Analyze the excerpt from JeanJacques Rousseau’s Emile (1762) and make connections between his arguments and Enlightenment thought.
Identify three points in his writing. Explain these ideas in relation with Enlightenment ideals/values, either in class discussion or in our textbook.
Analyze the primary source extracts from Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman 1792 in our handout as well as page 648 of the textbook.
Discuss the historical context of her writing and especially how revolutionary ideas led political revolutions.
Three examples of Wollstonecraft challenging Rousseau’s claims about the education of women and their rights during the Enlightenment should be provided.
How the gendered argument helped you analyze primary resources in historical context.
Discuss your experiences in learning the other gender role.
How did this experience help you to better understand the social, cultural, and historical construction of gender?
Answer to Question: HIST 102 History Of Civilizations II
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of the most influential eighteenth-century enlightenment scholars.
His novel Emile, which was published in 1898, is widely considered to be one the first books on education and man.
The following excerpt is taken from his book. It deals with equality between human beings.
As Sophie, Emile and Sophie see it, however, the book mostly ignores women.
He believed women were more rational and weaker than men.
He stated that women don’t require men to be happy, while men need women.
He makes the distinction between what education is required by men and women.
Rousseau believes the only purpose of life for a women is to be a mother, and a wife.
Their education should be different from the education of men.
His views about women’s educational opportunities were more in line to primitivism.
He believed that women with inferiority to men should receive minimal vocational education.
According to him, nature had made women distinct from men, and this difference leads to political inequality.
He believed women were naturally weaker than men and this made them less able to think clearly.
Men have both power and will. Women are capable of offering “little resistance”, but women can’t offer much.
He said that women are born out of “man’s joy” and “subjection by men”.
Rousseau emphasized the importance of children in education. Education for children should be from the inside and mothers play the greatest role.
The mother is the one who raises the child.
Rousseau supports natural education of the child, as he believes in spontaneity and happiness.
He also criticized the practices of mothers in sending their children abroad for education.
He stated that mothers should take care of their children and follow the natural rules.2.
Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” (1792) is considered the founding text of Westernfeminism.
The book declares equal rights to women in education as well as civil opportunities.
This book is considered to be the first feminist treatise.
She addresses topics such as the importance of reason over emotion, equality of sexes and women’s physical and mental strength.
She blamed the tendency of people to ignore equality, justify reasons through reason, and demanded that women rights are recognized.
Jean Jacques Rousseau was criticized for his view and presentation on women.
Wollstonecraft is criticized for the way he presented women in his book. This was contrary to his egalitarian principles.
His notion of the nature power actually encouraged women to restrict their education.
It was ignorance and a misguided notion that led to women becoming slavishly dependent.
Her argument not only advocated equal rights for women in the political sphere, but also in their social realm.
Rousseau demonstrated how modern society had a degrading notion of women’s strength, ability, and potential.
Wollstonecraft challenged the reader’s preexisting view of women.
She argued that today’s education system was worse than it was helpful.
She demanded that women should have access to a deeper and more extensive learning system in order improve their status in the domestic and social spheres.
She also rejected the idea that virtue is only a female trait.
She stated that it is the intellect and reason that should be used to judge human conduct, not emotion and passion.
It is imperative to dispel preconceived notions regarding women’s vulnerable and emotional connection with the society.
There have been many discussions and arguments about the politics and human rights of women and their place in society.
Finally, she said that in order for women to be granted ultimate power, they don’t need to have power over men but must have power over them.
The book was initially criticized because it presented a radical political viewpoint, but the twentieth-century exploration of its relevance made it a founding text in feministism.3.
Rousseau believed in women not being educated as well as men.
He stated that women were physically and intellectually less intelligent than men.
It is only natural that men have more power over women.
If women have equal education, however, men will lose power and control over their wives.
Wollstonecraft on the other side stated that she didn’t wish women to be given more power than men and she preferred women to have control over their own decisions.
She believes that having power over oneself is more important then having power over another.
For her, women are more concerned about their independence than having power over men.
An education that is well-rounded would give them the ability to become independent.
Rousseau claimed that women should continue their education until they reach a certain age.
She said that women who don’t receive proper education would not be able teach their children how to be responsible citizens.
Rousseau claimed that women have weaker brains than men and are therefore physically weaker.
Wollstonecraft believed that women could strengthen their bodies by engaging in intellectual exercises and not relying on their husbands.
Women can build their strength and manage their families well by practicing virtues.
In this way, women will be friends and companions rather than dependent on their husbands.
Wollstonecraft proclaimed equal rights for women in her writings, and Rousseau supported the opposite.4.
The thesis’s gendered debate allowed me to examine the primary sources more deeply.
The analysis revealed various historical aspects about society’s gender constructions and perceptions.
Gender identity refers to the social behavior of individuals based upon their sexes.
Although gender roles can’t be created by nature, individuals develop them through their experiences.
The most important role in gender identity building is played by the historical, cultural, and social aspects.
While the two opposing perspectives on women’s status and power in society presented me with a conflicting view, I came to terms with the truth after deeper analysis. This helped me to expand my perspective on gender construction and enlightenment.