Notebook Topic: Inequality
Write your response to the following topic below. Your response should consist of at least 5 paragraphs in which you state your thesis, provide at least 3 supporting reasons for your opinion, and summarize your position on the topic. Illustrate and discuss attitudes concerning male/female inequalities and the resulting gender standards and rights, such as jobs, pay, leadership, and education. Women’s rights were, by modern measures, rather limited ca. 1850, but women of that time were in a far better position than slaves. If a comparison is to be made, it would be better to compare their situation with minors but not in every respect. Women's education had been growing rapidly. In many parts of the country, girls were as likely as boys to have elementary and secondary education. By mid-century, the number of women with a college education was increasingly rapidly. These things were encouraged. Women as mothers were recognized to have an important role in educating their children. On the other hand, slaves were mostly discouraged from even learning to read. State laws often forbade it, in part to prevent their reading 'abolitionist propaganda' and getting ideas. For a slave to receive advanced education, however, was unthinkable. With respect to the government, women, though not having the same rights as white men, had far more in the way of legal rights than blacks did. They were considered U.S. citizens, unlike blacks, according to the Dred Scott Decision in 1857; this included such things as access to federal courts and the 'right of petition'. Also, their testimony was preferred over that of blacks. Slaves could not even raise certain charges in courts, or testify in certain situations. Even in places that allowed such things, no one believed them. Some support the "like slaves" argument by pointing out how much sooner former slaves were given the right to...