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Olympe de Gouge and Mary Wollstonecraft, the Right of Woman

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Assignment Week #8 Olympe de Gouge and Mary Wollstonecraft, the Right of Woman. Prof: Lynn Wilson Yusra Elfaki

Oylmpe de Gouges (1748-1793) was born in the South of France to a butcher and a washerwoman, she

was one of the victims of Reign of Terror. She moved to Paris after the death of her husband and gegan

to write essays, manifestos, and plays concerning social injustice. In the beginning she greeted the start

of the French Revolution with enthusiasm, but when she learned that equal rights to vote and hold

political office were not being extended to women, she became disenchanted. In 1791 she joined a

group of advocate for women’s rights which in the end resulted in an ultimate sacrifice “Death.”

On the other hand, Mary Wollstonecraft was born in England (1759-1797). She published A Vindication

of the rights of women in 1792 and publishing History and Moral View of the Origin and Progress of the

French Revolution. The main focus was that the French Revolution certain policies were unfavorable to

women. She has accused Rousseau and others of trying to restrict women’s experience and narrow their

vision, keeping them as domestic slaves to men In contrast to the writing of her French contemporary

Olympe de Gouges, she was deeply influential leading to the liberal feminist movement, arguing not for

a radical restructuring of society, but for the right of women to access the same social and political

institutions as men by demanding equal opportunity for all. The historical status for women during that

time period was both women lived. Due to their persistence and advocacy, they were able to contribute

to woman rights by taking a public stand against it.

Olymbe de Gouges says to Marry Wollstonecraft, do you think our work will have an immediate impact

on our society? Wollstonecraft replies “It might not have an immediate impact right now, but years from

now, our work will be remembered for generations to come because we took a public stand.” Olympe

de Gouges asks once more, what do you think women roles would be hundreds of years from now?

Wollstonecraft replies “I believe women will achieve great accomplishments and equality as equal

partners to men.” I believe this prophecy has now taken place as we see women breaking the glass

ceiling getting equal pay for equal work.

Sayre, H. M. (2011) The humanities: Culture, Continuity and Change.…...

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