Primary Source Analysis Paper.pdf - Samantha Mumford...

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Samantha Mumford History 170 Primary Source Analysis October 10th, 2020 Women’s Rights Debate In the early 1800’s, women’s rights was massively debated throughout America. Because sexism was undoubtedly existent at that time, women were viewed as second-class citizens. However, by the mid-1800’s, this ideology started to change. Rev. John Todd’s excerpt, “Equality of the Sexes,” evidently demonstrates the argument against women’s rights in this time period. Even though these sexist beliefs were common among men in America, there were also men who outspokenly stood up for equality. One of these few men was Gail Hamilton, who wrote, “Women’s Wrongs,” in direct response to Todd’s piece. The sexist beliefs that women were only made to be mothers, women did not have the mental capacity to undergo the same things that men did, and only men made great achievements and inventions, are the key arguments that John Todd outlined in his writing. John Todd expressed that women were only made to be mothers due to both religious and biological reasons. His religious reasoning is made very clear in the beginning of his excerpt when he explained that women cannot have independence over men because “God never designed you (women) should” (Todd). This ties into Todd’s biological reasoning because he stated that God created women’s bodies to only be physically capable of staying at home as a mother, which Todd defines as a “women’s sphere” (Todd). John Todd then expressed that women should not go out of
their sphere, meaning their home, and that they should not attempt to do anything that men did, such as work. In his writing, Todd bluntly declared that women “have a mission--no higher one could be given her--to be a mother” (Todd). In direct response to

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