"On The Equality Of Men And Women"

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As I read the first paragraph of On the Equality of Men and Women by Marie Le Jars de Gournay, I had to go back a page to see when de Gournay lived. This writing seemed like something that would typically have been published in the 1990s. During the Enlightenment, women did not speak their opinion about their equality (or lack there of) with their male counterparts. It was not considered proper. It would even raise eyebrows is a man voiced his opinion saying that women were equal. One must remember that these were the days of patriarchy.

Although I see the truth in de Gournay stating that men "want to confine women to domesticity," I do not know of many women in that time that would oppose this. So maybe this is a double-edged blade. Yes, society is out of line to assume that a woman will give up her life to bear and raise children, but some feel that this should be their life.

On the other hand, at this point in history, there were also many women who felt that this was their place in society.

Maybe de Gournay is correct when she suggests that this may be due to "the lack of good teaching." After all, many of these women do not feel that society is overstepping any bounds by determining where a woman's place should be. But I agree that this is a way of thinking that is taught rather than one acquired willingly.

I don't believe for a minute that women are inferior to men, but just suppose that it were true. Suppose women really are inferior to men; then suppose that the President of the United States is a woman. Who is to run the country if she has a child? Is...