Essay on Gender Oppression
“It is in vain to expect virtue from women till they are in some degree independent of men.” Mary Wollstonecraft, a Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
Wollstonecraft is a feminist whose true heart lies with women and how they can lead a better life despite them facing gender oppression. She describes gender oppression as setting double-standards for women which is unfair and this is done especially by the male folk. Double-standards can be expecting women to perform certain duties described as ‘womanly’ which the men would generally never do, but expect women to perform them or follow certain rules without question. In the above quote, she tries to explain why some women will always defy society until they are able just like men to have some independence. They want to make their own choices and do what they love without society scorning at almost everything they do.
Gendered oppression to the writer is women not being able to exercise complete freedom. The freedom of women would be different from men because they are wired differently and men passing rules that may not necessarily favour women are cause for concern. She also believes that gendered oppression is hypocrisy. Most of the things that women are seeking oppression from were set by the male folk, be it governance, husbands or brothers and fathers. According to men, these issues are right and suit the woman perfectly but considerations should be done to determine whether the woman is indeed happy and whether it benefits her, otherwise this will forever be a hypocrisy society pretending that all is well.Essay on Gender Oppression
The writer also believes that women are partly to blame for the gendered oppression because they lack self-determination. She has accused woman of sitting pretty and accepting what is handed down to them in prisons that they can break away from. She often reminds them that women who have managed to distinguish themselves were not the most beautiful or the gentlest but those that had self-determination. Wollstonecraft also believes that gendered oppression is carried most by stereotypes. The stereotype that beauty is a woman’s scepter is the most common and has denied many young women the chance to look beyond their beauty and onto a brighter interesting future.
She also believes that gendered oppression could be the lack of dignity for the woman to herself and fellow others. She states that she wishes that women would most importantly have power over themselves first in order to go ahead and conquer the world. Gendered oppression to her is also the lack of strength and self-sufficiency from women. The ability of a woman to be so strong as to stand her ground alone. Unfortunately not many women have been empowered to do so.
She also describes gendered oppression as contempt from men. She describes men as creatures willing to sink women even lower and treat women as alluring objects for a moment and women are too blind to see it and become content with being objects of desire instead of seeking more permanent places among men as people who can challenge the male folk in intelligence. Last and most importantly is that she thinks that this gendered oppression has become difficult to deal with because of women rivalry and envy. She believes that gendered oppression is with women at the heart of the issue as they have determined to rival against each other in races that do not benefit them but men. She sees gendered oppression as vanity in women that have refused to rise above their war in beauty as a false foundation stone.Essay on Gender Oppression
I agree with all that Wollstonecraft thinks of gendered oppression. This is because although it may have been invented by the male folk for the females, the women have themselves fuelled it themselves over the years with vanity, the lack of strength and self-will, flattery, lack of dignity and rising above stereo types, social-norms, dependence on men, inferiority complex and double standards, the war is far from over.
The Role of Education in rectifying gendered oppression.Essay on Gender Oppression
‘It follows then, I think, that from their infancy women should either be shut up like eastern princes, or educated in such a manner as to be able to think and act for themselves.’ Mary Wollstonecraft.
Wollstonecraft definitely believes in education for the girl child or woman if they are to rise above gendered oppression. She believes education will give women the mental strength they need to fight for rationality with men. With such intelligence they will be able to question and ponder over things instead of follow them blindly. She believes that education will give women a reason to be better. This reason will help them realize that they can be better versions of themselves and not just what society handed them.
She believes education will give women the discipline to follow their goals through and not be sidelined by vanity like beauty which disappears after a while. Discipline will help women to be on track and they will know what works best for them and what does not and what they can do to improve themselves.
She believes education will empower women to think for themselves. To help them think what they can work on, where their passion lies and which projects to take up, when to say no and when to say yes because they will have evaluated the benefits themselves. She believes education will enable women to provide for themselves in mature and intellectual ways that will not depend on men treating them as objects or subjects but where they can take up careers that they have qualified for and rise from male oppression.Essay on Gender Oppression
Education according to Wollstonecraft is like the famous quote, ‘Educate a woman and you educate an entire society.’ Educating a woman means that she will educate her children as well, to the benefit of the whole society. An educated woman will be very determined to take her children to school regardless of the fact that there is a man in her life or not. She believes that an educated woman is also more in control of her emotions and therefore well suited to make good decisions for her life as she will not be blindsided by what people think of her.
She believes that educating a woman contrary to popular belief is not making her disrespectful or full of ego or manner less but it is exposing her to the world where she realizes she does not know everything and instead becomes the woman that is down to earth, knowing her weaknesses and strengths as well and working on them to improve on herself. This woman will not have time to haggle with men for pity or petty reasons but will know what she is all about and why she exists in the first place.Essay on Gender Oppression
I agree with Wollstonecraft totally about the reason we need to educate women. Like her, I don’t believe that men should feel threatened by an independent woman but instead fell gratitude because the world will be a better place. A world full of ignorant women will result in delayed innovation, invention and ideas that propel any society forward because it reasons.