Sunday, February 23, 2014

On the Two Declarations, Angelica Paquette

Concerning the two declarations of rights, I have found that they contrast not only in the obvious focus on sex, but also in aspects such as punishments for crimes and taxing. The basic rights described in each are liberty, property, security and the resistance to oppression, but the ways these rights are protected and enforced are very different. De Gouges' Declaration of the Rights of Woman highlights strict enforcement and punishment for both sexes. She describes this as obeying "rigorous law" in article VII. On the other hand, the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights takes a more cautionary side when describing the enforcement of the law and punishment for offenses against it. Article 8 says punishments must be strictly necessary and specifically dictated by law. This is a sharp distinction from De Gouge's more authoritative view of the punishment for offending the law.

The difference between these two declarations contrasts from typical gender roles. The rights drafted for the National Assembly try to avoid the abuse of power while De Gouge's declaration of woman's rights is less sympathetic for offenses against the law. I have interpreted this as a result of De Gouge trying to put women on the same level of men so much so that some of the rights of government established are harsher than that of the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights. Would you agree with me in this aspect? Or would you say there's another reason why De Gouge's declaration highlights stricter punishment?


1 comment:

  1. I'd definitely say that De Gouge is trying to place women on the same level of men, especially if you look at other parts of her Declaration (going slightly off topic here). While in article 6 she argues that it is only "virtues and talents" that create the categories for holding office/honorable positions, articles 13 and 14 don't abide by the same rules. They almost sound like De Gouge asking for handouts simply based on the fact that man and woman should be equal, not based on the fact that those who have the ability to do something well should have that task/job. That being said, if you interpret her idea of "share" as opportunity, it can again be said that she's arguing for equal opportunities based on talent and virtue.


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