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Women During the Enlightenment

The Enlightenment
* brought a time when there was no longer unquestioning religious belief in a God who still controlled the universe * during this time, authority belonged to men. The woman is under the rule of her husband when she enters the home * stressed the importance of education for moral development and the ideal operation of society

Women
* productive laborers within family economies
* in the past were expected to assume their roles as mothers, daughters and wives * during the enlightenment, they were looked upon as prone to vice, insatiable and easily swayed. Their opinions meant little and their place was in the home. However, in the wake of the Enlightenment, women were starting to overcome the previous idea that they were a liability and not a voice of reason. Women debaters started to argue that women can use rational thought and can also grow with education. But little had changed. Men used science to find ways to disprove the theories that women had a place in society.

Maragret Cavendish
* more of a debater than a scientist
* wrote:
* Observations Upon Experimental Philosophy
* Grounds of Natural Philosophy
* the only woman to have visited the Royal Society, although she was never allowed to be a member

Catherine II “the Great”
* Russian empress from 1762-1796
* Improved health care , education, and women’s rights

Mary Wollstonecraft
* An Anglo-Irish feminist, intellectual and writer
* Vindication on the Rights of Woman
* Advocation on equality of the sexes
* She ridiculed the prevailing notions about women being helpless, charming adornments in the household
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