Assignment 4 - Cassandra Wade Women and Education in the...

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Cassandra Wade Women and Education in the Nineteenth Century 1. How did Necker de Saussure define appropriate education for women? How fully did she accept the domesticity arguments? How did she manage to argue for additional educational goals? o Saussure asserted that “half the women who now exist, have not been, or are no longer, married.” By this, she means that a woman should not just learn how to be a wife and mother because, at some point, she will have to depend on herself. She argues that, in order to pursue the self-sacrificing goals that every human being should posses, people must be educated, including women. Moreover, education is necessary to be useful – if women are to adequately fulfill their duties as wife and mother, they must know how to counsel and educate. Essentially, she claims that education and general knowledge is necessary for a woman to fulfill the conventional duties of society. 2. What is the nature of Duffy’s argument for women’s education? How does it compare with that of Necker de Saussure? Does the comparison suggest any pattern of similarities and differences in nineteenth-century situations for women in France and the United States? Do the different ideas about education relate to different family ideals in France and the United States ? o Duffy immediately debunks the idea that “ladies” should conform to societal norms while Saussure works education into those existing roles of women. Duffy describes the woman’s role as restrictive and limited and her main goal fore education with women appears to be equality to men, mentally and physically. Thus, it seems the only similarity is that there is a need for educated women. Therefore, it can be assumed that the average American family didn’t appear to stress tradition in the same manner that French families did, Saussure aimed at maintaining the norm, just improving it, while Duffy aimed at demolishing it altogether.
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