Intro to Writing
Dr. Sally Canapa
25 November 2002
Men and Women
Are They Equal?
Are men and women equal? This question has been contemplated for many years. The answer may never be found, but it's a lot closer than it used to be. Elizabeth Cady Stanton writes in "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolution":
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these right governments are instituted deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. (172)
Stanton quoted the great Thomas Jefferson in "The Declaration of Independence." She chose to change the wording around, slightly. She made it apparent to her readers that she felt that men and women are equal.
After understanding how she felt, and what she believed, one can ask the question, whose fault is it? Why were women treated unequally? Is it the government's fault, or is it society's fault? Should the government be blamed and therefore have to make it up to women now?
Jefferson and Stanton lived in completely different times.
Jefferson lived in a time when men were the decision makers. Women were not allowed to do numerous things. There weren't allowed to vote, own land, or even got to school. How would the society of 1776 have taken the "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions?" They wouldn't have taken it very well. Even though the "Declaration of Independence" talked about equality, society's perception of equality was not the true definition of equality. Jefferson's view, and the views of the people around him, was clouded. He thought that equality between white men was enough. It...