Topics: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Gender, Woman Pages: 2 (464 words) Published: January 9, 2006
The Placement of Women in Society

Philosophes had a fundamental representation of the roles of man and women. They were the key advocates of change and movement toward the future. Yet, nowhere in this picture of reform did they see women. Rousseau is one of the philosophes who did not believe that women were of great potential, or that they needed higher education. To him, men were above women. He believed that the man did not need the man, and still the woman needed the man. He thought that "the educations of men and women must be different because they are different." Mary Wollstonecraft, a feminist, expressed an opinion much different than. She understood that from birth, a woman was educated in how she should act. She thought that men paid attention to the wrong qualities in women. She wanted for women to be able to show more than their femininity. To her, women were resilient and capable of caring for themselves. Rousseau and Wollstonecraft explained what they considered to be the socially satisfactory behavior for women, yet both opinions were opposing. Mary Wollstonecraft changed some views on women with her arguments. She claimed that women were taught to obey men, be fragile, and look pretty. Wollstonecraft notes that she sees man as an equal, and is shocked by his lack of fair treatment. Wollstonecraft thought that man feigned helping women, and really did whatever possible to make themselves superior. She knew that for women to be seen as equals, they had to prove that they had equal skills. She wanted women to make changes in themselves and prove to men that they were capable to being equals. When women would finally do this, she knew that men would start to accept them as equals. Rousseau believed that men were superior to women. For that reason, he thought women should behave suitably. Rousseau believed that man satisfied the needs of women and never ceased to satisfy her needs. He saw boys as more sociable than girls who were softer and...
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