Mary Wollstonecraft in “A Vindication for the Rights of Women,” and other examples from outside the text. Destiny: During Mary Wollstonecraft’s time, women were typically viewed as caretakers and entertainment. Wollstonecraft emphasized the social injustice of the education system against women. She argues that society is dependent on women to raise its children and accompany its men, and that in order to do so, women deserve a right to an education.
● Three roles of women are listed: “a mistress, chaste wife, and serious mother” (pg. 116, lines 133 – 134)
○ Without an education, women are limited to what they’re capable of doing.
○ They learn the abilities to please their husbands/other men to get little of what is wanted.
○ Since they are to educate their children, they’re entitled to their own education.
○ If not welleducated, women may struggle disciplining and instructing their children.
● Men see women's roles as “...to make them alluring mistresses than affectionate wives and rational mothers” (pg. 114, lines 21 22).
● Women shouldn’t be educated to please men, but instead be educated to become responsible mothers. Alston: This is related to what Sanders saw in his childhood. Sanders was raised in a poorer social class, so he was used to seeing to the men’s life of labor and the women’s life of the “stayathome” caregiver. He never saw women working as hard as the men did. His original perception of gender roles was that women were just aides to the success of men as wives, nurses, and secretaries. Sanders refers to the fathers that he saw as a child by saying that, “These fathers made decisions that mattered. They ran the world.” Sanders’ receiving a scholarship to Cambridge University a school usually attended by the wealthy, showed him a different point of view. Going to Cambridge and meeting many educated women of generally higher income, like his friend Anneke, was surprising, because Sanders wasn’t accustomed to hearing women complain about men being more privileged. He always saw the men of his childhood working at physically demanding jobs while the women stayed at home. Megan: You’re right. Sanders experienced a culture shock of sorts when he went to college. However, this “gap” that existed between him and his wealthier female friends was not based on gender, but on social class. He met people who believed that women had been deprived of life’s pleasure by men, causing Sanders to ask “What privileges?” and “What joys?” did men have that women did not? These questions ignite uncertainty about the true gender role that men have, because his classmates’ reasoning does not apply at all to men like Sanders’ father. He acknowledges that women have problems that he was previously unaware of, but also mentions that there are many ugly and unseen problems that come with being a man. Sanders grew up with men that only had hard physical work to look forward to. The people he went to college with only saw the opportunities men had to control and enjoy their lives at the expense of women. After experiencing both perspectives, Sanders explains that the lack of experience most people have with the “other men” who are not in these positions of power do not see that both men and women have similar problems and are “allies” of sorts when trying to “fit” their specific gender roles. Vivian: In the past, like in Wollstonecraft’s time, most women stayed at home as caretakers of their home, family, and children or became nurses and teachers while men worked in laborious jobs to provide for their family. However, over the years, there were changes that took place.
● In this recent report, it shows that the roles and jobs of men and women are changing over time in the US
■ In 1970 2.7%