An Analysis Of Mary Wollstonecraft And Sojourner Truth

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Privilege equates to power over others, often leading the powerless to suffer from inequity. Feeling confined in their situations, both author Mary Wollstonecraft and abolitionist Sojourner Truth confront their perceptions of inequity through a critique of sexism towards women. Marry Wollstonecraft’s 1792 essay, “The Vindication of the Rights of Women”, focuses on equality between men and women; a defiant tone outlining society’s tendency to hinder its own advancement by limiting women to singular roles. In activist Sojourner Truth’s speech, “Ain’t I a Woman” from 1851, Truth mirrors Wollstonecraft’s assertions, candidly explicating opposition to the ways society has shaped its ideals concerning women. Despite the expanse of time between the…show more content…
Both women embarked on a search for equality. But, discrimination against Truth’s race deprives her of chivalry in the first place, isolating her experience from Wollstonecraft’s writing. Through her impassioned tone, Truth comments on the separation between the women’s rights movement when it involves white women versus black women, she argues the movement as Wollstonecraft recognises it as a fight against that which she already does not have the privilege to receive. Because, as a well-off white woman, Wollstonecraft reaps the respect and social status that follows her race and economic status, whereas Truth does not receive the same respect. She explicates: “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman?” (Truth) The context of her statements represents similar content to Wollstonecraft's argument against chivalry, because she declares her rights as a human being to cement her own identity. Wollstonecraft’s critique against chivalry reveals the divide between the two women because it serves as a key construct for the definition of a woman in Wollstonecraft world, yet Truth never had the luxury to experience these social constructs, stemming from discrimination against her race. Where Wollstonecraft fights against the fact society forces her into chivalry, Truth fights against the fact she never obtained it. She must fight to define herself as a woman in a different manner: as worth the same dignity in her experience as
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