Response Paper to Judith Sargent Murray, “On the Equality of the Sexes.”
Judith Sargent Murray, despite of being born into a wealthy family on March 01, 1751 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, did not receive many opportunities for a formal education beyond reading and writing. Murray became an early American advocate for women’s rights, an essayist, playwright, poet, and letter writer. Murray held many ideas about women’s education that were extremely radical, she felt that the everyday chores of a women’s live did not offer any intellectual stimulation, and she questions the extent of the American revolution: how it would achieve its promise of human equality.1
In Judith Sargent Murray’s essay, “On the Equality of the Sexes,” she condemns the idea that women are intellectually inferior to men and therefore should not be able to hold positions or status equal to that of a man. Murray argues that women are just as smart as men are, but it is the educational system which unequally benefits men, granting them access to higher forms of learning while, discouraging women from broadening their minds. She touches a number of reasons as to why women are just as much entitled to anything that a man was. “The same breath of God animates, enlivens, and invigorates us.”2 Murray talks about religion to show there is no difference in the creation of man and women, only differences are physical, but not mental, therefore should be no differences in their treatment. Knowing that many men disagreed with her, and argue that educating a woman would take time away from her house work, Murray prepared an argument against, “I answer that every requisite in female economy is easily attained; and, with truth I can add, that when once attained, they require no further mental attention.” She believes that the everyday chores of a woman does not improve and exercise their mental facilities, providing no intellectual stimulation, and that chores could be done in little time, and on their...
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