top-rated free essay

Womens rights

By pleaseletmepass5080 Dec 01, 2014 1620 Words
Jeremiah Wilcox
April 14, 2013
His 2040
Jeffrey Powell
Women’s Rights
Women have suffered throughout history. Angelina Grimke, Sarah Grimke, Catherine Beecher and Margaret Fuller wrote letters to express the importance of women’s rights. Often comparing women’s rights to slavery, each letter stressed the importance of equal rights for all. I never knew women were oppressed that badly. The letters these women wrote were based on moral rights, observation of injustice, and suppression in society. Each letter written expanded my knowledge on women’s rights. Although each wrote letters, the effectiveness of the writer’s point of view made some essays more effective at proving their point than others. Throughout this paper I will summarize, compare and contrast, and analyze each letter written to determine which paper effectively persuaded their reader. Angelina Grimke wrote “Human Rights Not Founded on Sex, Letter to Catharine Beecher” in 1837 to express the need for recognition for women’s rights. Grimke’s essay talks about human rights, which she relates to slavery. She related women’s rights and slavery by their moral rights, or moral nature she also described it, and how all men have moral nature so therefore all men have rights, “When I look at human beings as moral beings, all distinction in sex sinks to insignificance and nothingness; for I believe it regulates rights and responsibilities no more than the color of the skin or the eye.” (Grimke 143) Grimke effectively expressed her view on the rights of women. Although her wording was broad, her essay still specifies and stresses the importance of moral rights. Grimke gave a new perspective on the issue of women’s rights. For example, she discussed the widely known story of how women were created. Women were created from the rib of man. God took man’s rib to create his companion, or so we believe. The perspective Grimke gave was that women were created as lower than man, as man’s property. “…Woman was never given to man. She was created like him, in the image of God…” (Grimke 143) Since it was from the man’s rib she expressed that God made woman less than man, which is not true. However, Grimke fell short on really reaching her audience. Throughout her essay Grimke seems to give a broad context of the injustice women and slaves face. Her essay doesn’t give personal examples or stories of women and slaves who have experienced the struggle of discrimination based on sex and race. Although, the essay was a response to Catharine Beecher’s essay on slavery and abolitionism I still contend that the shortness of the essay was its downfall. Another response letter done by Angelina Grimke’s sister, Sarah Grimke does a more effective job of comparing women and slaves. Angelina’s essay discussed the moral rights and how all should be treated equal. Sarah’s however, compared women and slaves struggles for equality against men. For example, “This last that “a wife can bring no action,” &c. is similar to the law respecting slaves,” (Grimke 147) Sarah talked about how women could not bring justice to herself if criminal charges are against her husband. Also how the wife has no control over her own responsibility, the husband “Possess unlimited control over her…” (Grimke 147) Grimke does an excellent job of bridging similarities of injustice towards women and slaves together in her essay “”Legal Disabilities of Women”: Letter to Mary Parker.” For example, the husband can instill “moderate correction…as an answer to misbehavior,” (Grimke 148) or in today’s terms abuse. When comparing to slavery it is allowed by law for slaveholders to kill slaves based on moderate correction. Another essay Sarah Grimke wrote was “”Relation of Husband and Wife”: Letter to Mary Parker”. Grimke discusses the relationship between woman and husband and the struggle women face just for equality, no matter what economic status. She refers to economic classes and how woman who are lower class often suffers from abuse from their husbands. A Grimke quotes passages from the bible that supports the claim that men are superior and woman is man’s property. Grimke’s essay doesn’t refer to slavery, but I can find correlation between the two. For example, Grimke talks about the bible verses use of language that is similar to slaveholding. The words subjection, submit are similar words slaves have heard from their slaveholders. However, since there wasn’t any talk about slavery I felt that this essay did not persuade readers as the other stories. For example, Grimke quoted 6 bible verses but did not break each down and challenged them. Also Grimke jumps from Christianity condemning women to social classes. If the essay was longer I felt Grimke would have been able to really express her thoughts.

Catherine Beecher wrote “A Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841)”. Beecher letter was about women gaining independence but in reach. Beecher doesn’t want women to step outside of certain boundaries. She believes that God is the superior and chooses the subordinate and higher person. Beecher ideology is completely different from the previous essays. Beecher talks about how women are free and doesn’t have to live by the rule of their man. “…Nor is she obligated to take a husband, if she prefers to remain single.” (Beecher 444) In comparison to slavery women have more freedom. Beecher believes that women were put on this earth to do a certain job and they are not fit to do a man’s work. “They admit, that, as Nature has appointed such wide differences between the physical and moral constitutions of man and woman, her manifest design was, to give a distinct employment to their various faculties…each of them to fulfill their respective tasks…” (Beecher 445) Beecher’s essay is completely different from my personal ideology that I am bias. Throughout the essay Beecher but belittle women. Using God as a way to justify your flawed ideology is morally wrong. I understand that women and men are different physically, but women and men are equal on all levels. Beecher stance on education is great, except the fact that she believes women should not strive to be nothing greater than a teacher or a house wife. Beecher also contradicts herself toward the end, “The success of democratic institutions, as is conceded by all, depends upon the intellectual and moral character of the mass of people.” (Beecher 446) How can the mass succeed if women are not fulfill their dreams. A writer who expressed her thought clearly was Margaret Fuller in her letter “Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845)”.Fuller talks about how more and more women are fighting for equal rights. She claims that the phrase “All men are born free and equal” (Fuller 448) is a simple message that people need to live by. Fuller begins to question if man is ready for women to have equal rights, but quickly answer the question. Fuller doesn’t want women to begin to run everything and become more dominate than men, rather have full power to do as she pleases. “What woman needs is not as a woman to act or rule, but as a nature to grow, as an intellect to discern, as a soul to live freely and unimpeded…” (Fuller 449) Also that women are not just objects of companionship. Fuller wants women to be who they want to be and live how they want to live, whether being a house wife or challenging her intellect. I believe she wanted women to have the freed to make their own choices in life and not be bound to have children and stay at home. Fuller challenges traditional ideas by asking rhetorical questions. For example, when she speaks with an irritated trader who wants his wife at home, she asks “ Have you ever asked if she is satisfied with these indulgences?” Fuller effectively summarizes her point without making a full statement. The question has so many answers that it begins to turn wheels in your mind. If the wife is not happy then then she is not growing, the reader begins to piece what Fuller has been trying to say based of off one question. When I read the letter I began to think that everyone deserves to be happy, no matter what. As a spouse, you should want to see your partner thrive and grow and be happy. Fuller wants the notion that women are only here to please men and be companions. Fuller stirs up a mental debate in my head, however it seem as if her point is not as clear and often conflicts with each other. For example, she often claims that women are not for companionship but says women should have the freedom to do whatever they feel is natural. Maybe some women like being just a companion to their husbands. She also uses abstract details to push her point across. “...We would have every path laid open to Woman as freely as to Man. Were this done, and a slight temporary fermentation allowed to subside, we should see crystallizations more pure and of more various beauty.” (Fuller 448) Fuller essay was excellent in effectively persuading her readers to follow their own goals and dreams. Margaret Fuller’s essay “Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845)” effectively expressed her idea and made audiences gain knowledge of women’s rights.

Works Cited
Angelina Grimke. Human Rights Not Founded on Sex: Letter to . : The Liberator, Aug 2, 1837.

Catherine Beecher. A Treatise of Domestic Economy (1841). : A Treatise of Domestic Economy, 1841. Margaret Fuller. Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845). : Woman in the Nineteenth Century , 1845.

Sarah Grimke. Legal Disabilities of Women: Letter to Mary Parker. : The Liberator, Sept. 6, 1838.

Sarah Grimke. Relation of Husband and Wife: Letter to Mary Parker. : The Liberator, Sept. 1837.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Professions for Women

    ...Society is concerned with the employment of women and she suggested that I might tell you something about my own professional experiences. It is true I am a woman; it is true I am employed; but what professional experiences have I had? It is difficult to say. My profession is literature; and in that profession there are fewer experiences for wom...

    Read More
  • Women in the Workplace

    ...Women in the Workplace: Why We Must Close the Gender Gap Women in the Workplace: Why We Must Close the Gender Gap This is an era in national history that will surely be dissected and scrutinized in the years to come by historians and economists alike. That is because, in recent years, the state of the economy in the United States has ...

    Read More
  • Women in American History: Consider the Latinas

    ...Crystal Avila Women in American History Professor Earhart 28 November 2012 Women in American History: Consider the Latinas “And now we have to beg for what we had the right to demand.” Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burtonp describes the lives of mostly all women in American History in one simple sentence. It is a very broad concept to consi...

    Read More
  • Domination of Women

    ...Our history takes us back to when women where taken advantage of and had no mind of their own. These manipulative actions have been taken on by the domination of the women by their spouses, their family, as well the way they where raised as young girls as in the story “Girl” these are just some of the sources of domination. A young girl is b...

    Read More
  • Women of China

    ...TASK: Read the two articles below about the lives of women in Ancient China. Identify four issues of interest to you; create a note chart to gather information for your essay. You may use a third source if desired. Write an essay titled “Women in Ancient China” on MyAccess. Women in the Ancient Chinese Culture (#1) http://www.buzzle...

    Read More
  • Women in India- Safe or Not

    ...help and safe citizens are beating innocent women! Incredible India!! A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform. - Diane Mariechild Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for...

    Read More
  • Lives of Athenian Women

    ...Lives of Athenian Women Childbirth in Athens took place in the home, with all the women of the house, including mothers, sisters and servants. In some cases there was a servant called omphalotomos (the cutter of the naval chord) who was also present. Various ancient sources refer to lullabies being sung to babies although the words and mel...

    Read More
  • Women in Business

    ...Women Entrepreneurs in Business While women still face an uphill battle when it comes to breaking the corporate glass ceiling, many women are finding success these days as entrepreneurs, building their own businesses without those ceilings to hold them down. The growth rate of women-owned businesses has climbed steadily, even as they continue...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.