Sample Essay

The way that women and their nature and abilities are perceived has not changed much since the age of revolution. Back then, it was believed that, “women’s qualities (their behavior, virtues, vices, etc.) are natural, and second, that by nature women are in all respects inferior to men. This inferiority is both qualitative (men have certain qualities that women lack) and quantitative (women are deficient in the qualities they share with men). Specifically, women are deficient in reason, in physical strength, and in love, and — a new twist — in the aesthetic faculty” (Agonito, p.191). This was the belief of Arthur Schopenhauer as presented in History of Ideas on Women: A Source Book, which was written by Rosemary Agonito. However, this makes us ponder whether the position of women has changed at all?

Perhaps the answer here is evident. Even if women have now progressed towards much development, they still are largely considered as inferiors. Back in the years, it was considered that women, being weak and unable to take care of themselves are usually very cunning and sly and is a master when it comes to lying and deceiving. Arthur Schopenhauer has made it evident for people to believe that nature has given women the power to be so deceptive because of certain lacks in her nature such as not being physically strong etc. This he believes is a good explanation to define why the nature of a woman is so full of hypocrisy and deception. When compared to the thinking of the people these days, the claim still remains perhaps undaunted by the time that has passed. Another perception of women is that, “Women’s deficiency in love makes her hate her own sex and unable to love her own children on any level other than the purely instinctive. She is capable only of genuinely loving man, since this is her whole goal in life. Finally, she has no aesthetic faculty (which goes with her naturally ugly appearance) and so cannot appreciate any fine art. In short, to reverence woman in a chivalric spirit is to flout nature at every turn” (Agonito, p.191).

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