During the pre-revolutionary period, more and more men worked outside the home in workshops, factories or offices. Many women stayed at home and performed domestic labor. The emerging values of nineteenth-century America, which involves the eighteenth-century, increasingly placed great emphasis upon a man's ability to earn enough wages or salary to make his wife's labor unnecessary, but this devaluation of women's labor left women searching for a new understanding of themselves. Judith Sargent Murray, who was among America's earliest writers of female equality, education, and economic independence, strongly advocated equal opportunities for women. She wrote many essays in order to empower young women in the new republic to stand up against society and make it apparent that women are equals. Three notable essays written by Murray about equality are: her earliest essay being Desultory Thoughts Upon the Utility of Encouraging a Degree of Self- Complacency, Especially in Female Bosoms (1784), On the Equality of the Sexes written in 1790, and Observations on Female Abilities in the third volume of The Gleaner written in 1798. In these essays Murray maintains that society must be based on a strict adherence to order - political, social, family, and personal order - while promoting a change of women's place within that order. The main distinct theme of Judith Sargent Murray's essays is equality between men and women. Murray emphasizes on the fact that society has shaped the role of women, and the only way to prove that women have equal minds is to give women the right to an education; also challenging the question of men being superior to women in several ways. Although the wording and minor issues differ, the theme of equality i... ... middle of paper ... ...eves that all people can benefit from equality of the sexes. By her own commitment to bettering the education of women and by reevaluating past women's history, Murray helped to usher in a "new era in female history." Works Cited Murray, Judith Sargent. "Desultory Thoughts upon the Utility of Encouraging Degree of Self- Complacency, Especially in Female Bosoms." Selected Writings of Judith Sargent Murray. Ed. Sharon M. Harris. New York: New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. 44-48 Murray, Judith Sargent. "Observations on Female Abilities." Selected Writings of Judith Sargent Murray. Ed. Sharon M Harris. New York: New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. 15-43 Murray, Judith Sargent. "On the Equality of the Sexes." The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 6th Edition. Vol. A. Ed. Nina Baym. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 2003. 783-791
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As mentioned above, women’s role were unjust to the roles and freedoms of the men, so an advanced education for women was a strongly debated subject at the beginning of the nineteenth century (McElligott 1). The thought of a higher chance of education for women was looked down upon, in the early decades of the nineteenth century (The American Pageant 327). It was established that a women’s role took part inside the household. “Training in needlecraft seemed more important than training in algebra” (327). Tending to a family and household chores brought out the opinion that education was not necessary for women (McElligott 1). Men were more physically and mentally intellectual than women so it was their duty to be the educated ones and the ones with the more important roles. Women were not allowed to go any further than grammar school in the early part of the 1800’s (Westward Expansion 1). If they wanted to further their education beyond grammar, it had to be done on their own time because women were said to be weak minded, academically challenged and could n...
Comparable to other American men as well as a few American women before, during, and after the Revolutionary War of the 18th century, Benjamin Rush believed that women’s skills were limited to that of domestic work. His thoughts toward the abilities of women were that they began, and ended with the home: from caring for their children to caring for their husbands in addition to caring for the home. According to Rush: “They must be stewards and guardians of their husband’s property.” Judith Sargent Murray on the other hand believed women’s abilities extended past and beyond that of domesticity alone. She believed that women were capable of much...
“Equality of the Sexes,” an essay written by Judith Sargent Murray an American feminist writer women. She was a person that advocated for women’s rights and made great effort to achieve the right and recognition of women from the society of her period. The essay “Equality of the Sexes” was published in Massachusetts Magazine in 1790 during a period where society lower the value and the role of women. Judith Sargent Murray born in a wealthy family but did not have much opportunity as a woman living in puritanical America. Murray believed in the idea that both sexes are equal and both have equal ability of thinking and judgement.
Literature. Vol. A. Ed. Nina Baym and Julia Reidhead. 17 ed. New York: W.W. Norton &
Harmon, William, and C. Hugh Holman. A Handbook to Literature. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.
...ues women’s work becomes wrong. Yes, in today’s society one could argue further that a woman who stays at home and does not work is only reinforcing the stereotype and prolonging the inequality. However, this essay was not written to change the world. It simply strove to identify and prove the reasons behind a ruined sense of self worth that many women in the early 1900’s felt as a result of their work being demeaned. By reaching out to people’s emotional sides, McBride relayed her grandmother’s tale so that people could clearly feel the hurt and demotion that women of that time lived with in order to have them persuaded that the oppression of women in any manner and capacity is wrong.
Throughout the centuries there have been many groups pursuing equal rights for themselves. These groups feel that they are excluded from privileges others possess and are subject to injustices that others are not. These groups feel they deserve better and that their presence in the world is unequal to others’. In the United States a large percentage of women started to feel they warranted equal rights to men. Margaret Fuller was among the supporters of the movement and published ground-breaking article called “The Great Lawsuit.” In “The Great Lawsuit”, Margaret Fuller tries to stop the great inequalities between men and women by describing great marriages where the husband and wife are equal, by stating how society constricts the women’s true inner genius, and by recording admirable women who stand up in an effort for equality.
The oppression and discrimination the women felt in this era launched the women into create the women’s right movement. The economic growth in the market economy women opportunity to work was very low Lucy Stone explained that the same society that pushes men forward keeps woman at home (Doc. H). Only low paying jobs were available such as factories, seamstress, or a teacher and in most states women had no control over their wages. Charlotte Woodward explained how she would sew gloves for a terrible wage but it was under rebellion she wished to choose her own job and the pay (Doc.E). The chart on Doc F explained how women between 1837-1844 dominated men as teachers in the Massachusetts Public School. The idea of the “cult of true womanhood” was that most respectable middle class women should stay at home and take care of the family and be the moral of the home. The advancement in the market economy gave women a chance to make their own money to be able to support themselves and work outside of the home. The nineteenth century was a ferment of reform such as the Second...
In 1790, Judith Sargent Murray submitted her essay, On the Equality of the Sexes, for publishing in The Massachusetts Magazine. Her essay called for women’s rights through education. Murray’s belief that women “are endowed with the qualities of imagination, reason, memory, and judgment” (Murray 177) aided her argument and showed that women deserve an education like their male counterparts. Furthermore, her evidence and rational explanation of the Creation Story, a chapter in the Christian Bible, solidifies her argument of equal education in a time when some of the population took the Bible at face value. There are limits to Murray’s progressive education beliefs, which can be viewed as being a product of her time. On the Equality of the Sexes