The struggle for womens rights

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The struggle for women’s rights                                            10/06/2014

The enlightenment philosopher, Rousseau had argued for the extension of male education in 'Emilie' (1762)
Women were meant to be educated to be modest and maternal, cultivate a desire to please. A custodian of morality within a domestic setting.

Thomas Paine who wrote 'The rights of Man' influenced the American independence and the French revolutions. 1790’s Radicals began to campaign for manhood suffrage (all men get the vote).

The vote until then – men of education and land owner’s ® upper class men

Mary Wollstonecraft (Mary Shelly’s mother) said that women should be equal, free from their husbands or fathers, independent, attitudes towards women should change and women should have an equal education.

“A vindication of the rights of women” (1792)
“I earnestly to see the distinction of sex abolished all together – save where love is concerned”
She was described as the “hyena in petticoats” and a “she devil” or “she beast”
Challenged religion – feminists are ugly

How could women be considered as property?

Harold Smith – one of this is the doctrine of ‘coverture’ which is a legal act which allowed women to have no rights , everything she owned was for her husband and they had no separate legal identity. Their property including earnings from paid labour was passed to the husband.

The first reform was all about removing coverture

Kent – writes that “ the first challenge to property in


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