In her essay Of the Pernicious Effects Which Arise from the Unnatural Distinctions Established in Society, Mary Wollstoncraft shifts the focus away from the reality of what society feels a woman’s duties should be in the eighteenth century to the inequalities that the nation’s women were actually dealing with. During the eighteenth century it was believed that a woman’s sole duties were to take care of her children, tend to her husband, and do the domestic things in the household. Wollstoncraft disagreed with that notion though.
She believed that a woman was truly capable of doing just about anything that she saw fit. Wollstonecraft states, “for when they neglect domestic duties, they have it not in their own power to take the field and march and counter-march like soldiers,”(661). In which she meant that even though the battlefield front line is not where a woman needs to be per say, but if that woman decided to do so it should not be a problem. Wollstonecraft strived to shed light to a subject that was shunned upon at such a time in history where a woman and her rights held no value.
Women are human beings and have the same exact born rights as men, yet are treated as subordinates or lesser than equal humans due to their gender. If it is capable of a woman to do the same job as a man, then why not get the same pay? So one must ask, how does two people that do the same amount of work yet make different pay? According to Jena McGregor, “the gender pay gap is a well established phenomenon: Women who work full time made about 79% as much as full-time male workers in 2007. ” Women have shown to have the ability to work side by side with men, however society still wants to treat them as inferior.
McGregor also states, “the gap is the widest for female CEOs of the largest companies, who make less than two thirds of their male counterparts. ” It is believed that this gap McGregor speaks about, is due to woman having to take personal time off for things such maternity leave and the care of their families. Even when given the opportunity to prove themselves women are still reverted back to being “housewives” and “homemakers” because even with both sexes being equal it is unheard of and frowned upon for a man to do such things.
McGregor goes on further to say: In addition, they believe the difference is due to the unfortunate, but apparently greater, likelihood that leadership success is ascribed to male leaders. “A lot of research shows [men receive] a lot of internal attributions—people think that he must be responsible for increasing or decreasing” performance, says one of the study authors, Clara Kulich. “With a female manager, [boards are] more prone to use external situations, economic situations,” she says, noting almost an “indifference” to the women leader’s impact.
The inequalities that are being discussed do not only occur in adulthood. Many are believed to begin with children. Authors Una Murray and Patrick Quinn say, “in most countries throughout the world, boys are afforded more rights and opportunities than girls, often because cultures and societies have passed down from generation to generation the belief that males are more important and valuable than females. ” The authors also say, “In many countries and cultures the opportunities enjoyed by boys and girls differ, from the earliest stages of life through childhood and into adulthood.
” Just because a child is born a male does not guarantee that he will necessarily be able to out perform, wit, or even just be overall better than a child born as a female. Children are taught and molded as they grow and not born with predefined roles or paths that they must stick to. The authors tell of this by saying: Children are taught from an early age to model themselves on their parents. In most societies different gender roles mean that boys and girls engage in different activities.
For example, a person is not born with the ability to do needlework or cook but acquires such skills over time. In most cultures it is more likely that girls will be taught such “female skills” than boys. Throughout history and on up into today, society has silently made it right for the inequality of women and girls to exist. No it’s not written in laws anymore, however there is a kind of “man law” per say that is being passed down from generation to generation.
It was believed that women were not capable or good for anything other producing children, cooking, cleaning, or being a wife. Yet, through time it has been proven time and time again that this kind of thinking is very far-fetched and definitely incorrect. As Wollstonecraft believed that it was only absurd but also unjust to believe that a person’s anatomical makeup can give them an advantage over the next person. So in closing, yes men and women are created equal and should be treated accordingly not only because some are capable of the same things but also because it is now the law.