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Power & Privilege - Gender & Sexuality - Essay Example

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I found it most interesting that he linked his perception of women’s place in society, as well as the social convention of the day, with the law. To quote, “[t]he paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfill the noble and benign offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator. And the rules of civil society [83 U.S. 130, 142] must be adapted to the general constitution of things...” (Bradwell 135). A more egregious circumstance of exercising power and privilege over a disfavored class of persons would be hard to imagine. Here, since the laws of God and the conventions of society required women as a class to stay at home and be “timid and frail,” the laws of the courts must follow along and prevent a woman from being a lawyer.

Men should, and many men do, support gender equality because it fulfills the humanity of us all. The fact that through the course of civilization men have dominated women and established power structures that favor themselves notwithstanding, there is a shared benefit between men and women when men perceive women as peers to be respected and not as subordinates to be protected. This ethic is slowly-but-surely emerging in society.

The key benefit to men who embrace gender equality is the fact that all relationships; family, work, or recreational, become partnerships where the benefits of both gender perspectives can be appreciated and employed. When men respect women as equals, and validate their input into solving a problem or engaging in a behavior, the resulting cooperation makes solutions more workable and lends the strength of partnership. It is for this reason that all people should be valued equally and embraced because of their differences rather than in spite of them. ...Show more


Women as “property” of their husbands was a function of the law until well into the 20th century…
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