Difference Between Rousseau And Montesquieu

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Now, we have two gender views, dealing with the issue of the harem, in the Western literature: Montesquieu’s view, which presents it in a negative way, and Rousseau’s view, which supports it. Being Enlightenment thinkers, both Rousseau and Montesquieu support the gender politics in Europe at that age, but their presentation of the harem differs. One presents the harem as an ideal place with which the Western woman should follow for her safety, while the other presents it in an exaggerated way, as an oppressive and degrading place, not to let his Western woman avoid or revolt against it, but to rationalize and mitigate the European one. Through his Oriental oppressed harem, Montesquieu tries to convince his Western women with the kinder and gentler suppression of patriarchy at home, and thus, obtain her “willing submission”.(mohja).Besides, he justifies this patriarchal suppression for the Western man: at least our women are "free"; at least our women are autonomous individuals with souls, and not animals; at least we have a single sexual standard; at least we Christians…show more content…
Thus, Hudjadge represents the patriarchal Orient as suppressor, which, when compared to the Western one, Western women and men should be thankful for the grace they are living in. However, in The History of the Birth of Mahomet, Philip veers off Montesquieu’s course. In this story, Zesbet is, positively, portrayed as the typical, obedient housewife, who waits her four husbands, who escape and only came back at the end of the story. She is the virtuous and faithful wife, who stays at home (harem) till her husbands are back. In fact, Zesbet is portrayed as the ideal example; the eighteenth century Western women should to
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