Monday, February 24, 2014

Declaration of the Rights of Women

As Professor Vaught shared in class, the purpose of feminism should not be to achieve equality, but in actuality, inequality from men. I agree with this thought because I see the point of feminism as a movement for women to fight for rights that will position women above the status quo, and a truly successful feminist movement will have women above men in certain rights. Thus, I find The Declaration of the Rights of Women somewhat flawed because Gouges essentially is seeking a revolution where women will will attain rights and liberties in order to be equal to men. Furthermore, in the postscript, Gouges states that "[she] leave it to men to attain glory for dealing with this matter..." This statement confused me because it gave off the vibe that even though she is passionately trying to stir the hearts of women, she mentions that it is the men's action and support women need to gain more rights in society. Not sure, if I misread that portion but it did make me question Gouges.

1 comment:

  1. De Gouge's Declaration of the Rights of Woman draws much of its intended purpose from her perceived constructs of nature. She writes that 1791 French society should "go back to animals, consult the elements, study plants…" (The Rights of Woman) when deriving the acceptable format for social inequality of the sexes. This assertion does no more than to found her movement in equality. In contrast to the argument discussed in class, more modern than not, of feminism as an act of the acknowledgment of distinguishable and acceptable inequalities, De Gouge would have been completely out of place to make these assertions. We must consider the context in which this was written and also contextualize her Declaration with her dramatic execution in 1793. She, as a representative of budding feminism in the 18th century, did not exist in a time where these claims would have been acceptable. Militant feminism, like any ideology, cannot exist without a formative stage. For De Gouge, simply rewording the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights, written in 1789, made her a pioneer and is an act of extremism of budding feminism in itself. De Gouge could have easily written a manifesto outlining the respectable differences and inequalities that should be justified in regards to feminist equality, however her intentions with her 1791 Declaration were carefully calculated and implemented correctly in response to her environment.


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