Feminism: Women's Status in Higher Education

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Throughout human history, customs derived from mythical and religious social traditions have provided cultural explanations regarding the evolution of the roles of men and women and the variations between the structures of the lives of the sexes (Sapiro 28). Although many see America as a country of equal opportunities for all, including women, most forget the struggle and hardship thousands faced to earn this God-given right. Professor Barry Bull of Indiana University speculates on the current infrastructure of American society: “If we do not expect this institution to treat citizens fairly in these various roles, the hope that we will be able to achieve anything like a recognizably just society is significantly undermined” (Bull 1).…show more content…
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), eighteenth-century English writer, philosopher and advocate of women’s rights shared Blackwell’s beliefs that society as a whole would greatly benefit if women received equal treatment and respect. Wollstonecraft concentrated her efforts in the fight for equality of women in the field of politics (Feminist Interpretations and Political Theory 37). Wollstonecraft concerned herself with refining women’s existence socially and politically through further distinguishing the distinctions between men and women in both the private and public sphere (37). Wollstonecraft saw the power and authority held by men in private spheres as well as in the sphere of politics as socially developed entirely (38). Similar to Wollstonecraft’s position, philosophers during the time of Enlightenment argued the artificiality of political authority among women, based on the premise that the natural authority between the sexes within the family structure blighted the authenticity of political authority among women (38). The governing ethic of conjugality dictates the treatment of women as wives, mothers and sexual partners (38). Obstacles such as these contradict any progression made by political reform (40). As higher education became a prominent aspect of life in America, women’s education faced restricting ideologies which interpreted women’s minds
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