Posted by: coopiedoopie | December 4, 2012

The same or different?

In my history class this semester we discussed the women’s rights movement in the United States and where it all started.  When discussing the early 1900’s, one of the class topics was women’s suffrage.  There were two articles we had to read for class, one by Jane Addams and the other by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  They both were documents arguing for women to be given the right to vote.  The difference was in the why.  Addams says that women need the vote for a different reason than men as men and women have different roles.  Women care about education, city beautification, and the home while men care more about economics.  Gilman believes that women should have the vote purely because they are human beings and no different from men.  

My question is this… Who do y’all agree with?  


Responses

  1. I agree more with Gilman. Women should have been given the right to vote because it was fair and equal to all humans. I do agree with Addams and that women and men can have different roles, but that should not be the sole reason they vote. Voting because only because women and men have different roles is almost asking to get special treatment and not wanting to be treated as equal.

  2. Can’t it be both? I see where both of them are coming from, and I think that Addams and Gilman both have a point. Women do think and operate differently than men, and I think that the opinions of both sexes mattered at the time. That being said, I think Gilman’s opinion NEEDED to be stated because so many people didn’t think that women’s opinions mattered. Without that opinion in the discussion, there is no one striving for equality. So to answer your question, I think that both opinions are right and both were needed for the argument.

  3. Gilman all the way. This is a question I remember wrestling with at the beginning of the semester when I thought about how I would respond to someone who asked why advocacy for women mattered, or what was wrong with women’s current position. I finally realized that the answer, for me, was that “because women are people!” I was trying to come up with a really good and compelling argument, then realized I didn’t need one. Questioning why women should have or deserve something implies that women are inferior, which is not true. In the same way that two men may have different opinions on public policy, two women could have different opinions, or a man and a woman could disagree. In my opinion, the focus should be on the individual, not the gender.


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