Essay on Mary Wollstonecraft vs. Jean Jaques Rousseau

1021 Words Oct 12th, 2012 5 Pages
Allison Link
Global History 2 Honors – McIvor
Enlightenment Essay

The late 18th century can be known as the historical period of the Enlightenment. During this time, society was undergoing drastic changes that would impact people even today. These changes were known as “reforms,” and played a big role in politics and ruling during this time period. One of the bigger reforms of this time was that which would grant women a higher education and place them in a position closer to their male counterparts. The enlightenment authors, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Mary Wollstonecraft, took part in a debate in which they argued about the purpose and education of women. In an article recently written in The New York Times by Nicholas
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Her arguments were backed up by opinions of her own and those of Rousseau’s, which make them less biased towards women. She also respects others’ arguments that women can have purpose in caring for their families. Due to her variety of reasoning that target both genders, her argument can be considered persuasive. As written in The New York Times article, The Women's Crusade, authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have expanded on the importance of the role that women play in everyday lives, and the hardships that women face because of the lack of respect and sexist assumptions that they receive. But with more and more women becoming educated and equal to men, they are become successful and respected members of society. Through all of the callous hardships women face, from sex trafficking, to wives living with abuse and poverty, they state that with the right help and ambition have become women who are respected and looked up upon society. Mary Wollstonecraft writes in an excerpt from her writing about women’s rights, "Her first wish should be to make herself respectable, and not to rely for all her happiness on a being subject to like infirmities with herself." This statement is the basis for her argument that women should be able to choose the lives that they want to live and should not be constrained by society’s norms. The two authors from the article The Women’s Crusade and

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