Sunday, February 23, 2014
Feminism in Declaration of the Rights of Woman, 1791
It is inspiring to read the “Declaration of the Rights of Woman” (1791) alongside the “Declaration of Human and Civic Rights” (1789), because it shows women fighting back against extreme sexism and oppression. The original declaration completely overlooks women and gives them no rights. Every article refers to men, and the words “women” or “female” are never used. The women’s declaration is amazing to read, because it is essentially women equalizing themselves to men. De Gouges takes what the men wrote in the original declaration, and edits all the articles to essentially say the same thing, but include women. It is true feminism, because the women are not trying to put themselves above men or look for any special treatment (seen especially in articles 7 and 9); they just want to be considered equals. De Gouges’ words are in no way saying that women should rule over men. Some people believe that feminism is women fighting for power over men, when actually it is women fighting for equality with men. De Gouges is emphasizing the importance of equality in this declaration. She is saying that women are capable of holding social status and actively participating in government and public life.