Equality of the Sexes
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Judith Sargent Murray was an advocate for the rights of women and equality of the sexes. She argued that women should be considered intellectually equal to men and should be given equal education opportunities with those of men. In her essay, she outlined several arguments to prove that women were not intellectually inferior to men. She drew similarities between the work of her own and other American philosophers (Sharon 56).
Her strongest argument is introduced through a vivid definition of intellectual abilities. The defintion helped her explain why women do not have any natural intellectual disadvantage when compared to men. She argued that intellect has four aspects: judgment, memory, reason and imagination (Sharon 59). She successfully argued that women do not lack imagination, as it had been clearly demonstrated by their pursuits in the fashion industry. The fashion industry would not exist if there was no imagination, yet the trends kept changing, proving that women were imaginative (Sharon 61). She also argued that women sometimes engaged in negative use of imagination to gossip and spread rumors.
Murray further argued that reason is derived from knowledge and if someone is deliberately denieed knowledge, then the person cannot be expected to reason logically and rationally (Sharon 63). Women were at a disadvantage when it came to reasoning because they were not allowed to access education. If women were allowed to school they would have equal reasoning capacity with men.
Judith Murray was successful in proving her argument that women were assumed to lack intelligent naturally and to be intellectually inferior to men only because they were denied access to education. She gave strong arguments and effective examples in her essay. The essay is written excellently and is intriguing as well as informative.