2 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2017
    1. lf physical weakness is alluded to, I cheerfully concede the superiority; if brute force is what my brethren arc claiming, I am willing to let them have all the honor they desire; but if they mean to intimate, that mental or moral weakness belongs to woman, more than to man, I utterly disclaim the charge.

      Here is that "mental and moral" argument referred to in The Rhetorical Tradition introduction to this section.

    1. women's mental and moral equality to men, which placed on them the same responsibility to combat social evils,

      I think this is key. Women were held to exacting (actually, impossible) standards regarding morality, while completely disregarded intellectually. However, restrictions on women did not stop there, but continued into a swirling confusion of contradictory stereotypes:, for example, that women are naturally inclined to corrupt men through seduction and lasciviousness, yet are also naturally innocent, naive and in need of protection. Some early feminists mistakenly began their argument for women's rights with the premise that women deserved recognition for their moral authority, while giving in to accusations that they were not as intellectually capable. This naturally left any of their arguments suspect, as they were admitting (even if only for the sake of humility) that they might not be able to match the arguments of men intellectually. By positing that men and women are equal in terms of BOTH intellect and morality, Grimke builds herself a more sturdy rhetorical platform.