Good Example Of How Women’s Freedom Is Relevant In The World Today Critical Thinking
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In the past, women have been regarded as being generally weaker than the men. The women were made to believe their place was in the kitchen, where they were to work. Their main tasks were running household chores. Women were not expected to attend schools and so the young girls had to remain home while their brothers attended school. In most communities, a woman was never to speak before men. Later, the women would speak before men but with conditions such as they had to cover their heads or had to dress in a particular. For women to manage to give back to their society and to give their best, they must feel appreciated and accepted by the men in the communities they hail from (Freire, 78). For so long, nobody came out to speak for the women.
In the 18th century, Mary Wollstonecraft, a British feminist wrote one of the first works of feminist philosophy. Wollstonecraft’s work was a response to the belief that women were not to get an education, by the educational and political theorists. Wollstonecraft argues that women are human beings who deserve the same fundamental rights as men (Wollstonecraft & Poston, 86). She argues that women should be educated with a similar measurable standard as their position in the society rather than viewing them as trade items in marriage or the society’s ornaments. She claims that women are important to the nation as they are left with a task to educate its children. Women could be “companions” to their husbands, rather than the notion of just being a wife to them (Wollstonecraft & Poston, 87).
In Wollstonecraft’s work, her plea for women’s freedom is predominant, which is still a global issue. While writing her work, Rights of Woman, she did it hurriedly as a response to the ongoing events at the time. She was prompted to write after reading a report sent to the French national assembly that stated that women were to only receive a domestic education. She launched a great attack against the sexual double standards, as well as accusing men of motivating women to indulge in excessive emotion (Wollstonecraft & Poston, 87). She died before writing a second volume that would be more thoughtful, which had been her intention.
The theme of freedom, which is basically based on the females, is related to the concerns expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man. The first article of the Declaration of Rights of man that states that, “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be based only on considerations of the common good”, has been violated (Kley, 1). In this case, women are treated as though they have fewer rights than those of men. Again, the social distinction which places the man as being greater than the woman has not followed the protocol of being reached upon only by common good. Women have found themselves in the situations and yet it is not by their consent.
The theme of women’s freedom has come about due to the injustice that comes along with the failure of giving the same. It is a great injustice to the women to think of them as being less human. Women have been over the years considered as a man’s wealth, which they are even counted among other wealth of their husbands’. It is an injustice to them since they are not less human beings. They should not be counted among wealth. In any case, they are to help in making of the wealth and that’s why Wollstonecraft wanted the women to be companions to their husbands rather than being considered as just wives, which has been happening over the years (Wollstonecraft & Poston, 87). A right to receiving quality education is a right for every person. Denying women the right to education is therefore an injustice to them and the girl child.
Violence: Wife beating, though has been discouraged over the years, is still evident especially in the African society. In some society’s women have been made to believe that it is okay for their husbands to beat them. When the women are in such situations, they fail to report to the responsible authorities. The older women have taught them that when they are beaten, they should take that as a lesson, which they should then not repeat their actions. It is taken to be some form of discipline. However, it is s draining to the women, both physically and emotionally. Some women bare marks out of the beating that they have had to go through over the years. Other women have been left with permanent deformities as a result. For some women, they have not been lucky enough to survive it all. Though with all these, no justice is served to the woman or her family.
The violence in the families doesn’t only affect the women. The children in the families go through emotional trauma watching their mothers go through the same problems over and over. The children’s performance in the school goes down with time and a child starts withdrawing themselves, which may be a sign of depression. Sometimes the children have a very negative attitude towards marriage. Some of the children choose to be single parents, while others get married and stay in abusive marriages as they think it is the usual trend. In extreme cases, children can commit suicide.
It is therefore evident that if it is possible to tackle one problem, a lot more can be prevented from occurring. Respecting women and treating them as equal human beings has more advantages, rather than the disadvantages. Educating a woman and setting her free is therefore equitable to educating and setting free of a society. The women will have internal peace, and in return have peace with the surrounding society from which they come from (Kant, 126).
Sexual harassment to women: Many times, women have found themselves as victims to sexual harassment. Initially, the women were forced to get married at a very young age, with no education and without their consent. The women were abused in their marriages (Herder Adler, & Gottfried, 136). Soon after, the women began getting themselves jobs, mainly as cleaners and tea girls. They later began working in offices just like the men. In their jobs, many women have also faced sexual harassment.
Unequal job opportunities: In some cases, men are favored over the women in jobs. Some organizations prefer to employ men rather than women due to the maternity leaves women have to take at some points of their life, and the juggled life of family and job. The women should however be given a chance to show their capabilities and talents. It is possible to find a woman performing quite well in a male dominated field. It is an added asset to the organization and that should therefore encourage them to give women chances to show their capabilities before dismissing them.
Some organizations have been accused of not giving the women in their organizations allowances while they are on maternity leaves. Other companies have fired women once they sign for their maternity leaves and then immediately replace them. Some labor laws have been formed as well as unions to support the workers. Women empowerment groups have been formed to motivate and help the women. Some women have been lucky to receive justice but some have not received the justice.
Once the women have got the initial support from their families and societies, they will then manage to stand up for themselves and their rights. Today, most societies are appreciating the women. That is why there are many women who are raising children solely without the fear of being judged. In the past, girls were blamed for the teenage pregnancies and got little support from the society. Though there are still girls who are neglected and judged harshly, most of the girls are getting support and the responsible men are getting punished, or are forced to take up the responsibility of taking care of the child. It has helped to reduce the violence in marriages as women are discovering their rights and are getting support from their communities. It will in return help to have a peaceful society when men and women respect each other and where women feel safe.
Women are just as equal human beings as men. Therefore, women should have just as equal rights as the men. Women have a great contribution to the entire society. They nature the young ones and offer the first teachings and education, which are mainly informal, to the children. The impact of the society on the women therefore impacts on the children and the future society. Educating the society therefore on the importance of respecting and supporting the woman is very important. Appreciating and supporting women should begin from the family level and the society from which the woman hails from. It is basically important to treat women right, give them a chance to live their dreams by doing what they can best and showcasing their talents and setting them free from anything that pulls them back or makes them feel less of a person.
DuBois, Ellen C. Woman suffrage and women's rights. New York: New York University Press, 1998. Print.
Fonow, Mary M. Union women: forging Feminism in the United Steelworkers of America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003. Print.
Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum, 2000. Print.
Gatrell, Caroline. Embodying women's work. Maidenhead, England New York, NY: Open University Press, 2008. Print.
Herder, Johann G., Hans Adler, and Ernest A. Menze. On world history: an anthology. Armonk, 1996. Print.
Kant, Immanuel. Perpetual peace. Filiquarian, 2007. Print.
Kley, Dale K. The French idea of freedom: the old regime and the Declaration of Rights in 1789. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 1994. Print.
Mary, Wollstonecraft. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects. With a Biographical Sketch of the Author. Harvard University: A. J. Matsell, 1833. Print.
N.Y: M.E. Sharpe, 1996. Print. Blake, William, and Andrew Lincoln. Songs of Innocence & of Experience. London: Tate, 2006. Print.
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