecraft, asserted that for societal roles to change, people must approach the topic with rationality instead of mere emotion. In their discussion of work and family, both of the Mills advocated for a control-free, or laissez-faire, economy. They hoped this proposal would give females equal rights and the ability to pursue any occupation. While Harriet whole-heartedly believed in this right, John thought women’s natural desire would be homemaking (Andersen, 2015). Upon reading this statement, I thought it might be somewhat comforting to modern feminists. A current stereotype of feminism is that supporters have to be radical man-haters. Andersen (2015) states, “This [viewpoint] is simply not true, as any close look at the diverse men and women who are feminists would show” (p. 8). Andersen’s statement and John Stuart Mill’s belief exemplifies how a feminist’s convictions do not have to be extreme. This simple, yet profound realization is comforting to me. The multifaceted argument of John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill raises questions about a female’s position in society and what believing in feminism

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