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The Enlightenment Era and the Me-Too Movement Kaylee Gagliardi American History 3A Ms. Robinson December 15, 2018
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Gagliardi 1 “Feminist, the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” The Enlightenment Era was a difficult time for women because there were mostly men 1 that ran the system and became philosophers. Women were also not seen as equal to men and were the monarchs of the household, and the men of the century often believed that women were there to please them and only bear and raise their children. In 2017 and onward, there is a movement where males and females of sexual assault are speaking out through the hashtag “Me-Too” which spreads awareness to the highly prevalent issue of sexual assault and brings awareness and solace to the victims that they are not alone. Mary Wollstonecraft was the sole embodiment of a modern feminist in the enlightenment era because she fought for the rights of women and for them to have education, whilst writing a book, vindication of the rights of women in 1792. This was a vindication that Mary Wollstonecraft wrote and said that women are not inferior to men they only lack the education needed, to disprove other philosophers that thought so, from then on Mary Wollstonecraft pushed to get equal rights for men and women throughout history as well as making education accessible to females. The second philosopher that 2 opposers are influenced by is Jean Jaques Rosseau. Rosseau had many opinions about women being in the system other than for bearing children. He wrote many documents including Emilie in 1762 and The Social Contract that made distinctive arguments on social constructs for men and women that stated that he “believed that women were subordinate to men and that women and men occupy separate spheres”. These different spheres are that women should bear children. 3 1 "Feminism," Merriam-Webster, accessed December 13, 2018, . 2 Chap 18: Kagan, D., S. Ozment, and F. Turner. "Age of Enlightenment: 18th Century Thought." In The Western Heritage Since 1300, 609-38. 8th ed. Prentice Hall, 2004. 3 Kagan, D., S. Ozment, and F. Turner. "Age of Enlightenment: 18th Century Thought." In The Western Heritage Since 1300, 609-38. 8th ed. Prentice Hall, 2004.
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Gagliardi 2 give love and please men, while men were made as stronger and more capable than women in all aspects. Rosseau also stated that women should be educated for a position subordinate to men. This begs the question of to what extent do the enlightenment philosophers Mary Wollstonecraft and Jean Jaques Rosseau reflect the ideas of the American society today through the Me-Too movement. With the strong impact of Wollstonecraft, came about supporters of the Me-too movement. The Me-Too movement is a woman-led movement that strives to bring awareness to sexual assault and harassment and to give women empowerment since a lot of women are shamed for being sexually assaulted and could even lose their job if they come forward. In the case of Harvey Weinstein, women were looking for jobs and were lured into his hotel room.
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