From One Lady to Another: Keep Challenging Yourself

I am going to try and not make this sound like a lesson coming from a textbook. People can advocate for women’s rights all day just as I can stand on a street and profess that orange juice can give you magical powers. It isn’t until you start backing up your arguments with solid and reasonable points that people start listening. As I have read philosophy on feminism from Rousseau to Wollstonecraft, I’m offering logical points on why men need to stop letting their fear inhibit my freedom.                

Before the 20th century, women were subject to a life of submission and inequality. They did not have legal rights like voting, owning and controlling any sort of property, or custody of their children. A woman could only file for divorce if her husband committed adultery AND another cruel act against her. Agreeing with philosopher John Stuart Mill, I argue that women have always been oppressed starting and continuing from the most primitive societies. Men ruled by their physical strength and brute force, and continued the tradition of subjection of women through generations. Men taught little girls that their duty in life is to submit and obey to their husbands. This showed the male’s selfishness as he feared what equality could mean for his dominant societal role and desire to be pleased.  It was by girls’ miseducation of reason that they voluntarily subjected their own selves to a life of oppression. How are we to know a woman’s true nature and intellect if she was never given equal opportunities of education, participation in government, or ability to thrive on her own?

During the past century, women have constantly proved themselves that their nature of morality and virtue is equal to the opposite sex. Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized Seneca Falls. Harriet Tubman lead so many people to freedom. Marie Curie found amazing discoveries in chemistry. Amelia Earhart attempted to circumnavigate the world flying solo. Rosa Parks said no. Hillary Clinton won the majority vote.

To all the men who read this: You are no more than we are. You are simply genetically designed differently. Do not mistake physical strength for a brain.

To all the women who read this: You are no more than men are. You are simply genetically designed differently. The only difference is that you now have power over yourself, unlike the women who came before. Keep educating, respecting, and challenging yourself.

 

-Bailey Sharp

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