Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Simone De Beauvoir, and Virginia Woolf: Champions of Equality for Women

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Simone De Beauvoir, and Virginia Woolf: Champions of Equality for Women

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Many philosophers have argued that freedom should be applied to men in society. They argue that men should have both physical freedom and the liberty to express themselves. However, not many philosophers take into account the freedom and equality that women should have by nature. In the women’s case, equality is a necessary condition of freedom. In the works by women philosophers Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Simone De Beauvoir, and Virginia Woolf, an analysis on their works shows that these authors believe equality is absolutely a necessary condition of freedom for women. Due to the presence of and dependence on men, women are deprived from using their freedom to expand their knowledge, reason and their social standing. Thus, women don’t need men to be free. There are no circumstances in which inequality to women should be tolerable in society or within a marriage because both men and women should compromise to be happy.
There are many levels of freedom that can be applied such as physical and mental freedom. However to these authors mental freedom is the most important. Mental freedom is the liberty to use reason and thought to make decisions. To these authors, freedom means to be able to express themselves without being judged and be able to be independent from men. All three authors express their extreme desire for women to become independent and be taken into account by society as individuals and be treated equally as men. These women advocate independence and social equality, which explicitly leads to freedom of thought. These authors define freedom for women as having the liberty of using one’s reason and logic to make decisions and not depend on men to make the decisions for them. Women also want equality and the freedom to b...


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...olf all argue against philosophers who don not take into consideration the gender inequality that affects women’s freedom. Therefore, equality for women in society is a necessary condition to their freedom. Male presence in society overshadows and does not allow women to exercise their freedom and expand their knowledge and reason. Their lack of independence from men also affects their inequality status and their freedom.




Works Cited:

Beauvoir, Simone De., and H. M. Parshley. Introduction. The Second Sex: By Simone De Beauvoir. London: n.p., 1972. 13-29. Print

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation between Men and Woman as a Factor in Social Evolution. Berkeley: University of California, 1998. Lxxi-lxxv-1-75. Print.

Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. Comp. Mark Hussey. New York: Harcourt, Brace &, 1927. 7-65. Print.

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