Women in the Enlightenment Essay

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The Enlightenment is known as the revolution that brought to question the traditional political and social structures. This included the question of the woman’s traditional roles in society. As the public sphere relied more and more ?? and the advances in scientific and educated thinking, women sought to join in with the ranks of their male counterparts. Women held gatherings known as salons where they organized intellectual conversations with their distinguished male guests. Seeking to further their status, enlightened women published pamphlets and other works advocating for educational rights and political recognition. Even with this evolution of woman in society, many still clung to the belief that the role of the woman was solely…show more content…
“Nevertheless, faith in knowledge and reason and in the progress they were held certain to achieve remained the dominant characteristic of the Enlightenment.” With the change in political climate, women began to grasp the idea of reason in the new society. There was a fight for education, professionalism, and citizenship. The change that the Enlightenment brought to the world, gave women the lifeline they needed to pull away from their domesticated roles as housekeepers, wives, and mothers. “Above all, perhaps, the rationalists of the eighteenth century aroused the social conscience of mankind and stimulated the humanitarianism.” The Enlightenment allowed a period of educational growth to begin. A new love for knowledge and debate sprung up throughout the century. Women joined in with the intellectual banter by starting salons. “If Voltaire transformed the thoughts, and Rousseau the feelings, of the eighteenth century, it was the salons of Paris that the new conceptions of ‘reason’ and ‘nature,’ of ‘free thought’ and the importance of the individual, were sifted, codified, and eventually imposed.” Women played a central role in the organization of these intellectual gatherings, holding them in their homes. They invited prominent, academically inclined men to join together to share ideas, in which the lady of the home regulated with agendas and topics. Women were able to be present when men spoke of the political, social, and
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