Women and the Enlightenment

The Enlightenment was a time of new ideas and ways of thinking, but equality of the sexes wasn’t one of them. Most of the great Philosophes of the time, such as Rousseau and Emmanuel Kant continued to hold the belief that women were naturally inferior to men, even though many of the supporters of the Enlightement werre women and some were even contributors to enlightennment ideas. Kant believed that a woman who was too educated would overtax their intellect. The belief that women should remain in the domestic sphere instead of educating themselves and contributing to society outside of the household was reinforced by the enlightenment thinkers. Some Enlightenment thinkers were inclined to sympathize with women and their desire for more education opportunitites. Not all women put up with this repressive attitude. Mary Wollstonecraft and Olympe de Gouges both advocated for more equality between sexes.

Book written by Mary Wollstonecraft to bring women's rights to people's attention.

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